This is Kaua’i.
This is Iowa:
This blog is my personal scrap book and journal. I’ll share it with anyone else who’s a Hawai’i freak like Brian & I are. Our trips have been made much better because of the generous people I’ve met on Trip Advisor Hawai’i forums , and the blogs, trips reports, and knowledge shared there. And we have made some true friends through TA. I hope whatever I share here will give some enjoyment or useful information too. Photos of this trip are taken with our phones and some of our best times had no pictures at all. We were too busy just being there.
Some of our previous trips:
Brian and I have been blessed to spend a week to 10 days on Maui (once on Oahu) most of the last few years in December or January. This year we decided to wait until spring break when we could take a 2 week trip, and make our first visit to Kauai along with Maui. Our youngest son, Conor would join us for the first week.
The countdown was 1 day. The bags were packed. The mail was stopped. Nails were manni’ed and peddi’ed. Reservations were confirmed and flights were checked in. Boarding passes were printed. I was floating on air at work that last day. I even wore my Hawai’i “slippahs” in the library to give my toes some practice at breathing! Nothing could bring me down.
Until… I got a text… and a phone message… and an email. United had cancelled all flights into Chicago the next day due to a forecast winter storm.
I had a conversation with myself, “What???? You can’t cancel my flight!” “OK. Breathe Teri. We’ll just fly to another airport to connect to Hawaii.” Unfortunately it wasn’t so easy. Every traveler in the Midwest was scrambeling to find flights. After many hours on the phone and computer we finally had a flight booked on American , but it was into ORD again, and we had very little confidence that it would actually go.
Nevertheless, we woke up an hour before our alarm went off at 4:00 AM and got to the airport by 5:00 for our 6:30 scheduled flight. We were in better shape than most people in the airport that morning. It seemed like many had not even been notified that their flights were cancelled and were being told that there was nothing out of this airport available for several days.
The American flight was canceled as we expected, but the United workers at the Eastern Iowa Airport were angels for us. Two women in particular worked their butts off for us to find connections as flight after flight was cancelled or delayed. They were fantastic!
After untold hours in that airport, we made it onto a flight to O’Hare, where we barely caught a connection to LAX. My friend Deb messaged me, “I can just see it. A crazy blond hauling ass down the corridors of O’Hare, pulling her carry-on, with her two guys trailing behind, ” and she was spot on! If I hadn’t RUN for it we would have missed our first day on Kaua’i. I was NOT going to let that happen! In LA we got a connection to Honoulu, and finally after more than 24 hours without sleep we were in Hawai’i!
The gates at HNL were confusing in our sleep deprived state. We must have seemed like a pathetic trio as we tried to figure out if we were at the right gate, and discussed the pressing topic of who would use the restroom first and who would watch the carry-on bags. I called the rental car agency to make sure they knew that we would arrive late, so they would stay open for us.
After dithering about we decided we were in the right place and I settled back to wait for our blessed last flight. Try as I might I was not anywhere near slipping into my beloved island time state of mind.
A soft deep voice adressed me as a big beautiful Hawai’ian lady sat down beside me. “You one busy lady.” She looked at me deeply with dark eyes. I started to explain about our crazy long travel day. And then I stopped. “You going to Kaua”i?” she asked, giving me that same deep look. “Yes”, I said. And that was all that mattered.
We arrived on Kauai close to midnight Hawaii time, 5:00 am Central time. After another hour of crazy mixups with our condo, we collapsed in the dark and gave thanks for a comfy king sized bed.
In the morning we knew it was all worthwhile the minute we opened the bedroom door onto our oceanfront lanai. Ahhhhh… we had made it. Thank goodness for the Kaua’i coffee in the welcome basket from Parrish. Just give me coffee and my guy on an oceanfront lanai. Heaven.
Up next… More pictures of our first day on gorgeous Kaua’i. And maybe fewer words… we’ll see.