This is in no way a plea for pity, because I deserve none, but I wanted to take a moment to outline the travails of traveling the width of the nation. We are in our recovery day after a red-eye return from Hawaii. Here is what that actually amounted to...
We had a late-night flight from Kona International Airport, leaving at 10:59 p.m. on Wednesday. That meant that we had to find a way to kill the hours between a mid-day hotel check out and the 8 p.m. check-in at the airport. We stayed in our room as late as we could and then had a longish lunch. We shopped and drove around a bit and finally had a late supper before heading to the airport.
As it was, we had to wait a bit before even starting the check-in process. That involved having the USDA check our checked bags for contraband plant life, a long wait to check-in with the airline, a fairly quick TSA security check, and returning to the USDA for a check of our carry-on bags.
When we finally boarded the flight, things went fairly smoothly. I ended up seated away from Karen and the girls. We were together but decided I should trade seats with a woman traveling with a child who otherwise would have had to be seated far from the kid. That put me next to a gent who was born and raised in Honolulu (a haole) who had lived and worked in Florida before moving to Kona. He had worked as a tour bus driver, so we compared notes -- I explained what we had seen and done and he told me what we should have seen and done.
We dozed away what turned out to be about a five and a half-hour flight to Phoenix, arriving there at about 7:30 am. After a brisk walk to our next gate, we breakfasted on muffins from Starbucks and waited a short time to board the next plane.
It was 7:30 am in Phoenix, but about 4:30 am Hawaiian time. Our bodies were on Hawaiian time. When we boarded the next flight, we immediately dozed off. Karen and I woke up for the take-off and then nodded off again. The girls slept through take-off and woke up on and off during the rest of the flight.
We arrived at BWI in Baltimore at about 4 pm Eastern time, or around 10 am Hawaiian. After retrieving our bags, and our car, we headed east across the Chesapeake and made it back to Lewes around 8, or just after lunch by our internal clocks.
So there we were, unpacking at the end of what felt like a long day, but was actually part of two. We'd gotten up early on Wednesday to squeeze-in the last bit of sunshine and pool time before leaving. We spent a long last day in Hawaii and the most of the next day sitting in planes and airport waiting lounges. Before we knew it it was midnight Eastern (dinner time in Hawaii) and we tried to head to bed.
Now it is the next day and we're attempting to return to east-coast time. That's why today seems such an odd sort of day.