Friday, January 9, 2009

The Move Day 3: Jan. 1, 2009

Jim writing here, so this might be a little different style:)

The new year started with us in yet another hotel packing up our luggage and once again forcing the kitties into crates for transportation to the airport. (Which included us drugging them again, poor little things.)

We were still undecided about how to get back to the LAX, whether taxi or hotel shuttle. Despite my reservations about taking a shuttle with all our luggage the hotel staff encouraged us to since the airport was so close. So with all our luggage and our cats in hard crates were boarded a shuttle for our last day of travel.

Upon arrival at LAX we were surprised once again by several procedural events with Hawaiian airlines and TSA. First the guy checking in our cats seemed to have little to no experience checking animals and actually had to leave the check-in area several times to get forms. We spent a good 45 min. checking in with Hawaiian Airlines.

Then once that was complete we had to carry our own checked luggage to a TSA screening machine further down the complex!! Since we had to check the cats as well this was not helpful. Once again TSA required us to take the cats out of the crates in the airport so they could sweep the interior with patches to check for explosives. Jasmine was so scarred to be out in the open of a busy airport that she unfortunately had an accident when I put here back in her crate. Not a good start to the day or year at all.

With the cats checked all Becky and I could do was be nervous pet parents on the 5 1/2 hour flight to Honolulu. There was a movie on the flight, but Hawaiian airlines charged to hear the sound, even if you used your own headsets!!! So Becky and I mostly just tried to sleep or we watched Wall-E on our Ipod. We were so high up and it was mostly cloudy so we really did not see the ocean much.

Here's a photo of the island out our window as we approached the airport:
From The Move

Upon arrival at Honolulu we gathered our luggage on carts, with the friendly help of an Hawaiian Airlines employee who gave us a free cart, and made our way over to animal quarantine. It was not connected to the airport so Becky and I had to trundle along the sidewalk and then a service road with all our luggage until we reached the facility. Once there were kept our fingers crossed that we had all the paperwork needed to get them out of quarantine right there and then! We were lucky and after about half an hour we soon had our cats on top of our two carts of luggage and working our way back to the airport proper. Since it was the 1st we had to then hunt down a Taxi and then we were on our way to the vacation apartment. Upon arrival, with the help of a hotel employee, we managed to get all our luggage and the cats into the apartment.

Both cats were still a little groggy and poor Jasmine needed to be cleaned up after her accident and the long ride in her crate. She was also still really sore from having torn out two of her nails so it was a slow process. However, we promised them only one more move until we reached our new home.

Here's the view from our vacation rental. You can see the mountains and the Ali Wai canal. We found our vacation rental through It's an apartment at the Waikiki Banyan, a really nice, two-tower hotel two long blocks from the beach.
From The Move

With the cats settled as much as they could be Becky and I then walked down to the beach. What a surreal feeling to walk out of the hotel and see all the big buildings end just two blocks away! The beach in Waikiki is beautiful and the weather was great, about high 70s. It is so weird for us to see a beach and people surfing in January. The area also has a very heavy tourist feel to it, so it felt like we were on vacation instead of moving to the island for several years. While we were both exhausted and worn down by jet lag we had to take off our shoes and put our feet in the Pacific.

From Oahu - Our First Few Days

We did, however, call off our meeting with my new colleagues because we both feared our first impression with them after the ordeal of the move would not be impressive. So after visiting the beach, grabbing some Subway, and taking a deep breath of warm clean air we headed back to our vacation apartment to crash and cuddle with the kitties.

Here's some pictures from Waikiki:
From Oahu - Our First Few Days

From Oahu - Our First Few Days

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