Pre-Day One: TP, LB, and I battened down our respective hatches, wove our way through the airport full of smarmy, cowboy-wannabe, black-hatted and booted Republicans (in town to celebrate their prez's inauguration), and beat the "Blizzard of '05" that blanketed the East Coast by a matter of hours. We flew over snowy hill and dale and even the Grand Canyon:

Five hours, two snooty flight attendants, and one middle row seat later, we arrived in LAX. It was such a warm day in sunny Cali that we walked from our arrival terminal to our departure terminal outside, shedding our coats and sweaters along the way. We took some perverse pleasure in reading the monitor's announcements that the DC airports were now completely shut down. After a bit of fretting over whether my parents would make the connecting flight (their flight to Cincinnati had been cancelled, the re-rerouted flight through Hotlanta had been delayed, and the United Airlines bozos at the ticket counter couldn't comprehend that someone could fly one airline and then connect onto another airline), we all had a happy family reunion in Terminal 7.

Another five hours, another middle seat, and one crappy movie later, we arrived in KON. It was such a gloriously warm night in tropical Hawaii that Dad and I almost walked to the rental car lot until we realized that walking over a mile away in the dark and on little-to-no-sleep was probably not a good idea. Hopped a shuttle bus to pick up the rental car, swung around and picked up the family and luggage, drove about 45 minutes through the night surrounded by black lava flows and palm trees, and checked into our rooms at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel resort. We were given cool, moist towels with which to wash some of the travel grime off of our faces and glasses of passion fruit juice with which to re-hydrate our desiccated bodies. Local time aside, my body screamed that it was 4:00 a.m. our time and well past my bedtime. So, as the waves crashed on the rocks outside, I crashed on the bed inside and sank into some sweet sweet sleep.

Next up: Dad wants to go to Honolulu but his idea is shot down.

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