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Hawaiian Honeymoon - Part 1

Nick and I got married on July 27, 2013 and it was the best day of my life!  Despite the chilly October-like weather, the entire day went so smoothly and we had the best time celebrating with our closest family and friends.  I'm still waiting to get our professional pictures back from the wedding and when I do, I plan on doing a wedding day post.

As for right now, why not recount the two weeks after our wedding?  We spent an amazing 11 days in Hawaii.  Amazing is an understatement.  It was the trip of a lifetime.  We visited Oahu and Maui and it was incredible!  Not only were we so excited to be married, but we were in paradise!


Lets start from the beginning...
(I'm sorry there aren't too many pictures from these first couple of days!  Lots more to come though!)

Sunday, July 28
The day after the wedding we woke up to another rainy, chilly day in Michigan.  But we were married and leaving for Hawaii the next day so we could of cared less!  We checked out of our hotel, visited with friends and family, and headed to my dads house to pick up all of our stuff.  We also had to grab his suitcases since we don't own any yet.  After recounting the wedding day and cleaning up his trashed house (sorry!), we packed up and headed out for our 2.5 hour drive back to Chicago.  The worst part of this was that we had taken separate cars to Michigan so we each had to drive home alone!

We arrived home to Chicago about 2 pm.  We had a huge to-do list before leaving for the airport the next morning at 10 am.  Sunday consisted of laundry, packing, cleaning the apartment, opening wedding gifts, and I ate my first meal in like a week (my appetite finally returned after the wedding was over!). At about 10 pm, we headed out to the Chicago suburbs to drop Nick's car off at his work.  We didn't want to leave it out on the street for 2 weeks.

We managed to get to bed around midnight.  Before bed, we checked our flight statuses and everything was good to go.  We had been nervous as the day before we learned of a tropical storm that was heading towards Hawaii.  The Weather Channel said that the storm was picking up speed but it didn't look like it was going to hit Hawaii directly.  We knew we would probably have bad weather the first couple days we were in Hawaii but we could deal with that!  Tropical Storm Flossie had turned into a joke between our family as no one was too concerned about it.  We went to bed, excited and not the least bit worried.

Monday, July 29

At 10 am, our car picked us up and we headed to O'Hare International Airport!  Luckily, rush hour traffic had died down by that time of morning and we made it to the airport, through security, and to our gate with zero problems.  Nick had McDonald's, we looked at wedding pictures our friends had posted online and just hung out while waiting to board our plane.  Before boarding, I checked our flight status in Los Angeles and everything was still showing on time.  Our plane departed from O'Hare on time (surprisingly) -  LAX here we come!

After a 3.5 hour flight, we landed in LA.  I turned on my phone as soon as they announced it was safe and like a good daughter, I texted my dad that we landed in LA.  As soon as he responded, my heart dropped.

"...So the flight to Honolulu is cancelled?"

I immediately checked the flight status on the United Airlines website and saw that our flight from LAX to Honolulu said CANCELLED (in bright red of course, red is like the color of bad news).  Lots of people around us were also trying to get to Hawaii and none of us knew what we were going to do.  As soon as we got off the flight, there was a United Airlines employee handing us cards with an emergency number and telling us that "no one is going to Hawaii for a few days, we have sent your bags to baggage claim, pick those up and call this number and a representative will help you book a new flight." What?!

We immediately called the number before heading to baggage claim and got on the phone with someone.  After about five nerve wracking minutes, the lady told Nick that she could get us on a flight out of LA on SATURDAY, AUGUST 3 (remember, this was on Monday, July 29th).  We were shocked and freaking out.  This was bad.  This was half of our vacation!  Nick told her to just put us on that flight - this was obviously not ideal but we were scared that we wouldn't get anything if we didn't take the Saturday flight.

We went down to baggage claim, grabbed our bags, and tried to find a quiet corner where we could figure out a plan.  Finding a quiet corner in an airport is hard to begin with, but there were hundreds of stranded people trying to get to Hawaii so the place was packed.  We finally found a corner and started to freak out.  The lady had told Nick that no airline would be flying to Hawaii for the next couple of days until the storm passes and after that, all flights were booked until Saturday.  Of course, I hadn't purchased the travel insurance for our vacation because it was our honeymoon, literally nothing would have stopped us from going on this trip! (besides tropical storms apparently)

We booked our trip through Costco so we contacted them to see if we had any options for refunds since it was looking like we were going to be missing half of our trip.  We decided we had two options here:

1) Try and get a refund for our week in Hawaii we were going to miss and spend the week in California. Maybe hang out in LA for a couple days and then drive up to San Francisco.  Fly out for Hawaii on August 3 and only visit Maui and come home on Friday, August 9 as originally planned.

2) Can't get a refund and go back to Chicago.  Maybe spend a couple days in a bed and breakfast in Wisconsin or do something cheap (since we had already spent all of our honeymoon money on Hawaii).  Still fly out for Hawaii on August 3 and only visit Maui and come home on Friday, August 9 as originally planned.

Option 1 was do-able, definitely not ideal but I could handle it.  Option 2 made me want to cry.  We (and when I say we, I mean Nick, I was too busy panicking) called Costco and talked through our options.  They couldn't give us a direct yes-or-no answer on the refund right then as it was a pretty complicated situation and I guess had to be talked through with their bosses.  Not to mention, they had to contact our hotels and rearrange rental cars and cancel our inter-island flights, so we there was no chance in us getting a quick answer.

We met a family in the same position as us that had booked through Costco as well, so we stuck by them.  About 2.5 hours after landing in LAX, we were just sitting in the airport clueless about what we were going to do.  A rumor started to go around our camp-out area that United might be adding new flights in a couple of days to accommodate all of the stranded people.  Our new friends decided that they were going to get a hotel room in LA for the night and keeping calling United Airlines to see if this was true and/or if they could get on an earlier flight.  Nick and I decided that might be our best option too.  We called around and got a room at the LAX Westin for the night.  4 hours after landing in LAX, we were boarding an airport shuttle to our hotel for the night.

 Waiting for our airport shuttle in LAX, still on the phone with United Airlines.

What were we going to do???

***I cannot say enough good things about booking a vacation through Costco.  They bundled the entire trip for us (flights, hotels, rental cars, inter-island flights) and we saved so much money this way.  Every single person we talked to in the middle of our little emergency was so helpful, patient, and understanding.  They literally took care of every detail for us.  If you are planning a vacation, I highly suggest checking their website out!


  1. Love your wedding picture! It looks like a fairy tale! Can't wait to read what happened on the rest of the honeymoon trip.

    1. Thank you!! The day really was like a fairy tale! There are a lot more honeymoon adventures coming, so stay tuned :)

  2. So, of course I had to start with Part 1!
    I can't believe this happened to you!!! How awful! :(

    But I can't wait to hear about your actual time in Hawaii. My husband and I went to Maui for our honeymoon and it was awesome, despite the horrible wind. We thought about going through Costco, but then ended up using AAA. Man, I wish I could have that same vacation every year. I love Hawaii.

  3. oh my gosh, how stressful! i would have cried. i love Hawaii! I have only ever had one really bad cancelled flight and I was able to get on a flight the next day, thank god.

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