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Old 06-02-2013, 05:43 PM   #47
TinkyCheeks
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I'm so excited to read this. Thanks for letting us enjoy this with you!
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:04 PM   #49
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I dream of cutlery

Aloha and thanks for joining in! It’s time to get started I think I fixed the sizing on my photos so they aren't quite so ginormous.



Day one of our trip started as most do for me. Bad sleep thinking of far too many things, getting up, making lists etc. This time I awoke at 3am to pouring rain and thoughts involving cutlery. Yes, cutlery. We were going to be in a studio but wanted to do a fair amount of meals in it. Breakfast, lunch and a couple of dinners. I had planned our meals out, had a grocery list and had spent a few months thinking about the logistics of it all. I had come to a couple of conclusions. 1) I really don't like eating off of paper. 2) I really like a real wine glass. 3) Even if we did use the provided paper, we'd quickly run out. As a result, a couple of months before the trip I had stumbled across some cheap plastic plates and bowls at Bed Bath and Beyond, and some super cool shatter proof plastic wine glasses and had picked those up to bring with us. That left silverware as the only issue. We would get some plastic in our room to start but it wouldn't last the week for sure. At 3 am on departure day, I had yet to take care of the silverware issue but didn't want to bring any of my everyday stuff either. I have camping silver in the camp box but...there was a plane blocking access to that. Too much work to get at. At 3 am it occurred to me that we'd need a knife for slicing tomatoes and who knew what else. And that a cutting board would be good. I'd purchased a small flexible one for last summers trip, taken it along but I am not sure I ever used it, the 1 bedroom kitchen one being fine. Somehow it was MIA. At 3 am I got up and wrote myself a note about both the knife and the cutting board and then wondered if the knife would be an issue in a carry-on. I went back to sleep at that point.

At 5 am I got up, I had a few work things to do so was getting up a little earlier than normal before heading in. Somehow in the process I managed to break the toilet. Went to flush, could tell the chain had come off, took the lid off, re-attached chain, went to flush again and BAM, the entire mechanism flipped up and locked up in the air. Great. Never had that happen before! I could not get it down/unlocked either. So I left it like that (well after I unhooked the chain and flushed manually lol).

Jeff had the day off anyway, right?

Unlike me, Jeff had taken the day off; actually he had taken the previous day off as well so technically he was already on vacation. Originally I had hoped to take the day off but events conspired against me and instead I was due to host a seminar/webinar at the office and had several other triage deliverables to get done before I left. Thankfully I was in pretty good shape. I'd spent the entire weekend getting ready, had managed to get my workout in, a mani/pedi, laundry, pack, pick up last minute items and do the hiking/activity research I’d wanted to do. Jeff of course had sort of started packing only the day before and was concerned the bags we were bringing weren't big enough and we needed to check 2. We had, over the weekend, decided to go with one large and one carry-on, the question was whether he could get all of his items into the smaller bag. As he hadn't even really started as I headed off to work, it remained to be seen. He was nice enough to drive Eric to the bus so I could get going.

Work was about as I've come to expect right before a vacation. Absolutely nuts with people who owed me feedback on items finally getting them to me…when I’m about to leave. I had seen the writing on the wall and had resigned myself to bringing my laptop along so I didn't let it get to me at all. The presentation went well, though someone put us on hold during the webinar effectively covering up my speaker with their hold music...very frustrating. Gotta love technology! My dad was scheduled to take us to the airport. Our flight was at 5:45 and I wanted to run an errand on the way. I figured leaving at 3 would be fine. Dad wanted to leave at 2:30. With my seminar running until 1 and folks hitting me up for this and that I don’t think I left the office until maybe 1:45, even 2. I ran by Safeway to pick up coffee, filters (I thought I had some left over from the summer trip but apparently they'd been used for plane related tasks) and yes, silverware. I also filled up the gas tank so I wouldn't be running on fumes when we got back. I got home at….2:45. A quick change of clothes and we were loaded and ready to go.

Now this may seem a silly errand but I needed to swing by Nordstrom on the way to buy lipgloss. Mine would run out and not make it through the week and I can’t stand not having lipgloss. I had tried to fit it in but it just hadn't happened and it would be on our way. Except my dad, bless his heart, tends to take his own routes and as a result overshot the turn to the mall and we had to loop back around. Still, the errand was done by 3 and we were back on the road. Traffic was rather lousy and I think it took a full hour to get there. Still, plenty of time. Except….the big bag was overweight by 3 pounds. We moved this, that and the other thing (including the silverware and paring knife) into the carry-on and got it down to 49. Heading to security the line was long. CRAZY long. We were directed to “go to the next one” as the lines were shorter. Go there and were sent down to the next one, and then the next one! By the time we got in line we were at the opposite end of the terminal from where we started and my shoes were bugging me. Shoes that weren't new by any means but hadn't been worn this season were rubbing in a bad way on the top of my foot. Shoes chosen because they’d be easy for the airport and security and moving quickly. Once we were finally though we headed to the central terminal. Jeff was going to pick up dinner there to eat on the plane, I’d order from the in flight menu as that sounded better. I found that the straps were twisted on the sandal and with an adjustment, they felt better although I worried I’d get a raw spot by the time we made it to the room, they just weren't as well suited to power walking as I’d expected. I also re-did the carry-on bags post security to get my laptop and sleeve back into the bag. Lets just say, things were a bit tight to say the least. We would be departing from a satellite terminal so headed down to catch the train. Once there a bio break was in order. As we finished another train pulled in and we booked it to beat the train rush to the elevator. Which really is pretty funny as heaven knows we still had time, as we arrived at the gate we still had a good 10 minutes to spare before boarding even started.

But hey, there's our plane!



We boarded, stashed, got settled and I had a blonde moment. "There will be no wi-fi service on this flight due to being over the ocean". DOH! SO much for my idea of knocking out work stuff on the flight. Oh well, soon enough it was time for drink service and a small snack!





I also ordered my dinner. One of the things I like about Alaska Airlines is their food offerings. For the Hawaii flights, they offer themed items. This was the hot entrée choice

Aloha Mix Plate– $6 USD
A Hawaiian tradition. Grilled teriyaki chicken with steamed white rice, cabbage and mac 'n' cheese. Served warm.



Yum! Well the rice itself was kind of boring but the rest was quite good.
Jeff had one of these to go with his ginormous Qdoba burrito



And for me, one of these, Waterbrook Two Ponds Chardonnay



With no work that "could" be done, I set out to finish my book



Which is really Eric’s book that Santa gave him It was finally my turn to read it. If you haven’t read it, DO, it was wonderful.

They also had a neat card outlining when service would be and it had some Hawaii trivia on the back which included a $10 coupon to Roy's. Score, we planned to go to Roy’s and it said you could use up to 4!





One of the fascinating things to me about flying is the effect tradewinds, and wind in general have on flight time. Getting there would take 6 hours and 15 minutes. Coming back, a good hour less. We had a sold out flight and some serious air issues. Though we had great seats near the front, it was HOT up there. To the point where I worried I was getting sick or something wasn't agreeing with me. Thankfully the woman next to me felt the same and it wasn't until we both visited the back of the plane mid way or later in the flight that we really felt the temperature difference. We also had a crying baby most of the flight but honestly that rarely bothers me unless it’s a red eye. Flying is so hard on little ears! Besides, I had wine and a good book, and was on my way to Hawaii with my guy. Not much was bugging me other than the lack of air. Which was doing a major number on my eyes. I have severe dry eye as it is and this flight was worse than most for that.

Later on we opted for another round, we were on vacation! They had the seatbelt sign on for a LONG time and I swear the minute it went off, the woman next to me and I booked it back to the restroom. It was pretty funny. Arriving back we all got chastised for not filling out our agricultural forms yet so got those done. I took that time to try and adjust my camera’s time stamp so I would have pictures actually in sync on a trip for once between the camera and the iPhone.

Once my book was complete I decided it was nap time, got my iPhone set to play some Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar (yes, I already had that on my phone and no, not for this trip, I like it lol) and tried to sleep despite the heat and lack of air.

At about an hour and 20 minutes before landing they announced they would be delivering mai tai's. I’d heard of this but hadn't really believed it until I saw it on the evening service menu. Sure enough they give you an actual drink to welcome you to Hawaii. Drinks were delivered about an hour before landing and I sipped my Trader Vic's pre-mix (awfully sweet but who cares it was free) mai tai and read a bit in the Alaska Airlines magazine about some island specific highlights.





I also checked out a Honolulu to go app that I'd downloaded, it was beyond lame. As we got closer to landing the temperature seemed to regulate a bit and it felt so much better. After landing, collecting our bags was quick and painless. I had rented a car through Costco and we’d be using Alamo. I had probably re-booked the car no less than 4 times, getting a lower rate each time. It was a bit fascinating actually to see which car type had the best deal, I swear every re-booking had us in a different one. The question was, where was Alamo? I knew it was offsite and we needed to take a shuttle so we headed out to where we thought it would be. Upon arriving we found phones and numbers for some of the other car companies, but not Alamo. So I called them. Yep, we were in the right spot even if it didn't appear so at all. Fairly soon after that the shuttle arrived, the lot being about a mile away, or about 5 minutes. I think they must have repeated this at least 5 times...as in DO NOT return your car to the airport, we are not located in the airport, return the car to xxxx and take xxxx road, not xxx. On and on and on. Pickup was a bit more painful than usual. Not because of lines but because the rental dude would NOT stop trying to upsell us into something different.

“A convertible, you must have a convertible!”

No. Last time we did that in Hawaii, it was broken into and it cost us $800 to fix

“What about this, or this? It’s only $100 more….”

Yeah, no. We are good.

“Really, you should upgrade, are you sure?”

Yep. Sure.

At this point we get the magazine of ads that Alamo likes to call a map. Whatever happened to a real road map, a 1 page sheet with the main city enlarged on the back? Though I had directions, it was the getting out of the lot and heading in the right direction part that concerned us. Between my phone GPS and the general directions I had we managed to find our way and head in the right direction relatively painlessly. And..at that hour…it only took 20 minutes! We pulled in, were greeted with lei's, given a short tour, and checked in for our one night. I had already done online check in so it was pretty painless! The plan was to checkout and back in tomorrow am, hoping that would give us a better chance of our room/view requests. They let us leave the car up front while we took the bags to the room and basically we dumped our bags and ran. After the 6+ hour plane ride and then the car we needed to stretch our legs, hanging in the room was not on that list.

We did take one quick lobby photo on the way to the room.



Yeah, shows you a lot huh.

It was too dark to really see the view from our room though I did take a peek and had a pretty good idea of where we were and had to laugh. My request had been met. We then went to park the car after the specific instructions of how to get in and out with our key card. For those that do not know, DVC members (and I assume those staying on points period whether a member themselves or not) get free parking. For everyone else it is $35 a day. Pricey! It's not like there are a lot of other options either to store your car, you pretty much have to park there. We decided we would get a drink at the O’leo Room to welcome ourselves to Hawaii and then do a quick walk around and hit the hay.

So we did! We ordered a Mai Tai and sat in the outdoor patio area by the water features. So lovely!!!!



I loved how they had a male and female version of garnishes on these.
We were the only ones outside, a few other folks inside at the bar itself. Literally it felt almost deserted.

Looking back at the bar



I admit. As I had heard, it was not a very good Mai Tai. I didn't care. It was pretty and we were there! Sitting outside soaking it all in felt surreal, in a very good way. Finishing our drink we strolled around the pool and river area, the Waikolohe Valley at which point Jeff exclaimed "this is the coolest pool area ever!" We could not get over the sheer volume of loungers everywhere. Everywhere! Really impressive, more so I think, at night like that when it's empty. We then walked down to the beach to check out the cove. Wandering a bit we walked by the Chapel of Joy next door and then out onto the grassy area that separates the cove in front of Aulani with the one next door with full intent to come back and stroll the full path for all the coves at some point.

Jeff attempted a few pictures with his phone, mine was dead and back in the room. Looking back at Aulani from the cove.



And...I have no idea where this is!







It was a gorgeous night with hardly a soul around and a more peaceful start to a trip I am not sure I can imagine. By the time we made it back to the room it was midnight Hawaii time, 3 am our time and we were beat. Question was, would we be able to sleep in?
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:54 PM   #50
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Yay! You made it! I know you always have those last day "things" that come up and mess with your plans, but in true Cynthia style, you pulled it all off!

I have to ask - whose face is on your airplane tail?

Does Alaska Airlines charge you for the food/drink? That looked like a really nice meal!

I can't wait to see the pictures in the daylight!
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:25 PM   #51
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You're in Hawaii, You're in Hawaii,


Yes that excitement even with the time change happens.


Have a feeling you might be up early.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:27 PM   #52
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Hurrah and aloha.... "we've" arrived! Like Sheree, I am impressed with all of the activity you can compress into the few hours prior to departure! And, of course, I concur that lip gloss is a priority! And what is it with work people that they elect to return to you or ask you a question within 5 min of your planned departure?? Happens here too... soooo annoying!

Sad to hear Aulani doesn't make (or didn't that night) a great mai tai. Perhaps I can tutor them if they'd like to hire me.

Seems like there was more I wanted to say but now I've forgotten.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:42 PM   #53
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Oops, sorry to steal your top of the page.

The paring knife wasn't an issue with security?

Glad you made it to Aulani and looking forward to more pictures. What were your room requests?
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:54 PM   #54
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I can't believe you got sparing knife through security! That doesn't give me a very secure feeling.

The flight menu was quite interesting, it's been a long time since I have flown on anything that did those sorts of things.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:43 PM   #55
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I tell you... I tend to wake up in the middle of the night often right before a trip. I am going to try that note taking trick. Usually, I just fall back to sleep and then proceed to forget it come the next day.

Flight looks like it was a good one except the air. I forgot the food for purchase on Alaska is actually fairly good. Looks like yours was even better.

Funny... I was in the mood for a mai tai last recently but felt too lazy to gather all the ingredients to make it. Guess what I bought? Yep, a trader vics predone mix. It is a tad sweet, but I expect it would be.

Cool that you got a coupon for Roys! (not that I know what that is) but cool nonetheless that you got a discount somewhere that you intended to eat anyway.

Love the first pics coming in. Makes me not only excited for more...but to think about planning a trip myself!
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:48 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
And what is it with work people that they elect to return to you or ask you a question within 5 min of your planned departure?? Happens here too... soooo annoying!
That's why I sometimes turn on my out of office 2 days ahead but with the correct days listed. No body bothers to read the actual dates and the panic happens while I can do something about it.

Doesn't always work - most things that mess me up are things delayed where they don't care if they get it back to me late, or change things last minute.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:17 PM   #57
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You got a knife through security? Wow! I thought that was some bad foreshadowing hehehe.

Too bad about the heat on the flight. I had a flight like that last trip... Not fun!
Looks awesome so far, can't wait to see it in the day light!

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Old 06-02-2013, 10:43 PM   #58
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Wow, that airplane food actually looked good! Aulani looks great at night.

Jill in CO
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:09 PM   #59
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So that's Alaska Airlines? Cool. Glad their service is good. We're flying Alaska from LAX to ZIH. I'm still looking for flights between SLC to LAX.

I can't wait to see the daytime photos.

His and her cocktails.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:59 AM   #60
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Woo hoo for arriving to Hawaii, although it sounds like you had a very full day before arrival. That includes your 3am obsession with cutlery. I just bought that fake silverware that looks like real silverware at BJ's for Nicks grad party. Now I realize that would make a wonderful addition to an owner's locker. Well, if they had ol's for Hawaii.

Anyho - sorry about the lack of circulating air on your flight. I really hate that because it makes me feel claustrophobic when I can't get a good breath of air. So frustrating.

I'm glad your arrived safe and sound and "his & her Mai Tais" does sound like a great way to start your trip!
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