The cargo hold of a C-17 is heated but toward the back it still gets pretty cold. My wool hat, scarf, long-sleeved shirt, Australia fleece and knee-high socks under my jeans weren’t enough, even with the wool blankets they handed out. I still slept ok, but I would have slept even better had I known in just four short hours I would be napping in the same position in the warm sun on the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen!
If I’d known what I was doing when we landed and got to the air terminal, I probably could have rushed right onto a plane to North Island–exactly where Chris is. But I didn’t know what I was doing so I washed my face in the bathroom and wandered around feeling surprised at being not only in a new place but a new time zone and reliving Tuesday, March 16. I heard a flight for Fairchild, Washington being called, and I saw the North Island flight on the board with a roll call nearly two hours previous. Ok, at least I really missed it, not just barely missed it, I thought.
I still tried to get on, as did some other people from my flight, but it was closed. “Is that a firm closed or a soft closed?” I asked. “It’s closed,” said the terminal guy. “The passengers have already gone through agriculture screening.” Oh. Ok then. Well at least I tried. The Brooks, the nice retired couple I was stranded in Okinawa with, said they’d like to show me around if I had a day or two before the next flight. The next flight to the West Coast leaves Thursday morning, and there are several. So now…stranded in Hawaii for two days…oh my, what’s a girl to do? The fact that I forgot to pack a razor suddenly became an issue.
The day’s agenda: The Brooks’ friend picked us up. He’s also retired military and loaned them his car and hey, why not spend the night at his rental place whose tenants just moved out? We drove through the folded green velvet mountains (Koo Laus) toward Kaneohe Bay, dropped off our stuff, changed into swimsuits, then checked out the military resort on the eastern side of Oahu. The two rocks that look like a gorilla looking at a rock (above) are in front of Lanikai Beach, Oahu, taken from the Bellows AFB beach.
I had a grilled mahi-mahi sandwich for lunch, and then I had a nap. The only problem is I see all these nice tan people, then see myself in a mirror and I look ghastly pale and sickly. I was about to feel self-conscious when I saw some tiny sand crabs darting in and out of their holes. I tried to take a picture but it was difficult because it was really bright out and their sandy-colored shells camouflage them really well. Then I realized I’m a slightly whiter shade of pale than the sandy white beaches, so I probably blend in too. Just…with the crabs, not the humans. Don’t worry, Mum! my pale skin got lots of sunscreen. Pasty beats lobster any day!