Hawaii day 0 & 1

I was up by 4:30 after very little sleep, and we were out the door by 6, drove over to my mom’s house and dropped off the car. She drove us to National Airport, and we checked in. Our flight wasn’t until 10, but we got there extra early because American wouldn’t assign us seats when I tried to check in online. Since we got there with more than two hours to spare and we got seats in the very last row, I think it was a good idea to be there early.

Besides that and the long lines of people headed home after the Inauguration day before, our travel wasn’t very eventful. We had an hour layover in Dallas where I had a smoothie and a granola bar and Jill had a chicken and pesto sandwich. In LA we had two hours to kill, so we celebrated some good news for Jill at On The Border with some frozen margaritas, quesadillas and burritos. I finally succumbed to sleep on the final long leg to the Big Island, apparently missing some nasty turbulence.

The Big Island is called that because it’s too confusing that the state is Hawaii and the island is also called Hawaii, but everyone just calls it the Big Island. We had not rented a car due to the cost being about what a taxi ride, so we just hopped in a taxi as soon as we got our bags. We were soon at our destination, Hilton Waikoloa Village. We were pretty beat, plus it was after 3AM our time by the time we got to our room in the Palace Tower, so we went straight to bed.

Sleeping on the plane helped, as we were both awake early the next morning. We were pleased to see that the balcony actually had a ocean view.

Jill on balcony at Palace Tower

We went next door and enjoyed an expansive (and expensive) breakfast buffet – I enjoyed the little yogurt shots with fruit and honey on the bottom. We wandered around the giant place, taking a boat over to where the dolphins are (they don’t call it the Disneyworld resort of Hawaii for nothing). We managed to arrive just as the trainers did for the morning, and got to see an unexpected sight: dolphin teeth brushing.

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We had a lot of time, so we found a spot near a pool and read and talked for a while, then got our luggage and a boat to the front. The taxi driver from the night before (Angel’s Taxi) had offered us a price break on the way back, so he was there right on time, and we were soon at the airport. You can see the first set of pics I took here.

We will be staying at a condo starting on Saturday, but we wanted to see some of another island and chose Maui. We had a small 8 passenger prop plane ride over on Pacific Wings that was pretty good, although there was a lot of turbulence as we passed the Maui coast.

Maui coast

It was a short flight, and soon we had landed, gotten our bags and rented a car. The trip over to Ka’anapali was as speedy as advertised (not very, usually behind a long line of cars). We checked in to the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel without a problem and were soon relaxing.

Ka'anapali Beach Hotel

That night we had reservations at the Son’z Maui at Swan Court. We decided to walk over there so neither of us would have to drive, and it turned out to be a charming walkway behind the beach and the resorts.

The restaurant was in the Hyatt Regency and was very nice. The food was decent – I really like the combination of raw jalapeƱo and raw tuna in my appetizer, but the mixed seafood grill was ordinary. Jill enjoyed her shrimp appetizer and liked her steak, but the baked potato that came with it left something to be desired. However, most concerns about the food were forgiven with the view, quite possibly the nicest I’ve ever encountered. The restaurant is on a lower level with a waterfall and a man made pond lapping nearly at your feet.

Son'z Maui at Swan Court

After dinner, we walked back along the walkway, checked out one of the hammocks near it for a couple of minutes (the stars look great, but will only get better). We weren’t ready to call it a night, so we stopped in at the Tiki Bar at the hotel for a nightcap and chatting with some other guests.