〉By Gulliver P. Travels | CONTRIBUTOR AT-LARGE
Hola! Benvenuto! Guttentag! Hello! Do you ever marvel at the size of the planet? Do you like to broaden your perspective and learn about different cultures? There are so many adventures waiting to be had – and I want to be the one to show you! That’s why I, Gulliver P. Travels, have decided to embark on a new journey every week and share my experiences with my readers.
Plus, The Inquirist has agreed to partially reimburse me for airfare, room, and board so long as I provide the trip coordinator with itemized receipts.
TRIP ONE: HAWAII
Destination: Haleakalā (East Maui Volcano)
This was not going to be a fun trip. It was scheduled for three days, so I decided to pack my iFly™ carry-on suitcase. The suitcase is 28 inches, and can fit in an overhead bin. I found mine for $79 at Walmart.
Packing the suitcase was difficult at first; I had to bring a ukulele along with me, because the editors at The Inquirist thought it would be a good idea. Luckily, I discovered that the iFly™ suitcase contains an expansion zipper, which adds an extra 2 inches of packing room. This provided just enough extra space to fit my ukulele. I also packed a bag of chips, and Uno, just in case I want to play Uno while in Hawaii.
With my suitcase fully packed, it was time to call my Uber ride to the airport. The nearest ride was eight minutes away from my house, which is about average. My driver, Pierre, was supposed to arrive in a white Honda Civic.
I was already standing at the curbside of my apartment, but there was no Honda Civic in sight. I quickly checked the app again, and noticed my error: I had selected “current location” as my pick-up point, but I had forgotten that my GPS was not accurate. Faced with no alternative, I cancelled my trip with Pierre (for which I was charged a $5 cancellation fee).
Faced with no alternative, I cancelled my trip with Pierre (for which I was charged a $5 cancellation fee).
I requested another Uber. However, this time I just manually entered my address I got Pierre as my driver again. Worried that he would be annoyed at the prior inconvenience I had caused, I nervously awaited his arrival. When I saw his Honda Civic pull up at the curb, I opened the back-left door and climbed in. Little did I know that my troubles were just beginning.
When I walked into the terminal, I skipped the baggage check line because I had only packed carry-ons. So far, the trip was going well, and I was excited because the travel agent guaranteed that I would get TSA Pre-Check; though when I got to the entrance of the Pre-Check line, the agent told me I did not have access. Officer “Sandy” rudely responded by silently gesturing to the normal security line. After getting in that line, I had to wait seventeen minutes before I was called up to present my ID and mobile boarding pass.
I flew American Airlines on an Airbus A320. The flight had screens in front of every seat, which had a great selection of movies, TV, music, and games. Because my seat was in an exit row, my screen came out from under my seat, so I couldn’t use it for taxi, takeoff, or landing. I spent the first 20 minutes of the flight solving crossword puzzles. Afterward, I slept a bit, and then watched The Purge and Despicable Me 3. They were great movies, and I was sad when it was time to land.
Overall, it was a pretty bad trip, just like I expected. I had a challenging time navigating the airport and packing my suitcase, and I really wish I had just stayed home. The Inquirist editors told me to include a picture of myself in front of the Haleakalā volcano at the end of my article, but I am refusing to post it to the blog. The lighting was terrible, and when I looked at the picture on the flight back home, I realized that it does not capture my face in a flattering way. I was also squinting, and my smile in it looks unnatural because the woman I asked to take my picture took so long before pressing the button that my facial muscles tensed up. So you’ll have to Google it or just imagine what it looked like.
I’ll see you next week with my report from Machu Picchu! ♦
Ari Mostow, Nathan Mostow, and Nate Odenkirk were lightly consulted for this article.