12 hour flights, even with breaks, are getting to be tiresome. Some twenty plus years back when we landed in the US, the travel time wasn’t a factor. The destination seemed so exciting that we didn’t break a sweat about the long journey. Just a few years back, the 14 hour flight from San Francisco to Sydney felt way too long to be in the air and above deep waters having left behind family. Every turbulence sent waves of fear making me grip the seat handles. For someone who never even thought about a mishap, each and every turbulence was something to grip through with prayers. This second leg from Houston to Honolulu had some old flight on American serving us. The seat was cramped with hard arm rests. Though there was leg room in the first row behind the first class, the hard separator didn’t let me stretch in full. A lady – should be frequent traveller – had her cute service dog resting on the floor and I had to be careful not to nudge it accidentally throughout the six-hour flight. Tom Cruise and Irrfan Khan on Inferno made the time pass – it looks like the audience is no more fascinated by Professor Langdon and the frequent twists in the plot. I tried La La Land to fill up the rest. Emma Stone is amazing in the movie, but rest of it didn’t catch my attention to persist. Finally we landed at Honolulu after passing above some breath-taking turquoise waters. The weather was hot. The Kumon shuttle came an hour late. The attendant told us that peak hour starts at 2:30 in the afternoon – sounded worse than Philly or LA. After some confusion, we got onto the small bus. The driver, an ex army man, was very talkative and he had company amongst us passengers. The 40 minute ride to the Aulani Disney resort became quiet after the banter about traffic, weather and personal love life.
Aulani is one among the four resorts in the south-western tip of the island, a bit far away from the noise. They sits aside four man-made lagoon among hard reefs and rocky shoreline. The lagoons are where you can taste a bit of the sea water and it was very salty when I took a dip one of the days. The restaurants on site weren’t appealing to us with very little healthy options for a vegetarian – ok, if you are fine with eating cold sandwiches. After the 14 hour door to door and looking for our missed lunch around dinner-time local time, I would prefer some hot food like a soup. We walked to the local marketplace across the street. By this time I had exceeded my daily quota of 7k steps for the day. After looking around into different shops, the market place had a veggie pizza that we found surprisingly healthy and delicious with a thin crust and fresh vegetables. It was 7:30 pm by the time we finished our ‘lunch’. We went down to explore and found that the car rental counter was closed. It had been a tiring day. I chose going back to the room and I didn’t hesitate one bit to hit the bed for the night. There was music starting in the garden in preparation for the evening, but it wasn’t appealing enough to stop me from closing the shades and wrapping into sleep.