Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 1 - Travel Day

I didn’t sleep well last night, but when the alarm went off at 4:15 this morning, it didn’t really matter. We are heading to Hawaii today and THAT is what matters. I got up, got ready, finished packing the last minute stuff and ate breakfast. At 5:30am my parents arrived so that they could take us to the airport. We loaded the truck and were off. At this point, the kids still didn’t know we had been upgraded to first class.

When we got to the airport my dad dropped us off with the luggage and my mom and then he went to park. Since I wanted to use the first class line to check in, it was time to tell the kids. I told mom to get out the camera so she could get a picture of their surprised faces. I then told them that I had some news. I acted like it was bad news. When I said we were in first class the whole way they just looked at me stunned. They were definitely surprised.

We proceeded to the check in counter to check our bags. It was a painless process with no one in line in front of us. When we were done with that we went to get in the security line. It was really long for an early Friday morning. That’s when my dad, the seasoned traveler, came in the doors and asked why we were in line. He showed us the “priority line” that we were able to use since we were in first class. Wahoo. We skipped right ahead of everyone and cut in line. I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever been through security. After we found our gate, I headed out to get water for everyone. I told the kids I wanted it gone by the time we landed in Hawaii.

When it was time to board the plane, I think Dalton was the first person out of his chair and headed to the plane. We settled into our seats nicely. The flight attendants asked us what drink we wanted once we were in the air.When we took off they delivered our drinks along with a biscotti. I think the flight attendant liked the kids as she asked them if they wanted another biscotti. I think both accepted. Their first experience in first class was a success.

After deboarding the plane in Dallas we found out which gate we would be flying out of to Honolulu. Then we set out that way, hoping to find a Subway along the way. Even though we would get lunch in first class on the plane, I needed to make sure I had something to eat since I am vegetarian and can’t eat cheese. My guess was that any pasta on the plane would have lots of cheese. So, we grabbed Subway. From there, it was time to find the gate and wait until our flight to Honolulu.

When they called for first class to board,we headed that way. This time we were on a 767, so we had nicer seats – seats that reclined almost all the way flat. The kids were excited. They had to push the buttons to check out the way the seat moved. The flight attendant came through the cabin offering water, juice or champagne. Of course, I took the champagne.

Once we took off and were in the air, the seats started reclining. I got my kindle out and started reading. The flight attendants started food service. We got some warm nuts to begin with. I also had some wine at this point. The salad came next. I skipped the main course and brought out my Subway sandwich. That was a sight. I was eating a Subway sandwich and Doritos and drinking wine. Ha! I think both of the kids had the chicken hibachi and Joel had the cheese tortellini. And then it was time for dessert. Madison and Dalton had the ice cream sundaes. Since I’m lactose intolerant I got the fruit and cheese plate.

After eating lunch I was getting tired so I reclined my seat and closed my eyes. I’m pretty sure I slept some but it felt good to stretch out and relax – sleep or no sleep. Off and on for the remainder of the flight I would read for a little bit, then relax for a little bit, then read for a little bit, then relax for a little bit. Finally after 8 hours in the air, it was time to land.

The Honolulu airport is actually a really pretty airport. There is a beautiful courtyard and it has a lot of “open air” spaces. After following a military man toward the baggage claim we headed down the stairs to an awesome scene. What I had not realized was really how many military personnel were on the flight. Turns out there were a lot. And as they reached baggage claim, they were greeted with signs and applause from their families, friends, and fellow military men and woman.

Seeing the men greet their families after being gone on tour brought tears to my eyes. I saw one lady taking a picture of her husband and their kids, so I asked if she would like to be in the picture. I took their picture and asked how long he had been gone. She said he had been gone 8 months and was just home for a short break. It was a real experience.

We waited for our luggage to come and mine was one of the first out. However, when I grabbed it off the belt and sat it down it almost fell over. That’s when I realized BOTH wheels on one side had come completely off. I’m not sure what they did to my luggage, but it is no longer rolling luggage. It’s a bummer too, because I don’t usually use the larger suitcases and this was the first time I had used that piece. Oh well.

Once everyone’s luggage came out we caught the shuttle bus to the rental car agency to get our car. And boy was Dalton excited. He had hoped all along that we would get a Dodge Charger and that is exactly what we got. And it was even blue. I do have to say it was a challenge fitting all the luggage in but we got it done and were soon off to the resort.

We arrived at the Marriott timeshares and were told that only the smaller part of the unit was ready (we had a 2 bedroom). They gave us keys for that so we could drop our luggage in the room and then we explored the resort for a while. Once the other side was ready we unpacked and made a grocery list before heading off to get some food for the week.

Let me just say, I’ve heard about the high cost of food in Hawaii and it is no joke. Oh my! My beloved Doritos cost $4.89 for a bag that cost under $3 at home. A 12-pack of coke was $7.99. Ten flour tortillas were $3.49. Eggs were $2.99. Prego spaghetti sauce was $4.49. We bought breakfast foods, stuff to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a few things for dinner for the nights we will eat in and we spent more than we do for a whole weeks’ worth of groceries at home. We’ve decided we may be eating at Taco Bell a lot!

When we got back from the grocery store there were some beautiful flowers on the counter in the kitchen. My family had sent them to me as a way to say “thanks” for planning the trip.

We are trying to stay up for a while now to adjust to the time difference. If we were back home, I would have been in bed hours ago. But I don’t want to go to bed now and wake up at 3am. We’ll see how that goes.


Grandma J said...

OH fun! Have a wonderful vacation. It's rare that I've flown first class, but it's a luxury I could definitely get used to!

I'm so glad you took the time to help that military family make some memories.

Most army deployments to Iraq/Afhganistan are from Ft. Hood, so they fly out of Dallas to actually get home.

M said...

Sounds like your trip is off to a great start! Enjoy!

My friend has a time share and she pays to send a box of food...the bag cost doesn't come close to what she saves on food for hte week.

I got toured around DC today in a Charger! Cool car.


lily said...

sawasdee ka!!
I come to visit naka...