Departure and Arrival in California

December 27, 2015

Headcount in HNL: 193 students
Headcount in LAX: 193 students

So far, so good!

The Punahou Marching Band touched down in Los Angeles at 4:30 this morning–half an hour before our scheduled arrival. As groggy students filed off of the plane, it seemed as if the 45˚ weather had served as physical proof they had left Hawai’i, and it managed to shock their bodies into an artificial sense of wakefulness that lasted until leaving the airport.

The half hour bus ride to breakfast allowed many to catch up on lost sleep. Those that weren’t asleep were able to catch glimpses of the hazy orange sunrise as it showed itself between tall buildings and stereotypically Los Angeles palm trees.

Upon arrival at the Citywalk, the band ate a buffet breakfast at Hard Rock Café. Surrounding the restaurant, a wide variety of shops let students satisfy their shopping fix. Store specializations in that area ranged from novelty socks to magnets to miniature doughnuts in a bucket.

Following breakfast, the band spent seven hours on their own in Universal Studios. While some chose to spend their time diving into Universal's unique 3-D and 4-D experiences, others were content with simply sitting on a bench surrounded by good company. Whether struggling to not fall out of a tour bus that got caught in the middle of a T-Rex and King Kong brawl, flying through the virtual skies on a simulated roller coaster with Homer Simpson, or enjoying a mouthwatering burger at Johnny Rockets, the entire band enjoyed and appreciated their work-free day.

Boarding the bus to leave, the atmosphere of excitement gradually turned back into one of rest, until the only sounds heard in the bus were intermittent whispers and the muffled rumble of the engine.

Following dinner at the hotel, the band got a couple hours in their rooms to wind down before going to sleep. Monday, in order to fit in both a marching band rehearsal and a trip to Disneyland, the band will get a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call.