Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Third Time’s the Charm, We Finally Made It

As we waited for the day of our flight, Hawaii finally dropped the 14-day quarantine requirement. We just needed to get all three of us a Covid test before we got on the plane.

My wife and I had both had Covid tests done before, so we thought we knew what we were getting ourselves into. The hospital had drive-up testing, so my wife was in the rear seat with our granddaughter. We knew she wouldn’t handle the test well, so having someone in the back seat to literally hold her hand seemed like a good idea.

It’s been said that “no plan survives contact with the enemy,” and this plan was no different.

We hoped that they would test the adults first, so we could show the little one that it was no big deal.

 We arrived at the test site and gave the nurse our names. She went into a tent and came out with another nurse, each armed with a test kit.

The approached the car from both sides and asked my wife and granddaughter to put their heads back for the test. They were so fast; we didn’t have time to try to get them to do the adults first.

Now before this, my wife and I had each had several tests. They were no big deal. Just a quick swab on the rear of the throat, then a quick swab up the nose.

This time they did a different test, one that required them to stick a probe so far up your nose, I thought they were trying to get a sample of my brain tissue.

When they stuck the probe in my granddaughter nose, she screamed and started to cry hysterically. She grabbed the probe with both hands and managed to shove it further up her nose then necessary.

 The nurse somehow managed to get the sample and apologized to the poor kid who was left sobbing in the back seat.

Thankfully, everyone’s test came back negative. The next day we headed into LA to spend the night at a hotel next to LAX.

Early the next morning, we took the hotel shuttle to the airport.

Over the years, I’ve flown out of Los Angeles International Airport so many times I’ve lost count. The first time at the tender age of 18, leaving the comforts of home for a life in the US Army. In all those years, one word I would never use to describe LAX was “empty.” Until now.

While not completely empty, I've never seen so few passengers at LAX

Now, it wasn’t completely deserted, but I was amazed in how few people were there. Unfortunately, also missing were most of the shops. We did manage to find a store that we were able to buy some drink and snacks for the flight.

The flight wasn’t bad, they were still leaving empty seats to promote distancing, so not too crowded. No food service and worst of all – no beer. Other than that first flight to basic training, I don’t think I’ve ever flown without having at least one beer. This time I was in for a five-hour trek in a tiny tube and entertaining an eight-year-old, all of this without the benefit of a cold beer. It’s inhumane!

The flight wasn’t bad, in fact the granddaughter was better than some of the adults on the plane.

When we got to Hawaii, we were herded into a concourse to show proof of our covid test.

I’m never amazed at the lack of attention some people pay when traveling. Before we left home, I checked several times on the requirements for travel to Hawaii. We both signed up on the Safe Travels Hawaii website and had both filled out all the forms we needed to be allowed into Hawaii.

As we waited in what I felt was a way too packed causeway, we heard several people asking about the paperwork everyone else was holding. I guess some people thought you could ignore the State travel mandates and just show up. Those without proper paperwork were whisked away and we didn’t see them again. I’m sure they’re fine.

The view from our room

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