Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Off again Kona, HI, Thursday, 10 August 2006 10:00pm

Another trip begins.

I'm flagrantly breaking the One Bag rule for this trip (AneelPackingList). It's my snorkeling fins. They're just too long to fit in a carry-on. So I've dragged out the ridiculously huge backpack that I took to Europe, back in 2000 (6100cu in! You could fit both the pack I took to Central America and the pack I took to South America in there and still have room for a daypack!). Of course, more space gives rise to temptation to fill that space. I've already tossed in an extra pair of shoes, some "bonus" clothes, and some more books.

About 5hrs before my flight to Hawaii was scheduled to take off, I found that the TSA had started forbidding liquids and gels from carry-on luggage. Luckily, I already had a bag to check, so I just pulled my toiletries kit out of my carry-on and my sunscreen out of my daypack, and stuffed them into the Big Bag.

Security at SFO was not much worse than usual. A little more shouting, but it went pretty quickly. I felt a little sheepish for getting there an extra two and a half hours early. I used the time to get a new band for my watch. I'd stretched out the links on the old one a bit.

I didn't sleep as much as I would have liked on the plane. The 4pm departure probably had something to do with that. I arrived at Kona tired, and had to listen to a bunch of screaming kids while I got my rental car. It's a Pontiac Grand Prix. Terrible visibility. It has beams in lots of bad places, and the rear-view mirror makes it hard to see an important chunk of the front-view. But I guess I'm spoiled.

Checked in to Uncle Billy's Kona Bay Hotel. Kind of run down, considering how expensive it is, but totally serviceable. Ali'i drive turns out to be the local cruising strip. Lots of kids in their lowered pickup trucks.

I had Mexican food for dinner. I know, I know, I shouldn't be eating what I could get at home. But I had shrimp and sausage quesadillas and fish tacos with local fish. The waiter was grinning the whole time, in a way that, back in SF, would imply that he knew something that I didn't. But it seemed to just be his standard expression.

Exhausted. Between the jet lag and the time change and the failure to sleep on the plane, I went to bed just after dinner.

Drink: Longboard Lager. From the Kona Brewing Company. Tasty. A lot more body than most lagers.