Off To A Sweaty Start On A Mainland Trip
Wednesday - June 10, 2009
I wish I could describe the smell. It was like sour, sweat-soaked T-shirts balled up in a grimy gym bag and then forgotten for three or four days. Only I wasn’t at the gym, I was at our own Honolulu International airport waiting to get on a 747 to Atlanta, Ga., and for some reason the AC wasn’t working. Or maybe it just wasn’t working hard enough.
We arrived at the gate minutes before boarding and the first thing I noticed was that smell. The next thing I noticed was that there were too many unhappy looks on the faces of people who obviously had been waiting there for a while.
Can you blame them? Here they are, fresh from a dream visit to paradise, packed shoulder to shoulder with a couple hundred other irritated and perspiring fellow sufferers. As we got in line to board, I heard the man behind me grumble to his companion, “They should be embarrassed. No air conditioning? In Hawaii?”
Definitely not good for the image. Imagine when these folks describe to the friends back home their final impressions of Hawaii - cramped, hot and stinky. ...
Nowadays when people fly, they take a lot of toys. I’m not talking about the kids - I’m talking about the grownups and their DVD players, laptop computers, Game Boys, BlackBerries, etc., etc. As soon as it’s allowed, you can hear the whirs and chimes and clicks of people powering up their various devices. I would say more on this subject but I totally got distracted by the music videos on my iPod and lost track of time. ...
Nine hours later - Atlanta, where all the radio stations play gospel music on Sunday mornings. That, anyway, is what the girl at the car-rental place told us, and for the most part we found it to be true. After pushing a few buttons on the car radio and finding, yup, gospel music, we gave up and decided to go with the musical flow. I now like gospel music.
Atlanta is hot, humid and very green. We were there just a couple of days to visit family, just long enough to pique our interest and make us want to go back. We saw magnolias the size of serving platters and the world’s largest rock. Really, I’m not kidding: the world’s largest rock.
We thoroughly enjoyed our little taste of the South, especially the white sausage gravy and biscuits, their version of brown gravy on two scoops rice. We loved the gooey concoction so much we all agreed we could eat it every day (which would, of course, turn us into the world’s largest humans).
And I have to give a shout out to two of the nicest people I’ve ever met - Beth and Jim Ferguson. They opened their beautiful home to us and made us comfortable in every way with their own Atlanta-style aloha spirit.
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