Hawaii Travel Log, Day 1

Today is going to be a relatively quick sort of thing! I’ve gotten a little off track with what I’ve wanted to talk about on this blog, though part of that is also just because life keeps happening. This past weekend especially has been a bit of a travel adventure.

We’re in Hawaii today! Specifically the Big Island, though we’re headed to Oahu tonight. That was our original destination, in fact, but most of yesterday was a whole insane cluster of trip mishaps that have somehow worked out pretty well in the end.

As it turns out, when airports have a cutoff time for baggage check in, that time is down to the exact second — which means that because of the thirty second delay between scanning one person in our group and the next, we were suddenly unable to check our second person’s bag. Which meant that while two of us were cleared to run for the plane, the third one could not.

So at first our options sounded pretty grim. Because there were three of us (myself, girlfriend-roommate K, and roommate M), and because for some reason everyone ever wanted to go to Hawaii this weekend*, our options looked to basically be, “MAYBE two of you can go and the third one can fly out tomorrow for additional $$$” or “the three of you go home and fly out Monday for $$$.” The lady who worked with us at the assistance booth was extremely nice and patient, and I am incredibly grateful that she was willing to work with us to figure out the best possible options for our trip to work out.

(* I know the Iron Man triathlon was going on, but the “problem” with that was that it takes place on the Big Island and all the flights to Oahu specifically were booked completely full.)

But we’ve been planning this trip since technically last year, when the suggestion was made; our concrete plans for this particular week started in April. We’d gotten some help from Roommate M’s dad, who lives on Oahu, and since our trip was for a week (we’re returning Friday), cutting ourselves off to a Monday start, or getting our party split, was pretty disappointing.

Eventually, in desperation, I asked if we could get a flight out to one of the other islands, with the intention of making a connecting flight back to Oahu either later that day or possibly tomorrow (which is now today, Sunday). And it turned out, there was! We still had to pay $$$, but I’ve been saving for this for a year — traditionally, I save money from the dayjob paycheck all year to indulge for my birthday… which was on the 12th. So I had the money to immediately pay for it! And off we went. (With another close shave, to be honest, since we boarded the plane about five minutes before they would have closed the doors. Do not be us.)

And so far, I think this has actually turned out for the better. M had wanted to do some island-hopping anyway, and with some help from her dad, we have secured a trip to Oahu (and our proper hotel) for tonight, which gives us the whole day to basically go around the island, do some sightseeing, and then head up to meet the other half of our vacation group (who traveled separately and managed to get to where they were supposed to go).

So on the one hand, it was a whole lot of abrupt stress, and it was a lot of money — but it was money we had available (and can be paid back), and everything has turned out pretty much as ideally as possible for this detour. I’m pretty sure I would have been pretty miserable trying to go this alone, but since I have my two best friends with me, this has mostly been an adventure. (It will certainly make for silly travel “horror” stories in the future.) Everyone we’ve met so far has been extremely friendly and nice, the scenery is gorgeous, and even if I’m languishing a little with the weather (I’ve been living in the Pacific Northwest for 12 years at this point, and it’s pretty jarring to go from 52F to 83F), I’ve been having a lot of fun.

Right now it’s 8:45 a.m. local time, which because of timezones feels more like 11:45 to me. We still have almost 12 hours before we have to travel to our final vacation destination. We’re trying to make plans to get some wandering around (with M’s dad helping out again, so a big thank you to him), and then we’ll figure out what we’re doing for the rest of this week.

I’m feeling pretty good, though! I hope everyone else is doing well.

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