Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Observations On Re-Entering The Mainland

Driving Long Distances - In Hawaii, our GPS never mentioned distances greater than about twenty miles.  You never heard, "Drive two hundred and thirty three miles and then exit right."  The kids and I take great delight in the large numbers Gladys-Agnes (our GPS) says.  We all agree though, it's unsettling to drive such a long way.  Normally if we did that, we'd be underwater.

Cruise Control - I bought my van on Hawaii.  I have never had the opportunity to use the cruise control in it.  It didn't occur to me until I was driving down a major highway with no sign of stopping for a couple of hours and then I couldn't find it!  I finally located it on a switch sticking out of the side of the steering wheel (when did they start putting it there?) and then I was trying to figure out how to make it work while driving seventy miles an hour without wrecking.

Speed - In Hawaii we have one five mile stretch where you can actually drive sixty miles an hour.  On the highway, you can go fifty-five.  But mostly, you are driving thirty-five.  Getting on highways which have a speed limit of seventy (SEVENTY!) is really unnerving.  And having Ben salivating in the seat next to you saying, "Can I drive?  I can't wait to go seventy!" doesn't help.

Heat - Good Golly it's a mite warmish outside.  Like stepping into a sauna.  And all the restaurants are freezing, so you are actually grateful to escape into the heat.  In Hawaii most restaurants have walls that fold back so you are just in the open-air.  The wonderful, perfect temperature air.

Restaurants - We are trying to visit places we haven't been to in three and a half years.  We've now graced the doors of Chick-fil-A, Waffle House, Cracker Barrel, Krystal, Panera, Applebees, Golden Corral and Carrabbas.  I'm ready to eat home cooked food again.  But I need a home.  And a cook.

Air - The air feels heavier here.  That probably has a lot to do with the heat and humidity.  I've never been so aware of air pressing down on me all the time.

Fashion - In Hawaii, the fashion is casual.  Shorts and flip flops are standard.  Nice shorts and nice flip flops are for fancy occasions.  I can't remember the last time I used an iron.  When we first got to Hawaii, I was watching the news and they were interviewing a local businessman and he had come to the studio for his interview in a tee shirt and shorts (I couldn't see his feet, but he was probably wearing flip flops if he was wearing shoes at all).  Shoes have barely graced Ben's feet for years.  I don't even know what the standard of dress is in Illinois.  But it gets cold in the winter, so I'm guessing they have more in their closets than we do.

(On a side note, when we lived in Alaska, the dress code was "dress so that you don't lose skin or an appendage to frost bite".  You rarely knew what was fashionable because all you saw were people's parkas and snow boots.  And even when you saw people without their outside gear, you still saw them in what would keep them alive, not necessarily what was trendy.)

Grocery stores - Where are your seaweed wraps?  Where are the purple potatoes?  Mangos?  Papayas?  Squid?  Cuttlefish?  We were just as surprised to find all these things when we arrived in Hawaii.  Now to not see them in every store is just as odd.  Oh, wait.  We can't be too far from home.  There's the Spam!

1 comment:

  1. What a great description!! Folks will love this. GG