Now normally in our home, I have one certain spot where all the flashlights live. When the power goes out, I know where I can find a flashlight. I also keep candles in most of the rooms, and I keep matches in certain easily accessible spots all around the house.
But not in a hotel room.
I must confess, it never crossed my mind to pack flashlights or candles in our suitcases.
So there we were: Katie and Emily had been watching the movie "Tinkerbell"; Ben and Kerry were playing a game on the computer; I was reading a book. All activities unsuited to complete darkness and no electricity.
We thought it might be just our hotel (we had no TV or radio to check the news) so we decided to run to the PX and buy flashlights. On the way to the PX however, we noticed there was no light in any building we passed and all the street lights and stoplights were also off. It was cloudy, so there was no moon or stars either.
It was seriously dark, I'm telling you.
Realizing that, clearly, the entire post was powerless, we decided to run into town to purchase a light source.
On the way to the nearest Wal-mart, we finally found a radio station that was broadcasting news instead of music. Turns out, the blackout included the entire island, not just us.
People were calling the radio station in a steady stream asking what was going on. The announcer was telling all of them (and us), "There was an electrical storm that has knocked out the power, we are hoping to have more news soon." Then he would hang up and move on to the next person.
Some people were calling in to report that the city they were in had no power. Some people were up high in mountainous areas and had good views of several cities. They would report that there were no lights in any of the cities they could see. Someone called in to remind people that while the stop lights weren't working all intersections should be treated as 4-way stops. Most people we saw were already doing that, but some were behaving like idiots and just driving right through. Then a man called in from the 911 center to tell people to stop calling the 911 center unless they had an actual emergency. He said so many people were calling to say their power was out that they people who were in car wrecks weren't able to get through.
Of course some of the biggest news was that the Obamas are vacationing on the island right now. One man actually had the gall to call in to the radio station and say that this was embarrassing and made Hawaii look bad, to have the power go out while the president elect was on the island. I'm pleased to say the radio announcer hung up on him.
We finally made it back to the hotel room and existed on the light from our cell phones, the ipod, and the camera.
We ate some snacks....................while we watched Ben dance.