TRAVELSCRIBBLES is a blog featuring travel reports, advice, and idea sharing for those interested in both domestic and international exploration.

Roger Sauer and his wife Donna have spent years traveling the world but have many places yet to see. You can follow their past and current travels here as well as post comments and questions about places they have visited.

Roger and Donna travelled to New Zealand and Australia in September, 2013. They will be in Paris in September 2015 with a train trip to Nice and Barcelona. They will then be aboard the Disney Magic (again) for a transatlantic cruise to Miami. Follow their travels on Twitter @rsauer3473.

Donna and Roger own Disney Vacation Club memberships at Old Key West and Beach Cub resorts in Walt Disney World. They also have other timeshare interests in Maui, Cancun, Orlando, and Palm Springs.
Feel free to contact them at 503-585-3473 if you would like rent one of these properties.

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cairns to Auckland to Honolulu to Portland



We had a simple breakfast on our last day in Port Douglas and soon found our way on the James Cook highway south to Cairns. Our earlier breakfast did not keep us from a stop at McDonald's near Cairns for an Egg McMuffin. And just like our first breakfast sandwich eaten almost a month earlier on our way to Russell, New Zealand, it had ketchup on it. Must be a Southern Hemisphere thing.


Our little Nissan Micra was turned in and we made for the Air New Zealand counter. Our carry on bags were over the limit, but we expected to leave these behind us in line. But our carry ons were the first things the agent wanted to weigh. Oops! We shuffled our things around and made our way to the gate. The flight was uneventful and we arrived in Auckland just after dark. We purchased a couple of lunch items as our tickets did not allow a meal. Auckland airport has a number of customs areas to maneuver and we needed to do this quickly as we needed to get all our bags before being re-ticketed for our flight to Honolulu on Hawaiian. This was done quickly as our international flight on the latter airline with its generous luggage allowances. With some time to spare we got a burger at Hungry Jack, Australia's Burger King. Once on the plane we ate another meal within an hour of takeoff which itself had been delayed due to restroom resetting on the plane. Also on the plane were the attorney and his wife we'd met a month ago on our way to New Zealand. They indicated their bus caravan was plagued with bad weather, but they had enjoyed themselves.


After the delay, and the post-midnight dinner, we tried to get some rest on the long flight.  Unfortunately, as I was trying to get comfortable in my window seat, I became ill. I am not sure what caused this: the chicken for dinner, the glass of white wine, the lorazepam  I took to calm down and sleep. Who knows. But after suffering for a time, I told Donna I wanted to lie down as I was dizzy and sweat poured off of me. She quickly laid a blanket down in front of the bulkhead row in front of us. (The row was vacant as it required some cash for these upgraded seats.) Donna notified the attendant and before I knew it, two MD's and a cardiac care nurse were attending me. I do not remember a lot. Sometime during this experience, somebody had shaved part of my chest to attach an AED device. At one moment I had my left arm poked with a needle and through the fog in my brain heard a female voice mention adrenalin. I was breathing pure oxygen and the lights were bright. The time was punctuated by the AED machine speaking: Do not touch the patient. No shocking is required. Pause. You may now touch the patient. I had no energy and drifted in and out of consciousness. Every so often I could here someone speak to me, "Roger, Roger, can you hear me?" I could hear but could not respond well. Gee, all I really wanted was to lie down. Why all the fuss?


So over some three thousand miles over the Pacific and the Equator, I remained laying on the floor in front of Row 11 near the bulkhead. During this time the day regressed from October 20 to October 19 when we crossed the international dateline. Shortly before we arrived in Honolulu I found myself able to get up. Donna told me that, had I not come out of it, the pilot had an option of stopping in Samoa to drop me off. Fortunately, I was somewhat responsive. As a perk for this experience I was able to get off the plane first. In the lobby we were met with a phalanx of personnel including an EMT who spoke with me. He said he could take me to the hospital. But I felt better and said I would be okay. After all the next flight was four hours away. So the crew left after I signed a waiver refusing additional care. Now during this time, a Hawaiian employee was monitoring the situation. She then told me that I could not get on the next flight until I was released by a physician to fly. She was going to rebook our flight for the next day. Hmm.. Maybe I should have gone in the ambulance. So we needed to get to a hospital.


We were assisted through customs by an agent who had come with the Hawaiian employee. This helped. We then found our way to a rental car van and within ten minutes were driving a big Nissan sedan to the hospital. Other than being tired, I felt fine. At the Queen's Hospital we checked in at the Emergency Department. During about four hours I had my blood drawn, x-ray taken, and an EKG administered. Everything showed up normal. Son of a gun. The doctor who spoke with us gave me the reports and a note for Hawaiian saying I could fly.


During the time at the hospital, dear daughter Deirdre made a reservation for us at Aulani west of Honolulu. We arrived about 4 PM and within minutes were in our lovely, Hawaiian-inspired room. An interesting place to be as we'd been here five and a half weeks earlier on our way to the South Pacific. While the outdoors with its gardens and tropical pools seemed inviting, all we wanted to do was eat the fast food we picked up, watch some television, and sleep.


We actually slept in the following morning, all the way to 7:15 AM. We walked around the resort a little and left by 11 AM for the airport.


A day later than we expected, we flew home.

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