I appreciate the friends in my life, especially the ones who can decide at the drop of a dime that they need a vacation. And that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago. I had just returned from spending a week in Ft. Lauderdale with my friend Danielle, my son and nephew and was just getting back into the swing of things, when a Google chat IM popped up on my computer. My friend received an AirFare Watchdog alert to Hawaii and simply said “you down?”.
She didn’t have to ask twice. Within 30 minutes, tickets were purchased and by the next day, a hotel was booked.
Everyday the countdown was on. It felt like the longest three weeks ever. When our departing date finally arrived, I of course over packed. That extra $125 in overweight luggage fees kinda hurt.
I flew from Washington, DC to New York’s JFK airport to meet my friend. When we finally settled into our flight, the anticipation was killing us, but we knew we had to get through a 10 1/2 hour flight first. Might I add, a 10 1/2 flight without Wi-Fi and no power outlets. Thank you Hawaiian Air. Although there were USB chargers available, those can’t power a laptop. Thankfully I carry my Nexus tablet pretty much everywhere I go, and it’s always stocked with movies and books.
During the last 2 hours of the flight, anxiety hit. The plane felt stuffy and I got tired of smelling the fumes coming from the bathroom. It felt like a never ending flight and the clouds were starting to stare back at me.
10 1/2 hours later we landed in Honolulu. We practically ran off the plane to retrieve our luggage. To say that we were happy to be out of New York City and D.C. would be an understatement. A week of relaxation and Mai Tais were ahead of us.
In visiting Hawaii, you learn a few things fast. People who live there move at their own pace and are very laid back, except for the Asian tourists. To sum them up in one word, rude. I’ve never seen people snap their fingers at waitstaff or practically knock your shoulder off while walking down the street, without even muttering an “excuse me”. But that’s how they roll, I suppose.
During our time there we had a chance to meet people who relocated to the area from the mainland. One was a 52 year old divorcee from Florida, named Toni. She turned out to be our tour guide for most of the week. The kindness she offered us was amazing. She took two strangers under her wing, and showed us parts of the island we wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise.
After visiting several areas in Oahu, it was hard to believe this was part of the United States. A few other tourists at the luau we attended kept on mentioning that they hated to have to return to the U.S. after, something the tour guide would laugh at.
The day of our departure from Hawaii was pretty disheartening. Returning to the hustle of our everyday lives wasn’t something we were looking forward to. We pretty much hated the fact that we had to leave such a beautiful place, but even as we were sitting on the flight back to New York City, we already had plans on returning.
If you ever get the urge to pack your bags and go, make sure Hawaii is one of your destinations.
When was your last vacation? Are you currently planning any summer travel, if so, to where?