I have always wanted to visit Hawaii since I watched Hawaii Five-O in high school. This year my husband made the wish come true. Several years ago one of his annual conferences met in Hawaii. He would not go. I usually accompany him to some of his conferences, so I was very disappointed. Barry promised me that he would take me to Hawaii for our 10th anniversary. Our anniversary is not until May, but that is a terrible time of year for me to take a vacation because I am doing a lot of travel among Quakers.
Our trip has been wonderful. I was not happy that we had to be at the airport early in the morning for a 6:55 am flight. However, we made it in time for our flights. There are no direct flights from Philly to the Big Island so we connected in Phoenix. The boarding process in Phoenix was unusual but nice. We got to the gate 10 minutes prior to the normal boarding time to find that the gate was open and they were inviting people to board whenever they wanted. I always want overhead space near my seat so I was glad to board early. It created a nice atmosphere having people casually walk onto the plane instead of crowding around the gate anxiously waiting for their zone to be called, pushing through the crowd when it is and standing in line that has formed on the Jetway as people are finding their seats and stowing their luggage.
It was an incredibly long day. We arrived in Hawaii at 3:00 pm their time which was 8:00 pm Philly time. When I stepped off the plane, walked down the stairs to and across the tarmac it was the first time in months that I had been outside without wearing a coat. It was sunny and 80 degrees. I was in heaven!!! Barry and I gathered our luggage and took the shuttle to the car rental agency where they gave us a larger car than the compact we ordered. It was a free upgrade we did not see as a gift. At least it wasn't a truck, van or SUV.
Our first stop was the health food store. We needed to pick up some gluten, dairy & corn free food for the week. It was a nice store which carried several of the items I purchase in Philly. They also have a prepared food section that had gluten free turkey loaf and high fructose corn syrup free barbecue chicken. We bought the turkey loaf and chicken, which were delicious, so that we didn't have to cook our first night.
Then it was off to our home for the week, Kings' Land Hilton Grand Vacation Club.