Last Saturday/Sunday was the weekend for Daylight Saving Time to begin. Because we don't change our clocks in Hawaii, I haven't had to change my clocks for years now. I made sure to double check on which way to change the time so I would not be late for the Sunday Brunch. As an interesting note, my iPod Touch changed the time automatically. Of course I did not realize that would happen until I woke up Sunday morning. The change in time also meant that 9 am was no longer 7 am Hawaii time but instead 6 am Hawaii time. Not the best news for a night owl.
I am still trying to figure out the time change and how it affected me (sort of like a math word problem)... since we don't change the time in Hawaii, and I left Hawaii losing two hours but returned to Hawaii gaining three hours, does that mean that I gained an extra hour in my life?
The Sunday Brunch, which was being held at the Island Palms Hotel, would be the last of the three scheduled formal events where everyone attending the ST GTG would be gathering (except for a few people who had to fly out that morning to get home for work the following day).
It was so nice getting to spend one more day together and to be able to spend time talking to a few more people I had not had time talking to at the previous two events. We talked, we laughed, we drank & we ate.
Here are a couple of photos I took before we started eating.
As the brunch came to a close, all those who purchased the wine glasses from Mindy got together for a group photo.
After the group photo, the goodbyes began. That was the sad part. At least I did not have to say goodbye to everyone yet. A bunch of us were planning to go to Brigantine for dinner that evening. After the brunch ended, I went for a short walk (too cold outside again for me) and then went back to my room to pack.
We met back at the lobby of the Island Palms early in the evening to walk to the Brigantine. I think it was probably a 20 minute walk. Brrrrr! It was chilly outside. There were about 15 or 20 of us having dinner at the Brigantine, although we were not all able to sit together because the Brigantine was so busy. Our table ordered two orders each of fried clams and calamari. Good, but not as good as New England fried clams. We also all ordered fish tacos - YUM!! After some discussion, we decided to go to Humphreys for dessert. Again YUM!!
Because Shannon's brother works there and was working that evening, we were treated royally. First they put together a long table (forget how many it seated), but once everyone arrived, it was apparent that the table would not fit everyone. They were able to fit us all in another area (I think there were probably about 16 or so of us). It was great being able to spend a little more time together before heading back to the hotel. I really was not ready to say goodbye just yet. When we returned to the hotel, a few of us gathered in ColleenK, Jan, Sheri, & Terry's suite. We chatted for an hour or two and then I finally said goodbye to everyone.
Monday morning arrived much too soon. Good thing I packed everything on Sunday. It was hard getting up early Monday morning. The hotel shuttle was waiting for me when I arrived at the lobby. I was the only one scheduled for the 7:30 shuttle. The airport was not far from the hotel.
I was able to check in for my flight using my iPod Touch on Sunday afternoon but was not able to print my boarding pass. I was a little nervous since the directions said, "must print now". I checked in early because it cost less that way for the baggage charge. When I reached the Hawaiian Airlines check in area, I told the person directing everyone that I checked in on my iPod Touch. That worked out well because I did not have to wait in the line and instead was directed to a kiosk at the far left. When I mentioned how I checked in, the guy said not a problem and quickly printed out a boarding pass for me. He tagged my check in bag and also put a pink approved for boarding slip on my carry on and purse. I was also holding a small paper bag containing a bagel and an orange. He told me that I would have to put that inside one of my other bags because only two items were allowed.
I stopped at Starbucks for an espresso and ate my orange since oranges are not allowed into Hawaii (agricultural restrictions) and I was not sure if it was ok to bring it on board (orange peels being transported to Hawaii even if I ate the orange on board).
Oh how I wish either Starbucks could learn how to make a good espresso or another coffee company selling good espresso would become more popular. I discovered that the San Diego airport offers free wifi. That was a nice treat.
The security line was a little longer than I anticipated but not too terribly long. I made the mistake of getting in the line behind a family with a stroller. It took three people to figure out how to collapse the stroller (the mom, the only person who knew, was on the other side and was not allowed back). Fortunately I had plenty of time before my flight would be departing.
My flight back was full again. I sat next to crabby man. He did not say a word except for a forced hello after I said hello when I sat down. I found out later at the baggage carousel that the woman sitting on the other side of him was with him (guessing wife or girlfriend). He did not say a word to her either the entire flight! The flight was delayed because of some girl sitting towards the back of the plane. I am not sure what took place, but at one point, the guy that helped me at the kiosk was on the plane to escort her off of the plane.
The food on the flight was horrible. Horrible because the only choice (unless you wanted to purchase a $10 meal) was a meat filled burrito. Fortunately I was prepared with a bagel, some nuts, and a Luna Bar.
I found it interesting that the plane returning to Honolulu was a different plane than the plane I was on flying to San Diego. This would normally not be strange except that there is only one flight that goes back and forth daily from San Diego to Honolulu. This plane was a nicer plane - nicer seats/same size but with leather by the headrest and more movie screens throughout the plane.
The movie playing was New Moon. Not a movie I was interested in seeing. I still don't get the policy of Hawaiian Airlines. They charge $5 to watch the movie (headset rentals or use of your own headsets). Now how are they monitoring this? Does your seat buzz or light up somehow if you plug in your own headset and did not pay? The movie on the way to San Diego (The Blind Side) was a movie I would have watched but there were not as many screens on that plane and the only way I could see the screen (even to watch the important safety video) was to lean my head out into the aisle.
I attempted to read but that did not last very long. I have a terrible attention span for reading when flying. Instead, I played solitaire on my iPod Touch and watched a few Lost episodes that I had downloaded for free a few months earlier to keep myself busy. While watching the pilot (of Lost/not the pilot flying the plane), we hit some major turbulence at the same time that the plane on Lost starts to shake and then crash. That was a very strange feeling, especially since I am not a great flier and usually take ativan to calm my nerves but decided to fly dangerously and skip the ativan for the first time. Because I had the volume set pretty loud, it was hard to tell what was real and what was happening on Lost, especially when the flight attendant goes running after Charlie, yelling "Sir, excuse me". I really thought for a moment that a flight attendant on my flight was calling for someone. Probably not the smartest moves to watch the plane crash on Lost while flying, but I guess a good way to desensitize my discomfort when flying.
Towards the end of the flight I noticed on the movie screen that part of the movie New Moon was taking place in the Piazza Grande in Montepulciano, Italy. I plugged in my headset to see what the movie had to do with Italy. NO alarms went off/no lights flashing. There was nothing Italian about it except I guess that the vampires or whoever they were were meeting inside a major building in Montepulciano and I am guessing that the inside of the building was a set and not really the inside of the building shown. I am not a big fan of vampire type movies but it helped to pass the time a bit.
That is about it. I can't believe a week has passed since the last ST GTG event. I am very glad I decided to go. I enjoyed myself at all of the events and despite the cold had a wonderful weekend in San Diego.