Monday, October 06, 2008

KONA- Day 1/2

Arrived in KONA last night after a very long day of travel. I arrived with Jonny, Danny, and Paulo at the airport early in the morning and tried to change to their flight since I didn't leave until noon. No dice. Orbitz booked me through 2 different airlines so that wouldn't work. So I went from El Paso to Phoenix to Maui to Kona. I arrived in Maui and checked to see what gate I needed to go to. Funny, my flight isn't listed... hmmmm... I asked a security guard and he said that my airline left from the other terminal. Ok.... So I walked over there and saw my plane to Kona:

It had 9 seats. And they charged me AGAIN for my bike since it was a different airline. But it was pretty cool since the bike was actually ON the plane with me (as in, it wouldn't fit under the plane so they strapped into the back seat). You know the plane is small when the pilot can open the window. And when he has to apologize to you for needing to move his seat back. Good stuff.

I was thrilled to get to Kona and see how truly awesome our condo is. Khai put up some pictures here
How freaking awesome is this place?? Here is the view from our balcony (self portrait day 1):

We went grocery shopping, where we spent our life savings on Oatmeal and bagels and then passed out.

The conference today was really great. Learned tons of great stuff. Looked completely gross from my 1 mile walk to the conference hotel which landed me at registration covered in sweat. It wasn't a big surprise that no one sat by me. Damn it's humid and hot here! And no AC anywhere.

After the conference the guys were nice enough to wait for me to ride. I went out with Will, Jacqui (both pros) and Danny (an awesome age grouper) to ride on the Queen K. I"m not exactly sure how long I thought I would be able to hang with them.... I think I have delusions of grandeur every once in awhile. I"m lucky to have great friends who humor me from time to time

Danny ready to ride:

I hung with them about 10 minutes into the ride once we landed on the Queen K before I started feeling pretty sick from the heat and lack of anything but water to drink. I soft pedaled and got off the bike at one point to try to eat something. It didn't really help me feel any better, but I got some cool pics of the Kona bike course:

Lava fields:

Awesome signs:

Back at the condo I gave Will his birthday present. If you've ever been to a city Ironman week you know how people act. Well multiply it by 1000 at Kona. That's why when I saw this shirt I knew he had to have it, since Will is probably the most humble pro in the sport:

Then it was off to LAVA JAVA! The coffee shop where people go to see and be seen. Here is some of our pro contingent hanging out (Tracy, Will, and Jonny):

Then Will showed me how to make a chicken out of a napkin at dinner:

And my self portrait of day 2:

And here are some blog links to the other members of our group that will be showing up in pictures and blogs for the rest of the week:

Paulo Sousa
Jonathan Caron
Will Ronco
Danny Montoya
Jacqui Gordon
Tracy Robertson and Shawn Frack
Sergio Marques
Joel Filliol


Wes said...

Just looking at a plane that big makes me want to throw up :-)

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

I'm with Wes on that one. I'm not much for flying. At least you were able to keep an eye on your bike though.

DaisyDuc said...

Aghh despite all the travel it already looks worth it!

Sweet chicken!!! Teach me, I wana learn the secret!

Paris said...

Do a little dance
Make a little love
Get down tonight

triguyjt said...

i'll fly on anything..expecially to get to kona. can i hang glide to kona from maui????

enjoy it all

Aaron Trent said...

Saw your blog on slowtwitch. Good luck and have fun!