Happy To Be Home Again

The sunset out over Hawai'i from the plane window

Heading to the  sunset out over Hawai’i. The clouds in the distance are from two hurricanes approaching the islands.

I arrived home after a very, very long and tiring travel day yesterday and am so happy to be back. My suitcase has been unpacked, the washing machine is doing its thing, and Brett and I will be heading off to the farmer’s market in a short while (we’ll do our big Costco shop tomorrow). It’s hot and humid here, but after all the dry air I encountered while I was gone, it feels wonderful.

The entire trip was a total success, but it was totally exhausting as well. I suffered from jet lag the entire time I was gone – I could never quiet adjust to where I was. Four of the eight days of the trip were spent flying to one destination or another or waiting in airports. The shortest flight of the trip was the two and a half hours spent flying from Denver to Seattle. One flight was over four hours (Boston to Denver), and the rest were all over five hours long.

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday back in Colorado (2:30 a.m. HST) prepared for a slow drive down to the Denver airport because of traffic, and also to give myself time to gas up the rental car, get some coffee, and turn in the car at the rental agency before heading to the airport. Although I had been warned about the possibility of heavy traffic heading down to Denver, there wasn’t any to speak of that morning and I flew down the highway at 80 mph, with other cars passing me the whole way! None of the tasks took any time at all, and I was pre-checked through TSA so I ended up at my gate at 7:30 (If I had had to go through the regular screening it would have taken a very long time because the lines were so long). My flight didn’t leave until 10:30, so I spent my time walking through the airport and reading.

Fish & chips, and clam chowder, from Anthony's Fish Bar in Sea-Tac airport

Fish & chips, and clam chowder, from Anthony’s Fish Bar in SeaTac airport

Our plane arrived in Seattle on time, which meant I had an exhausting five-hour wait until my flight to Kaua’i. The first thing I did was to head to Anthony’s Fish Bar for some fish & chips and clam chowder, which had been recommended. That was a good move – I was very hungry, and the food was reasonably priced, hot and delicious. After I finished I again walked through the airport a few times and did some more reading, and then finally boarded on time for the 5+ hour trip home.

First Class dinner menu - it was very, very good (I had the pork but only ate the potatoes and bok choy).

First Class dinner menu – it was very, very good (I had the pork but only ate the potatoes and bok choy).

One of the smartest things I did though was treat myself to an upgrade to First Class for the last leg of my trip. For $150 I had a big, comfortable seat for my weary body, free entertainment, and good food and other treats to enjoy on the way home. The upgrade cost less than half of the extra I would have paid for First Class if I had booked the ticket upfront. I’ve already informed Brett that from now on we are including enough in our travel budget to allow for last-minute upgrades if possible on the way home.

A selfie with Mom. She was fascinated by it, and also by my Kindle.

Two old ladies: A selfie I took with Mom. She was fascinated by the selfie process. She also was fascinated with my Kindle, and wanted to know how the whole thing worked.

I had a very good visit with my Mom in Colorado. She knew who I was the minute she saw me, but I doubt today she remembers I was there – her short-term memory is very weak. We spent our time sharing memories from the past, and photos on my computer of Brett, the girls and Hawai’i (she knows that’s where I live). On the second day there she asked to go to Trader Joe’s with me, and she enjoyed walking through the store with me and looking at everything while I bought some things to bring home. I got her some figs, peaches and avocados, because she had said she missed them. All things considered, her condition was better than I imagined, and it appears her cancer is progressing slowly, at least for now. It was sad for both of us to say good-bye to each other though.

The house seems empty without WenYu, but the room she shared with YaYu is now clean and organized, so I guess that’s a plus. I know it will take some time to adjust to her being gone when evenings arrive, but she is doing well back at Wellesley and settling in. I caught a glimpse of her in a photo taken at the annual convocation held today, which did my heart some good.

We won’t be doing any more traveling again until next March, when we are scheduled to go to Japan. In the meantime we’ll be beefing up our savings, and enjoying our retirement and more time with YaYu.

It’s good to be home!

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11 thoughts on “Happy To Be Home Again

    • Laura says:

      I am so sorry we couldn’t connect! Yesterday was a complete blur – I was still feeling very, very tired. Hopefully we can meet up on your next visit – I’m glad you had such a good time on Kaua’i!

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      • JJ says:

        Yes, it’s too bad I was there at the exact time you were away, but maybe next time. I was amazed at how different Kauai is from the other Hawaiian islands I’ve been to. It’s so green and rugged and the scenery is spectacular! I heard something about two hurricanes approaching as I was leaving, so I hope those fizzle out.

        I know how you feel (tired). I’m back home now (NJ) and I’m completely confused as to what time it is or what day it is. Good thing I don’t have to go back to work until Tuesday. I wanted to upgrade to first class on the Kauai to SF leg of the trip, but they wanted $180 per person and my friend didn’t want to pay, so we didn’t. I kind of regret that because both flights were brutal in economy. The SF to Newark leg was fully booked so it wasn’t an option.

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  1. Hawaii Planner says:

    I’m with you – the first class last minute upgrade makes a huge difference! I sometimes have enough travel points (budget through work) to afford a last minute upgrade to business on my 12+ hour flights & it’s absolute heaven. HEAVEN.

    Welcome home!

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    • Laura says:

      It was heaven, and the reason they didn’t have to carry me off the plane when we finally arrived on Kaua’i. I flew Alaska this trip, and their upgrade prices are very reasonable. Most others airlines though cost way too much, but I’m always going to add a bit more to our travel budget just in case.

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    • Laura says:

      In hindsight the trip was grueling, although it didn’t seem that way when I set everything up. I am so happy to be home, but I think it’s going to take a few days to get back to normal – I’m still feeling more tired than I imagined.

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    • Laura says:

      I’m surprised that I got hit with jet lag so hard this time – three days home and I’m still trying to shake it off. Plus, all that sitting on the final day, both in planes and in the airports, did a number on my lower back. Otherwise, the trip was a great one!

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