In Raiatea

After leaving Honolulu yesterday we’re finally in Raiatea and on the
sweet Honu. On the drive to the airport my mom called and said she sold
the house. Whew, she found a condo last week and sold her house this
week. I’m so relieved to be on this long trip and not have to worry
about that.

Check-in at the airport was easy for me. I was worried, but it went very
smoothly. The bags were 67 and 70.35 pounds. Just under my limit. Steve
showed up about 30 minutes behind me and waited about an hour in line.
Then he had some mixup about his inter-island ticket. This mixup will
come back to haunt him again today.

The flight was easy, but Hawaiian Airlines was having all kinds of
technical problems with the video system and the film was only available
in French. C’est la vie!

Immigration was a breeze too. The bags came out quickly and customs
never stopped us. Just outside the doors Steve is suddenly surrounded by
three people, leis flying. Then it was my turn. Steve has some friends
that are here for a few months and they came to the airport to greet us
and whisk us away. Jacques, Jane and Titaua let us change some money and
loaded us in their vechicles for the short ride to the Sheraton.

The room was nice, with an ocean view and a king sized bed, but not the
two beds we requested. C’est la vie!

Around 9 this morning Jacques picked us up for brunch. Off we went the
Intercontinental where there was a lavish buffet set out. I tasted many
new delicious things today. What they were I still don’t know. After
lunch we had a nice walk around the property. There were fish to see in
a lagoon they had stocked. We were very leisurly, because our flight
wasn’t until 3:00.

Titaua had said that we should go to the airport and drop our baggage at
the freight office and it might be cheaper than taking excess baggage.
It’s a good thing she made this suggestion too. We arrived at the
airport around 12:45 and got the big heavy bags checked in. Jane was
exceptionally helpful speaking French for us. In the process we found
out that there is no flight at 3:00. So, we finally went over to the
ticket counter to find that we are acutally on the 1:15 flight which
leaves in 15 minutes! Plus, Steve still didn’t have ticket.

At the gate in Honolulu Steve’s travel agent handed him and envelope and
said “here’s your ticket.” We looked at it later on the plane only to
find a check in French Polynesian Francs made out to travel company.
Jane again translating we find out that he was supposed to exchange the
check last night for a ticket. Apparently, someone was waiting at the
airport for him. Oops. So, off to the other counter he had to go and buy
another ticket. We were the last to get on the plane. Luckily it was
late. However, we were on a very small plane and our luggage was on a
later flight that takes freight.

Captain Susan was quite surprised to see us show up hours earlier than
anticpated. Hugs and pictures ensued. A couple hours later we walked to
the Airport, retrieved our bags from a 30+ minute late plane and got a
ride back to the harbor.

Susan cooked us a three course dinner that consisted of pupus, which
included the most fabulous pate’, soft cammenbert and dry French
sausage. Then came the raw salad of many vegetable chopped. Following
the salad were crepes of ham, cheese and tomato. Ooh, la, la. What a
treat. It was terrific. Life is good. Very good.