Author Topic: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)  (Read 6336 times)

Offline benjie1305

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Introduction/Planning:

This trip was actually not really planned for. January was originally supposed to be spent part-taking in this adventure but - as some may or may not at times be able to attest to - my dearest wife was able to find a reason why it wouldn't work. That on it's own would be sad but certainly not tragic if not for telling me after the entire trip including all flights and most hotels had already been booked.  :( ???

Off I went, re-depositing my 4 Hyatt SUN's, calling AA to refund me for my JAL flights and calling SQ to refund me for SQ and NH flights. After a good 90 minutes on the phone across the board, everything was back in my account and thankfully all charges had been waived.

Stuck I was with no plan or destination in mind and expiring Hyatt SUN's to come up with what is most likely our last kid-free vacation for quite some time. A few weeks later I suddenly came across this little gem. While the dates didn't work for me, it did make a lightbulb go off (in my head). Hyatt SUN's in January would present themselves as great value over in Hawaii and in addition to good weather, the place seemed to have a lot of fun things to do for us.

Being that I was limited to travel specifically from 1/1-1/9 my searches I had done over on UA/AA/DL really didn't yield any significant results and I was just going to keep checking and hope for the best. Well, I did not have to do that for too long because once this news came out it was very clear to me how I was going to book this trip. After a short few weeks of playing around with my itinerary and checking rates I went ahead and was booked using this amazing Amex Business Platinum benefit.

Outbound:

DL J: JFK-HNL
WP Y: HNL-LIH

Inbound:

HA J: LIH-HNL
UA J: HNL-EWR



After a few calls with GoldPassport it was also no issue combining my wife's and my SUN's and luckily I was able to piece together GHK space for the entire trip; 4 SUN's, 3 C+P's and 1 full points booking later. I also got them to apply my DSU and while they were only able to put me into a confirmed Garden Suite for the first 2 nights, I wasn't too concerned about that for now.

On a side note: I did spend a lot of time reading up on where to best stay and really would have preferred throwing in some nights over in the North. I had 3 nights booked at the St. Regis Princeville using close to 115,000 points and then decided to drop the booking around a week before the trip. If nights there wouldn't have been $850+ during my stay or if the STR would be a CAT6 I probably would have done it but 115k for 3 nights in a St Regis that needs renovation and is purely pricey because of its location just wasn't something I could justify in the end. After all it isn't like the Grand Hyatt is some shabby alternate solution.

["But Hey" some will say, I could have done an AirBnB in the North as a Plan B. Well no, that is not the way my wife likes to travel and I prefer hotels too, especially when traveling without the kids.]

With hotel and airfare booked it was time to secure a car and knowing that off-roading was not going to happen on this trip, the only logical choice was a Mustang Convertible. After scouting the web for a while, Avis returned as the clear winner. Now, with my car reservation in place my last and only real concern was, how to tell the kids we'd be gone for 9 days...



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Offline shulem92

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Can't wait to finally see more pics of the presidential suite...

Offline davidmal

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lol can't wait for the rest.
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Online mmgfarb

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Can't wait to finally see more pics of the presidential suite...
I just want to know how he got it.
"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

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Waiting for the pics..

Offline BarryLincoln

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2017, 10:56:49 AM »
Great start... looking forward to the rest...

Offline mgoldhammer18

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 11:09:18 AM »
Nice start.  I just returned from my trip from GHK yesterday.  Looking forward to reading the rest.  Hopefully I'll have a tr eventually also.

Offline benjie1305

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 01:25:28 PM »
Off to Hawaii!

After my wife and I discussed what we needed to bring with us on our trip, my wife made the executive decision to make this a "Carry-On Only" trip. I wont lie, I was a bit nervous as well as excited at the idea of traveling so light on a 10 day trip. The only thing that needed checking-in was the Freezer Bag with food on the way there. [Big Thanks to Meir613 on the assist. I still need to drop it back off.  ::)]

We decided to go with two places for our food. The first place was "Traditions Eatery" which was suggested to me by "ah" and the other place was "Chosen" which we picked out of curiosity and wanting to see how their travel meals compared to their in house meals.

[Disclaimer: We ordered way too much and ended up leaving 4 meals and several containers of white rice in the fridge. It's ok and we learnt our lesson. You never know until you order which meals are basically generous enough for two vs which aren't. What I can say however is that Traditions was excellent. I will elaborate during my TR but would go with them any day. Chosen - if you like Chinese - was also very good albeit them having to learn how to pack their meals a bit better.  >:(]

All packed up with our Freezer bag, 2 backpacks and 2 carry-ons we got into our Uber Sunday morning to arrive at the airport just a few minutes later. (thank you Uber for the $20's off)

Sky Priority Check-In @JFK T4


Being booked into Revenue J space on DL and continuing on via Island Air on a UA redemption, I was very happy when after asking about Interlining my bag the Rep put on a smile and said "No problem. You'll get all your stuff in Kauai." Making the obvious choice I told him to please add my AS FFN to the reservation and off we were.

Pit-Stop at the Sky Club Lounge. Thank G-d I had my Amex Platinum with me. Hadn't thought about the fact that flights - even in J - within the US don't get automatic access.



Business on Delta's 767-300ER


We were in seats 2B and 2C and were very happy with the hard product. Especially the Westin bedding was wonderful. Soft product was not as good though. They didn't come to check on us frequently at all. At least twice during the flight did they ask if we wanted anything. We would ask for some drinks that would never arrive. Their Kosher meals were also expired for which they apologized and offered compensation. In the end of the day it was fine and this is complaining on a high level.

Island Air Counter from which they take you out onto the Tarmac in order to walk you to your actual gate


Once we landed, we did what any other person coming from the East Coast would do, take off our sweaters and buy ourselves some ice cream. Having accomplished that, we walked around a bit and just tried figuring out why they don't put any work into HNL Airport. It is so big and we loved the indoor-outdoor parts and yet it is so old and run-down.

We then made our way over to Island Air for our flight to Lihue.

Time to board!


Showing off her better side


Finally made it!


A quick 35 minute hop later, we had finally made it. It was around 8 pm now and we were beyond zonked out. We got our luggage pretty fast just to discover that one single meal somehow opened up during the flight and was now all over my bag.  :-\ No worries, my wife was a trooper and quickly cleaned it and got us back on our way. It was now time to get our car, head over to the hotel, discuss our room situation for a good hour and finally go to sleep.

As mentioned we went with a Mustang Convertible which I just loved.


Me (On the far right; NOT the other Jews to the left) and my favorite employee at the GHK shmoozing away for a good hour before we got our room situation fully sorted.


After all was set and done we finally had everything configured as I had intended and planned for. And some.

First 2 nights Garden Suite then, 2x Ocean View Suite, 2x Presidential Suite, 1x best Garden Suite, 1x Deluxe Suite.

I know what y'all think, who would want so much moving around but both of us did not mind one bit. We were busy during the days anyways and wouldn't be around for the move itself. We would simply make sure our stuff was packed and ready at the front of our rooms (which was easy as we traveled light) and the bellhop would take care of everything else. We would simply return to the hotel when we were done with our activities and just ask the front desk which room we were heading to. I personally loved it and was happy as I got to try all the different types of rooms and areas of the hotel. Just for giggles, that night I took screenshots of what the rooms were going for during those days. Noooot baaad.








Room #1 was 1026 and I very much enjoyed the layout of it.








The manager of the resort was wonderful and left me a very nice note including a nice plush turtle - which my son loves - and some ice cold Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider. We then called the food services manager as well to pick up and store all of our food and finally were able to shower and collapse into bed. Finally! At 11:30pm! Get some nice and long shuteye! NOT! We awoke the next morning at 4:45am.  :o

But that's for the next segment..
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 01:35:41 PM by benjie1305 »
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Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 11:07:15 PM »
looking forward to the rest...
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.

Offline shulem92

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Can't wait

Offline mochjas

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2017, 11:41:56 PM »
DL J was nonstop? Isn't it supposed to be lie flat? How many mr points did it cost?

Chabad might as well open shop in GHK

Offline benjie1305

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2017, 09:52:22 AM »
looking forward to the rest...

Can't wait

Thanks guys!

DL J was nonstop? Isn't it supposed to be lie flat? How many mr points did it cost?


DL J was nonstop to HNL and yes, it was lie flat. Flights were quite cheap actually. Probably around $900 per person.
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Offline davidmal

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2017, 12:46:53 PM »
Great job so far!
I made you a wiki
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline benjie1305

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2017, 03:07:00 PM »
Monday, January 2nd

After falling asleep close to midnight we figured we would get a good few hours of sleep after such a long day of travel. Especially considering that it was a daytime flight and we literally hadn't slept all day while traveling we felt like we had set ourselves up perfectly for Hawaii crashing this late at night.

Well well... 4:25AM and my eyes opened. When I turned over I saw that my wife was on her phone already. We both tried going back to sleep but who are we kidding, there was no more sleep.

After hanging out a bit in the room and exploring the resort for a bit at 5am (there really isn't that much you can explore when its pitch dark outside  ::)) we decided to finally make our way to the GrandClub. Waiting for the doors to open we obviously ran into other people that were operating on the owl-schedule. It shall be noted that we were the first people in the GrandClub on a daily basis.

Granc Club from our seats. There is a nice little outdoor area you can sit in if you walk out the doors to your right.


Once I spotted the first particles of light coming through the clouds it was time to make our way to the beach to watch the sunrise. The sand at the beach was freezing cold. Such a strange feeling walking onto the beach that I associate with heat and sun and literally shivering with every step I made.

Creeping up




My wife thought I looked ridiculous. Me? She clearly hasn't seen Something Fishy yet when snipping a pic!  :D



After enjoying the sunrise we decided to head back to the room, relax a bit and figure out how much energy we had in us and what we wanted to do with it.

Yoga Class in Action


On the grounds




I got tired pretty fast and took a nice 45min nap on one of these in front of my room


After that we decided we didn't want to sit around all day and the weather was nice so we decided to go and start the Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail which goes along the Cliffs of Shipwreck Beach. We did not go all the way but it made for some nice views.



Locals fishing off the cliff


After heading back I obviously couldn't not stop by the cliff that everyone jumps off of. So I stood around for a while and watched kids of all ages and random thrill seekers take a dive.



After watching all these people jump off, I just couldn't stop myself. I knew I'd regret not going for the jump so I told my wife to head back to the beach so she could watch and maybe even get a video of it.

My wife thinking this was the last time she'd ever see me


Ended up being just fine and she got a video of it too! :)


After getting back to the hotel we decided to go exploring within a close radius to the hotel and take Melissa -our convertible- for a little spin.

Less then a 10 minute drive is Koloa Fish Market which serves "only" 20 different kinds of Poke :P




Caught that morning



We were pretty tired once we got back and being that it was already 4pm it was obviously time to call in dinner for that night so it would be ready for us around 6pm. We went with the stuffed cabbage from Traditions and it was delicious. They were close to an hour late which was a bit frustrating because we were literally falling asleep on the couch but they handled it well and apologized and also decided to waive the fee for that night and throw in a few Kona Longboards. #Yummy






That was it for that night. A great first day with fabulous weather had ended and after dinner it was shower, change and go to sleep but trust me when I say that this was - by far - the least eventful fay we had during our entire stay..
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 04:08:30 PM by benjie1305 »
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Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: "In Search of the Menehune" - Benjie1305's Trip to Kauai (DL J, UA J)
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2017, 03:30:09 PM »
cool! the video you posted needs to be signed in to to watch.
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.