Day 1: The Day I Learn a Lesson And Almost Get Killed (the two being unrelated)

Early Monday morning, we head off to the Oakland airport. Since my Rodeo isn't in all that hot a condition, and since we don't really feel like spending a couple hundred bucks on long-term parking for a week-plus, and since we don't really like the general public and don't want to share a shuttle or anything, we instead opt for a slightly different option, and arrange for a limo ride from our apartment to the airport. It's an hour or more from San Jose to Oakland, and we have to leave our place at around 5:30 in the morning to make the flight; might as well be comfortable.

Original plan was an 11:30 flight direct from Oakland to Kona, but the flight got changed to an 8:20 flight to Honolulu, and a 45-minute layover until an interisland shuttle from Honolulu to Kona. Thanks, Aloha Airlines!

We arrive in Honolulu, and humidity strikes early. We transfer to the shuttle airplane (general seating, and we get stuck way in back of the ridiculously small craft -- thanks, Aloha Airlines!) and end up on the right side of the airplane. The left side, of course, is the side with the view of the other islands as we fly.

We arrive, I get the rental car (a convertible, of course), and we check in to our hotel. While doing that, we also get tickets for that night's luau.

During the luau, I bring along my trusty digital camera, so we can fondly look back at images of our vacation forever. I get two pictures taken -- one of the view from our hotel room and one of our first Hawaiian sunset -- before the batteries run out. No problem -- I brought along four rechargeable batteries just in case something like this happens. And I even charged them up.
...sometime last year or something, because they're dead as well. Lesson learned: remember to charge your rechargeable batteries before you go on vacation.

So I don't get any pictures of the luau dancers or the fire dance. And I don't get any pictures of the fist-sized coconut that fell from the tree above me and demolished my mai tai cup, only missing my head by about a foot. Ah, well. At least I have the memories. And an undamaged skull.

After the luau, we discover the perfect way to end the evening: the hotel has a bar, with ridiculously comfortable chairs facing the ocean. We grab some comfy chairs, sit back, and drink a mai tai with our shoes off, and our feet on the barricade separating us from the ocean crashing against the rocks fifteen feet below.

We resolve to buy batteries first thing tomorrow morning, I kick myself a little for not keeping the head-seeking coconut as a souvenir, and we retire to our room for the night.

It's a slightly rocky start, but one heck of a nice way to end the first day here.

The view from our hotel room, right in the middle of the Kailua coast.

Hawai'i sunset #1.


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