|February 18, 2007
We made it ... so far at least!
As scheduled Barb, Gary and son Kevin picked me up at home at 4:30 a.m. and it was off to the airport.
Long line-ups through US Customs & Immigration, then security, got us to the Alaska Airlines gate only to find the plane was already boarded. In a very short time we were wheels up for Los Angeles. Quick lunch at the airport and then to the Gate where we met Jim, Karen and the rest of the contingent that had arrived from Winnipeg via Minneapolis. It was hard to feel sorry for ourselves about getting up early when we realized their flight had left one hour before ours, but there was a 2-hour time zone change tacked on as well.
Air Tahiti Nui was great. Despite our economy class booking, they provided the kind of service we used to get on Canadian and Air Canada in the "good old days". Beer and wine were free (no I didn't over-indulge), the flight attendants all very pleasant offering continuous service throughout the 8.5-hour flight.
It was a long day, but most of our travel was South, not West, so we actually only passed through two time zones (though we did cross the equator, a first for me). We arrived in Papeete around 8:30 p.m., but by the time we passed through Tahitian Immigration, organized our luggage and transport, it was well after 10:00 p.m. (Midnight for most of you). A quick couple of beers in the hotel bar and it was lights out.
Oh, for those that haven't noticed, yes the beardless one is me. I've had a beard for more than a dozen years, and thought it was about time to see what I looked like without. So when I finished packing on Friday night, Lauren took some pictures of me doing the deed. I'm not sure whether the result is an improvement or not, but I've certainly rediscovered that going without beard is much more work than going with. I'll probably stop shaving again once we get to Australia.