Rather than a letter to my parents this week.. I am sharing the article that I wrote to send to our friends and family.. It is quite long so I am splitting it into a number of posts.
Hawaii Bound – Inflight Entertainment and Mai Tais
I must admit our departure for our holiday leapt out at us suddenly. This was due to a round of farewell parties given for us by our well meaning friends, which resulted in a distinct need for early nights and a long rest. You would imagine that we were off for good, and not just for a fortnight. However, perhaps they know more about our destination than we do!
We are now so accustomed to packing, that we were finished and satisfied with our efforts by early afternoon on the eve of our departure. This enabled us to have a final crippling game of water volley ball, before retiring at a very sensible 11pm.
September 3rd dawned bright and already very hot. Silvia very kindly took us to the airport to avoid paying 15 days parking charges, and we set off at 8.00 a.m. with plenty of time to spare. It was just as well because due to an unusual hold up the trip took 40 minutes instead of 20.
The flight to Dallas was uneventful, and on arrival we deplaned for the hour we were due to be on the ground, and shopped for some last minute essentials (I am sure that Hawaii had shops). Only they were not so last minute! We returned to the gate to be find that our plane had engine trouble. Thank goodness they had not informed us at 29,000 feet.
Apologies were made and take off was scheduled for an hour later at 1 p.m. Eventually at 5 p.m. we took off, having exhausted the entire box of trivia pursuit questions we had brought along with us, and a lot of our initial holiday spirit. We still faced an 8 hour flight and sitting was really the last thing we wanted to do, especially in the company of two hundred rather grumpy fellow travelers.
However, that aside, we had planned to arrive in Honolulu during daylight hours to avoid driving around a strange city in our hired car, trying to find our hotel. We had plenty of practice thankfully, and the agreement was that I would drive, and David would navigate; as this was more or less guaranteed to get us to our destination eventually. Not always the case when roles were reversed.
By the time we landed, the attendants on the plane, had managed to keep a fixed smile in place for something like 13 hours since we boarded in Houston. Despite their professionalism, it was clear it was becoming increasingly more difficult to do so. The one thing that I have admired about our American friends, is that they do not suffer our British reticence when complaining about service. Certainly that freedom of speech was alive and well on our flight, and as people scrambled to get their overhead luggage out and be on their way, there was a certain amount of good natured ‘banter’!
Part of our package tour for the two weeks was a small compact car… I know they do have them here, and they are about as big as one of our coaches! I waited with the luggage and David headed off to get hold of the rental papers. I wassurrounded by impatient tourists (despite being bedecked with floral leis placed around our necks by smiling greeters), who were waiting for courtesy buses to take them to their hotels, and it was clear that the ‘banter’ was ongoing.
On David’s return we went to pick up the car and I was amazed to find that our compact had grown into a dodge convertible. One of David’s little surprises! The roof only went up once or twice during our entire stay and it made sightseeing all the more pleasurable.
Our worry of not finding the hotel in the dark was unfounded, as it was the only one on the east side of the island. After 40 minutes of traveling on Highway 1, we reached The Sheraton Makaha Resort and were escorted to our cottage by a very smart bellboy in his electric car. He took us down at a very sedate 3 miles an hour, but during our stay, he could often be seen minus passengers, doing a rip roaring 6 miles an hour up and down the hill.
Having showered and changed it was now 9.45 p.m. local time and 3 a.m. body time, and theoretically we should have been totally exhausted and gone straight to bed. However, a long cool exotic cocktail sounded just the antidote to the last 15 hours of travel.
Eldon, our racing driver, had informed us that the cocktail lounge was open until midnight, so we walked briskly through the exotic scented night up the hill. We ordered our first ever Mai Tai, (several ounces of rum) and was told how lucky we were to get there for last orders! As they were quiet (only the two of us in the bar) we could understand the logic, but one cocktail barely touched the sides. It did however go straight to our heads and it was just as well we were restricted to just the one.
Our room was one of eight in the cottage, very spacious and well equipped with a fridge etc. During a trip to the supermarket the first day, we stocked up on the fruit juice, cereal and a coffee pot, and every morning we sat on our lanai (patio) and had breakfast.
There was a certain amount of wildlife around the cottage, brightly coloured birds, polecats, house cats and plenty of bug life (which developed a liking for David’s lower legs). And one evening a scorpion in the bathroom, which upon my shriek, was consigned to the depths of the toilet bowl by David, armed with a plastic cup and a piece of paper. It was some days before I could bring myself to sit on the toilet again, as I had visions of a very angry scorpion taking revenge on my tender derriere.
We only ventured out on to the lanai when liberally sprayed with insect repellent, trouble was it seemed to attract rather than repel. The sunsets were superb and we had a wonderful view of it most evenings. You will note that David spent much of the time behind the camera, except when I would take possession and catch him unawares.
Coming up – Oahu, Hanuama Bay, Snorkling, nuns on the beach, Tom Selleck and Molokai mules.
Thanks for dropping in and hope you have enjoyed this first part of our Hawaiian adventure…