We are in Honolulu!
And the prices are staggering. It's still a bit of a shock to see that the cheapest thing at IHOP is $5.59.
As we were starving, we crossed the street to IHOP and started looking through the menu. I think we were craving pancakes, so we headed over. They'd run out of French Fries, but that wasn't what made us decide to find McDonald's— it was the prices.
We headed toward McDonald's passing through a chocolate shop trying to find it. We didn't find McDonald's at all, instead locating a food court.
We headed towards Arby's because it wasn't sandwiches and it was the only remotely McDonald's-like restaurant. The cheapest thing was 5 for $8.95 or so. Roast beef melt, curly fries, ham melt… and soda. We took three of those… meh. You'd think after spending $826 on a 45 minute helicopter ride, we'd be able to splurge on something besides ham and roast beef melts. The curly fries made up for it, but still.
The bright side of going to Arby's was the fact that on the way back from washing my hands, I encountered a cleaning lady who was getting ready to clean, and smiled at her.
AND I GOT A REAL SMILE BACK!
This was a reason for celebration. Ileana was just as excited as I was about it.
Speaking of the helicopter, we arrived at Safari Helicopter Tours ten minutes early. The woman explained in a TV announcer sort of voice that they weren't sure if visibilty was going to be any good or not. They'd tell us at 10:20 whether or not visibility would be good enough to see the lava flows.
We waited around— Ioan made paper airplanes out of flyers. These actually flew better than the ones he made last night out of business cards. I haven't seen him making paper airplanes in ages, probably because there's not much paper to be had lying around everywhere.
Visibility was good, so we were taken in for a safety briefing. After a while all safety briefings sound the same— you have a seatbelt which closes the same way. You know where the life vest is, and oxygen, if you're going high up. The difference is in the exits.
Taking off with a helicopter is something like this:
Vibrations vibrations vibrations… vibrations-vibrations-vibrations. The quicker vibrations mean you're up in the air, and all of a sudden the earth is moving a way and you feel a bit more like a bird because you have a really big window and there's no wing anywhere.
We hovered about 500-1000 feet above the ground, flying over forest. When we reached the lava, it was a black wasteland. A town was destroyed in the 80s, and they're just rebuilding. Three houses— brand new houses— were destroyed by the lava just recently. If the current lava flow decides to head towards the town, all of those brand new houses will be destroyed as well.
It's mind-boggling why anyone would want to rebuild there!