Sunday, April 7, 2019

ROBBLOG #776- Home to "our" Island

From One Island to Another.

The Mister and I have only been off the Island three times since arriving in August of 2017 and here this time we leave "our" Island to travel to yet another- Hawaii, specifically Oahu.

We've been going to Honolulu on Oahu for 35 years+ and it is still such a happy place to be. Memories come flooding back- some not so good but I don't intend to air my dirty "Hawaiian" Laundry on this blog.
I heard you- "Why stop now?"
Saucy reader!

View on the Screen at my Air Canada Sleeper Seat
showing flight line from Vancouver to Honolulu 5hrs +
Other memories are warm and comforting. My Grandmother- Lottie Bartley, passed when I was on that Island almost 35 years ago. I was on a charter ticket and I couldn't get back to Ontario. However, on the plus side, I met Tom there and almost 35 years later we are living happy lives and we love going back to Honolulu. I can't begin to count the number of times we've been there but let me say- lots!!

We've tentatively put our names in for a condo next year that we had a few years back. This year's lodgings were not as nice. In fact the first room they gave us was terrible. It was worse than sleeping in an unfinished basement! We complained right away but nothing was done about it until the following morning. We used our airline points this time and we wonder if that was the reason we were given that dump of a room.

We did get into a nice room and were even offered the top floor with a roof Lanai- an upgrade we were told, however, anyone in the hotel could help themselves to any of the tables and chairs placed a few feet from our door.The view was amazing but we said "no thanks" without even looking at a room.

View of the Pacific and Kapahulu Avenue
We chose a room with condo kitchen and a Lanai with a Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head view exactly what we had the trip before. Look out though, Hawaii has this new thing called a "resort tax" and that gets added to your room. It's for cleaning your room or something like that when you vacate. It seems like a tax with a vague reason for being. Oh and shops all charge 15 cents for a bag. It's a law. Not too sure if the Crocs store charged us when they shoved our purchase into their logo'd bag.
I know that somewhere along the line Tom asked a clerk if they were prepared to pay us for carrying their bag with advertising emblazoned across both sides as we walked along Kalakaua Avenue.

We walked and dined and shopped and spent late afternoons on Waikiki Beach- Kuhio Beach actually. Kuhio, Queen's Beach and Waikiki Beach are all there. Hundreds and hundreds of vacationers cram into the space called "Waikiki Beach" and yet a few steps in a Diamond Head direction one finds no crowding, just ocean and sand and nice grass beneath swaying palms.

Sunset over Waikiki
We flew on Air Canada on three out of four flights but we returned from Honolulu to Vancouver on WestJet. It was our first time on this airline.
What to say about WestJet.
Not my cup of tea, I guess.
As an Air Canada pilot who was leaving on the Air Canada flight that we really wanted to be on said to us-
"It's a different product!"

Yup. That's for sure.
An unshaven, overweight, tank-top clothed, sandal clad man sitting in the wide seats- sold at a premium. Passengers in bare feet using the washrooms- yuck!
Screaming kids in front and behind us and a lady who had only flown once before- to the Island, nervously talking to the guy behind me. I heard her say to him- "I don't know how to turn off my cell phone and place it in flight mode, so I'll just leave it."
Not a good idea I thought and as I turned to look at her over my shoulder, the fellah across the aisle offered assistance.
Just before departure a flight attendant has to deplane what appeared to be a Mum and Dad and their daughter. I had passed by the lady in the departure lounge and thought she didn't look well. She was sweating profusely as she deplaned. Good that she did get off the plane, for if she was really ill during the flight we may have had to return if we weren't too far out over the Pacific.

The crew was nice.
Tom and I had paid for extra leg room and the seat between us stayed vacant.
That was nice but trying to sleep on a red eye was pretty impossible. The seats on their 737 reclined from here 
to here /
Just try snoozing or sleeping when upright to recline is about 2 inches.

The crew treated us very well. We had extra care and service. We didn't ask for that but we did bring chocolate-covered Macadamia nuts onboard to give to the crew.
As the Air Canada pilot said- Chocolates are the "bitcoin" of airlines.
It's just the thought of doing something nice. The "in charge" flight attendant said it's the appreciation of the whole thing. A small gesture but appreciated.
Yes, we pay for their service but if you have ever had to deal with the pubic- as you and I are members of, it can be trying at the best of times.

So, we chatted to the crew. Expressed our thanks and in return received a perk or two.
Nothing wrong with that- is there?

After being up all night and catching a small Air Canada Jazz flight to our Island- which was bumpy and threw us around  like crazy, we arrived home to sunshine and our own palm trees in our own front and back yard.

From Paradise to "Home" on our Island.
Pretty much equal.