‘God Sightings’ Amidst Travel Drama: Part 1

As I re-read my last blog post I now feel even more convicted about what happened during my trip (not so much during actually, more just the travel days). I was preachin’ to my own choir. Most of my problems on this adventure were still quite small in the grand scope of things but it still was a test of faith. I didn’t do so hot. But God sure showed up! Let me tell you what He did.

At first, everything seemed great. My flight out of Minneapolis was smooth as butter and I enjoyed flying over mountains and valleys and desserts on my way to L.A. for a connecting flight. But then in the LA airport I stood in line for a coffee MUCH longer than I should have and barely had time to fill my water bottle up to get on the next flight. The flight to Honolulu was longer and there was more turbulence than I’ve felt before. It wasn’t overly dramatic or scary turbulence but it was there and it lasted a good hour! I hadn’t really eaten any real food (other than the peanut butter bars I packed) and after drinking all my coffee and all my water I developed a headache. It was probably a tension headache from turbulence and I was also dehydrated and hungry. I started feeling kind of sick and I’ve never felt sick on a plane before.

Finally, the flight landed. I had a splitting, throbbing headache and felt nauseous. I was so antsy to get out of the airport though that I didn’t even stop for water or for a bathroom break. I just went straight to my rental car and then I had to find my sister and pick her up. She was waiting for me at a nearby terminal parking lot but as I circled the unfamiliar airport my GPS map and the road signs had me turned around and I ended up leaving the airport. I had to drive 5 miles down the freeway to turn back around and drive back to the airport to pick up my sister!

We drove about 30 minutes to the North side of Oahu where she rented an Airbnb. Not only was this Airbnb hard to locate and find the entrance for, but 2 dogs bolted out of the gate and ran away (which we later found out was “normal”) and then we found RAT POOP all over the smelly, musty rental house.

Nope.

Then we drove around for a long time, got food, went to some cafes and shops trying to kill time as we figured out what to do next.

Airbnb provided a full refund plus an extra $40 for the hassle. THEN, my sister found and booked a replacement Airbnb that turned out to have the dreamiest lanai I could have ever imagined. This was the first big God sighting.

Despite the chaos of the travel day I actually wasn’t nearly as crabby or ill-tempered I would typically be. I had to go with the flow and I couldn’t stress too much because most of it was totally out of my control. God ended up providing a sweet place to stay that was well worth the hassle.

Sadly, I must have gotten a cold from the airport because after that day I felt just a little bit under the weather for the remainder of the trip. But I didn’t want to let that prevent me from experiencing the week like I would if I was totally healthy.

The rest of our time was pretty awesome, despite my cold. We went to a few different beaches, went out to eat several times, relaxed on the lanai, completed a crazy jungle waterfall hike, saw some pretty botanical gardens and visited Pearl Harbor Memorial. In fact, please enjoy my Vlog of the trip too for all the fun stuff! The second video below is my sister’s vlog. I figured I would link both since they are both fun and have some differing perspectives.

When it was time to go home, unfortunately, I arrived to the airport later than I should have. To my defense, I arrived to the airport with about as much time as I gave myself at the MSP airport and other airports that I’ve been to! However, I was woefully unprepared for the chaos and disorder that was the Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines Lobby. Lines were out the door. I stood in the wrong line TWICE. There were not nearly enough airline staff to direct the masses and help all the confused people. And I was not the only one confused either, several others around me seemed just as disoriented. Finally though, I was checked in with my boarding pass (even though I was checked in at the same time as the boarding time) and I still had to go through TSA.

One staff member tried to rush me through the line but it took a while… if you ask me, there was a little too much “laid back” Hawaiian chill among the airport employees there. The security at TSA reassured me though that I was checked in and the airline knew I was coming so they would hold the plane.

I ran to my gate… which was clear to the other end of the airport! I was sweating and developed blisters on my feet. When I finally reached the empty gate I blurted out to the agent “did I miss it?” and she sighed and said, “…yeah…”
“But TSA told me you would hold the plane!” I shouted.
“Yeah…they’re not supposed to say things like that…” she replied.

What happened next was a little embarrassing. I kind of flipped out. My emotions were all over the place and if I can put it poetically at all I suppose I would use Anne’s words and say I was “in the depths of despair”.

If you want to find out what happens next stay tuned for my next blog post and I’ll share even more God sightings from my crazy travel experience!

God Sightings is a term recently coined by our pastor to encourage us to share testimonies of how God shows up in our lives; kind of like a God moment. So, with this spiritual exercise going it is only fitting that I use this great term.
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