Arriving in Hawaii

My mom was recently recognized for the 30 years she has worked at her company. As a reward for her hard work, the company gave her a “free” vacation for 2 people. Because my mom is the most wonderful person in the world, she chose me to accompany her on her vacation. After some discussion, we settled on Hawaii as our destination.

The company covered our airfare, 6 nights in a hotel, and 7 days for a rental car, and they also gave us a daily stipend to help us with food expenses and other incidentals. However, we decided that we wanted to stay in Hawaii for ten days, so we’ll have to pay for the extra nights in the hotel and extra days for the car rental. Also, we had to pay for any of our activities, such as tickets or admission fees. Overall, we really lucked out. This vacation definitely could have been way more expensive.

The flight to Hawaii was a long one. I stayed up the entire night before eventually catching our plane at 6:00am, that way I could just sleep on the plane and hopefully get somewhat adjusted to the time change. However, that didn’t work out exactly as I had planned. I ended up not being able to sleep on the plane real well (surprise, surprise) so by the time I arrived in Hawaii, I was quite exhausted. For that very reason, I’m going to hold off on giving any of my first impressions of Hawaii. I’ve been so focused on fighting the major jet lag that I really haven’t had much of a chance to sit back and soak it all in. So far, the “I’m actually in Hawaii” feeling hasn’t quite hit yet.

The hotel at least, has been super nice. We’re staying at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. We got a “city view” room instead of an “ocean view” room because it was way cheaper, but our view isn’t bad. We’re on the third floor and have a great view of the pool area. In the evening, they lit a bunch of torches and even had a live band performing some Hawaiian music. It made for a relaxing evening after an exhausting day of traveling.

On the main floor is not only the check-in area, but also the pool and several other shops. Many of them are souvenir shops, but they also had jewelry stores, artwork, and more. The area around the hotel also has lots of shops and restaurants. Most of them are souvenir shops, but they also had some expensive name brand stores such as Louis Vitton, Coach, Christian Dior, and more.

As we walked around, I quickly realized just how big the Asian population here in Hawaii really is. Japanese in particular is incredibly common. Back home, it was common to see public signs in English and in Spanish, but here all the signs are in English and Japanese. I’m actually super excited because it means all the Japanese restaurants around here are authentic, and I can get the ramen I’ve been missing so much since getting home from Japan.

I’m super tired due to jet lag, but after my little preview of Hawaii today, I’m really looking forward to the rest of our trip.

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