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Hawaiian Honeymoon - Part 2

Catch up on Part 1 of our Hawaiian honeymoon here!

When I left off, Nick and I were catching a shuttle bus to the LAX Westin since our flight to Hawaii had been cancelled due to Tropical Storm Flossie.  We had managed to make it on a flight leaving LA on Saturday, August 3rd (6 days from now), but we were hoping that the airlines would add more flights to accommodate all of the stranded travelers trying to get to Hawaii.


We checked into the LAX Westin and headed up to our quiet, clean room.  At this point, we were starving so we immediately changed into fresh clothes and headed down to the hotel restaurant, The Daily Grill.  We had a relaxing dinner and talked through our plans.  We decided we would call United Airlines every hour to see if we could get on an earlier flight.

Happy to have made it at least half way to our destination!

After dinner we explored the hotel, the pool and the gift shop, but headed back to our room pretty early as we were exhausted.  We called United Airlines when we got back to the room and we FINALLY got some good news!  They could get us on a flight leaving Tuesday night at midnight from LAX to San Francisco to Honolulu.  While this new flight sounded like a traveling nightmare, we could of cared less, we were so happy to be getting out of LA!  We contacted our families to let them know our new game plan and Costco so they could confirm our hotel and rental car in Honolulu, watched some TV (yes, I may have watched the Bachelorette on my honeymoon..), and crashed for the night.

View from our hotel room in LA

Tuesday, July 30
The first thing we did when we woke up at 7 am, was call United Airlines again to check our flight status.  Everything was all set to go for that night but a representative told us the airlines were given the green light to fly to Hawaii as of 8 am Tuesday morning.  This meant that if we wanted to, we could head to LAX whenever we wanted and try and fly standby.  She listed off 8 flights between 8 am and midnight that we might be able to get on.  We were so ready to get to Hawaii, we were prepared to do anything to get there as soon as we could!  We threw everything back in our suitcases and within 15 minutes of hanging up the phone, we were checking out of our hotel and waiting for the airport shuttle.

We arrived to the airport about 8 am, already cutting it close to the first flight that left at 8:50 am.  We were heading into the sliding doors when an airline employee stopped us.  "Excuse me, are you checking in? You are going to have to proceed to the back of the line." ....

 There goes making that 8:50 am flight...

The line was probably 200 people long and 75% of the people in the line were trying to get to Hawaii. About 30 minutes later, we were getting our boarding passes for our confirmed flight out at midnight, but also a standby flight leaving LAX at 9:45 am.  We hustled through security (where I of course got stopped) and pretty much ran to the gate.  We were so confident we were getting on that flight!  When we got there, reality hit.  We were #176 and #177 on the standby list for the 9:45 am flight - we had to laugh because NO way was that happening.

We met a lady who had heard a rumor about a 5 pm flight that United Airlines was adding and showed us where the customer service desk was.  We got in line and at the same time, Nick called United to see if this was true.  The line was long and moving so slow, but Nick managed to reach a representative on the phone quickly.  The new 5 pm flight wasn't just a rumor and we got on it!  We were pumped.  We still had to stay in the customer service line so we could get our new boarding passes and the line ended up taking about an hour but we were finally on a decent flight to Hawaii!

How many boarding passes does it take to get to Hawaii?

Having seven hours to kill in an airport can feel like days.  We managed to find a quiet spot and we ate breakfast, I napped, we read, talked, had lunch, and of course, called Costco again to notify them of the latest changes - we knew the employees by name at that point!  At 4 pm, we headed over to our boarding gate.  We were excited but also drained at that point and afraid to get too excited in case we would jinx things - nothing had quite gone our way so far!

Airport lunch.. definitely not looking our best on day 2 of travel!

Finally!

We boarded the plane, a Boeing 767-400, the biggest plane I've ever been on.  It holds 242 people and every seat was taken with travelers that had been stranded in LA.  We ended up not departing until well after 6 pm but after that it was a smooth flight.  Each seat had it's own TV and head phones so we were able to watch movies, listen to music, and check on our in-flight map.  We were both too excited to sleep so we read and watched 2 movies -- Zero Dark Thirty and Guilt Trip!


After a 6 hour flight, we landed in Hawaii on the island of Oahu at almost 10 pm local time.  When we walked into the airport, we were already in awe!  There were no "walls" anywhere, everything was wide open.  It was a beautiful night, around 80 degrees and we were so thankful and happy to have finally made it!  We were still nervous about one thing though - our luggage.  The friendly man that helped us check into our flights that morning in LAX said that he was going to put our luggage on the 9:45 am flight that we were trying to fly standby.  This made us nervous because our bags had arrived to Hawaii about 8 hours before we did, so we had no idea where they would be.

Words can't express how happy we were to see this sign

Baggage claim was a mess.  There was luggage and people everywhere.  Due to all of the flight rearranging with everyone flying into Hawaii, most people did not arrive at the same time as their bags.  I prayed that we would find ours quickly.  There were different sections each roped off and I didn't see ours anywhere.  I finally went to the customer service desk and a lady pointed me in the right direction to a pile of suitcases. Luckily, both of ours were there!

We grabbed our bags and headed out to the rental car lot to pick up our car.  Everything went so smoothly picking up our car and I was already beginning to notice the "Aloha spirit" of the Hawaiian people.  They truly are so friendly and helpful to everyone.  Within 15 minutes, we were in our Chevy Cruze with the windows down headed to Waikiki Beach!

The Moana Surfrider on Waikiki Beach

It was about 11 pm as we reached the strip on Waikiki and we quickly found our hotel, the Moana Surfrider.  I was in love with it before we even parked our car.  The front porch was full of rocking chairs and the lobby was wide open and smelled amazing (more hotel pictures to come!).  We checked in at the front desk and the employees couldn't have been sweeter.  We headed up to our room and our jaws dropped.  We had not one, but two balconies with amazing views of the city and of the ocean!  We also had champagne, mai tai drink mixes, and chocolates waiting for us. 

Checking out the room and the goodies
 
Our city balcony

After our bags were brought up, we headed out to find some quick food.  I was amazed at how many people were still out and about at 12 am on a Tuesday night!  We were starving so we settled on Subway.  I had read a lot and heard stories of how expensive everything in Hawaii was.  Living in Chicago, I didn't think the prices would be drastically different from home but we had our first taste of this at Subway actually.  Footlong subs were $11!  We got 2 footlong subs, a bag of chips, and a bottle of water... and this came out to almost $30!  I was so hungry that I didn't care but it was crazy.

We took our Subway back to the hotel and ate it on the back porch that overlooked the courtyard where there was a huge Banyan tree, a beach bar and a pool, and beyond that the ocean.  It was the perfect way to begin our vacation - listening to the waves and the Hawaiian music and just being together (and married!).  We were exhausted, dirty, and all of our plans had been thrown off but we couldn't stop smiling - we were soooo happy to be FINALLY in paradise!

 View from one of our balconies of Waikiki Beach at night

Up next.. our first full day on the island!

5 comments

  1. Wow!!! So glad that you finally made it. Jeeze all of that would have stressed me out to the max! Can't wait to read more :)

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    Replies
    1. Super stressful!!! I'm not going to lie.. I may have cried once in the airport! Haha thanks for following along!

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  2. I'm glad you finally made it! I'm lovin' your pics too! I can't wait to read more of your love story!

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  3. Wow, that is so crazy!

    Onto part 3...

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