I had planned to get up early to see the sunrise a final time but couldn’t pry myself off of the mattress. It was OK because when we woke up at 7am it was raining heavily anyway. I had my last ritual Fruit Loop breakfast on the balcony and then commenced the task of packing everything up for our move to Oahu. I whipped up a fruit salad with the fruit I forgot was in the fridge and we were on our way. Check out at Suite Paradise was speedy, nobody else was around.
On the way we took a slight detour to see Wailua falls – we knew there wouldn’t be time to hike down but wanted to stop and see it at least. It was prettier and bigger than I was expecting, we’ll definitely have to make sure we see it from the bottom if we make it back there some day. I wasn’t expecting it to be flowing as much as it was considering it was the warmest month, but there had been a few bouts of rain.
Some crazy fools were literally walking on the edge of the waterfall. The ground didn’t look stable there at all and I couldn’t take my eyes off them, convinced they were going to tumble off at any moment – especially when the girl decided to crouch down even closer for a photo. They moved away and we headed off as we still had to find the Thrifty rental office without a sat nav!
Somehow we did a bit of a loop around but eventually found the rental office. We dropped the car straight off and whilst I nipped to the toilet, sure enough a shuttle came. Chris didn’t think to say I would be out in a few seconds and let it go without us. If he had a brain he would be dangerous. I emerged just as the shuttle started to drive off and just gave him the look! We waited for a while longer munching on jalapeno crisps and eventually he was back and we zipped to the airport in no time.
We thought returning the car would be the difficult part and the airport would be straight forward but it became apparent the opposite was going to be true. First off, at the check in the queues were huge and slow moving. The self check in machines had broken and couldn’t print stickers for suitcases so we all had to join a second rapidly growing queue and be called by name to collect stickers for our bags. Eventually we dropped our cases off and joined the insanely long queue through security. This was the longest, slowest and most shabbily organised security line I’ve ever seen at an airport! The staff were friendly and doing everything they could but the whole process was a shamble and everyone was moaning. We weren’t sure if it was always like this or we just picked a bad time?
We headed for the airport café to get something to take on the plane. This place had a very odd pricing structure! For $11 you could get an average at best mozzarella and tomato sandwich – or you could also get a huge bacon cheeseburger and fries, far better value! They didn’t state it came with fries so we ordered 2 scoops of fried rice as well and had quite an abundance of food! The fried rice was a bit more reasonably priced at $2.29 per scoop and was delicious! It came with bacon and sausage in which was great – but not stated on the menu so might catch out an unsuspecting vegetarian! We managed to scoff all the food including my fruit salad and swore to have a light dinner in the evening.
By now we would have been boarding in 10 minutes so wandered down to our gate where the chaos was in full swing. It looked like at some point a flight had been cancelled and there were a frenzy of people trying to get on each next flight as and when there was space. Some people were kicking off that they had been waiting there over 4 hours, but we probably would have felt the same! Our flight was delayed just over an hour and seemed to have plenty of space for all the frustrated passengers!
It was basically a glorified bus trip back again as you seem to go almost from taking off straight to landing! We got some of the tasty fruit juice and I barely had time to read a few pages of my magazine and scribble a few notes for this blog before we were on our descent back down. Thankfully at this end it was all plain sailing and we breezed through to baggage claim. As per all our other flights so far on this trip, our suitcases were the first out. We called Johnny cab for our pick up but there was a bit of a kerfuffle due to our flight delay and he thought we had landed an hour ago and given up on us! We sorted it and he turned back around and was here within 15 minutes. I felt bad as we couldn’t call him from Kauai to advise of the delay, but I knew they were monitoring our flight – my blame goes to the airport! We gave him a good tip to make up for the inconvenience.
He dropped us off at the Waikiki Beachcomber at 4pm and our check-in was super speedy. Our room had a fabulous view of some air conditioning units and gravel! Luckily we didn’t plan to be there much anyway, and couldn’t expect much booking the most basic room – it was just a bit of a contrast from our Kauai condo with views of the sea and palm trees! As Chris had a rewards card for the hotel we also got the fabulous gift of a small bottle of water each!
We had a bit of a laze around the room for a bit and set off to explore. I was hoping we would burn some extra calories in Waikiki now that we didn’t have the car – no more being lazy for at least a few days! We took a dander around the main streets and beachfront area to catch a glimpse of the sunset. Straight away we noticed there were shed loads of Japanese tourists here – I don’t remember seeing many at all on Kauai, perhaps they are attracted to the shopping? We could almost pretend we were in Japan at points with the buses, brochures and constant chatter in Japanese! It was quite cool – a combination of my favourite places – the US and Asia on one sunny strip of beach!
There was some size envy during sunset when they kept producing telescopic sized cameras. Even an older lady around my nans age had a beastly one with a zoom lens the length of my forearm – this made me giggle uncontrollably as I visioned my own nan trying to contend with that, she struggles with a simple point and shoot at the best of times!
We finally found a cash point that allowed us to withdraw more than the measly $200 limit, this was good timing as I was hoping to do some proper shopping soon. After our long day we were in an indecisive mood and couldn’t be bothered to wait over an hour to eat at the places we’d seen. We took the lazy option and grabbed some stuff from the ABC store and headed back to the room where we had a nice bedroom pic for the costly sum of $11 each! We starfished out on the bed for a while watching random TV and went to sleep ready for our early start tomorrow.