Posted by: Talie Morrison | April 15, 2014

The trip “home” …

I am often asked where “home” actually is – since I don’t have a “place”.   Well,  I just looked up the word “vagabond” and the dictionary lists it as: “a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job”. Oh, my gosh does that ever describe me??   Anyway, my answer is always:   Crested Butte is actually “home” because that is where my heart lives – and occasionally I need to put my body where my heart lives!

The story of “the trip home” as always is just a continuation of the “adventure”!   As you will remember, I was traveling on a Delta Buddy Pass once again.   Delta doesn’t fly to New Zealand but does fly into Sydney (but only one plane a day!). As the time got closer to leaving, I started checking to see what the “load factors” looked like.   Yikes – NOT GOOD!  So I decided to leave Christchurch a few days early to give me more days to try to get on.   The “trick” to flying on a buddy pass is to have plenty of days to wait around for an open flight  (but even so, it does get old going to the airport every day just to have the plane fill up without you!).      However this time, I did have a bit of a deadline – I had a reservation to fly from LAX to Cincinnati on the 10th of April for my 50th high school reunion.   So even though I was still 12 days out, I was concerned.   The fact that there was only one flight per day made it a little bit more tricky.  When I showed up at the Sydney airport on Monday, March 31, I met other travelers (on buddy passes) who had been waiting 5 days to get on! (They were pretty “over it”!)  So after a couple of days in Sydney watching the flights go out full without me, I decided to try other options:   I looked at purchasing a ticket on another airline.   If I purchased one to LAX, it would be $1200, but I found a ticket to Honolulu for $500. Honolulu has 4 Delta flights per day going to LAX, so I had a better chance of getting on something.   What was really nice was that when I changed my buddy pass route, Delta refunded me $289!   So that made the $500 ticket much more acceptable! 🙂

So off to Honolulu I went.   The first lovely thing I found out about Honolulu is that senior citizens ride the bus for $1. 🙂  YEA!   I had gone on line to book a dorm room in a hostel in Honolulu.   However, when I showed up for the booking (I was way early – 8 am) the girl at the desk said we have a policy of “under 45”.   WHAT?? – in my delirious state it took me a little while to even understand what she was saying!   NOT OK!  😦  But she was helpful and called another hostel which was only a couple of blocks away and I got in there (I just lost the booking fee of $8.50 – oh, well).   And in the long run, I was even happier with the second hostel!   It was only 1 block from the beach, right next to a bicycle rental shop, and just around the corner from a lovely healthy picnic food shop! Life is good!   Life is SO good that I decided to stay 5 days!   “Tough being stuck in Hawaii, right?”  🙂   It was pretty awesome! The first day I walked to Diamond Head and went up the trail to the top of the crater. It was a great walk, however, the only shoes I had with me were my flip flops –  probably not a great idea to do such a long trek in them!  The next day I rented a “stand up paddle board”.   Then I spent a day on with “boogie board”.   Wanting to see the sun rise from Diamond Head – I rented a bike for 24 hours – that gave me the option to ride to Diamond Head early in the morning and hike up for sunrise.   Awesome – but I was with about 500 other tourists (mostly Asians).   They took buses and cars rather than the bike option!

On Sunday, I took the early shuttle to the Honolulu airport.   When the 7:30 am flight was delayed till 4 pm, I started wondering if I would get on…. So I tried for the 10:30 flight, Nope.   Then the 3:30 fight, Nope.   But when the original 7:30 flight actually went out  (at 4:30 pm) – there were plenty of seats on it!    I finally got to LAX – back on the mainland USA!

I spent a couple of days with Craig and his family in Santa Barbara – enjoyed walking the dogs, especially on the beach – beautiful, and a couple of days to relax!   By Thursday, I was on another flight from LAX (not a buddy pass this time) to Cincinnati for my 50th high school reunion.   It has been a very fun weekend catching up with old friends – some of the guys who showed up graduated with me from grade school in 1958!   What a “trip”!

I head back to California on the 21st – and then I’ll hang out in California, Arizona and Utah before actually getting back to Crested Butte about June 1st.



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