Winterwonderland Hawaii: The longest Security Check of my Life and the Return to Maui

December 22nd: At 4:20am. the alarm went off and it was time to get ready. We had a quick bread with honet for breakfast, packed the last few things and rushed downstairs. Our early departure made us miss the breakfast. Usually you are served a pancake breakfast with coffee. I would have given an arm and a leg for that but they wouldn’t serve it until 7am.
At 5:09am, we arrived at the airport and checked our luggage. While Christina went to return the rental car, I already proceeded to the TSA, as my passport was in Honolulu. The lady from the airline told me, that it would take a little longer. However, I had not expected it to take 35 minutes until I was allowed to go through the body scanner. So I arrived at the first checkpoint and explained the TSA agent what my problem was. i handed him my personal ID, my driver’s license and my university ID. According to the airline lady, this should have been suffizient. The TSA guy, however, called his supervisor, who in return called his supervisor, so three grown men were staring at my three identification cards. The supervisor of the supervisor then called his assistant who brought him a huge book. The three men then flipped through the book and intently stared at my personal ID and the page in the book. Instead of realizing, that they tried to match my personal ID with the secotion for driver’s licenses, they commented on what a bad attempt of a fake ID it was. After my third or fourth comment, they finally looked at the next card in their hand, that just happend to look exactly like the one in the book. Finally, I was allowed to go through the body scanner. Eventhough, it did not go off, they insisted on patting me down. Afterwards, every item in my carryon luggage was swiped for gun shot residues and traces of explosives.
By the time I finally was done with security check, Christina was standing next to me. So the check took just as long as it took Christina, to get the car, drop it off, do paperwork, take a bus back to the terminal, and get through security check herself…

So getting through TSA without and ID for a domestic flight is possible, but it is not fun… don’t do it. Don’t leave your passport on a plane. Obviously, this left me hungry and grumpy so I grabbed a chai tea latte on the way to the flight. Shortly after boarding opened and we got onto our flight to Honolulu.
Luckily, the flight is only 22 minutes and Hawaiian airlines servers a really nice juice on board… 22 minutes and a drink… do you hear that RyanAir? Once we landed on Oahu, I ran to the Hawaiian Airlines baggage department and finally got my little bag with the passport etc back. We still had some time until we could pick up our next rental car, so we found a nice spot to relax, read, or – in my case – write some notes for this blogging diary.

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IMG_1269  Look how Christmas-sy the Rental Car Station was.

With our new rental car, we decided to head to Walmart. The first one was downtown and did have limited parking space so we decided to drive to another one, that was in the middle of china town. So, to get there we had to drive through parts of downtown and parts of chinatown and the majority there did not look too nice. At Walmart, we once again realized, that this Franchise does not seem to have and fresh produce in the State of Hawaii. Well compared to the one on Maui, this one gave you plastic bags. In the past I always despised the tons of bags they give you and find it shocking how used I got to it. We both had only packed few bags, with the thought “Walmart will provide free trashbags” in mind. Our last ‘meal’ was a while ago by then and we decided to grab a quick lunch at McDonalds. We both found the burger options very interesting. I ordered a  whole wheat crispy chicken ranch burger and it was super delicious. We shared a table with four elderly ladies, who had immigrated into the US from different Asian countries with their husband in their early twenties (or so…). They were very friendly and we had a great time talking to them. Why they chose a crowded McDonalds for their tea party (I kid you not, one of them brought homemade cookies and pastries) is something we never figured out.

After lunch, we headed into the pouring rain and drove up north east to the Malaekahana State Recreational Area which is just north of Laie.

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Look at this rain!!!

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You can barely see the mountains.

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This is so different in comparison to Maui.

Once our tent was set up, we drive back to Laie and bought some water at the local foodland. That was the one thing we had forgotten to purchase at Walmart. Right next to the supermarket, we found the local cinema and looked the the program for the next day. The almost neverending rain of the day had left us a little pessimistic about the next few days. The friendly elderly employee, told us there was a storm expected for the next day, so watching a movie was already pretty much a done deal. Back at the campground our tent was beset with a bunch of young but sick looking cats. In the tent, we fixed a nice salad for dinner and went to bed.

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I’m sorry for the rather boring entry, but travel days usually are rather uneventful…. but there you go 😀

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