We left Mill Valley yesterday in order to stay at a motel nearer the airport. Driving to the airport, dropping off bags, and returning the car took about 4 hours, so I think leaving the evening before was the right idea.
Marin County was very appealing, with lots of natural beauty, an ideal climate, and great food - although I was surprised at how much I stood out by wearing jeans. The Mill Valley uniform is athletic gear, and almost everyone there seems to have signed on. The men wear the kinds of clothes you would wear for mountain biking, and the women wear yoga pants, including the women who probably shouldn't do so. Although I shouldn't make fun, I may have been the fattest man there and I'm not really all that fat.
I got impatient figuring out how to get back to the hotel from the rental car place and I checked the GPS to see how far it was. I had the GPS unit because I needed it to find the rental dropoff area, and then was just carrying it around in my hand with the cable dangling after I left the car. The device said it was 1.8 miles to the hotel and I figured I could walk it fastre than it would take to wait for the AirTrain, take the AirTrain, find the right place to wait for shuttle, wait for the shuttle, and take the shuttle.
I don't know if that's true but I walked anyway. I need to have a brisk walk every day, and I didn't mind passing over and through aiport access roads and other pedestrian-unfriendly areas.
The walk was fine but I ended up spraining the tendon that connects my big toe to the rest of my left foot. It's the same injury I had on my right foot before we had that week in Rehoboth Beach and I blame my sneakers for being about a quarter size too loose - they don't support my toes when walking briskly. It's an odd injury in that the swelling and pain don't begin until an hour or more after the injury, so I keep straining the foot long after the damage has begun.
The injury made loading and unloaing the taxi difficult, and being on a plane with a car seat and toddler and all the related gear was more chalenging as well.
The flight was OK. People seem pretty friendly and relaxed about our energetic little guy, who doesn't complain much but does get quite bored sitting in an airplane for hours at a time.
We seem to be the most bothered by his antics, especially kicking the seat in front of him, and that's probably the right way.
The airport at Kona was not warm and inviting like I had expected it to be, it was hot and desolate. If we had traveled there directly from Hurrican Sandy territory, it would have seemed wonderful, but we were there after a lovely trip to Muir Woods and the contrast was not in favor of Hawaii.
We went to the Costco in Kona, which felt like about the least appropriate thing to do as a first thing in Hawaii, but we wanted to stock up on essentials. I always feel embarassed carrying around a 24-pack of toilet paper. I also got a Costco brand (Kirkland) bottle of aged tequila for a good price. I was too intrigued to pass it by.
We had to get a membership and I now have another photo ID in my wallet.
We thought about a nice meal somewhere but we were all exhausted and toddlers have a way of being open with their emotions so we just drove to Hilo. It's striking how much the climate and terrain changes as you travel east from Kona. By Waimea the hills were green and lush and got more so as we headed toward the windward side.
The air was 88 in Kona, 68 in Waimea, and 78 in Hilo. The low tonight is 68. The trade winds are blowing, which makes the air pleasant.
Hilo is supposed to be the rainiest American city, with 150 inches or more of rain each year. It was sunny when we arrived and this evening's shower lasted only ten minutes or so. I don't know yet whether it will be too wet here for us. I don't miss the humidity of the Mid-Atlantic area, but I don't care for the arid climate of Kona either.
Our hotel was probably very nice in the 1980s. Hotel rooms are generally pretty toddler-proof, and we gave this one a very thorough testing.