Kauai & Big Island Trip Report - 4 of 4

Old Jun 24th, 2004, 02:17 PM
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Kauai & Big Island Trip Report - 4 of 4

May 28th
Today was something that we usually don?t do but made last minute plans at the recommendation of our fishing captain. We booked the night before for the morning snorkelling trip on the Fairwinds II. This meant another early morning (5am wakeup) to get there for the 8:30am registration. We then jumped into the line (second after a family of 5) which paid off as we got two of the only 4 lounge chairs on the upper deck. Captain Del was right, if they were sold out at 102 people then it didn?t really seem crowded but that could be because of our seats. The staff brings around muffins, danishes, fruit etc for the trip out. They also get the only mooring right close to the shore in the Kealakekua Bay for some fabulous snorkelling. My battery died and we had to come out after an hour to put in a new one. Glad we went back in because we saw a huge green eel. It was then back on board for lunch. It seems that most do a little snorkelling, eat lunch and then float in the water on all sorts of devices supplied by the Fairwinds II. We had to have fresh burgers made and missed out on potato chips and something else (in the empty bowl) but that was okay. We had a great time and for once, felt it was worth the $89 charge. The cruise back was very relaxing and the weather was great! (actually too great and I got sunburnt without realizing it).

We then decided to drive south (versus north) to see the sights. We drove down #160 & visited Honaunau where we saw a turtle eating in one of the tide pools. Joe decided he wanted to come back to snorkel here tomorrow so we drove straight home making it a long day circling the entire island.

May 29th
Got up early (again) to drive to Honaunau. (Locals told us to be there by 10am or we wouldn?t get a parking spot.). We got one of the last spots before having to pay $2 in a local lot, which funds the Painted Church. Snorkelling was great but pretty much the same types of fish as before. When we got out it was actually pretty crowded with people fighting for parking spots (even in the lot). We then decided to head up north and ended up a Costco again for cheap gas ($2.22 this time) and another cheap lunch.

We then headed east visiting the Waipi'o Lookout and stopping for ice cream at Waipi'o General store. (Really good and only $2.25 a scoop). On our way home we decided to stop at the Botanical Garden but it was 4pm and it closed at 5pm. We felt one hour was not enough time to fully appreciate it. My husband?s camera had started to work again and one hour was not enough time for him to visit and take all the pictures I know he would want to. So we passed and thought we?d save it for our next visit.

We then continued driving south visiting Rainbow Falls & the Boiling Pot in the rain. We then drove to the end of highway #130 to take pictures of the lava flow that cuts off the road. We then walked out over the 1992 lava field to new black sand beach at the end of #137. This was a nice easy walk and the new black beach with beautiful with the pounding white surf on it.

Then it was home to pack. How did we buy so much stuff??? Even with the extra suitcase we bought in Hong Kong for my new summer wardrobe, it was a very tight fit!

May 30th
We were up early to catch our flight from Hilo to Honolulu. Hawaiian Airlines wouldn?t let us check in our luggage all the way home to Toronto because our flight out of Honolulu was more than four hours. That was okay?until we arrived in Honolulu. It turns out that since 9/11 there are no lockers at Honolulu Airport. No one on this forum had mentioned that during my posts of what to do with a 7 hour layover. We were quite frustrated until a nice Delta employee agreed to check in our three large suitcases early, but she couldn?t check us in and give us boarding passes. We were told to return 3 hours prior to departure. 3 hours???

With our luggage checked it was know decision making time. I had originally planned to go to Waikiki Beach and kill the time there. My husband didn?t want to haul around our carry-on-luggage (a heavy knapsack and pully suitcase). Plus the taxi was $28 one way plus they wanted extra dollars for the luggage. I called a couple of rental car place using their courtesy phones at baggage pick-up and they wanted $54 and $39 for the day. We ended up finding a National Rental car booth manned upstairs and asked him what would be the cost. He said the lowest price was $26.95 a day but he?d upgrade us to Intermediate since that is what we had rented from them for the past two weeks on Kauai and the Big Island. This was the way to go! For a total of $31 (+$10 for a quarter tank of gas) we headed up H2 to the North Shore with our luggage locked in the trunk! We stopped at the Marketplace Shopping Centre in Waleiwi, where we enjoyed a fabulous lunch at the Breakers.

We then drove slowly along the North Shore (Highway #83) stopping every few minutes to check out the beautiful beaches. After awhile there were so many. My husband asked why we had to fly top other islands when the North Shore seemed to have everything we wanted. I had to admit I had been to Oahu before but never to the North Shore. Wasn?t aware it was this nice. Maybe next time, we?ll just stay there.

We ended up going all the way around to H3, cutting through the mountain and back to the airport to return the car at 4pm. Plenty of time to check-in, where we were once again ?randomly? chosen for a full search at security. All our luggage was searched and we were given the full body search. I was surprised when it seems that US airlines expect you to travel with check luggage that is not locked. Excuse me! We demanded that ours be locked so we were sent to a station where security went through every piece. Do you guys really travel with unlocked suitcases?

It was then a 3 hour wait for our flight home via Cincinnati. The flight was okay except for a boy and his father behind us. Neither realized that the table they kept banging was attached to our chair in front of them. Also every time they got up, they grabbed the seat in front of them. Excuse me, this is our chair and it?s 2am and I?m trying to sleep! Some people just don?t get it. Our stop in Cincinnati was short and sweet and the flight home was uneventful. Even going through Immigration and Customs was a breeze. I guess it helped that they thought we were coming from Hawaii and not Hong Kong where we bought so much stuff we had to buy another suitcase! We always get searched when returning from Hong Kong.

Anyway, we?re home now and things are slowly back to normal. We loved Hawaii but will probably never return due to the experience at Honolulu airport.
BettyInToronto is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2004, 02:27 PM
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Thanks for sharing your Trip Report, reading about the Fairwind II and Honaunau snorkeling brought back pleasant memories!!!

Sorry about the HNL experience, we never put anything of real value in our luggage so leaving it unlocked isn't an issue, instead valuables go in the carry-on luggage.
JohnD is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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Let's face it, even when you locked baggage it would only deter the honest I believe there is a TSA approved padlock now.
pspercy is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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What B and B did you stay in when you were in Kauai? Mahalo.

iamq is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2004, 06:51 PM
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Aloha Betty,

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh... the north shore, O'ahu... you've had a taste of heaven.

Don't let the airport thing keep you away... before you know it you'll be longing to be back.

Thanks for the great report... enjoyed it much.
makai1 is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2004, 07:06 PM
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Thank you, Betty! Great, detailed report, and I appreciate your sharing!
Old Jun 24th, 2004, 07:19 PM
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Betty- every US airport I've visited since 911 has required luggage to be unlocked. this is the reason for the new TSA locks. I wouldn't let a national rule keep me from travelling to a city I loved!
got2travel2 is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2004, 11:21 PM
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Betty: Thanks for a great report.

We had a similar experience at HNL airport several years ago, way before 911. It was the one and only time in 35 years of travel that I ever "lost it" to an airport employee. I won't bore readers with the details, but this airhead was determined to make a scene, and a scene is exactly what I gave her.

After this experience we decided to fly directly into our islands of choice (usually the BI and/or Maui) and bypass Oahu altogether. There's precious little "aloha" to be found on that island, and between the God-awful traffic in Honolulu, the petty theft (pickpockets, purse snatchings etc) and the Korean mafia who control most of the businesses there, we haven't found any reason to go back.
fdecarlo is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2004, 07:02 AM
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To iamq: On Kauai we stayed at A Bed of Roses. My trip report has 4 parts and it details this B&B in #1. I can't seem to find 1 and 2 though. Not sure if I did something different than with 3&4. Don't think so.

I will keep looking and then maybe re-post them.

BettyInToronto is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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Just to let everyone know that all four reports are now posted here. Wheh, what an ordeal.
BettyInToronto is offline  
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