Monday, January 21, 2013

Hawaii - Part 1

We went to a charity event last summer and Shaun and a friend of ours bought a vacation package to Kauai.  It was for a week's stay at a "beautiful estate".  We invited my parents to come with us, bought our plane tickets and planned our trip.  My aunt was sweet (and brave) to come and take care of the girls while we left for a week.  It was the first time we left the girls with anyone but our parents.  I was nervous.  Not because I didn't think my aunt couldn't handle it, but because my parents and Shaun and I were getting on a plane, together.  I had a nervous break down the night before we left after we said goodbye to the girls.  They cried when we left and wanted to come with us.  I worried about the plane going down with all four of us on it and what that would do to the girls.  Isn't it crazy what your mind does sometimes?  Especially after you have children.  

Anyway.... Shaun and I are big believers in getting time away without our girls.  We love them dearly but we need our time together alone.  I have to admit, it's getting harder as they get older because they want to come with us and don't like us to leave.  We don't get away often for a big vacation (our last one was in 2009 when Julianne was just a year old), so we cherish the time we get to be together to reconnect.  So after my breakdown and a pep talk from my hubby (who graciously offered to switch my flight so that we would be on separate flights), I got over it, prayed and had peace about it.  One of my biggest obstacles in life is worrying.  It doesn't do any good, it doesn't change anything.  If you live your life in fear, you won't live.  I struggle with it constantly.  Wow, that was a big introduction to our trip to Hawaii.  

I had been to Hawaii before, so had Shaun, but not together.  When I went the first time, I lived in California.  Not a bad flight to Hawaii from Cali.  It was a little farther from our neck of the woods.  Like really far.  Longest flight I've ever been on.  We left early in the morning and it felt like it took 2 days to get there.  That is the only bad part about going to Hawaii.  Traveling with my parents was a hoot right from the get go.  Before we ever left Arkansas, my dad went into the ladies restroom by mistake.  Thankfully my mom saw him do it and went in after him.  He was already in a stall (he was busy on his phone and didn't notice the lack of urinals in the bathroom)!  Here is a picture of them coming out (my mom was cracking up).  We laughed for 5 minutes.
 We flew from here to Dallas and then Dallas to Honolulu which was an 8 hour flight.  Shaun and I watched three movies.  And we still weren't there.  I was so ready for a tropical drink by the time we landed in Honolulu.  Yum!

We flew from Honolulu to Kauai and were finally at our destination, 16 hours later.  We got our rental cars and followed the directions to our "beautiful estate".  By the time we got there it was dark so the pictures I'm going to show you were taken the next morning but imagine flying all that way and then driving up to this:
 I know what you are thinking because I was thinking the same thing.  I was not a happy girl.  Not what I was envisioning at all.  I was so tired that night and just wanted to go to bed but I went to bed mad!  The house had no heat/ac and it got down into the low 60's at night.  We were freezing.  Oh, and we got a nice wake up call at 5am from the roosters on the property.  Oh yeah.  As we took a look around our "beautiful estate", my blood began to boil.

This was the laundry area (outside underneath the house).  Ew.
 This was the ceiling in the bathroom (yep, that's mold).
 The property was on a farm.  A working farm.  Goats and roosters.  Tractors and workers.  
 One of the roosters I wanted to shoot 
 I told Shaun "we are not staying here".  I told him I would call the charity we purchased the package from and request a refund and that we would need to find a new place to stay immediately.  Shaun was a little worried about doing that because he was afraid they wouldn't give us a refund.  I told him they would and not to worry.  I didn't go all the way to Hawaii to camp which was basically what we were doing.  It was that bad.

We set out to explore the island and find a place to stay.  I called several places and some were booked and some were outrageously priced.  While we were driving around, I got a call from my aunt that Claire was throwing up.  Not a good day.  I considered just going home.  We ended up in an area called Poipu beach which is where we decided we would like to stay.  There was an amazing Hilton resort there that a friend recommended to me because she stayed there on her honeymoon.  I called to check availability but she told me the room rate was $699 a night (per room).  Um, no.  So, I got on Priceline and put in for a resort in Poipu because I knew the Hilton was the only "resort" in that area.  I got our rooms for $250 a night.  Thank you Priceline!  The resort was amazing!  One of the prettiest places I've ever been.  This is me after a very stressful day after we found our place and this was the view from our room.  The ocean is just over those plants.  Amazing.  I was happy.  And ready to start our vacation.

 Part of the grounds of the resort.  
 That's more like it.
 Our friends arrived that afternoon and we had a nice dinner and finally got to relax!  
**We called the charity the next morning and they refunded our money immediately and were so embarrassed.  They will no longer accept that "beautiful estate" as a donation for their auction.

More (and happier) vacation posts to come!

No comments: