Day 14 – Landing in Honolulu was a bit dramatic, I was not prepared for the sharp hairpin turn on approach, but it was really cool seeing part of the military base of Pearl Harbor as we came in. We grabbed our bags, I contacted the ride I had setup (I do not recommend contacting the transportation company attached to your hotel, just get an Uber), and we waited for our ride. We were staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, so we had a bit of a ride from the airport. Our driver said the traffic was perfect, it was the ‘off peak’ time of day so we were really cruising along. We drove by Pearl Harbor, the shopping mall, and made it to our hotel.
The iconic Rainbow tower greets you on the right as you pull into the check-in area.
We made our way to our room, quickly unpacked, and headed to tour the property. The forecast did show rain during our short stay here, so I wanted to get outside as much as possible while it was dry.
That lasted only a few hours.
Day 15 – It started to rain about an hour after I woke up, pretty heavily, and was supposed to be on and off all day. It’s Sunday, so I needed to find an outdoor TV I could comfortably watch at least the Vikings versus Packers game on. We decided to grab lunch at the bar in our tower, it was just in time for the game to start. We watched 2/3 of the game before I was bored with our surroundings, and mostly terrible bar service (since I wasn’t drinking alcohol, I can only assume), so we ventured to find a new place to watch the game. We took a quick tour of the shopping area on site, and made our way to the pool bar with a few TVs. Since it was raining, that lasted only a couple minutes before I decided to just be happy with sitting on the couch in our hotel room for the rest of the day. Smoking is illegal in public areas, hotel lanais are considered public areas, so when we caught someone in a room near ours smoking the front desk offered to give us a free folding wheel chair for the rest of our stay since we weren’t interested in moving to a room directly above the pool.
Day 16 – Forecasted for another rainy day, so we came up with a few off-property things to do that were indoors.
We started with the Aquarium, it was fun seeing fish you don’t normally see, because we really enjoy aquariums (the same reason we love to snorkel: nature’s aquarium). We then decided to go check out a movie, we saw the last of the Hunger Games series, at the mall. We had a lovely Uber driver which dropped us off RIGHT at the nearest door to the movie theater, since I was accompanied by my lovely wheel chair. The movie was AMAZING! I love that series. We then grabbed a bite for lunch at a diner in the mall, where I learned flame broiled is the only way burgers in Hawai’i are cooked. Being without my traditional Medium-Rare grilled burger for 2.5 weeks was really weird.
Day 17 – This is the sunrise I saw when I woke up. What a great way to start saying goodbye to this beautiful state. It was forecast to be an amazing day, so we hung out at the pool for a few hours before we had to leave. They held our bags while we toured in-wheel chair the lagoon they created in front of the timeshare tower on site, it was the first real chance to see the whole property when it wasn’t raining.and they provided complimentary refresh rooms for those on later-in-the-day flights.
Our flight from Honolulu to San Fransisco was just before midnight, we did try to get on an earlier flight but they were all booked from San Fran to Minneapolis so we just decided to stick with our scheduled layover of 2.5 hours and enjoy the heat in Honolulu. Every time I went through the metal detectors in Hawai’i, TSA needed to pat me down, even though I had zero metal objects in my clothing. I figured out just last week that the bunches of material from the swim suits I was wearing during TSA screening was the reason they had to pat me down. A lesson learned just in time for more travel.
The flight to San Fransisco would have been a great time to sleep, but the seat belt sign went on and off a lot (along with the overhead commentary that accompanied it from the flight crew) so I slept maybe an hour that entire 5 hour flight. When we arrived for our layover, we made our way to the connecting gate and boyfriend took a nap. It didn’t matter if I slept, since I wouldn’t be driving when we made it back home. I just needed to know where my personal items were, and to eat and drink plenty to keep my energy up.
Our flight to Minneapolis was on this cute plane, we didn’t realize the foot area was going to be so small when we selected these seats. Good thing I have short legs, he needed all the room in front of me. He slept most of the way, I watched a movie on my laptop that I’ve seen a few times. It was an uneventful flight, the best kind. The weather in Minneapolis had been warmer than average while we were gone, thankfully, which meant we had less hassle than usual after landing in the Winter months.
I was sad to be leaving Hawaii, but happy to be back home to see my family on Thanksgiving, and sleep in my own bed.