Train trip back to Los Angeles / Flight to Hawaii

Trip Start Sep 17, 2006
Trip End Dec 23, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I was up bright and early to check out of the hostel in San Diego and leave for Hawaii. I ran it close for time, pulling my large sports bag through San Diego at speed and just making it to the train station ready for a 9:30am departure to Los Angeles! By the time I reached the train station it was too late to check my luggage in, so I had to cart it onto the platform and upstairs to the second floor of the double-decker train!

The ride back up to Los Angeles was very comfortable, the Amtrak trains have large seats and the café was just a couple of carriages away. What’s also good about these trains is they have a power source next to each seat, meaning using a laptop is no longer dependant on having a good battery.

At Los Angeles Union Station I knew exactly what I had to do. The shuttle bus to the airport departed at frequent intervals from just outside the station, I’d figured out times beforehand and so I knew I’d have no problems making my flight later in the day. I left the grand interior of Union Station and caught the $4 airport shuttle which took me past the skyscrapers of L.A. towards the coast and LAX (the airport code and commonly used name for Los Angeles airport).

Check-in at the airport may have snookered some folk as my ticket was bought from Qantas, but the Qantas desk was shut until at least 3pm. I’d read the small print though and had seen that I was actually flying with American Airlines. I wandered down to the AA check-in desks and asked if I could check-in with them. Not only did they check me in but I was told that I could get on the 3:30pm flight to Honolulu! This was a bit of a result I thought, as I would be getting to Hawaii at a more reasonable time.

Even with a 45 minute delay the flight took off in daylight and was soon over the Pacific Ocean. Compared to most of my previous flights this one was certainly nothing to write home about (which ironically is what I’m doing right now). The seats seemed small, there was no personal TV in front of me, no meals, and just one round of complimentary drinks (although I did ask and get a separate Diet-Coke). Being rather hungry I paid $10 for a sandwich, this came with some crisps and was actually extremely filling. Still for a near six hour flight as part of an expensive RTW ticket I would have hoped for at least a meal and another drink.

At half past seven in the evening I landed in Hawaii; which is literally a series of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there is nothing for thousands of miles in any direction. It was dark outside as I walked through the semi-outdoor Honolulu International Airport. I left the airport just in time to catch a hotel shuttle to Waikiki, which is the seaside suburb that I and I imagine 99.9% of the other tourists here will be staying in.

After dropping various folk off at different hotels the bus drew up outside the Seaside Hostel, where I am going to be staying for at least the next few days. Hawaii’s time-zone is two hours behind Los Angeles, and so my watch read 10pm but actually my head thought it was 12pm; despite this though I didn’t feel even slightly tired. I took a walk down to the front where I saw dozens of expensive designer shops and tourists wandering around. This place has a more Asian/Pacific feel to it than mainland America, the vast majority of tourists are from Japan or South Korea I think. What had on paper seemed liked a tricky day had been completed very smoothly.
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