The alarm beeped at 4.30am this morning and we semi woke. I hadn’t had a great sleep, so in someways was pleased to be getting up. Quick showers and breakfast, before zipping our bags for the last time, or so we thought.
Down to the lobby we trundled with our bags, checked out and reception called a taxi, we had to walk out to one of the entry lanes because the main road into the Hilton Hawaiian Village was closed, as they had re tar-sealed the road over the last few days. The trip to the airport was uneventful and thankfully there was no traffic.
Check in with Hawaiian Airlines was once again a kiosk, so we had to get help. We were one pound over on a couple of the bags, which we were scolded for, but they let us through without having to pay extra. We still had to pay $25 per bag in the hold. Thankfully they didn’t weigh any of our cabin bags, but they have a cabin baggage weight of 11kgs. We had a little bit of breakfast at the airport and brought some food to take with us. They check your hand luggage twice here. The TSA do an X-ray on bags for anything you aren’t allowed on the plane,and the scan over you. You must take your shoes off. Steve got the scan this time, whereas the kids and I went through the X-ray. Then just before you walk to your gate, Customs do an X-ray check on all bags. They are checking for fruit. I got stopped and was asked to empty my handbag as it looked like there was something round in the bag. I duly emptied the bag, but I knew I didn’t have any fruit and they found nothing!
As we took off and headed along the island, our flight out, showcased the beautiful bays of Oahu, we saw Waikiki, Diamond Head, and Hanaumu Bay. It was so lovely in the early morning light.
Our seats were near the back of the plane, here they load from the back first after all the higher classes. It was great to have good leg room and the flight was fairly smooth. The down side was that there wasn’t any free movies. We had breakfast on the plane, a fruit platter, crackers and cheese, plus a macadamia nut in chocolate. Before landing we were offered Maui SweetOnion Chips, unfortunately I couldn’t eat any, but Stacey and Steve said that they were very nice. Shannon munched on his plain salted chips that we had brought at the airport. The kids spent their time on their iPad and iPod.
It was great to finally see the mainland of America. As we approached LA, we came in from the north. From the air, it is amazing to see how big the City of Angeles is. We then flew over Hollywood, we could recognise a few of the sights we had seen, even the Hollywood sign and Stables Centre, then we turned and came into land from the south, over the many freeways. It’s amazing how close the planes get to the freeway! A little daunting!
Coming through immigration was easier this time, no finger prints, I guess because we came from one of their states. We collected our bags then had to find where we had to check in for Air New Zealand. Now this was the hard part. We walked out of the terminal to find we were in Terminal 2. We asked a taxi guy, he said between Terminal 3 and 4. So we went up a level and walked. Once we were outside again, we could see signs with airline names on and Virgin America had a booth outside, so we asked the guy there. He checked on the airport website where out flight was leaving from. He told us back in Terminal 2, so in we went and walked back the way we had come. We finally found Air New Zealand it was at the end of the building.
Air New Zealand had two check in counters running. We checked in and weighed our bags. They were exactly the correct weight, 23kgs. Which was lucky! But we had to weigh our Cabin Bags. Oh buggar! They were all over weight. The guy asked what was in them, we said some winter clothes as we go home to freezing weather. He made us get them down to weight, and then gave us ‘Approved Hand Baggage’ labels. We walked away from the counter with clothes and gear in our arms and around our necks. Just as well I had brought a large hand bag yesterday otherwise we would have been done! It weighed a ton, but didn’t get weighed, just asked what was in it. We took our suitcases to the TSA area, where they took them off us and put them through the X-ray machine. We got further down the building and threw all our gear back into our carryon bags . We had seen many others doing the same thing!
We made our way up the escalators to the customs/immigration area, where a lovely lady checked our passport against our tickets. She chatted away to us, as she has a grandson who was very tall at a young age, a bit like Stacey. She told us about him. She was lovely! There was a huge queue behind us but she was concerned. She wished us a good flight and let us go to X-ray. Here we had to empty pockets, take liquids and electronics out of bags, take shoes off and I told them the kids ages, so we were allowed to go through X-ray, Steve once again went through the scanner. We were then able to make our way to the gate.
We found Burger King on the way and had some lunch. Steve and I ordered Buffalo Chicken Strips, the kids each had a burger. Our orders took for ever, you certainly wouldn’t want to be in a hurry here, it was a good twenty minutes I waited! Our Buffalo strips were so spicy hot, I took one bite and spat it out! I couldn’t eat them. My lips were stinging and my mouth was burning! I sat drinking water, the lady at the table beside us came over, she offered me sugar. She said a similar thing had happened to her in Indonesia, and that they eat a bit of sugar. So I did and it stopped the burning and stinging! Steve went and got a plain panini and I ordered a chicken burger. It was much better and didn’t take so long to get!
We sat at the gate for quite a while. We watched the line up of planes flying in, at least eight lined up at a time. Stacey spotted an Aston Martin Concept Car sitting out next to a Virgin Atlantic Plane, it was ready to be flown to Heathrow. The sunset was amazing and then it was dark, you could see the lights of the planes in the sky. There were two Air New Zealand flights leaving from LA, within 45 minutes of one another. One plane had come from Heathrow, it departed first and then ours that had come from New Zealand. Shannon had another burger, he has struggled with the airline food, so we attempted to fill him up before we left. Plus we brought more salted chips to take with us.
We boarded our plane on time. We went on with the families which had children under ten. As we were at the back of the plane, this was great. No one around to contend with while we sorted our bags. We sat in our seats. We had good foot room and our seats were wider than normal, as we were where the seats change from three to two on the sides. They closed the doors but there was no one on the seats beside us, all four rows in the middle were empty! Steve quickly claimed one row. The other two rows were snaffled up, and the back row had to be left for any passengers with problems like terrible motion sickness.
We departed on time. We took off in the same direction that we had landed. The lights of the city were amazing and then it was dark. Shannon, Stacey and I settled in to watch movies, Steve feel asleep. About an hour into the flight we were brought dinner, lovely braised beef and veggies, Stacey had Moroccan Chicken. They then dimmed the lights.
Flight to be continued on Day 70.