Thursday I woke up as late as I could stay in bed. It is no secret that sleeping on a red eye means little sleep. And I find that if I can get a late start gives me a few extra hours I will miss on the plane.
One last walk through the hotel, I say goodbye to the penguins, fish, and birds that call this place home. I walk the beach to find a family who had just arrived and buried one of their own to start the trip. Packed, and double check the room for everything I am checked out and in my car.
My flight is not until the evening and I have several hours to pass. I do the one thing I thought I would not do in Hawaii – go to Pearl Harbor. I head down Nimitz past the car rental (just to make sure I know how to get there) and look for the USS Missouri. After and hour of circles in around the military base – I decide to just go to the Pearl, which is well marked.
The movie is a tear jerker and very politically correct. The boat ride to the memorial is respectful and beautiful – BUT there is a very pushy and irreverent Asian man I nearly get into a fight with. How ironic.
HNL is an open air terminal. One can get the last few breaths of fresh air before getting on a DC-10 for an eight hour flight with hundreds of others and sit next to a young man who attended a conference on Hepatitis C, and continues to touch you the entire flight “by mistake.” For those of you with siblings, you understand the concept of not crossing the line. For those of you who are sib-less, there is an imaginary line half way between you and every person giving you equal amount of space. DON’T CROSS IT. Cross your legs, hold your knees together, get some duct tape! But don’t cross that line especially with strangers! Unless you are being a flirt.
My flight lands in Minneapolis at 5:50 am local and I get on the 6:50 am to DTW. I return to the white world of fresh snow covering my car. It is six to eight inches of the hard crusty stuff frozen to the car and takes me a good twenty minutes to clear.
I head to the Birmingham estate where I spend Friday and Saturday with the family unit. My sister (or for you avid readers sibling unit number four) graduates from college. I am so very proud of her for doing this. She has been a real trooper over the last few years commuting from home and holding the family together through some very tough times.
By Sunday my internal clock is re-set to local time. I am back in Ann Arbor and glad to be home.
During my trip to Hawaii last year, I thought I might make this an annual event. After much thought, I returned this year. But it is too sad to leave paradise every year. There are other places and stories for me to write about.