Monday, July 5, 2010

The Vacation's Over

I woke up and headed to room three – where I had spent the most of my time here, and got to know the people. That's the room that costs a bit more, and the travellers there were more to my speed, less about the being drunk all the time. Note, I say all the time. I have no problem with the odd drink or seven, but when morning to night the booze flows -

Well, it was nine in the morning, and they were drinking in room three, but it was just a, “breakfast beer,” they'd not be screaming on the streets later. And this much is, i swear, true. The party kiddies in yellowish room six? Well, I guess I'm just getting older. If I ever was young at all.

I hung out there, and said my goodbyes, grabbed contact information, and promised to get in touch if I found myself in their part of the world – which I may just do in the coming months. Then it was off to breakfast, after which I sat myself down on the beach. Once more, I would content myself with doing nothing. Everyone around me way laying in the shade, it seemed like as good a plan as any.

Then the rain started. A welcomed mist at first, which grew little by little. Girls in stars and striped bikinis ran for cover, as guys in their red white and blue board shorts ran from the ocean, looking for a place to stay dry – I didn't question the logic of this, opting instead to salute their swim wear displayed patriotism.

I headed fifteen or twenty meters down the sand, where the rain had not yet reached, nor was it going to. It was simple a small cooling localized shower that added some respite from the heat.

At lunch I had my last Teddy's burger (I may have called this restaurant by many names over the last week, but I assure you, Teddy's is the correct one – probably.) I also grabbed a pineapple shake. Wonderful.

And then? Then it was just back to the hostel, were I had to buzz myself in – surrendering my key when I checked out this morning. Three fifteen in the afternoon. Four hours left to kill before the shuttle bus would whisk me away to the airport. What to do, what to do, what to do?

It's kinda strange to watch people move in, as you're moving out. Especially when they're just starting their trip, all full of joy and happiness, an excitement – planning for the months to come. You know, I remember that. I also remember making a point of telling myself back in Iceland, that soon it would be my turn to be finishing up. Much sooner than I could ever have imagined from though pre-erupted shores.

This whole excited to travel thing – I thought about it yesterday, when a Finish couple climbed aboard the hummer for the LOST tour. They were smiling ear to ear, looking to all the world as if this would be the most exciting thing they could ever do – which, to them, it probably was. They had come all the way from Scandinavia for this, and it showed. And they were delighted.

I wonder what it's going to take in the future to get me that amped up about travel. It's just a thing to do now. This attitude has been growing more and more as the months have worn on, and I know that I still enjoy getting out in the world, and I still have a great time – but that level of excitement? What's it gonna take?

In other news – POG? Remember POG? Those little cardboard caps you'd flip with 'slammers' that died back in the mid nineties? Well POG was invented here in Hawaii, and the company still goes strong. I drank POG juice today. True story.

A one hour skype with a buddy back home was a good way to kill some time. One more hour until the shuttle to the airport. Might as well see if anyone I've been hanging out with is around – you can never have too many good-byes.

My final parting gift? Some KFC mashed potatoes topped with their delicious gravy. Eating it, watching a brief section of Empire Strikes Back, and then questioning how NCIS can be the most watched show if no one knows anyone who has ever seen it, I grabbed my pack and headed for the bit of sidewalk outside the hostel gates.

When the airport shuttle came to pick me up, I hopped on, and off I went – apparently passing Obama's high school and the hospital where he was born, so said our driver. Who can say? Then into the airport, getting my bag scanned for department of agricultural stuff, self-checking in, and heading off for food – being Delta air, there is no free food on board. It's one of those fun airlines where checking your bag costs extra.

For dinner? A pizza and salad combo – with soda. So much soda. Help me get off soda. I don't want anymore. No more. Never. Juice, ok. And water? Yes please. But soda... still when free refills are offered who can say no?

The meal was twelve bucks, about three dollar more than the average fast food combo (I forgot how much we like to jack up airport prices in North America. I've grown use to the NZ / Oz way of things.) but the portions? Truly American. A big pasta salad, and a medium pizza. Not knowing if I could take left overs on the plane, I forced it down, and it was delicious, but full – so very full.

And on the plane? Turned out I had the exit row, which was fantastic – lots of leg room, stretching out forever. In no time I was asleep. Time zones be damned, I'll figure all that out when I wake up again.

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