Welcome to Day 17 of Janet and Randy's Kauai Adventure 2016
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Woke up to overcast skies and rain again this morning. Not looking so good for any beach time today. But on the bright side, it will make it easier to leave Kauai than if it was a beautiful sunny day. Moderately easier.
We had breakfast, then spent most of the morning just packing up our stuff. Around 10:00am, Jeff and Deanna popped in for a quick visit before we all had to check out at 11:00am. We hadn't seen them for a couple of days, so we caught up on what they had been up to. Just before 11:00, they left, and we packed up the car and checked out. Jeff and Deanna had suggested that we maybe meet up for lunch later. As our flight didn't leave Kauai until the evening, we had booked a room at the nearby Sheraton to have a place to hang out until it was time to go to the airport.
When booking, we had requested an early check-in, so we drove straight there to see if there was any chance of checking in right away. To our pleasant surprise, we were able to check in. We had booked just a (relatively speaking)cheap garden view room, but because Randy has Platinum status with Starwood, we were upgraded to an oceanfront room. Sweet! It was still raining out, so we dropped the bags in the room and decided to head into Lihue to get some gas at the Costco. Once we were done that, it was close to noon, so I texted Jeff to see if they were in Lihue. I didn't hear anything, so we started driving to Hamura's to have some saimin soup for lunch. As were were driving there, Jeff and Deanna saw us in our car, and pulled right up next to us. So, they ended up joining us for saimin as well.
After we were done lunch, we said our farewells, and we headed back to the Sheraton. When checking in, we had been given a voucher for $20 to use at the cafe/gift shop that they have (part of paying for the $30+ for the resort fee). So, we went down to see what we could get. We were told we could use it for anything in the shop/cafe. They had some mini packs of Koloa Rum, so we decided to get another one of those (we had picked another one up the previous day). I had also read that part of the resort fee allowed you to get a free Sheraton tote bag. So, we went from the shop to the concierge to get our free bag. By this time, the sun was starting to peek out, so we changed into our bathing suits, and headed out to the pool area. We picked up some towels and left them on some beach chairs, then headed into the ocean for one last swim. With the rainy weather, the water felt colder than it was earlier in the week (yes, I know, first world problem!).
We splashed around in the waves for about half an hour, then went to check out the pool. The pool was nice and warm (on a windy day), so we lounged in there for a while. Around 3:00pm, we headed back to our room to shower up. We had a nice balcony overlooking the ocean, so we hung out there for a while, and finally gathered our things and headed to the airport for our flight to Honolulu.
Randy dropped me and the bags off at the terminal and went to take the rental car back. I was able to check in our bags and drop it off at the TSA X-Ray machine before Randy got back. We went through security and then hung out until our flight left. There was even some live entertainment in the Lihue Airport. The flight from Lihue to Honolulu is such a short flight that we were there before we knew it. We had checked our bags only to Honolulu as we were just flying economy from Lihue to Honolulu (with Hawaiian Airlines) and then flying Premium Rouge with Air Canada Rouge - so our bags would have not been tagged priority handling if they had been checked right through. Also, our friends Bernie and Barb had said that last time they flew out from Kauai, Hawaiian Air charged an extra $50 fee to check the bags all the way through. As we had a 3 hour connection time in Honolulu, we had time to pick up our bags from the carousel and then walk over and check them in again with Air Canada. Everything rolled so it wasn't hard to just roll our luggage over to the international terminal from the inter-island terminal.
Once our bags were checked in, we went through security (TSA Pre-Check is awesome - you can leave your shoes on, and don't have to take anything out of your bags. So, you just through your stuff through the x-ray and you're done in no time). As our flight wasn't leaving until 10:00pm, we decided to get a bite to eat. Whenever we fly through Honolulu, we go to the food court and order orange chicken from Chow Mein Express. It is surprisingly good (much better than the stuff I had at Garden Island Barbecue). From a food court no less.
After filling our bellies, we then wandered to the far end of the terminal to use the United lounge (Air Canada doesn't have their own lounge in Honolulu). I spent some time catching up on the journal and reading email and then we wandered all the way back to our gate.
We boarded the (very full) flight and left right on time. The flight attendants on this flight were not very good. It always seems to take an inordinate amount of time for the attendants to get the carts organized for serving. They seem to start in the other aisle (the A side) and serve both the window and middle seats. So, it takes a while for them to come over and serve the remaining 8 seats on the K side of the plane. So, this time, they roll the cart into our aisle and the one gal starts serving row 4 and the other starts serving row 2 (we were in row 3). Then, all of a sudden they unlock the cart and push it back to the galley. Randy and I look at each other and wonder WTF. Did they think they were done serving? I was in the aisle seat, so I jumped up to see what was going on. When I poked my head into the galley, I was told that they were coming back, but one of them just had to get a drink of water. I mean, they only had 4 more people to serve, so you couldn't wait? Or you couldn't get the other attendant to get the water for you? I thought it was very strange.
When they finally came back, Randy tried to order red wine - but the gal was very confused. He finally got her to understand that he wanted a Shiraz. For me, I ordered a vodka and cranberry juice. The gal asked if I wanted a double. As it didn't look like we would be getting stellar service, I decided to get the double (which was a good idea).
As it was a late flight, they just served drinks, cashews and some chocolate bars/chips and then turned off the lights until it was time to serve breakfast. I was quite tired and managed to pass out for a couple of hours (the double vodka helped). About 90 minutes before landing they turned on the lights to do the breakfast service. There was no choice for breakfast - it was an egg omelette, potatoes, sausage, yogurt and fruit. You also had a choice of getting apple cinnamon oatmeal. I decided to also get the oatmeal, but it was really sweet, so I didn't eat much. I wasn't overly hungry, so I didn't eat much of the rest either.
Once we landed, we went through customs and then went to the domestic terminal. In Vancouver, they have a system (called QuickConnect) where if you are coming into Canada from certain places, and are connecting to another Canadian city, you don't have to pick up your bags first in Vancouver. Instead, they are just checked straight through to your final destination. As our Honolulu flight was one of the flights where they do this, it was very handy.
We went straight to the Maple Leaf Lounge to wait for our next flight. Neither of us were hungry, so we didn't have any food - just filled up our water bottles. Randy was really tired and actually slept for a bit. Finally it was time to head to the gate for our Edmonton flight - which was conveniently right across from the Maple Leaf Lounge.
This flight was not very full, and I think there was only 1 other person with us in business class. Randy fell asleep again before we even took off, and slept for the first part of the flight. We were served the same breakfast that we had on the flight from Honolulu (minus the oatmeal). Again, I just picked at mine.
When we arrived in Edmonton, the Air Canada concierges were there to meet us to ask us how our trip was - and to give Randy his boarding passes for his flight tomorrow. We had a chat with them, and then headed down to the luggage carousel to get our checked bags and head home. Both bags showed up, so that's good. Then it was time to head home, unpack and have a nap.
This was a really great trip, and it was fun to share it with our friends and family. It was definitely a birthday that Randy won't forget!
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