Samoa Day One – The Journey

My flight left at 7:15am and so Jen and I got there around 6:00am. We had someone watch Eric while we went to the airport. Since it was early in the morning, Eric wasn’t awake yet, but when I went to look on him, I made him cry. So, I was able to hold him and comfort him and then lay him down back in the crib. Jen and I hugged and said our goodbyes at curbside, seeing that we didn’t want to pay for parking and she couldn’t go past the security anyway. Security checked my luggage and I got my boarding passes for my journey that day, my loooong journey day. I was worried that I wouldn’t get past security because I had bought a Sam’s pack of AA batteries and so I thought it might be enough batteries to be illegal, but it was okay.I met Tom and Richard at the gate about an hour before we had to board. Both of them had been there for a while, but I had just made it there. The plane was on time, which is always good. I was a little worried because I had only brought a small saddle bag with a few books and some extra paper. They had brought gym bags with extra change of clothes. I thought it might be a good idea to have extra clothes since the chance that our luggage would make it, might be slim. We boarded the airplane and as we started to taxi, I was out. I slept through most of the flight. I woke up once after beverage service and then finally when we were about to land. I had the nice airplane seat crick in my neck. I thought the flight and the plane was great. It was the RJ 50 seater regional jet, not those Jet stream 41 29 seater prop planes, yuck!

Our stay in the air terminal in Houston was short. I called to let Jen know that I was fine and dandy before we boarded for Honolulu, since that would be a 8 hour flight. We boarded and started to taxi, but then we stopped. The First Officer came on the PA and said that there was a problem with the aircraft and they would need to go back to the gate, but it should be a quick fix. We got to the gate and they reset the AC. About 15 minutes later the FO comes on again to let us know that maintenance would need to take a longer look at the problem. It took maintenance about 30 minutes to fix the problem, so we were running about an hour late at this point.The plane ride went fairly smooth after we took off. Richard was blessed to have a First Class cabin seat while Tom and I were used as ballast in the back. I started the book Death’s Acre by Dr. WB Bass, a professor here at UT and the creator of The Body Farm. I probably read for a good 3 hours, only disturbed by the food and beverages and, oh yeah, the screaming kid behind me who could hit about 3 different octaves.

I did watch the movie The Bourne Supremacy starring Matt Damon. This was the second film about the character Jason Bourne, who is a CIA operative trained to be kind of a Dark Angel meets The Saint. I enjoyed the movie but probably would have gotten more out of it if I had seen the first one, The Bourne Identity.

We arrive in Honolulu amid rain clouds ad turbulence. Once on the ground we got off and proceeded to our next gate. Richard was happy to tell us how wonderful First Class had been. we of course, were telling him our war stories about Coach. My cell phone worked just fine in HI and was able to call Jen and let her know that I had arrived safely despite being delayed. She let me know that Eric was being crazy and stuff. That of course made me more homesick and it was still Friday! The Flight to Pago Pago left on time and was a 767. It looked at first that the plane would be relatively empty, but it started to fill up. In the end, the plane was fairly full, but there was some room to spread out. I was seated to a Samoan about my age. He went to Oregon (Go Pre) to play football but then transferred to University of Hawaii for finance and accounting. His wife is from American Samoa and will be transferring from Utah (where he works) to AS. We arrived on the island without any problems. We left the airplane and went to the airport terminal where we got our luggage (it made it!) and passed through Customs.

The next thing was to figure out where to get a taxi to the hotel, wherever that was located. I was running point and looking for a taxi, I same a gentlemen with a “Quality Inn Tradewinds” sign. AHHA… our savior. I signaled to Richard and Tom to go follow that guy to his transport. We got it. Is was noticeable hot and humid at 9-10 at night. It was really dark and so it was hard to see anything other than the lights of the houses, buildings and cars. We got to hotel and checked-in with a problem. We had rooms on the 3rd story (the hotel was one of the tallest buildings on the island). The rooms were spacious and seemed to have some amenities comparable to mainland hotel chains. We had cable TV, I will talk more about that later. I figure out that I could call Jen direct from my room for the low price of $1.25 to connect and $1.25 per minute, which was prorate to the second. I called the voice mail directly so that she would have a message waiting for her when she woke up. After all she was very tired and it was 4 o’clock in the morning there. No sense in waking her at this point. Now it was for me to try to sleep.

About planet3rry

I'm a husband, father and runner in the Knoxville area. I love the way that running makes me feel and how it has changed my thinking. I am always looking for the new PR whether in the 5k or the marathon