Sunday, October 21, 2007

Maui – The Miniseries, Part I

I'm typing this from the beautiful livable Worldmark Resort at Keihei.

It's five-frickin'-thirty Hawaii time…and I've been up for the last three hours.

Y'see, at two-frickin'-thirty Hawaii time, Little Boy Bootleg came looking for his Radiator Springs Lightning McQueen race car, which he apparently thought was under my pillow. It wasn't. And, my threat to put him under my pillow was met with a toddler's laughter. (This, by the way, negates any felonious overtones that the threat of death by suffocation might imply.)

Time's a wastin'…here are the highlights from the first few hours:

6:18 AM - It's Saturday morning. Our flight from San Diego leaves at 8:30 AM and we're almost 20 minutes behind the wife's meticulously militarized motorcade schedule. We haven't even left the house yet and Mrs. Bootleg is a jangled mass of exposed nerve endings. I'm not moving fast enough for her liking, but we've got the garage door up and the engine's running. The Cam Fam's going to Haw…

6:19 AM - I forgot my wedding band. Mrs. Bootleg huffs out of the car – like I did this on purpose – and storms back inside.

6:20 AM - She's back. And, now The Cam Fam can head to Haw… I just realize that I forgot to pack pretty much all of my toiletries. I keep this little omission to myself.

7:15 AM - It takes a little longer than the wife planned for us to get to the airport. There was some unexpected early morning traffic as the residue from the overnight road construction crews had us goin' pretty slow for a few miles. This is always a hoot when driving with Mrs. Bootleg. She's just 4'8", anyway, but she'll stand up in her chair and crane her neck around other cars in a sad attempt to see what's holding us up. My suggestion to roll down the window and shake her fist at the guys with orange-reflector vests in a comically threatening manner falls on deaf and annoyed ears.

7:30 AM - The wife finds out that our seats aren't together. It's times like these that I wish all those people who tell me how "nice" my wife is could be here.

7:40 AM - Mrs. Bootleg successfully negotiates the relocation of my seat, but only to the row in front of the wife and the boy. All things considered, I think I still make out ahead, here.

8:00 AM - At the gate, we run into the Director of my department (my boss's boss). He's going to Maui, too. Same flight. How cool is that?! And, by "cool" I mean "f*cked". He offers us one of those "Things to do on Maui" books, which we accept, but, curiously, he doesn't disclose where he's staying or suggest that we "get together" when we get there. Of course, this is fine by me, but it would've been nice to at least have a chance to half-heartedly accept before spending the rest of the trip avoiding his phone calls. Before this, I didn't think he was racist, but now…

8:30 AM - This is one of those big-ass planes with the 2-3-2 seating set-up. I'm in 41B, while the wife and boy are in the two seats in row 42. Just as the doors are about to close, the empty seat next to me is filled with a bit of delicious. Her name is Meredith and, knowing what I'm thinking, Mrs. Bootleg (or "my mother", as I introduced her to Mer) pinches my arm.

11:00 AM, Hawaii Time - The flight was uneventful, for the most part, save for the fact that Jalen was awake the whole time. Unbeknownst to me, Mrs. Bootleg had been doing some reading on her own. (I know!) It seems there's been a bit of a hubbub over children's cold medicines in the news, so she opted for natural sleep for the boy…which never came. On a five and a half hour flight. I asked Mer to let me know if he was ever a problem and I'd have them both moved, but she seemed fine. Fine.

11:15 AM - Hawaii should lose their statehood for the fact that the baggage claim at Maui's airport is outside. I mean, it's kind of enclosed, but only in the way that a parking garage is "enclosed". There's a roof over your head, but there aren't any walls around you. Savages.

11:30 AM - We've got all our bags and we're starting the long walk to the rental car kiosk, which is as good a time as any to bring up this up: Remember when I went to Sacramento a few summers ago? How 'bout my business trips to St. Louis and Orlando earlier this year? Well, Maui is hotter and more humid than the three of them, combined. Hell is actually Satan's vacation spot from his year-round home on the coast here. Christ. (There…that should balance out the blasphemy.)

12:00 PM - The shuttle takes us to our rental car and the "laid-back Hawaiian vibe" that everyone talks about rears its too-tanned melanoma mug, immediately. Unlike every other rental car arrangement I've had that assigns its car to the customers, the National Car Rental of Maui drops you off and tells you to pick your own. We leave with a surprisingly beat-up Pontiac Torrent. It was the best of a sorry lot that included a Saturn SUV. Savages.

We've got a shaky internet connection, so there's a chance I'll be off more than I'm on, but come back for Part II and watch Mrs. Bootleg's head explode…before we even get to our room!

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