I Left My Heart at Aulani- Day 1 Part 1

Well, if the title of this post didn’t give it away, we did end up making it to Hawaii after all.  I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you for our kind thoughts and prayers for my husband, I can’t put into words how much they were appreciated.  I am happy to report that not only did we take our trip, but the day after we got home, we found out that the tumor was benign with a low risk of reoccurrence.  

The day before our trip was actually less stressful than I had imagined it to be.  E spent the day at my parents house (they recently moved 3.7 miles from us and it’s been a Godsend!)  This allowed me to run errands, have appointments, and wrap up all loose ends before our trip.  I even made it to bed before midnight Wednesday night!

Thursday morning was a bit chaotic (aren’t all departure days?)  We were running late, very late, which made me very anxious.  Thankfully, we all had TSA Pre-Check and flew through security which made up for lost time.  We made it to our gate about an hour before our flight was scheduled to leave.

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However, Hawaiian started boarding our flight at the same time we arrived.  I took the risk and ran to Starbucks to grab some juice and breakfast pastry’s before take off.  I made it back to the boarding area just as they called our boarding group.  Soon enough we were onboard and awaiting departure!

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My husband is not a huge fan of having his photo taken or of airplanes (he feels they’re germ infested).  If you can’t tell, he’s holding a pack of Clorox wipes to and Purell wipes to sanitize his seating area.

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This little girl however loves to fly!  She spent a good amount of time staring out the window.  Once we got airborne, the guy in front of E reclined his seat, giving her about the length of an iPhone 5 and a half of space between her face and his seat.  Here was my dilemma with it, she couldn’t recline because of her car seat.  I paid full price for her ticket, there were no discounts, but to be fair, so did this gentleman.  So, as much as I wanted to say something about how his head was practically in her lap, I also felt bad knowing that he had the right to recline his seat.

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Thankfully it wasn’t an issue for long as once the flight attendants came through with breakfast services they asked everyone to put their seats in their upright position.  When he did this, I put her tray table down and kept it down the duration of the flight which made it impossible for him to recline his seat.  I felt sort of bad, but felt that any passenger behind him could have kept their tray table down for the duration of the flight.

IMG_0382 Breakfast was decent, though our favorite part were the Aloha Mac’s we got as “dessert”.  I didn’t sleep at all on the flight, E did as did A., but my head was hurting too much once E fell asleep for me to get some shut-eye.

IMG_7563 IMG_7564Once E woke up, she watched a variety of movies on the iPad.  (Side note- I packed a bag full of coloring books, LeapFrog Tag Reader books, her Leapster Explorer plus games, etc.  She used none of them.  The only electronic we used was her iPad.)

IMG_7567I rented an iPad from Hawaiian Airlines (it was $15) for A. and I to share which worked out well.  I watched American Sniper while he slept and he watched The Kingsmen while I entertained E once she was awake.

After several, several hours, we finally saw land out the window.

IMG_7571It was the most welcomed site I’ve seen in a very long time.  Apparently the family behind us was also going to Aulani and as we were circling for our approach, I heard them say they could see the resort from the window (they had stayed there before).  I decided to just start taking pictures taking their word for it.  Sure enough, it was Aulani!

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We had a pretty rough landing (E is a very good flyer and this was the first time that she’s been scared during a flight), but we landed safely and taxied to our gate.  E had to use the restroom, so I managed to get her to the back of the plane the moment the fasten seatbelt sign came off so she could use the facilities while everyone else got off the plane (we were going to wait anyway because the car seat was a PIA to lug down the aisle).  Since we were the last ones off the plane, as soon as we got to baggage claim our bags were waiting for us.

Getting our rental car was a bit of a different story.  The island for rental car shuttles is complete and utter madness.  People are grouping together in hopes of catching their shuttle on a small sidewalk with all their baggage.  Thankfully, we had a last minute change to Avis (their price dropped $65 below Alamo’s for a larger car the week before our trip).  Apparently, we were one of only a few people using Avis and the mass crowds were all waiting on an Alamo shuttle.  The Avis van pulled up pretty quickly and we walked right on headed to get our rental car.

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Our rental car was a Chrysler 300, and while it was very nicely appointed, it was very large.  I thought a full size car would be great for us (for luggage purposes) but considering I drive a Prius V and the parking spaces in Hawaii are tiny, in the future I wouldn’t opt for a full size again.  Regardless, it was a very smooth, comfortable ride!

Up next: Our first meal in Hawaii and we arrive at Aulani!

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