And so as all good things must come to an end its now time for us to start the long journey home. Check out time was fixed for 1pm and so we were determined to make the most of our last few hours.
We set the alarm but it was unnecessary as Karen’s phone seemed to beeping constantly with messages from home all night. I was more interested in the score from Carrow Road where we were turning a losing position into a winning one. What a great manager we have. The playoffs are now tantalisingly close and with a decent winning streak we could just make it.
Just before 9am we set off for a walk. The beach was already getting busy with the sun making the sea look even more inviting. We could feel the aura of this place washing over us again.
We wandered slowly along the beach before cutting in by a hotel when the beach ran out. We found ourselves almost at the Royal Hawaiian with Pink Palace in the middle of its sister high rise blocks and so as you would we went to have a look around. As with all these places if you look confident enough as you walk in no-one suspects that you are not a resident.
It was a very select and posh place which oozed money from the people inside walking around. We wandered to the bar outside hoping to be able to sit and get Karen a coffee. The bartender sent us back to the hotel bakery as he said their coffees were far better but told us we could bring them back to drink outside around the bar.
We did exactly that and got prime seats overlooking the beach and all the surfers. It was beautiful and we mused that a week from today it will be Karen’s birthday where the forecast at home is so miserable that we probably will struggle to even get outside for a walk.
After about 1 hour we headed back slowly to our hotel to have a final shower and pack up. We left the room at 1pm on the dot. We checked out online and deposited our keys in a box by the lifts.
Our plan was to leave the bags with the concierge service but found it was to be a very long walk there over some rough paving so we didn’t bother. Instead, we took them with us to the Rainbow Lounge which although undercover was open on two sides to the outside. It was also lovely and cool there.
And there we sat and somehow passed 4 hours waiting until it was a reasonable time to leave for the airport. I caught up on the highlights from the city match and other news from home. We also mused what we might have changed about this trip. Our conclusion is that we would have booked connecting flights home. We have had to be extra careful with connection as we would be liable if we were unable to make the second flight. Hence, we know we have a lovely 12-hour layover at LA to look forward to.
Just before we left whilst Karen was in the rest room I did have a little moment to myself, thinking about Mum and wondered what she would have thought about me actually making it to the place that she used to obviously dream about. It reminded me that she would have been 102 on the day that that we get back home.
At 5.15pm we headed to the Uber pick up point from where I intended to order a ride to the airport. Standing there was what turned out to be a lovely Chinese lady Uber driver whose pick up was running late. She offered to take us to the airport for $25 which was less than the dynamic Uber price. We gladly accepted. She was great and we got a free guided tour as she drove us. She pointed out where Barack Obama was born and where he went to school along with lots of details about the trees and plants we passed.
The airport was deserted. We were the only passengers in the check in area of the terminal. Although early the staff were happy to take our bags. Security was easy and we made our way to the lounge.
The Lounge was disappointing to say the least. No hot food and when we initially went in only 1 sad sandwich left on a plate. They were eventually replenished but even so they were just poor offerings. The wine was rough so we drank it quick to get to the point where we just didn’t care.
Boarding was straightforward. This time we had chosen not to spend the £100 extra each for extra comfort seats as although the flight was overnight it was only scheduled to take 5 hours. And so seated in a ‘2’ configuration we settled in for the night.