Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Days 1 and 2: Family Arrives!

Friday morning went by soooo slooooowly that I almost couldn't bear it.  I went to class like the good little studious girl that I am and then ran around town (or bused around town, rather), bought leis for the family, and started making my way towards the airport.

Sidenote - why do little old men think they can sit down next to me on the bus?  There were so many other open seats just crying out to be sat on.  I was trying to juggle all my shit I had with me - four boxes of leis and my Wal-mart bag packed with necessities - and set my belongings on the seat next to me.  This was an acceptable behavior as there was nobody on this bus and I was sitting in the back.  This little old guy must have saw me and thought, "Hey, I'm old, I can do what I want.  I'm practically senile with Alzheimer's".  And he asked me to move my stuff and he planted his tush right next to mine.

When I'm old, I'm gonna do the same thing.  After you reach a certain age there are things you can try to get away with and usually succeed.  Nobody can ever yell at an little old lady, and if you could, you are an awful human being.  That's the only thing that makes me excited about aging.

Back on subject.  I arrived at the airport and wait at baggage claim for their flight.  There was a vision in my head how the moment of our reunion, and it was going to be flawless.  But then I started playing out not-so-good scenarios (because I tend to do that).

The previous conversations I had with my mother before takeoff consisted of her telling me what time their flight came in and which airline.  Never once did it come up that I was going to meet them at the airport.  For one thing, I kind of wanted it to be a surprise.  For another, I half-expected them to expect me there with all the questions I asked and my general excitement about their arrival.  Also, isn't it like some sort of protocol to meet your guests at the airport?

The flight came in and people started showing up at baggage claim.  I looked around eagerly to spot anyone I recognized, but there was nothing in the beginning.  Enter stage 1 of panic.

I tried calling my mom, dad, and brother.  No answer.  Their phones were still turned off.  Enter stage 2 of panic.

More and more people were piling into the baggage claim area, none whatsoever looking remotely like a family member of mine.  Time was running out.  So was the amount of seats that plane could hold because damn there were a lot of people there!

At that point my brain began to conjure up all these possibilities and explanations of what was happening.  My first thought was that they only brought carry-on's and didn't need to go to baggage claim.  I don't know this airport whatsoever.  It was truly amazing that I found the right place to be in the first place (after asking upwards of 4 different people where to go).

Then I thought that since they didn't need to go to baggage claim, they went right to the car rental place, went about their business, and left in the shiny minivan they rented, leaving me at the airport without even realizing it.

I sat in defeat.  Finally the last few people trickled into baggage claim, leaving me along with me leis and my abandoned excitement.  The flight had come in, but it had not brought my family.

INTERMISSION.  This post is too damn long.  Here's an adorable Youtube video:

After what seemed like Forever, my brother called me back saying they had just landed and were on the runway taxiing (sp?) to the terminal.  This caused mass confusion inside my cranium as I was witnessing people from their flight who were already at baggage claim.  Come to find out, I had gotten the airline wrong, and had just spent the past half hour moderately hyperventilating because I thought I was orphaned at the airport.

I'm an idiot.

So I went to the correct baggage claim area/place/letter and built up some more anticipation.  People from their flight started to come in and then I saw them and it was magical (maybe not actually magical, but go with it).  I lei'd my family - awkward phrase - and hugged and reunited and it was great!  The only thing that was missing was my sister, Annie.

She was originally supposed to come in the following Wednesday and leave that Saturday, but she ended up making it work where she could come Saturday and stay for a week.

So mother, father, brother and I got luggage, got vehicle, and got hotel.  The hotel puts on a show every friday night for the guests.  It's a mini luau-type show with hula dancers, ukelele players, and fireworks at the end.  So we watched that and it was really pretty cool.  That ended about 8pm at which point family was sooooo tired and wanted to go to bed.

I had totally forgotten about the existence of televisions since I've been here since I don't have access to one, so being in a hotel room with a TV was pretty much the best thing ever.  That and air conditioning.  And nice big comfy beds.  It was all so fabulous that the entire time my family was visiting, I never slept at my apartment and only went back there for clothes and my books to go to class.  I was pretty much MIA to my roommates and friends, but I only had a week with my family and I needed to make every minute count!

Saturday morning family woke up at seriously 6am.  Brother wanted to go down to the beach so we did that and walked around a bit.  Then we went to brunch at this cute little place called the Creme Pot, then we got snacks because eating at restaurants the entire time in Waikiki is ridiculously expensive and not an option.  Afterwards we went to my room so I could get some more stuff and so my family could meet Kelsey and Janelle, Kelsey still with blue hair from Halloween weekend which was great.

Then we drove to the airport to pick up my favorite sass-ter in the world!  It was so exciting to see her after 3 months.  Her poor self had to take three flights with almost 3-hour layovers each so she was tired as hell and wanted some food.  We ate at Zippy's, this Hawaiian fast-food chain that I had never been to but it was all right.  Dad and I ordered Loco Mocos and the rest of the fam had classic burgers and fries.  Lamesies.  Then we went back to the hotel and passed out, although it was still relatively early.

More posts from the rest of the week with my family to come!


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