Bonus night leaves them both sleepless in paradise

Bonus night leaves them both sleepless in paradise

If I seem tired, I’ve come about it honestly. In the past 48 hours, I’ve gone from standing at the top of a Hawaiian mountain to crossing 2,500 miles of open ocean and three-quarters of a continent to arrive back at my computer keyboard to offer you this dispatch. In the middle of it all, my wife and I slept on an airport baggage carousel between a family of jovial Canadians and an enthusiastically wakeful rooster. Those hours, though every bit as awkward and uncomfortable as they sound, counted as some of the only real rest either of us got during the entire span.

Kristin’s whole notion of setting the two of us off on a wild adventure in celebration of my 60th birthday was meant to nudge me beyond the comfortable confines of my daily existence to inspire bigger, better and greater things. As a lifelong “find adventure in your own backyard” kind of guy, I can say for certain the weeklong trip to the island of Kauai was a major leap in and of itself. The unscripted foibles of the final two days, however, expanded my horizons in ways neither of us had planned.

As odd as it may seem to begin the story of our dream vacation by recounting its end, it’s likely the best I can do given my present state of sleep deprivation and my rapidly impending deadline. I had intended to begin this column upon my return, which would have given me a full day and a half lead. As you may have already gathered, that plan was left to wither on the tarmac when the airliner in which we’d already been sitting for two hours limped back to the airport gate with what the pilot referred to as an “irreconcilable mechanical issue.”

Our “last plane of the night,” as it had been billed, never left the ground, and with our flight rescheduled for 5 p.m. the following day, Kristin and I along with 100 or so fellow passengers were unceremoniously disgorged, not only from the fuselage, but also from the airport terminal itself as the facility was officially closed an hour before our flight was actually called off. There was quite literally nowhere for any of us to go. Newly minted “aero refugees” spread out on the periphery of the building futilely thumbing their smartphones in an effort to find a room in the middle of the night on an island where accommodations are booked months or even years in advance.

After our own futile search, Kristin and I opted for the roofed but wall-less outdoor baggage claim area where we’d earlier discovered the luxury of a hidden electrical receptacle with which to charge our phones.

Sleeping on a baggage carousel is not, in and of itself, a wholly terrible experience. After all, if you orient yourself properly and position your luggage in just the right manner, the whole setup closely mimics the angles offered by the typical upholstered recliner. Of course, the lack of padding and fabric of any sort does substantially diminish the quality of rest — as does the unspoken thought that the whole thing could be thrown into motion at any second with the flip of a switch — but an elevated platform versus the cold, chicken-littered concrete seemed a major plus.

A band of inexplicably joyful Canadians had earlier settled the spot and offered an adjoining tract for us to homestead. The rooster was a permanent resident, and while he was accommodating enough, the presence of overnight guests inspired him to speak loudly and randomly of his home all throughout the night.

Obviously, much more of this adventure remains to be reported, but for now I’m out of time, out of words and just plain out of it. See you next week.

Kristin and John Lorson would love to hear from you. Write Drawing Laughter, P.O. Box 170, Fredericksburg, OH 44627, or email John at

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