Well, we’ve been in Hawaii for a week. Its been interesting, that’s for sure! I basically went straight back to work too, which was good for me. I had a whole month off, so I was pretty much ready to get back to it.
I spent the last few days of my leave in Colorado pretty sickly. Last Monday I couldn’t even function! I would get so dizzy standing up that I would puke. It was pretty awful. Not very good timing either. Why couldn’t I have gotten sick in the beginning of my leave? Grrr. Luckily I was feeling better by the time the travel day came around.
Traveling to Hawaii with dogs is…stressful. Our flight left Denver at the wonderful time of 6:15am, so we needed to be at the airport two hours early to make sure the dogs got checked in. We got there at around 4:30am, and it took almost an hour to check in us, the dogs, and our 8 (!) pieces of checked luggage.
Luckily, Delta is a great airline for military folks. Although we had to pay fees for the doggies to go through, they did not charge us for any of our bags. It helps that we were traveling on orders!
Unfortunately, we had two layovers, one in Salt Lake City, and then one in LA. So it made for a VERY long travel day. The poor pups were in the crates for around 14ish hours. But they survived, and they seem relatively unaffected. The process of retrieving them from the quarantine station was extremely easy, because I had done all the paperwork and paid the fee in advance. If you weren’t aware, the import of animals into Hawaii is really, REALLY strict. They are rabies free on all the islands and they want to keep it that way. There’s a whole process that takes 120 days or more to be able to take them from the airport without a quarantine. Let me tell you, I was so incredibly happy when all that was done.
I checked into the band the day after I arrived in Hawaii, and I just finished my first full week of work! It was actually pretty eventful, I got to play a gig, and played in wind ensemble rehearsal. Everyone seems really nice and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and finding my place within the band.
We also found a great place to live. We snagged a 3 bedroom place with a fenced in yard in government housing, and we move in in a couple weeks. I’m looking forward to getting our stuff/furniture and getting back a sense of normalcy and routine. The yard will be great for the pups too! No more being on a leash all the time! The hotel room seems to get smaller and smaller as time goes on…haha.
I’m also getting back into a practice routine. I took a lot of time off, and my endurance was basically gone. Its always hard to get back after a break. But I’m starting out slow, and playing longer and more every day. Once I get my stuff (most of my clarinet stuff is in my household goods shipment!) I will be establishing some practice goals. One thing on the horizon…ICA orchestral audition competition. I know, I say I’m going to do it every year, and then something comes up and I can’t do it or I chicken out. But there are Eb clarinet excerpts this year, so I feel like I have to! And I have created a great preparation system from taking the last Navy Band audition. I think it will be a good goal, as long as I stick to it this time!