IM Kona '16 - travel day

The day before travel is always stressful. Packing, cleaning, finishing up work to-do's and of course, getting our furry crew together for a 1-mile trip down the road to "Grandma's".

After a busy Monday, it was finally time for our trip to Kona on September 27th.

Flying out of our local airport (Greenville/Spartanburg) makes for a smooth start to traveling. The airport is small, which means we can get through parking, check-in, security and then to our gate in less than 30 minutes (if that long!) but everyone is super nice. It is a pleasant flying experience! 

With a 14-hour travel day ahead (divided into 3 flights - Greenville to Atlanta to Honolulu to Kona) I made sure to stay hydrated with a water bottle that I continually kept filled throughout our entire travel. 

Karel and I both sported our new Trimarni Kona crew t-shirts, which made for a lot of friendly conversations throughout our travel....."You do all of that in one day????"

I made sure to bring lots of snacks for our travel but I also planned for us to get food at the airport before our 9 hour flight from Atlanta to Honolulu.

I made a snack bag for me and for Karel. In my snack bag, I had fruit (grapes, strawberries, apple slices), carrots and celery, trail mix w/ raisins and granola chunks, a waffle sandwich (breakfast), dark chocolate chunks and chocolate covered almonds, dried figs and a variety of bars.

We stopped at a bistro in terminal E at the Atlanta airport for a delicious super food kale based salad for me and a tuna sandwich for Karel. 

We got the meal to go to eat on the airplane. 

Karel made sure to find a pastry and coffee for his mid morning fuel before a long flight to Hawaii.

Big plane!!

Karel and I love each other but we also really love having aisle seats. On our long flights, I always choose two aisle seats (I try to get them next to each other but sometimes we are one set behind each other) so we both can get up when we want, without having to bother each other, or anyone else. 

Although a 9-hour flight sounds miserable, I was actually really looking forward to the opportunity to be disconnected to the world and to relax by watching movies for 9 hours - two things I never get to do! 

We were served lunch on the plane but Delta messed up my request for a lacto-ovo vegetarian meal so I had to settled for their set "meat free" option (even though I am a vegetarian and Delta has a meat free option, I always call ahead for the lacto-ovo vegetarian meal option as Delta makes healthy, light and delicious meals with this special request).
The cheesy pasta dish was good but I wasn't in the mood for something so heavy while sitting for 9 hours. I ate 1/2 of it (and the salad...errrr, 2 pieces of lettuce and two tomato slices) and gave everything else to Karel. Karel got the chicken salad which included a side of shrimp.

I snacked on my fruit, veggies and had my salad and finished off my bag of trail mix. I was never super full but also never super hungry by eating every few hours.

Check out my 3 travel tips for athletes video. 

After a looooong flight and 4 movies watched, we finally arrived in Honolulu. Hello palm trees and fresh air. 

Karel was told by his massage therapist that he should get a massage immediately after his long flight, to help his back and hips (which have needed ongoing attention all summer). After we purchased a yogurt and fruit smoothie (to share), we came across a chair massage and for $2 for 8 minutes, Karel was in for one great massage......seriously, he said it was amazing. :) 

With one last (very short) flight hop from Honolulu to Kona, we finally made it to the big island!!!

This is my 5th time walking off a plane to the big island for the IM World Championship but as a first time spectator (not racing), I can say that it still feels magical! 

Karel's 3rd time to Kona and 2nd time racing in the IM World Championship. So excited to be on the sidelines to cheer him on (and our two athletes Justine and Leigh Ann - first time IM Kona athletes). 

There's something special about an outside airport. 

We had arranged a cab (van) from Kona Taxi to pick us up to eliminate the stress of getting a rental car (we did an off-site rental car for pick up on Friday) so within 10 minutes of arriving and receiving our luggage and bikes, we were in the cab in route to the Kona Plaza condos on Ali'i drive.

Eight miles later and before 6pm we were unloaded in our condo and ready to move our body. 

Perfect timing - the Kona sunset!

Enjoying the view for a 40 minute shake out run on Ali'i drive. 

We made a quick stop to the grocery store in the evening to pick up a few items and for dinner, I made a refreshing fruit salad w/ yogurt and granola.

I managed to stay up until 8;30pm (2:30am EST) and then I was out (Karel went to be around 8pm).
My body, however, was confused so my first official morning in Kona started at 3am Hawaiian time as I was UP and ready to get the day started. 

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