I left My Heart in Aulani- Day 8

When E woke up on Thursday, she asked if we were going home today.  When A. and I told her yes, she asked if we could “make a deal” to stay one more day and go home “another day.”  As much as we wished we could, we sadly denied this deal, but promised to return next summer.

We all got up, got ready, and packed up the remainder of our things.  On a side note, a few years ago, A. bought a luggage scale through Groupon which I thought was the silliest thing ever.  It came in very handy this trip as we could weigh each of our bags in our room to make sure they were all at or under weight, I’ll explain why this was so helpful in a minute.

After we got everything packed, we took a few last photos on the balcony….


…and sadly, left the room we’d called home for a week.


Unlike at Walt Disney World, we did not receive a copy of our room charges under our door, but getting one at the front desk was quick and painless.  With that in hand, we loaded up our rental car and began the drive back to the airport.

Our flight departed at 1:00 p.m. and we wanted to make sure we had enough time to get gas in the rental car, return the rental car, and still have 2 hours in the terminal.  We were also told by Avis that we had to return the car with a full tank of gas that had been filled within 5 miles of the airport (haven’t heard that one before, but we obliged).

Finding the rental car return was a bit chaotic as there was terminal construction going on, but we found it well enough.  We had brought one of E’s car seats with us (she has 4), but decided it was not worth lugging it back, so we left it in the rental car.  I’m not sure if they put it into their rotation of safety seats or threw it out, but if you rent through Avis and rent a child seat that’s a black Britax Boulevard, know that up until the point we returned it at least, it had been cared for by all manufacturers instructions and never checked on an airplane or in an accident.

The airport was pure chaos.  As I’ve mentioned previously, we flew Hawaiian Airlines, which is obviously a major airline in Honolulu.  When we found their kiosks to check in, the lines were unorganized and intertwined with the line you entered after checking in to check your bags.  Additionally, your tickets and checked bag claim stickers would not print until your bags had been weighed (the weight printed out on the sticker).  Because many people did not have their own luggage scale that they packed, like we did, in the midst of the chaotic lines, you also had people trying to shift items around to keep their bags under the max weight (IE: avoid paying hefty over weight charges).

We managed to navigate this area and get our bags checked (even though the Hawaiian Airlines representatives kept insisting our one carry on bag was to big- which it wasn’t) and rudely kept insisting we check it, and thankfully had TSA Pre-Check.  We moved through security easily, but the walk to our gate was…intense.  It probably took us a good 20-25 minutes to walk to our gate, as it was a very long, and odd walk, that led us inside and outside.

We made it to our gate with plenty of time to spare.  I grabbed E some lunch and reserved our onboard tablet.  We boarded the plane on time and with ease, and while we were sad to be leaving Hawaii, were ready to get home.

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We thought everything was going smoothly, until we got to the runway and the captain announced there was an issue with one of our generators and we were taxiing back to the gate where we’d get further information.


Once we deplaned (which I should have known was a bad sign) we were told that we were on a 2.5 hour maintenance delay.  Now, let me say that while I was incredibly impressed with how comparative prices in Hawaii were to the mainland after I’d heard how expensive they were, this did not apply in the airport.  I was amazed at how expensive everything in the airport was (far more expensive than our home airport).  The idea of being stuck in this airport for the next 2.5 hours (with a 6 hour flight on top of that) was not something that made me jump for joy.

Thankfully, E being the friendly girl that she is, made a new friend right off the bat and the two girls literally played together for what ended up being a 3 hour maintenance delay.


By the time we finally got back on the airplane, we were all exhausted, especially E.  She passed out long before we even got airborne.


She woke up around the time they served dinner, and stayed awake until we landed.  We watched a plethora of movies including Frozen.


Finally, after 3 hours of delays plus a 6 hour flight, we touched down.  I took a screen shot of my iPhones stopwatch I had started once the captain came over the intercom to inform us of our maintenance delay the first time we were on the runway.


You can also see that we landed at 2:06 a.m. (which was supposed to be 10:00 p.m.)  Needless to say, we were very happy to be home.

This entry was posted in Aulani, Hawaii, Travel, Traveling with Preschoolers, Vacation, Vacation on a Budget and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to I left My Heart in Aulani- Day 8

  1. gregnjen1 says:

    I loved your report, your trip sounded amazing. I visited Aulani in 2013 and it brought back so many wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing!

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