One of my besties and I took a 6-day vacation and jetted off to the Hawaiian Islands for her 30th birthday. I left Friday, August 7th after work and flew off to San Francisco to meet her there at the hotel. Lucky for her, she got in around 9 PM, experiencing no change in the time zone since she came from Portland.
As for me, I flew to Detroit then to San Francisco, with a total of 7 1/2 hours of flying time. I gained 3 hours of time, but arrived at 12 AM. Our next flight off to Honolulu that Saturday morning was at 8 AM; and we had to be at the airport by 6 AM, which meant up at 5 AM. I was a bit tired to say the least. BUT we were off to Honolulu in FIRST CLASS!
Saturday – DAY 1
We arrived around 10 AM Saturday morning to Honolulu (4 PM EST), and then picked up our rental car. This lovely VW Jetta was a beauty. Yet, both car adapters didn’t work. We couldn’t charge our GPS at all or our cell phones while driving. Also, the buttons to adjust the side mirrors weren’t working. Luckily, the battery did not die when Jenn forgot to turn the headlights off for over an hour when we had lunch later.
Once we checked into the hotel, we got a free upgrade to a partial ocean view. SOLD! The place we grabbed lunch at was Tiki’s and it overlooked the beach and the crystal blue water.
Right away we took off to the Dole Plantation, which was about a 45-minute drive. They have the world’s largest maze and we completed it in less than 45 minutes!
Sunday – DAY 2
Both of us woke up bright and early at 6:30 AM ready to get the day started. The first thing we did was head out to Manoa falls for a hike. Before we left the area for the drive, while having breakfast we saw a rainbow over the water. Then on the way to the Falls, three more different rainbows appeared all within 30 minutes. It was fascinating!
We got a little unlucky with the weather as it was pouring rain, but it was quite invigorating to hike in the rain. An hour later after hiking, we went upstairs to receive our “Certificate of Completion”.
Once we walked up there, the sign said “Closed for a private event”. What?! I wanted my certificate! I marched right in to find someone to get it for us. Next to the desk inside the area was a time clock. I made a comment that perhaps the time clock was to stamp when you started and finished the hike. Then realized it was where the employees clocked in and out once I saw the punch cards. Ha! That was my silly moment for the morning.
We later returned to the hotel to grab lunch and our free Mai Tai by the pool, overlooking the ocean. During this time, a Ku Kia’i Mauna March was going on. The shouts of Ku Kia’i Mauna are the “Guardian of the mountain”. This was in reference to the Sacred Mauna Kea’s TMT mega-telescope project. KITV channel 4 news even showed up and broadcasted the event.
Later that night we ran over to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville since we had a free dessert. In the elevator afterwards, Jenn noticed this lady’s flip flops and complimented her. All you could hear in return were crickets. It was hilarious! She said nothing back. Not awkward at all in an elevator.
Monday – DAY 3
Monday morning, we woke up bright and early in hopes to get in with the island’s ‘famous’ physic. Aka Lan Vo or Auntie as the locals call her. We were told if we show up before they open at 8 AM and add our names to the wait list, then we may have a good chance getting in. She will take a walk-in between her appointments. We showed up right before 8 AM, and unfortunately 5 other people had the same idea as us.
After the receptionist showed up, she yelled at us for wearing our shoes and demanded we all take them off. The set up in this ‘office’ was more like a house. We were all sitting in the living room area, with couches placed in all around. In front of the main couch, was a table of roses and flowers. There were also birthday balloons and cards since it was Lan Vo’s birthday.
We thought our chances were good. But hours passed and people with appointments kept showing up. Our luck diminished and we became frustrated spending hours sitting there while in Hawaii. We asked the lady if she could call us if we left, and she said we could call them since they only call local numbers.
We decided to leave for a few hours, and head to the beach. I’m so glad we did! While at the beach, we went for a swim and were accompanied by a few sea turtles. It was so amazing to see! They were huge and so cute when they would pop their heads up for air. Also, we kept hearing a sea lion calling out. We never got to see him but that was interesting to hear.
Once we called the psychic’s office back, she told us to come back over. We made it right at 3 PM in hopes that was her last appointment and we would see her shortly after. Nope. By the time we got in, we each only got 30 minutes and were finally out by 6 or 6:30 PM. She was definitely on point with several things she told us. Some of which were hair raising. Yet, we discovered she ended up telling us both some of the same exact stories about our lives. Did she think we wouldn’t find out?! Made for some entertainment to say the least!
Tuesday – DAY 4
Jenn and I woke up early at 5 AM hoping to be 2 out of 2,000 lucky people that get free tickets to the Pearl Harbor exhibit. We tried reserving tickets a month in advance, but were unsuccessful.
Luck we had it! Since we arrived so early at 6:15 AM, We were about number 50 in line. Not only that, we were able to make the first boat tour at 7:30 AM. While waiting in line, and seeing how small the world is, was the fact that I recognized the girl in front of us. She was the same lady that I met at the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa only a few months back! Right in front of me, in this line of now hundreds of people, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii! What are the odds?!
When we started the tour, we were also told LeBron James was coming in that day (too bad we never saw him!). Once we got on the boat to USS Arizona, we passed a ship that began playing the National Anthem right at 8 AM sharp. Which was such a touching moment to experience. Everyone on the boat was quiet, as we passed it by.
It was an eerie feeling. Prior we watched a short film on Pearl Harbor. They showed us that they played the National Anthem on December 7th, 1941 at 8 AM when all the destruction began. It was a rare moment to say the least.
Once we got to the USS Arizona we were all told to be silent to respect those that died on board the ship that day. While walking through, a man and woman brought an American flag with a hat, from a fallen soldier. They were able to raise the flag up the pole right at 8:15 AM, when it happened. Everyone sat in silence and watched. It was yet another touching moment to experience.
We later left Pearl Harbor and checked into our next hotel to discover we got upgraded to their Junior Suite. The suite included a large terrace overlooking Diamond Head Mountain. Yes, please! What a stunning view!
Once the sun was setting, we made a few cocktails to enjoy before releasing our two sky lanterns into the sky. Unfortunately, both of them went all the way down to the streets. We both almost had a heart attack in fear they were going straight for the trees that would have lit them on fire! They ended up blowing over to people laying by the pool, then landed into oncoming traffic. Yeah, that was crazy! Luckily everyone was fine. People were wondering where in the world they came from and took photos. Only one actually went back up, since someone picked it up and let it go again; it went out over the ocean.
Our neighbors above us saw most of the debacle with the sky lanterns and they did not appreciate it. A few minutes later, we got a call from the front desk asking if we had lit candles. Nope, we sure didn’t. Ha!
Wednesday – DAY 5
This was the only day we got to sleep in! Sleeping in meant waking up at 8 AM; then we got ready to hike the Diamond Head Crater. Unfortunately, after we drove over there, the parking guard told us the lot was full and to come back later. We turned back around and returned to the hotel to lie by the pool, so it all worked out. A couple hours later, we returned to Diamond Head to hike the trail, which took us a couple of hours. What a spectacular and breath taking view up there!
Afterwards we ran over to The Coffee Bean, but goodness gracious those people need to get it together. Jenn ordered a white chocolate iced coffee with regular milk, and I ordered a dark chocolate ice coffee with almond milk. The barista brought Jenn a plain iced coffee. She informed the barista that “Um no, I ordered a white chocolate iced coffee.”
Then the barista responded saying, “You both got that right?” I then chimed in, “Um no, I ordered a DARK chocolate with ALMOND milk.” The barista responds “and the white chocolate has soy milk right?” Jenn responds, “No, I just wanted regular milk.” The barista responds again, “Ok so the dark chocolate has the soy?”
My goodness gracious. I responded with, “No, ALMOND milk.” It took a solid 5 minutes to understand this other language we apparently were speaking to get our coffees right. I can’t.
Thursday – DAY 6
Jennafun’s dirty 30! We woke up bright and early to make it to the other side of the island by 6:30 AM to jump in a cage surrounded by sharks! They were Galapagos sharks and were 10-12ft long; around 15+ surrounded us in the cage. The water was rough and made for an interesting time inside of the cage.
They actually had bars for you to hold onto in the interior. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. Not with the waves and current that morning. Several times, we slipped from holding onto the bars. Our arms as well as our legs went right through the cage to the other side! Yeah, a bit terrifying to say the least! A barracuda also decided to join in on the fun. Luckily, he stayed outside of the cage when he could have come inside of it.
Later after our thrill of the sharks, we had our appointment for our ‘matching’ tattoos. Which were actually not matching at all like we requested.
Since we had a Starbucks coffee that morning before our Shark encounter, we received a Treat Receipt. This is where you could come back after 2 PM to receive any coffee for $2.50. Our tattoo appointment was for 2 PM and was only a few blocks from Starbucks. We showed up at 1:52 PM, waited in line, and the barista told us we had to wait until at least 1:58 PM to use our Treat Receipt. Seriously?! Yeah, she was serious. We stepped aside, and stood there or a whole 6 minutes before having to get back in line to get our coffees. A bit ludicrous to say the least, ha.
Friday – DAY 7
We left Hawaii at 8 AM and headed back to the main land. That was a sad, sad day for us. What made it worse, as well as frustrating, was being denied in the United Club. Jenn purchased a club pass online and had a card for me as her guest. The ignorant lady laughingly said we could not use the online voucher because they were under construction. Oh, and they were at capacity. Unreal. Welcome back to reality!
The following morning when I had to leave for my 7 AM flight from San Francisco back to the other side of the country. I got to security and was told I had to check my bag because it was too big. The line for baggage drop had at least 100 people in line waiting. I panicked a little because I had 30 minutes until boarding.
While waiting for 15 minutes in line and hardly moving, a Delta ticket agent asked if there was anyone on my flight. He then allowed us to jump to the front to drop our bags; at that point we had 15 minutes before boarding.
Once I dropped it, I ran over to security and asked jump the front of the line since my flight was leaving in 45 minutes. The TSA agent told me I couldn’t, so I had to get in line with 150 more people to get through security.
By then, I admitted defeat and knew I would be missing my flight. Halfway through the line, with 25 minutes before my flight, the TSA agent asked if anyone was on my flight, then finally allowed us to the front. I made it to the gate just in time! Good grief that was an interesting ending to the trip!
It was a fantastic trip and vacation to Hawaii! Happy 30th to Jennafun! #jennafunsdirty30