Maui - Day 1 Maui - Day 2 Maui - Day 3 Maui - Day 4 Maui - Day 5 Maui - Day 6 Maui - Day 7 Maui - Day 8
Kauai - Day 1 Kauai - Day 2 Kauai - Day 3 Kauai - Day 4 Kauai - Day 5 Kauai - Day 6 Kauai - Day 7
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Kauai - Day 15 - Saturday, December 14, 2013

Aloha and Welcome to our vacation.  Today is our last day in Hawaii.

We did most of our packing the night before, but I packed a few more things and cleaned out the fridge while Randy went for a run.  We had one last breakfast on the lanai, and then checked out of our room at 11:00am.

Randy at Puka DogWe were able to get a day-use room at the resort, so we got the key and moved our luggage into the new room.  Then we went over to the Grand Hyatt to see Blaine and Lisa.  We wandered around the beautiful grounds and found them hanging by the pool.  We sat in the shade and visited with them for a while.  We left Blaine, Lisa and the kids to enjoy their pool time and went to nearby Puka Dog for lunch.  We both got the Polish sausage with mild garlic sauce, coconut relish and lilikoi mustard.  It was good, as per usual.

We then went back to our room and put on our bathing suits so that we could go play in the waves at Sheraton Beach.  We had a lot of fun hanging in the ocean, and Randy did some body surfing.  Around 3:00pm, it started to cloud over, so we went back to our room and showered up.  We had a few groceries left, so we took them over to Harold and Lil's place - and chatted with them for a while before we had to leave for the airport.

Randy dropped me off at the terminal with the luggage - then went to drop the rental car off.  As I waited with the luggage, I marvelled that there were absolutely no passengers checking in with Hawaiian Air.  The agents were just all standing there looking bored.  Randy arrived back quickly - as he was the only one dropping a car off at the car rental place as well.

The night before our flight, I had done some searching on the internet to see if the Hawaiian Air checked baggage fees applied if you were connecting to an international flight.  At one time, they wouldn't charge you if you were connecting, but I believe that had changed.  I couldn't find anything on the Hawaiian Air site, so just did a Google search.  It came back with a Hawaiian Air page that stated that as of June 2012, they would no longer transfer your bags to another airline.  Instead, this page said that we would have to pick up our luggage in Honolulu, and then re-check it with the other airline.  I was not impressed about this policy.

Playing around in the waves at Sheraton BeachHowever, when we went to check into the airport, that wasn't the case.  In Hawaii, before you get to the actual check-in agents, there is usually someone checking to see if your baggage has gone through the agricultural inspection x-ray machine.  If a person is flying from any of the Hawaiian Islands to the U.S. mainland, your bags must go through this inspection.  If you are flying to another Hawaiian Island, or if you are flying to any other country - you don't have to go through the inspection.  Therefore, this person finds out where you are flying to - in order to ensure that the correct people have gone through the inspection.

So, when the gal asked where we were going, I said we were flying to Honolulu, and then on to an Air Canada flight.  She asked for my Air Canada confirmation number, and handed it to the check-in agent.  The gal printed off baggage tags to check our bags right through to Edmonton.  I confirmed that they were tagged all the way through, and she said yes.  So, maybe they did have a different policy in place at one time - but it didn't seem to apply now.  That made me happy that we didn't have to pick up our bags in Honolulu.

Randy looking excited to go homeAfter checking our bags, we went through security.  Again - there was NO line-up.  It was like being in our own private airport.  Since everything had gone so smoothly, we had plenty of time to kill - just hanging at the airport.  We had an uneventful flight to Honolulu, and then went to the Air Canada gate to get some boarding passes (because for some reason we weren't able to print boarding passes when we checked in the night before).  We handed the gate agents our information, and then the computer proceeded to freeze up before they could actually print the passes.  Since, they had to re-boot the computers, they told us we could go wander around for a bit.

We wandered through a few shops (bought some last-minute macadamia nuts) - and then went back to the gate.  Our boarding passes were ready, so we settled into the departure lounge area.  I changed out of my sandals into my shoes (boo), and shortly after that they started boarding.

Our choice for a meal on the way back was either chicken or cheese lasagne.  I chose the chicken and it was actually not bad (much better than the chicken dish I had on the way out).  After the meal, I lay my seat flat and managed to snooze for a couple of hours.

Unlike our last time arriving into Vancouver, the NEXUS machines were actually working, so we were able to get through customs and to the baggage carousel quickly.  Our one bag came out pretty quickly, but then we waited for the second bag to arrive.  We waited, waited, and waited some more.  It did not come out, so it was off to the customer service desk.  Since we were clearing customs, we had to fill out a special customs form for the missing bag.  Since we had this special form, we directed to the secondary inspection area for further processing.

Randy and I watch this show called Border Security - and quite a bit of it is filmed at Vancouver Airport.  So, the customs agent that ended up helping us was this guy to the left.  I was going to say something about seeing him on the show - but as we had a connecting flight, I didn't want to risk him deciding that he needed to rifle through all our belongings (not that we had anything to hide!).  Plus, it was 5:00am, and I was tired and just wanted to get out of there. 

He took our form and asked us what sorts of things were in the bag.  I told him it was just clothes and our toiletry items.  He stamped our customs card and told us we could leave.  So, our lost baggage apparently wasn't an interesting enough story to get onto Border Security!  (not that there were any camera crews around or anything)

We left the customs area and put our one checked bag on the connecting baggage belt and then went out the connecting Air Canada flight exit to go to the domestic gates.  You have to go through another security check before continuing to the gates.  However, after waiting around for our luggage and dealing with customs, there was this huge line-up to go through security.  This security check only has a couple people working at it - so one of the Air Canada agents mentioned that we could take a shortcut out to the main security checkpoint. 

At the main security checkpoint, we were able to use the special NEXUS line and got through quite quickly.  Might have to keep that option in mind.  We went to the Maple Leaf Lounge and snacked on some breakfast, then headed to our gate for our Edmonton flight.  I snoozed off and on on the way to Edmonton, and we arrived around 9:30am.  Caught a cab back to our place, unpacked a bit and then lay down for a short nap.  Unfortunately Randy had to unpack his bathing suit and flip flops, then pack his laptop and business clothes - because he had an afternoon flight to Ottawa.  So, he was back home for about 4 hours before he had to head back out the airport again!   But at least we had a great trip, and had fun spending it with friends and family.