We spent the night of May 16th at the Courtyard by Marriott Pittsburgh Airport Hotel in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. We took advantage of the hotel’s stay, park and fly rate plan. Our hotel stay cost just a little more than it would have cost to park our car for 2 weeks, at a discounted rate, at Pittsburgh Airport.
Our hotel room was on the ground floor and looked out on the courtyard.
We had a patio door that opened onto the courtyard. There was a patio table and four chairs a few steps away from our room.
The courtyard was a relaxing place through which to stroll, as well as linger. The courtyard sounded like an aviary. I saw birds flying over my head, diving into trees. Other birds stood on walls or walked on the sidewalk or landscaped portions of the courtyard. Most of the birds were sparrows.
We went to bed early, 9:00 PM, and slept well. The morning of the 17th began early. The alarm was set for 4:30 AM, and we caught the shuttle to the airport at 5:30 AM.
Our flight out of Pittsburgh departed at 7:40 AM, 10 minutes past its scheduled departure time. We were informed that the flight was delayed because the crew got in late the previous night and had to have the required (legal) amount of rest before their next flight. Although we departed Pittsburgh 10 minutes late, we arrived in Phoenix ahead of our scheduled arrival time. However, we arrived at the gate late. According to the pilot there was someone new directing traffic, creating a traffic snarl. Our scheduled layover in Phoenix was short but, as a result of the traffic snarl, we had only a 10-minute wait before boarding began on our Phoenix to Kona, Hawaii flight.
We passed by the Island of Maui on our way to the Island of Hawaii.
We arrived at Kona International Airport on schedule (2:00 PM local time). If anyone is keeping track of time spent in the air, those two flight segments equated to approximately 10 hours.
As we approached the Kona International Airport I was startled to find the ground was black and barren. Part of the airport sits atop a lava flow from 1801.
Upon arriving at the Kona International Airport, we departed the airplane via portable steps, walked across the tarmac and through the open-air airport. The airport was small and different from any airport I have ever landed in. The airport resembled a little village with kiosk vendors.
John (Bob’s brother) and Dorothy met us at airport, gave each of us hugs, and put leis around our neck. No one took any pictures of John and Dorothy putting leis around our necks; however, I did take pictures of both leis a few days later.
We hung our leis around a photograph in John and Dorothy’s guest bedroom. The leis might still be hanging there today 🙂
We had been accustomed to seeing John and Dorothy frequently over the years. They used to live in Virginia, which was only a 5-6 hour drive from our house. John and Dorothy moved to Hawaii in December 2009. We hadn’t seen them since then. It was so good to see John and Dorothy again!
Stay tuned for more posts on our Hawaiian vacation.