Click here to read part 1.
We woke early the next morning (actually, I'm not sure I slept) excited to be going to Hawaii. Our friends from the night before called our room and told us that the fan club personnel were in the lobby and we could pick up our boarding passes then instead of waiting until we got to the airport. I ran downstairs to get them. They actually had "Bon Jovi" on the boarding pass! I still have one of mine.
After we were done jumping up and down and screaming, we finished getting dressed and headed to the airport, where we joined the other members of the fan club. In all, there were 150 of us headed to Hawaii. The majority were teenage girls. Those poor flight attendants...
We weren't too bad, other than refusing to stay in our seats. We hung out in the aisles with our new friends. That's me in the hat. Someone stuck it on my head just before snapping the picture. I tried unsuccessfully to convince her she really wanted to let me keep it. We didn't wait to get to Hawaii to start taking pictures. I took a bunch out the plane window. This might be leaving San Francisco. Does that look like Alcatraz? We missed the food service because we weren't in our seats. We had to ask the flight attendants if they would make another pass. They said they would but we would have to wait until they were done serving everyone that had stayed in their seats where they belonged. Finally, after five hours over the ocean, we began our descent into Honolulu. As we touched down onto the runway, 150 girls screamed and cheered. The flight attendants breathed a huge sigh of relief.
We had each been allowed to bring two bags on the trip: one to check and one to carry on. Being an inexperienced teenage traveler, I crammed each suitcase as full and as heavy as I could possibly make them. We had assistance claiming and transporting our checked baggage, but were on our own with our carry on bags. My bag was so heavy I couldn't carry it. I began to drag it. We went down a flight of stairs and it thump, thump, thumped along behind me.
We were herded out to a garden area where we would receive our leis and take our first tourist photograph. Every time we boarded a vessel, visited a tourist attraction, or bumped into a man with birds we were photographed and the pictures were offered for sale at a premium price. I don't remember buying any of them. I was on a budget. I had only 300 dollars in spending money for the week.
We were transported by bus to our hotel. We stayed at the Queen Kapiolani. It was across the street from the zoo and about a block from the beach. In the lobby, we were read a long list of rules and given our room keys. My roommate and I were one of the lucky few who had a room with a view. From our lanai we could see the ocean and Diamond Head. Our friends had a view of the alley and the hotel rooms next door.
The view from our balcony:
My new friends and I walked along the beach to find dinner. I had never seen water so blue. Even though the water is actually pretty clean in Galveston now, the Mississippi churns up so much sand as it empties into the Gulf of Mexico that it will always be a brownish green color here.
I was exhausted by the time we got back to our room. I was too excited to sleep in San Francisco and barely got any rest on the bus, so I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Part 3 next week.
Today's travel tip: Never buy luggage without wheels.
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