Author Topic: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)  (Read 15820 times)

Online ushdadude

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UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« on: February 08, 2016, 11:37:50 PM »
  I actually surprised myself by not planning too much for this. The idea started when I saw EWR-HNL saver tickets available on a Sunday near our wedding anniversary. This was about 6 months ago. I quickly opened a Singapore account and transferred 60k MR. After waiting on hold for a while we were booked on UA15 in J.
The flight back was booked when Dan tweeted about wideĖopen availability on UA from LAX-EWR. I quickly booked two J seats on the red-eye Saturday night. The rest of the tickets were pretty straightforward. HNL-LIH using 6k UA pp and LIH-LAX booked with BA. The original plan was to stay in LIH until thursady afternoon and spend Shabbos in LA.
This was the plan until I asked my Rebbe, Rí Belsky (Ztz"l :-\ ) about spending Shabbos in Hawaii and he told me I can hold Saturday as Shabbos. (Obviously ALOR.) This changed everything. I canceled my BA LIH-LAX and booked LIH-HNL. I was able to switch my LAX-EWR to HNL-EWR for $100. Unfortunately there were no saver tickets but I got setup for Plan B.(spoiler: plan b fail. business was completely sold out and everyone checked in)

 
Hotel was obviously gonna be GHK. A failed MS experiment left me with a few thousand in hyatt GC so I booked a cash rate :o . I tried using a DSU (from my newly tweeted Diamond Status) but it was no longer available. I emailed the GM and just hoped for the best. (spoiler: it worked out really well)

 
For the car, I had a lot of Hertz points from when I speculatively bought the daily getaway. I splurged and got a Cadillac SRX for 8,250 points and $60 (without points it would have been close to $1,000). Iím not a convertible kinda guy  so I passed even though I could have gotten a Camaro for the same rate.
 
We ordered food from Traditions in 5T and a couple of dairy meals from Mechyís in Seasons. We bought a couple of snacks to bring along so we wouldnít be busy with it when we got there. We also brought some bread because it is notoriously hard to find kosher bread, even from national brands (I guess it has to do with their suppliers.) I didnít love how Traditions packed the box but it worked out in the end. They put the tins in a delivery box but there was way too much empty space. We ended up putting our dairy food and snacks in the same box and stuffing the spaces with newspaper. That seemed to work well.


In anticipation of out trip, I actually got fitted with contacts so I wouldn't have to constantly change from glasses to sunglasses or, heaven forbid, wear my transitions. I also assumed (correctly) that contacts would be easier in the water.


A couple of other things I bought for the trip included a rash guard which was awesome. I didn't want to worry about getting burned and this is UV protected.


Now that I got the boring stuff out of the way, I'm gonna start writing the actual TR.

Offline Adam101

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 11:40:53 PM »
Nice start. Keep up with the details.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2016, 06:14:12 AM »
Woohoo! Can't wait for more!

Offline MrPrime1

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2016, 10:04:27 AM »
  I actually surprised myself by not planning too much for this. The idea started when I saw EWR-HNL saver tickets available on a Sunday near our wedding anniversary. This was about 6 months ago. I quickly opened a Singapore account and transferred 60k MR. After waiting on hold for a while we were booked on UA15 in J.
The flight back was booked when Dan tweeted about wideĖopen availability on UA from LAX-EWR. I quickly booked two J seats on the red-eye Saturday night. The rest of the tickets were pretty straightforward. HNL-LIH using 6k UA pp and LIH-LAX booked with BA. The original plan was to stay in LIH until thursady afternoon and spend Shabbos in LA.
This was the plan until I asked my Rebbe, Rí Belsky (Ztz"l :-\ ) about spending Shabbos in Hawaii and he told me I can hold Saturday as Shabbos. (Obviously ALOR.) This changed everything. I canceled my BA LIH-LAX and booked LIH-HNL. I was able to switch my LAX-EWR to HNL-EWR for $100. Unfortunately there were no saver tickets but I got setup for Plan B.(spoiler: plan b fail. business was completely sold out and everyone checked in)

 
Hotel was obviously gonna be GHK. A failed MS experiment left me with a few thousand in hyatt GC so I booked a cash rate :o . I tried using a DSU (from my newly tweeted Diamond Status) but it was no longer available. I emailed the GM and just hoped for the best. (spoiler: it worked out really well)

 
For the car, I had a lot of Hertz points from when I speculatively bought the daily getaway. I splurged and got a Cadillac SRX for 8,250 points and $60 (without points it would have been close to $1,000). Iím not a convertible kinda guy  so I passed even though I could have gotten a Camaro for the same rate.
 
We ordered food from Traditions in 5T and a couple of dairy meals from Mechyís in Seasons. We bought a couple of snacks to bring along so we wouldnít be busy with it when we got there. We also brought some bread because it is notoriously hard to find kosher bread, even from national brands (I guess it has to do with their suppliers.) I didnít love how Traditions packed the box but it worked out in the end. They put the tins in a delivery box but there was way too much empty space. We ended up putting our dairy food and snacks in the same box and stuffing the spaces with newspaper. That seemed to work well.


In anticipation of out trip, I actually got fitted with contacts so I wouldn't have to constantly change from glasses to sunglasses or, heaven forbid, wear my transitions. I also assumed (correctly) that contacts would be easier in the water.


A couple of other things I bought for the trip included a rash guard which was awesome. I didn't want to worry about getting burned and this is UV protected.


Now that I got the boring stuff out of the way, I'm gonna start writing the actual TR.
How  long did it take for your Mr to transfer to Singapore?

Offline Super Speed

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2016, 10:10:31 AM »
Great start! Can't wait for more!

Offline Venilla

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2016, 10:15:02 AM »
How  long did it take for your Mr to transfer to Singapore?
Was it really necessary to quote that long post?
Great start! Can't wait for more!
+1
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Offline 3yummyboys

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2016, 10:25:18 AM »
Wow looking forward

Offline benjie1305

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2016, 10:41:32 AM »
Nice! Was it a surprise until the end or did the wife know all along that this trip was happening?
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Offline ygygold

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Offline Yehoshua

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2016, 11:23:23 AM »
Nice start! Can't wait for the actual report.

Online ushdadude

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2016, 09:53:42 PM »
Nice start. Keep up with the details.
Thanks. will definitely try
Woohoo! Can't wait for more!
Almost done with day 1
How  long did it take for your Mr to transfer to Singapore?
I don't remember, sorry.
Wow looking forward
thanks
Nice! Was it a surprise until the end or did the wife know all along that this trip was happening?
I held off telling her for about 4 months but had to tell her about 2 months before just so she could figure out her schedule
Nice start! Can't wait for the actual report.
thanks! almost there

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2016, 11:21:07 PM »
Sunday:
I live in 5T and was flying from EWR  so we had to wake up pretty early. After a brief stop at my in-laws to pick up our food, we headed to Elizabeth for davening. Davened at Adath Israel 6:30 minyan.


I found a groupon for Park Plus EWR parking and headed to the lot. Itís a valet type parking which means you have to leave your keys. They have an option for full valet which means they would drive you to the airport but you need to go to their lot first to pick up the valet driver. For $35 bucks I decided that it was completely unnecessary. We pulled into the lot and in under 8 minutes we were at the terminal already. The driver told me to take a picture of the front and back of the parking stub which was a great idea because we did in fact lose it at some point. You need your ticket number because when you call when you land back in EWR, you need to give them the ticket number and they have your car waiting for you, trunk open. The driver of the shuttle even put our bags in the car for us. Great service overall.



We got to the airport around 7:45. We were dropped off near the baggage claim area. We were flying J but accidently checked in at the Y computers on the 2nd floor and had luggage tags printed out. We tried bringing our luggage up to the 3rd floor to try and see if they would check our bags all the way through to LIH but they said they can't even take our bags because they donít have scanners for the luggage tags printed. I tried checking in again in J but the computer didnít let. We had to bring our bags back down to the 2nd floor where everything is self-checkin so there was nobody to talk to about checking our bags through. Oh Well, lesson learned. When flying J form EWR, go up to the 3rd floor to check-in.


Security was a breeze thanks to pre-check.


United did not let us into the lounge because even though we were flying 12 hours, itís considered a domestic flight. (PR does count as international for access.) I didnít bring any united club passes, so while she was sympathetic, she didnít budge. Didnít matter really because we got to the gate as they were starting to board. If you are traveling to HNL and want lounge access, bring a club pass.


We settle into our seats for what would be a looong flight.





Flight attendants were very attentive and overall it was a great experience. They started with breakfast which was not terrible. The fruit was still slightly frozen though. The main was an omelet that actually resembled eggs and potatoes that were seasoned well. We also brought along danishes to supplement breakfast.






Frozen Fruit




An egg!


I relaxed for a while but couldnít seem to fall asleep. It didnít help that someone opened their window shade enough to light up the entire cabin. I ended up learning a little, reading a little, watching some movies etc. I tried getting onto united wifi without paying but they did not accept gogo or VCC so I remained disconnected.



Lunch was chicken rice and potatoes. It looked decent enough that we didnít bother asking them to reheat the mac and cheese we brought along.



Lunch



Actually pretty good



We eventually landed in HNL about 3:10ish. I was instantly hit by the humidity and was scared the rest of our trip would be the same. (It wasnít) By the time we got our luggage and walked to the Hawaiian Air terminal it was about 4:15. There is a shuttle you can take but we enjoyed the walk as a chance to stretch our legs.



First view of HNL



We checked 3 bags in at EWR but were paying $15 a bag at HNL so decided to take one of them as carry-on. As we went through security, they asked if we have any bottles in our bags and our hearts sank when we realized they meant the 6oz grape juice we brought along for havdala. We forgot to switch it to our checked bag. The TSA agent was nice and let me take the bottle outside and drink half of it. I felt safer already. ::)


We werenít able to reserve seats together but the gate agent found us seats all the way in the back.




Our View


HA seems to have upped their KSLM game. (It was delicious and really tropical tasting)



Our view improved slightly when leaning forward

Our first View of LIH



We landed in LIH about 5:30 and promptly got our luggage. I wasnít to happy to see that the TSA messed with our food box. It was all taped up so I figured Iíd just check it in the hotel.


Not a reassuring site


Got a shuttle to hertz a few minutes later. Since I am a gold passport member, my car was waiting for me with keys inside.


Our ride


Like @yehuda, my wife encountered her first wild chicken at the car rental. I purposely did not tell her about things like that so it would be more exciting.



There were a few things we wanted to get from Wal-Mart but we were exhausted so decided to go straight to the hotel. It was getting dark as we drove but we got to the tree tunnel while it was still somewhat light out, another nice surprise for DW.
When you pull up to the hotel you are just blown away by how nice it is and how much they pamper it. And that ocean window is just breathtaking. We got our leis which was exciting because it made out Hawaii vacation official. They gave us both real flower leis made up of those edible flowers you see on fruit platters.
When we checked in I had my fingers crossed and was ecstatic when she told me we were getting an ocean view suite!!!







Entrance



Guest bathroom when you walk in



Living room



Dining area



Bedroom



Master bathroom



Our view at sunset


I checked on our food and BH it was all intact. They just moved stuff around. We called room service to pick up the box and prepare tonightís dinner. Apparently everything was still extremely frozen because it took almost 2 hours to get it. We were collapsing from exhaustion by the time it came. This was the only time we had to wait for our food. Every other morning we would call up and tell them what we want that night and at what time. And right on cue they'd come on out and put our food down in its place (any abie rotenberg fans?)

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2016, 11:34:26 PM »
Nice room! Lucky you.

Offline Joe4007

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2016, 11:43:02 PM »
Nice TR!

Different layout than the suite we had there.

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2016, 11:47:48 PM »
Nice TR!

Different layout than the suite we had there.

Thanks. I should mention that we were on the 3rd floor in the poipu section, right down the hall from the lounge and spa :)

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2016, 11:51:47 PM »
Very nice report so far, looking forward to the rest.

Glad to see that HA is upping their KSML game .
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

Offline benjie1305

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2016, 08:05:39 AM »
Suuiiiittteeeee  :D

So happy you ended up with a great room! Must have been the icing on the cake!
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Online ushdadude

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2016, 08:48:01 AM »
Very nice report so far, looking forward to the rest.

Glad to see that HA is upping their KSML game .

Thanks. I actually looked for a place to but some while I was there
Suuiiiittteeeee  :D

So happy you ended up with a great room! Must have been the icing on the cake!
Indeed it was. It's nice having space to move around. We ate dinner in the dining area every night. Didn't even feel the need to eat in the restaurant.
Also, the location was great. We were a 30 second walk from the lounge and spa. We could pop in to grab a quick drink and at the end of a long day, heading to the "schvitz" was really nice and relaxing.

Offline benjie1305

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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2016, 08:50:45 AM »
Thanks. I actually looked for a place to but some while I was thereIndeed it was. It's nice having space to move around. We ate dinner in the dining area every night. Didn't even feel the need to eat in the restaurant.
Also, the location was great. We were a 30 second walk from the lounge and spa. We could pop in to grab a quick drink and at the end of a long day, heading to the "schvitz" was really nice and relaxing.

Gotta love the Schvitz!
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Re: UshDadude's Anniversary Trip to Kauai (and a little bit of Oahu)
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2016, 09:05:07 AM »
how do you get Kosher meals on a UA domestic ?