I’m taking a break from my usual craft/sewing updates to blog about our family trip to Hawaii. If stories about travelling with teens aren’t your thing, ignore the next 10 days of updates.
Day 1. Sydney > Honolulu > Kona. Chaos
Departure from Sydney Airport on Hawaiian airlines was smooth. As was the flight. Well, mostly smooth anyway – just a little turbulence. Alice sees me watching Pitch Perfect on the flight and laughs at me. Kids didn’t sleep but Mick and I dozed on and off.
The connecting flight from Honolulu to Kona is due to leave 2 hours after arrival in Honolulu. Mick and I had been wondering how to keep the kids entertained for two hours at the airport – this turned out to be an unnecessary concern. We sat on the tarmac in Honolulu for a good 20 mins before being allowed to disembark. We then joined a very long queue to get through security. Hour one of waiting done. Got very lost in Honolulu’s domestic terminal. Departing flight is getting closer and can’t find where to put the bags. Or ourselves. Asking people for help was partially effective and we eventually we manage to get through the gates to the departure area. Woot – see a Burger King where we can feed our hungry teenagers – and especially Sam who didn’t eat for the whole flight. Check watch – forget food – flight leaves in about 20 minutes. Departure gate is not written on boarding passes and the flight information boards are out of order. Fuck Fuck Fuck.
I’m rather pleased to note that despite being tired, hungry and extremely flustered, Mick and I have managed to stay civil with each other. Very proud of ourselves.
We eventually stumble upon departure queue just before the flight departs and find our seats. We get to and enjoy the flight. There’s a lot of cloud coverage of higher peaks on both Oahu and the Big Island, but we’re fascinated by the black lava scars on the Big Island. We land, collect bags and catch shuttle bus to collect our hire car.
So the hire car place – Thrifty/Dollar car rentals has a really, really long queue. We’re hot, tired and hungry but succumb to the queue. After about 45 mins of queuing with little progress I decide to go across the road to Avis and get a quote. I’m served immediately. Care hire is more expensive but at this point, I’d give my right arm to continue on our journey towards food and rest. Gave right arm and headed off to find the Aston Shores Resort at Waikoloa.
Really, really glad Mick is driving. Being on the other side of the road scares the shit out of me. It’s nearly as scary as the early days of teaching Alice to drive. Hang on to door handle and try not to look too terrified. Compliment Mick on his driving skills to try fake confidence. At least we’ll be able to feed, water and rest the troops soon.
We manage to head in the right direction, but there is little in the way of signage and we have only basic maps. Lost. Turn around, head back. Ask a lady for help but she’s got no idea. Ask the sentry guy at another resort for help but he has little idea either. Mick eventually has the brilliant idea of blowing the data on his phone and using GPS. Why didn’t I think of this? Meanwhile Alice is catching some air because she’s feeling car sick and tells us that she has held back on complaining about the fact she’s about to die of hunger. Yay for considerate teenagers.
Eventually find the resort and are in the resort lobby. By this time kids are falling apart due to lack of sleep and food. Alice is quietly crying and Sam is having a meltdown. And I’m trying not to giggle at the ridiculousness of it all.
Things improve substantially from here. Resort rooms are bigger than our house. And there’s a kitchen which can fit more than one person in at a time. We dump our luggage and head off to Queens Marketplace for dinner. Find a restaurant called Romano’s Macaroni Grill where we begin to understand the large serving sizes for which the US is famed and had a most delightful girl serving us. Sam was able to order a kid’s meal and pronounced his chicken strips and fries to be the best he’d ever had. Both children perked up remarkably with feeding and watering, but crashed into their beds at 8pm. We weren’t far behind.