Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oahu Trip | Day 1: Departure & Arrival

We spent the last week on vacation in Hawaii on the island of Oahu.  (I had blog posts written and scheduled for posting for when I was gone.)  The next few blog posts will be our day by day vacation recap and will contain a LOT of photos (just a warning, ha ha).

We left on Saturday 12/10 on a 9am flight on Alaska Airlines.  Alaska Airlines started non-stop flights to Oahu from San Diego in November.  I was pretty excited to find some relatively inexpensive airfare back in September.  Inexpensive for Hawaii, that is.  Still had to shell out quite a bit of cash.  We got up at 6am for the flight to Oahu.  It was a long travel day!  The flight was 6:25 long.

At the airport, Todd found some seats with electrical outlets so he could charge up his iPad. 
His work iPad has 3G coverage, which means it works without wifi connection.  It was very fortunate that he brought the iPad.  I brought my laptop because our timeshare condo said that we could rent a wifi modem for $30 for the week.

Our plane being loaded up with food and drinks.

The flight departed on time, and the plane was not full!  We had a whole row of seats to ourselves, so I was able to stretch out a little bit and put my feet up.

Todd brought his Kindle DX loaded with books, so he could read on the plane and also while on vacation.

There’s no free meals anymore on flights, even flights that are 6.5 hours long.  Todd bought some bread and deli meat the night before and made sandwiches for us to eat on the plane.  Plus he had a special surprise for me… a bag of Cheetos! 
Cheetos are my favorite bad-for-you snack, plus it has special meaning for us because when we went to the Big Island in 2008, we kayaked across a bay to snorkel one day and missed lunch and I was so hungry.  Todd went to the gas station and came out with Cheetos and I was so happy.  Good Cheetos memories, ah.

The flight was long and I was so excited when I saw some land below us.  This was Kauai island, north of Oahu. 

When Honolulu came into sight, I saw a rainbow!  Whenever we went to Hawaii, we see a rainbow almost every day, and this trip was no exception.

Landing at Honolulu International Airport.

It took us a while to get our one checked luggage and find the Alamo car rental shuttle.  Then it took FOREVER to get our car at Alamo.  The line for the paperwork was long.  Then you don’t just go and get our car.  You hand your papers to the lady outside and then you wait for like 30 minutes for your name to be called and they tell you what car you’ve been assigned!  Ugh!  What a nightmare process.  When you land in paradise, you want to hurry up and get on the road to your hotel!

Then we ran into another nightmare… Honolulu traffic.  On a Saturday.  The Honolulu Marathon was the next day and some roads were closed, so we spent TWO HOURS to drive the five miles from the airport to our timeshare in Waikiki.  Ugh!  Along the way, we saw the start line of the Honolulu Marathon, where a TON of porta-potties stood.  20111210-IMG_9017_600
Ah memories!  I ran the Honolulu Marathon on December 10th, 2000.  It was the only marathon (26.2 miles) I’ve ever run.  I’ve run a couple of half marathons since then, but never a full marathon again. And just for giggles, here is a photo of me 11 years ago, right after I crossed the finish line of the Honolulu Marathon.
That was the first time I’d ever been to Oahu.  We also went to Oahu in December 2006 for vacation, so I guess I’ve only ever seen Oahu in December!

The check-in time officially ended at 5:00pm at our timeshare.  We finally made it to the condo in Waikiki around 5:10pm.  Thank goodness they were still there!  I guess they had heard about the traffic and road closures and people checking in late.  We got our parking pass and our room keys, and I asked to rent the wifi modem.  Uh oh.  They said they already rented out ALL their internet modems for the whole week!  That was totally unacceptable!  How can they run out of internet???  Why would there be a limit on internet rental?  I had never heard of that!  We were very disappointed.  I guess the only internet we’d have is Todd’s iPad and our phones.  Oh well.

Our unit was on the 26th floor and had a living room with a balcony.

The TV was in the bedroom but you could open up the door and swivel the TV to watch it from the living room.

When you move the door to cover up the TV, then you can see the bedroom from the living room.  They actually had a Select Comfort Sleep Number bed!

We had a full kitchen with fridge, microwave, oven, dishwasher, and it was fully stocked with glasses, mugs, plates, pots & pans, eating utensils, and cooking stuff. 

San Diego is two hours ahead of Hawaii, so we were so hungry!  By the time we got into our condo and dropped off our stuff, it was after 5:30pm local time but 7:30pm where we came from.  We had planned to go to Kona Brewing Company to eat pizza, because we loved it on the Big Island in 2008.  But it would require getting in the car and driving there, and we were too hungry and tired to do it.  Yelp to the rescue!  We used the Yelp app on Todd’s iphone and found a nearby udon noodle place that was 4.5 stars with hundreds of reviews.  We walked the two blocks to get there, only to see a huge line out the door.  Ugh!  Our hungry tummies couldn’t wait that long, so we went to another nearby Chinese restaurant instead, China Garden Restaurant

We ordered House Fried Rice, Beef with Greens, and Fish in Chili Sauce.  The portions were small, so we were glad we ordered three dishes!

The food was decent but not great, but it filled up our tummies and we were happy.

After dinner we went back to our condo to watch TV and start planning the rest of our trip.  :)


  1. wow that is quite an ordeal! we spent a good amount of time in traffic upon arrival to oahu this summer, too. so not fun when you're excited to get vacation started! amazing how bad traffic gets there. also, your condo reminds me of our condo on maui we stayed in for our honeymoon. wonder if they all have the same interior designer. :) looking forward to more pics! you are so BA for running a marathon in hawaii! amazing.

  2. Thanks for sharing photos from your trip. We've been to Oahu several times but we always look forward to going back -- perhaps in 2012. Looking forward to seeing more pics.

    (BTW, the marathon detour reminds me of when we visited your town, San Diego, the first weekend of June this year. We hadn't checked earlier as to what was going on that weekend and we ran into detours with a marathon that weekend (Rock and Roll?). Poor planning on our part).

  3. so jealous! hawaii is my favorite place in the world! can't wait to read more about your trip! :)

  4. Aloha and welcome to Hawaii. I hope it didn't rain too much for you. The weather has been really weird lately. This has got to be one of the wettest Decembers we've had in a really long time. I'm looking forward to reading more about your trip.

  5. Love that rainbow. Beautiful.


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