2018 Kauaʻi Trip: Introduction

Getting Ready

For several years, we had said that for our 25th wedding anniversary, we would take a trip to Hawaiʻi. Yes, we really are old enough to have been married that long, just in case you are wondering or just saying that to butter us up. As our silver anniversary started to grow closer, Laura started to think that a trip like that wasn’t going to happen. But I thought we could still pull it off.

25th Anniversary Kauaʻi Trip

The “official” logo for the trip.

So why Hawaiʻi? It is always one of those places that has had some sort of attraction to me. I like beaches and tropical locations, and it looked to have lots of that. Plus, it is one of the United States, so that makes traveling there even easier than going to a foreign tropical country. I’m sure some of those television shows like Fantasy Island, Hawaii Five-O, and Magnum PI helped make it appealing, too. Also, my parents and aunt and uncle had gone there way back in 1984 and had all kinds of great stories to share, so that has always made me want to go, too.

But where exactly should we go? I had been listening to what different people had said about their trips to get some ideas of what we might want to do. One friend said, “Unless you really want to see Pearl Harbor, I would skip Oʻahu entirely because it is full of tourists. I would go to a smaller island like Kauaʻi instead.” The more I looked around, the more I decided that would be a good plan for us. I asked Laura, and she was fine not seeing Pearl Harbor. As much as we like historical things, skipping one would be fine if that were the only reason to go there.

I next asked our travel agent friend Melissa if she had any recommendations. As it turns out, her parents had been to Kauaʻi before, and although they had not stayed there, they had high praise for the Grand Hyatt on Kauaʻi. She got some information on what we might want and some dates. From Melissa’s check of airlines, it looked like it would be slightly cheaper to leave on a Wednesday and return the next Wednesday. And with that plan, we would be back in time for Jaylin’s birthday, which was important, too. We would actually be going slightly before our actual anniversary, but that would be fine. After I confirmed it with Laura, Melissa made the hotel reservation for us. First step accomplished!

Our next problem was getting there. For most all of our trips, we drive where we go. You may not realize this, but you can’t drive to Hawai’i. Because, you know, it is an island and all. So at first, we were at a bit of a loss of what to do. But then we realized that we could fly there. That isn’t something we do often, but it would be worth it, right? Melissa gave me a couple of options to check out based on the dates of our hotel reservation.

At first, I found a flight from Memphis, to Atlanta, to Los Angeles, and on to Kauaʻi. But then I looked a little more, and I found an American Airlines flight from Memphis, to Phoenix, and then to Kauaʻi. One less connection, and a cheaper fare, too? The flight back would be an overnight flight from Kauaʻi back to Phoenix, and then a morning flight back to Memphis. We would leave Kaua’i on a Wednesday but not get home until Thursday afternoon. No big deal. I figured either we could sleep on the overnight flight, or we would sleep really well Thursday night in our own bed, or both. So I booked that one for us.

We (and by that I mean me and not Laura) used to schedule quite a bit for our trips. But that was the early days. As we went on, we started planning less and less, and we found that we had just as much fun that way, if not more. So for this trip, the only other thing I planned was a rental car, because we needed a way to get around and explore the island. I looked around, and Budget had the best price. We decided to just go with a standard car instead of the more popular Mustang convertible or Jeep to save money.

When we would mention our upcoming trip, everyone would tell us that we would need to plan a luau, a zip line tour, a helicopter ride, a boat trip around the island, a plantation tour, and who knows what else. But we would just smile and nod, knowing that we planned to stick with our plan to not plan. So as the time for the trip approached, all we had was our flight, our rental car, and our hotel room. What more would we need to enjoy our week?

After all of that lack of planning, the time for our trip finally arrived. Because of our early flight and our distance from the airport, we spent the night before we left with my parents. That also worked out well because Jaylin would be staying with them while we would be gone. Plus, they could take us to the airport without us having to leave our car there for an entire week. We had our alarms set for early the next morning, and we were all ready to go.

Watch for the next part of the 2018 Kauaʻi Trip Report coming soon!