Greetings my Fodor friends!
Many thanks going out to all of those that assisted me in planning our special 13 year anniversary trip to Oahu. This is going to be long winded...so tune in, grab a good glass of wine, hot tea or whatever your drink of choice is and come along for our amazing 6 nights.
The players - myself, 41 year old woman who is a nursing student and recently was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Husband, 50 (something ha!), sort of displaced upper executive in GREAT need to time alone to reconnect and celebrate our many blessings.
Where - Ko'Lina Marriott Oahu - timeshare exchange. One Bedroom, full kitchen, one bathroom
When - November 1 - November 7
This is our 4th trip to Hawaii in our 13 year marriage. We honeymoon on Maui for 2 blissful weeks, did not get back for almost 7 years when we took our 4 children to the North Shore of Oahu - then onto Kauai in 2005 for a business function. We LOVE Hawaii - it is one place that I truly never get enough of and could always stay longer.
Sunday, November 1 - Fall back - we get an extra hour of sleep!
We had an 8:55 am departure from LAX. We live about an hour plus from LAX with no traffic. I simply abhor flying out of LAX but will for a direct flight and with our miles it was LAX direct to HNL. I used Delta miles and booked our trip in July. We had enough miles to fly first class and I decided to go for it. I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma shortly after booking the trip and had a lot of second thoughts about vacationing in Oahu but I simply could not change it around without incurring too high of a cost. We were using miles to fly and our timeshare for the week... people here reassured me that I make it work so onward we went.
The ride to LAX was uneventful. We used off site parking - I will get the name from dh - he had used it the week before for a trip he went on and really liked the service. Okay dokie. This is the part of travel I admit I hate - the shelping about - parking, luggage, blah blah. Onto the shuttle, off at the curb, checked in no issues and found ourselves at the Delta Crowne room. The crown room at LAX is fine - not great but not bad either...
I like to get to the gate early and that always causes a slight conflict with dh - he likes to wait - I am a VERY anxious flyer who only flies because the desire to travel is greater then the fear. There is a baby who is REALLY crying a lot - I joke with dh that the baby will be in the seat in front of us. He assures me that no one would fly first class with a baby. On board we go...
Oh yes they would... SCREAMING baby to the point that I think there might be something wrong with the child. Everyone is looking at each other like "you have got to be kidding me?"
The baby eventually falls asleep and we watch several movies and I even have a glass of wine... ahhh the vacation has begun.
We get to Oahu no issues and our bags come out quickly.
Note to travelers. When I booked our Thrifty rent a Car (225.00 for the week) it indicated that it was 'in the airport" I was a little surprised at that and sure enough it is not in the airport - you proceed to the shuttle area and we waited...and waited and after about 25 minutes the shuttle arrived. It is PACKED - I mean PACKED. I make a point to sit in the front and dh tells me to get off and he will tend to the bags because this is going to be one long line.... I feel bad for being in a rush but as I said this is the part of travel that like most I do not have the highest tolerance for. I keep trying to remember my "yoga" breathing...
I hop off and we still end up waiting a good 45 minutes to get the car - I open the door and ROACHES. Ugh. This happened to me when we rented a car in Oahu last time - it turned into the family joke. If there are two bugs there are more... oh well - I decide that waiting another 40 minutes is not worth it (that is how long they said it would be) and ask if I see them again if they will drive a car out - they said no problem... that would not be the last of our rental car issues... more to come...
On the road! We are headed out to Ko'lina and get there pretty fast. I confess I was slightly nervous as we were driving out to Ko'lina as it is not the same lush drive I experienced going to the North Shore ...pretty bland and dry.
But alas, we get off the exit and it is lovely - the resort is the last one currently in a short row of tall buildings on lagoons. There is major construction that is going on next to the JW Marriott @ Ko'lina - so if you go be sure to request a room on the south side of the building away from the construction. Disney is putting up a timeshare.
There was no construction to be seen from the timeshare property and it lovely upon walking into the open air lobby. The front desk was great - over all I would rate the service at the marriott as EXCELLENT. The took our keys, said they would get our bags and park the car... and meet us up at the room. Nice. We stopped at the Welcome center to pick up our discount card which is good for several discounts through out the resort. It is where they want to sign you up to buy a week at their timeshare. We decide to sit through the 90 minutes to get the free gift... and book it for the next day.
Finally in the room! The front desk said we had a partial ocean view - not sure how it could have been much better of a view. Perhaps when building is finished it will be partial but for now it was 100% perfect! The room is very nice, full kitchen, separate bedroom, bathroom, deep soaking tub - I am very happy!
It is now around 3:30 or so and we head down to have a late lunch/early dinner and check the place out. We grab a bit to eat at the resorts Kolohe's Beach Bar & Grill - I had amazing fish tacos and dh had a not so good salad. We stroll around, I am feeling pretty tired... we head up to the room not long after it and I confess I was sound asleep by 7:00 pm or so...
Monday, Day 2:
Rain...Rain...how I love you... tbc....
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Greetings my Fodor friends!