We had to get up at 5:45 Wednesday morning to get to the airport, and that hurt a little bit. I was glad we had a car this time, though, because the shuttles are always scheduled way too early.
We got to the car dropoff site only to realize the gas station next door wasn’t open yet. That was unexpected, so we hopped back on the highway and headed toward the next exit. Unfortunately, it was for Hickam Air Force Base. I figured maybe it was one of many things at that exit, but no: the highway led right to the gates of the base, and there were several lanes of traffic backed up waiting to get in. At that point, I was pretty sure we were missing our flight.
We finally got up to the gate, and I sheepishly apologized to the guard there. He was very polite and efficient, though: he took my license, yelled “U-TURN!” until all five lanes of traffic were stopped (seriously), and waved us around. He then handed my my license back and gave us directions back to the airport. I loved him for that.
We had no choice but to drop the car off with the tank unfilled so that we could make our flight, but it ended up not costing very much anyway. We hopped on the shuttle, and our driver told us about the one time he’d been to Minneapolis (and the Mall of America), by way of Grand Forks. (I assume it was something to do with the air force base there.) He told us he’d seen his first squirrel in Minnesota!
At check-in, our bags weighed 49 and 50 pounds. We were so glad we’d shipped souvenirs home!
Our flights that day made up for the debacle on the way to Hawaii. We had rows to ourselves on both legs, which means Bally got his own seat:
LA from above
The couple in front of us waiting to board the plane to Minneapolis said that they’d also just gotten engaged on vacation, so there were congratulations all around. So awesome.
We were slightly delayed on arrival in Minneapolis mostly because of strong headwinds. It was a late flight already, so while I waited for luggage and Matt grabbed a cab to get his car (parked nearby at work), I got to witness something one barely ever sees: a totally empty airport. It was creepy!
We got home, dumped all our bags on the floor, and I checked the house quickly to make sure nothing had gone awry in our absence. I’m glad I checked the porch, because I found this special gift from our awesome friends. It made being up at 2am on a work night totally worthwhile.