A Red-Eye to the Mainland.

I am off later tonight for three days in Chicago. The first non-travel day there, Tuesday, will be spent touring the hotel we think will host NARP’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and Conference to be held in late October of 2017. Days 2 and 3 will be devoted to workshops and meetings of the NARP board of directors. This will be the third board retreat I’ve attended and, personally, I have found them to be immensely valuable.
This is an unusual trip for me because there’s no train travel involved. I’m flying straight to Chicago, spending three days there, and flying back home. Trips like this are a recurring reminder of how far we are from anywhere. It’s a minimum of five hours from here to anywhere on the West Coast and another five from there to Chicago. Hawaii is, in fact, the most remote populated spot on the globe.
This two-day get-together of the NARP board was scheduled after I had already planned a month-long trip to Europe, leaving here on the 20th. So I’m going to be flying to Chicago for four days, flying home to Maui for five days, then flying right back to Chicago again, to begin what has become my annual summertime trip to Europe. Unfortunate scheduling, but the alternative would be five nights in a hotel on the mainland somewhere. Best to just come home, then leave again five days later. Besides, my “supervisor” has plenty for me to do in those few days here.
Of minor interest, my flight to Chicago and back will be my first experience with Virgin America. I’ve heard good things about the airline, although in my experience, they are all pretty much the same. Should there be anything of note distinguishing them from any of the others, I will dutifully report it.
I received the usual email this morning saying I could now check in and get my boarding pass on line … but after filling in all the information and checking all the appropriate boxes, the Virgin computer would not permit me to do so. Whassup with that!
And finally: on June 20th, I had my interview and filled out the application forms for the TSA Pre✔️program. The woman who took all the information said I would probably get my clearance within two weeks. She was wrong. Still no sign of it. Security lines at the Maui airport are rarely a problem, but I will be coming home on a flight that originates at Chicago’s O’Hare, which is known to be one of the worst for security delays. Swell.