Saturday, January 23, 2010

Flying to Maui

Sorry everyone, no pictures today. My camera batteries were dead :( But enough people have asked me how my flight(s) went, so here ya go.

Overview: My flight route was from Harrisburg, to Chicago, to Phoenix, to Maui. Around 16 hours total travel time. I few with United Airlines & US Airways. Thank you which is the best flight planning site I have ever seen and I recommend using it to anyone and everyone looking to fly anywhere. My first flight was the nicest, tons of room, brand new looking, and each consecutive flight got smaller and a little older - my last one still had ashtrays in the armrest and 3 box TVs hung in the middle of the plane (in contrast to the electronic tilt-down flat screens above ever 3 rows on my first flight). Uneventful trip in that there were no problems, I got my luggage, nothing lost, nothing broken and, for once, not opened by the TSA which was nice.

Flight #1: On my first flight a guy was nice enough to put my bag in the overhead compartment for me. This was somewhat of a big deal because to save money on luggage fees, I had an appropriate sized but 40 lb carry on bag, and at 5 foot short it is darn near impossible for me to lift it that far over my head and into the compartments. However, my friend Chet said go for it and if there's any guy on the flight, they'll help; well Chet, you were right, however, read on for some humor on that front. I sat next to a tall, lanky high school aged kid who was from north of state college and I'm pretty sure he had never been on a plane before - he was fascinated and in awe at the size of the mountains. And that was only in Harrisburg. It was refreshing, however, to see someones head stuck in the window more than mine usually is (I love flying, and love seeing the clouds, the ground below from my own little window!).

A girl a bit younger than me sat with her parents across the isle. This girl complimented me on my jewelry when seating, and then both women put on their blue face masks for the flight - the girl also wearing leather gloves the entire time. When we landed I thought, what the hell, so I gave the girl one of my business cards where I discovered her name was also Kristin "with a K and two I's". However, as I was waiting for people to file out and have room to get my carry on down (Chet, pay attention here) the lovely kid next to me wanted to be helpful and reached up to get my luggage for me. The guy who had put it up there was a few rows back and said 'I'll help you with that' to me, but this kid was on it already, there was nothing that I could do other than warn him "be careful - it's REALLY heavy!". Poor kid. And poor mother of the girl across the isle, now with face mask removed (making it rather pointless in the first place, if you ask me), who got hit on her back by the corner of the bag as the kid struggled to get it down and nearly dropped it from the weight. I felt awful, even if I wasn't' the one that hit her - it was my bag! I apologized on behalf of the boy and asked if she was okay - she said "No." quite perturbed, but she didn't actually seem injured, just peeved and a bruised ego. After all of her protection, there are some things you can't protect against - such as falling luggage. I'm pretty sure that her daughter won't be buying anything from me any time soon....

Fight #2 - I sat next to a couple about my age. They seemed pretty cool and were going from Indiana to stay with friends in Phoenix. I believe they were backpackers, and the girl had a cute nose ring (making me want to get one again). There was a woman sitting behind us with at least 1 son, and possibly a daughter. This was, I believe, the most annoying and obnoxious mother on the planet. The duration of the ride our row would periodically roll our eyes, shake our heads or smirk at the complete inappropriateness or just plain loud, high-pitched remarks, largely directed towards the son. Though I think she probably would have said them to herself anyway. Annoying as she was, I think the real problem was loneliness, from the comments that she made. It's funny how you can sort of see into peoples lives in just a few short hours when they don't realize you're paying attention to them. She wanted so much to be heard that she kept sniping and saying nonsense just to say something, just for a reaction. When deplaning, the "boyfriend"said "I think I am a little stronger having gone through that". The "girlfriend" adding "I think we ALL are...." and we laugh ted. Funny what can unite strangers, even when not speaking.

Flight #3 - My thrid flight was over 6 hours long (thank goodness that annoying lady wasn't on that flight!), and sat next to a couple in their late 40s/early 50s. They wer emarried a year and a half with a Brady Bunch family of 5 - the oldest in their early 20s and babysitting the youngest, under 10, while they finally took the opportunity to go to Maui for their Honeymoon. They were kind, but kept to themselves mostly which is perfectly fine in my book for a 6 hour 3rd flight in one day! The plain had 3 in-flight movies, Love Happens, Bride Wars and All About Steve, and the woman next to me would look over and laugh with me at the funniest parts. They'll only be in Maui until the 31st, which is a good long trip for most people, and it reminded me how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to live here for 3 months. I hope that they are having a wonderful time here, and don't miss their family too much.

Before landing on Maui, I saw the most beautiful sunset that I think I have ever seen. The sky behind the wing of the plane was a light bright blue with puffy white clouds where our plane had flown through. Ahead of us i could make out 2 great mountains and I'm not sure if we were passing Big Island's Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa or if we were circling Maui and it was Haleakale and West Maui Mountain. Either way, these great mountains were nearly black against the settings un, and where the sky met the dark ocean was a slice of bright magenta, fading into tangerine, lemon and every color of the rainbow, so vibrant, riht up to the bright pinky violet that is usually so difficult to make out right at the top of the spectrum - blending all the way into a tru navy blue sky. The colors like ribbons blending so perfectly, almost too perfectly to seem real. It was like a painting and I thought of Bob Ross painting it with, blending it all just so with his fan brush. Only the sun, steadily setting but peaking out from hills and volcanoes brought it to life that this sunset was not just a steady dim, but moments of brightness and such intense color.

Of course, m camera batteries were dead. but I don't' think it could have captured all of that sky, all of that beauty, and I know my words don't even do it justice. After all, a beautiful photo is but a photo, beautiful words just words, but some moments can be truly magical.

Landed safely at the airport, which was much larger than I had anticipated, and was indoors. Met Jeff, drove to the apartment and very early to bed. :)

Thank you all for reading- hope you enjoyed!

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