Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Days 183 and 184 - The Long Road Home and a Big Welcome

Alright, 4.20 AM. Had been worse. When we arrived at Lihue airport shortly after 5.00, there were nearly no people around and a handwritten sign at the bag screening belts said "opens 5.30". Fortunately the agricultural screening opened 20 minutes earlier, so that we didn't have get up so early just for waiting at the airport. I will miss those airports where Aloha music is played to raise the mood a little ;-) Our flight plan was Lihue - Honolulu and, with a very short layover, Honolulu - Los Angeles. Then some four hours overlay in L.A. before finally boarding our very last plane on this trip to Z├╝rich.

Wonderful how we could see Waikiki in the dusk. With more than 160 kmh tail wind at times, we landed in L.A. nearly 40 minutes early - which meant to spend 40 minutes more at the International Terminal waiting for the Swiss counters to open. Interesting that not all airlines have agreements to check bags through. In our case, we had to pick up our bags from Hawaiian Airlines and check them again at Swiss. It's always important to plan some layover time at large airports, especially in L.A. where you never know. After the Swiss counters finally opened 15 minutes late (adding to a waiting time of 40 mins), we could continue our layover at the Star Alliance Gold lounge. Big airport lounges sometimes offer special food: in this case, they offered not only Teriyaki rice and steamed veggies, but you could also compose your own Asian noodle soup.

Fortunately the West coast Swiss flights have a good timeliness performance. After starting as planned, I watched Paper Towns and after dinner I got somehow tired but couldn't sleep for more than two hours in total... Despite the enormous leg space in front of us the seats were quite narrow, so that you had to sleep sitting which caused coccyx pain like always... For breakfast I had my first croissant in six months, and could finally speak Swiss German again! However I thanked the cabin crew in English upon leaving the plane - because I'm just so used to it by now.

We got our luggage fast and immediately a train came, yay, and soon, we both were welcomed by my boyfriend and his father - so good to see them! We were brought home where a "Welcome Back" sign waited for us, surrounded by white snow and freezing cold air, and lanterns guided us into our home. Finally back again! I missed home but I will miss travelling, too.

Some of our journey's facts and figures:
  • exactly 6 months, 184 days (due to a duplicate Thursday in the Pacific after crossing the date line)
  • 1 blog, 156 posts, nearly 4000 views
  • 10 different countries
  • 37 different apartments, hotel rooms or houses
  • 31 flights, a total of ca. 75'530 km
  • ca. 1000 km by train
  • two multi-day road trips of together 4'200 km
  • 0% boredom, 100% good vibes
  • a total of memories

At this point I want to thank you guys for reading my stories and following me during the biggest adventure (so far) of my life! For my part it was just amazing to see so many different things, to discover so much of planet earth before my 18th birthday, even. Can't wait to celebrate with my friends a theme-party: South Pacific!

1 comment:

  1. This place has the most perfect environment, great food, tasty wings, lots of good beer, but best of all - probably the best wait staff in all of country. Visited the Seattle Venues last month again, had another great time.