Tuesday, December 6, 2011
RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC: Driving to the Game - November 18, 2011
Things were not looking good. My 1:00pm deposition got started late because the deponent got lost. It started at 1:45pm. Then there were constant problems with the video conferencing feed. As the 5:00 hour approached, I realized my plans of grabbing something to eat, checking in to the hotel to change and driving out to Waipahu was long out the window. After all, this was a Friday. And Pau Hana traffic on Fridays in Honolulu is a nightmare!
At 4:50pm, the video feed again went down. We were down to defense counsel's last question, too! Crap! What horrible timing! Then I realized my rental car was parked in the municipal lot and I remembered the warning signs at the garage warning against cars left after 5pm. Holy smokes! I had to get to my car fast or else risk getting my car ticketed and towed and worst of all, not being able to get to the game in time! WIth the prospects of getting the video feed back on-line very dim, and the fact that defense counsel was down to its last question, I decided to leave and get my car. Counsel agreed to call me and put me on speaker phone when the deposition resumed. By the time I got to the car, the parking garage people look like they were getting ready to shut the place down and lock in all the cars! I got there in the nick of time. The deposition also concluded, so I did not have to go back. Yes! Now to get on the freeway and on to Waipahu!
As I predicted, traffic was at a standstill in downtown Honolulu. All lanes were clogged on Alapai Street. I decided to avoid Ala Moana Boulevard and try to get up to King Street, eventually getting onto the H-1 via the Punchbowl on-ramp. Probably should've gone on Ala Moana and turn up on Alakea. What a mass of cars! Bumper to bumper gridlock. I had a moment of deja vu back to 2007, when the Lunas last made it to the HHSAA Division II championship - Lake Casco, the Mannings, Simione Vehikite were on that powerhouse team. I remember leaving the hotel at 3 and not getting to the stadium until well after the 4:00pm game time. What was funny, was that the Lahainaluna team was late as well, as their bus got stuck in the same traffic that we were stuck in!
Anyway, I finally made it onto the H-1 and it was slow going all the way to Waipahu, although I broke 50 after the viaduct (I stayed on the Moanalua Freeway) but got slowed down again by Red Hill. Oh well.
Finally got to Waipahu High School at dusk - about 6:00pm. Not bad. Game time was at 7pm but I wanted to shoot the warm-ups and get acclimated to the stadium. First time there, but luckily I google mapped it the night before so I had an idea where things were oriented. Parked in the first open stall I could find and made my way on foot to the stadium.
I had made arrangements with AD Scott Soldwisch so that I could get in as "Media". When I got to the gate, they had no idea where the pass gate was. But the kids manning the gate allowed me in anyway. Ha!
The stadium was a throwback to the 1940's. The stands were on one side of the field, the diamond head side and the ewa end was open, facing the campus. One end zone faced Pearl Harbor while the other end was adjacent to the freeway on-ramp from Farrington Highway. Nice view of the field if you're on that road. And later that night, the firemen parked their trucks there to watch the game!
The field itself was all buss up. Not as bad as War Memorial but kinda patchy. We were warned about a red-ant infestation on the Lahainaluna side of the field. Great! Talk about home-field advantage. The scoreboard was minimalist - no Down or Yards to Go, or Time Out indicators. No play clock either - the players would have to rely on the referee. Things didn't look good for the visiting team!