It was supposed to be a group trip. Just the 4 of them. They were going to do something they'd never done before. They had all the time in the world.
"Why not a cross country trip? LA to Florida." Kono suggested.
"A week in a car with you guys?!" Danny questioned, "I don't think so!'
"Not a car." Kono said with a smile, "A bus. Greyhound bus." She dropped some brochures and draft of their itinerary on the table”
"No! Absolutely not!” Danny said with a shake of his head.
“It’ll be fuuuun!” she pleaded, “Besides, it’s my turn to pick anyways.”
She watched as the three men did the calculations in their heads. Steve’s choice was a gun show in Alaska…in March. Danny’s choice was obvious; New Jersey and New York for a couple of baseball games, and to show them what real pizza was. Chin’s choice was Sturgis, South Dakota in August for a motorcycle rally.
They sighed. Resigned to the fact that Kono was right. It was her choice.
“Okay. We’ll do a cross country trip.” Chin said. He picked up the itinerary and looked it over, “But we’re flying back.”
Kono was about to protest but kept her mouth shut. She’d have time to convince them to take the bus back to California later.
Plane tickets to California were booked, bags packed and their adventure started.
Going to Florida was uneventful. Dust storm in Arizona, immigration check along the borders of Arizona, Texas and Mexico. And, while not knocking the states, nothing happened in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama. Three and a half days later they ended up in Florida.
They agreed to five days in Florida and then would fly back to Hawaii. Surfing, Disneyworld, a bit of horseback riding. They were having a good time.
Between the alcohol and good food, Kono managed to talk them into going back to California by bus. Again, things were going great. Until they hit that mass expanse know as Texas.
The air conditioning on the bus sputtered on and off before the bus engine finally died. No one panicked. Least of all, Kono, who was too absorbed in her music to notice they’d stopped…or that the bus was beginning to get warmer.
The bus driver stood from behind the wheel and looked at the passengers, “Hang tight guys. Going to check what’s going on and we’ll be on our way.”
Thirty minutes passed and the other riders were getting antsy. Lasting longer than expected, Steve was the first one off the bus and around to the back to see if the driver needed any help. A few minutes later both men returned. Steve made his way back to his seat.
“So what’s going on?” Chin asked
“Nearly busted fan belt.” He replied, “Driver thinks he can fix it, but has to call it in.”
“He’s going to need some help.” Danny said. It wasn’t a question. The driver was going to need help putting the huge fan belt back on the engine. Kono wanted to help, but knew it would be best to keep her mouth shut and stay away from the guys.
Twenty minutes later about eight men, including Chin, Danny and Steve attempted to help the driver put the fan belt back on the engine. It worked. For about an hour when it completely shredded.
The replacement bus was on its way, but it would be a couple of hours.
“I need a drink.” Danny mumbled as he made his way off the bus. He looked around for some sort of life and found nothing. The only thing open was the gas station store.
Danny walked in and went to the back where the drinks were. Cooler after cooler of soda and water. He needed something stronger than that. He walked to the counter and waiter for the clerk to come back.
A man, who Danny would later call Bubba or Bocephus when telling Steve and Chin of the encounter, came back, “Can I help you?”
“Got anything harder than soda or water?” Danny asked
The man shook his head as he wiped his hands on an oil rag he pulled from his pocket, “Dry town.”
Danny’s flailing arms could be seen before his voice could be heard, “Oh! Just great!” he stormed out of the gas station store.
“Thought you were getting something to drink?” Steve asked when Danny returned to the group
Danny said two words before getting back on the bus, “Dry. Town.”
Steve and Chin both sighed and followed Danny back on the bus.
“You!” Danny said pointing at Kono who was in mid-gulp of her drink, “You owe me the biggest drink when we get back to civilization!”
Kono felt bad. Really she did. It was her suggestion they go back to California they way they left and truth be told, up until the bus broke down, twice, she thought they were all having a good time.
They sat in silence. Waiting for the replacement bus. It arrived and the driver made sure everyone saw their bag get from the broke down bus to the new bus before they could claim their seat.
Three hours later they left Texas. Twelve hours later they were waiting for their flight back to Hawaii. They grabbed a room at a nearby motel to shower and sleep on a bed before their flight.
The guys still weren’t talking to Kono. Even after numerous apologies. Even after buying two rounds of drinks. Not a peep her direction.
Before the plane landed in Hawaii, Danny broke his silence, “6 ½ hours stuck in Texas without so much as a drop of alcohol is something I never want to do again.” He looked at Kono, trying to still be angry, but failing when he saw how really sad she was over the whole ordeal.
“But you had fun right?” she asked.
The three men nodded their heads. Until Texas, they did have fun. When they got back to Hawaii, it was agreed, Kono wouldn’t be allowed to pick the next group trip.