Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tonya Goes To Hawaii - Aloha Honolulu!!!

We are finally in Hawaii!!! This has been the longest day of my life - especially because of the 5 extra hours added due to the time change. We've been up since 4:30 a.m. EST and although the clock now says 7:30 p.m. our bodies know it is 12:30 a.m. (In case you don't want to do the math, we have now been up for 20 hours straight.) Even though exhausted, I am still chanting my mantra: No biggie. I am going to Hawaii so all is good. But that is all about to change.

We get off the plane and follow all the other people to baggage claim. Unbeknownst to us, baggage claim is a long walk outside and we didn't get a wheelchair for Dad. He was a trooper though and we slowly made our way to claim our bags. Is it just me or is it REALLY humid out here? None of the guide books said anything about humidity this time of year. Maybe I am just feeling it since we are not in tropical clothing yet. Although I feel sweat trickling down my back, I am still whispering my mantra: No biggie. I am going to Hawaii so all is good.

We finally make it to the baggage claim area where we find Dad a bench. I send Mom off to to find out where the Thrifty rental counter is and I stand by waiting for our luggage. Guess which bag is one of the first on the carousel? Yep, the carry on bag we had to check in Charlotte. Mom was shocked but pleased. I even overheard another woman say as my suitcase came around that it was really cute luggage. And she was right. I do have cute luggage.

See for yourself how cute it is

But it is cursed luggage!! Read on to see why.

Before I knew it the carousel of luggage had stopped and there was no more luggage!!! Where the *@#$ is the rest of my luggage?!?!? You have got to be kidding me!!! There is another guy waiting also. We both look at each other with a knowing look as we move reluctantly toward the luggage claims office. Screw the mantra!! I am tired and hungry and sweaty. At this point I was just trying to remember that I was from the South and brought up to be a lady and to not swear in front of my parents.

Mom joins me in line while we wait our turn to ask where the @#$% our luggage is. We start to look for our luggage claim tickets. And we look and we look and we look. We basically unpack both of our purses and totes looking for the stupid little pieces of paper but the only thing we come up with is our receipt for the payment of our checked bags. All the while we are searching, Mom tells me that she has found no Thrifty rental car counter or any directions to Thrifty in the airport. ~~This is when I take a deep cleansing breath.~~ I pull out our car rental information in my handy dandy travel binder and ask Mom to call the phone number and find out where we are supposed to go. She gets to the third prompt and gives up in frustration.

Finally, it is our turn at the baggage claim counter. The baggage guy asks for our luggage claim tickets. We tell him we don't have those and the only thing the woman gave us this morning was the receipt for the bag check fee so we show him our flight information. He punches a few keys on the computer and says he can't really do anything since we don't have the luggage claim tickets. We again tell him we never got them. ~~Take another deep cleansing breath.~~ He is very confused that we booked on United but took US Air and ended up on a Continental flight that was actually a United flight number. We tell him our flight information again and he is still confused. ~~Another deep cleansing breath.~~ I even show him all of our flight reservation information and he is still confused. ~~Big deep cleansing breath.~~ At last the other baggage guy steps in and within a minute finds our luggage in the the system and that it is still in San Fransisco. He tells us it will be on the next flight tomorrow at 1:20 p.m. ~~Take a smaller deep cleansing breath.~~ 1:20 p.m.? Really? There isn't another flight into Honolulu from San Francisco before that? Apparently not. But at least we know where our luggage is and when it will arrive.

Now it is time to find Thrifty so we can get out rental car. I start the process of trying to get a real live person on the phone to tell us where to go. After a few minutes of being on hold, I get to speak to someone who tells me to find an airport house phone and dial #11 and they will tell me what to do. So we find a phone and dial #11. Presto! We have to walk outside to the median and catch a shuttle. Would it kill them to just put up a freaking sign??? Or at the very least tell you this little bit of information on your reservation???

We find the rental car shuttle location after a bit of obstinacy on Dad's part. I am almost thankful we don't have luggage at this point because we are all about to explode from exhaustion and frustration. And thank the good Lord for air conditioning on the shuttle bus. Who knew Honolulu would be so humid at 9:00 at night. (Yes, it is 1 1/2 hours later and we are just leaving the airport.)

In just a few minutes we are at Thrify and all checked in since I signed up for the Blue Chip program - thanks for the tip. Our Jeep Liberty was ready and waiting for us and Hero (yes, his name was Hero) was very helpful in giving us directions and telling us they would be happy to take us to the Port on Saturday after we dropped off the car. While I was checking in, Mom even met a nice family who was going to Disney's Aulani Resort - which is where we are staying post-cruise. They saw my Mickey luggage tag on our carry on bag. Although exhausted and hungry and without any clothing or toiletries, things are beginning to look up. In fact, it isn't even as humid anymore.

Next stop - Hale Koa!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tonya Goes To Hawaii - Are We There Yet?

When I left you, we were still on the flight from hell. There wasn't anything wrong with the flight but it is simply a commentary on the state of air travel - translation: it sucks to fly these days. Planes are crowded, seats are smaller than ever, and you don't get any services other than a cup of water or Diet Coke. Sure the airlines offer you their version of an overpriced Lunchable to purchase but that isn't enough to keep people happy. In fact, I totally understand the people who go "crazy" on a flight and have to be escorted off by a federal Marshall - if you are even a little bit mentally disturbed, a cross country flight with no peanuts or leg room will certainly put you over the edge.

Let me jump off my soap box for now and get back to my trip report.

I forgot to mention that since we were late boarding our flight in Charlotte they made us check our carry on suitcase saying there was no overhead bin space available. I didn't put up a fuss though since I was still chanting my mantra: No biggie. I am going to Hawaii so all is good. Mom wasn't chanting my mantra and was insistent that we were never going to see the suit case again. I assured her that wasn't true but on her last trip she was forced to check her carry on suitcase and the suitcase didn't quite make it to its final destination in a timely manner so Mom was a little paranoid.

Needless to say, when we got on the plane there was plenty of overhead bin space if the flight attendants had simply moved a few things one way or the other. Pure and simple - they were lazy!!! I normally fly Delta and those flight attendants are almost always trying to squeeze in another bag in those poor overhead bins. (Just another reason I don't like US Air.)

Sorry. I am jumping back off my soap box, again.

Finally the trip from hell touched down in lovely San Francisco. And I have never been so happy to be off an airplane. I felt like I was free from the confines of a clown car at the circus and if I wasn't weighed down with carry on bags I just know I would have spread my arms and twirled around singing songs from The Sound of Music. It was a glorious feeling, my friend.

When we got off the plane in San Francisco for a 4 hour layover and our first mission was to get something to eat. Dad was thrilled to be free and decided he would like stretch his legs and to walk some. Who am I to question? So we start down the terminal where we finally find Go Bistro Asian Fusion Bar & Grill with a free table. So we grab it. It wasn't the greatest food I have ever eaten but it tasted delicious and rejuvenated all of our spirits for our final leg of the trip.

The only problem with our rejuvenated spirits was that Dad's legs were not rejuvenated and he just couldn't walk anymore - and according to the map of SFO I pulled up on the ipad while we ate (because there really weren't any signs on how to get to other terminals) we had quite a trek ahead of us. So Mom and I trek back to our original gate and ask for wheelchair assistance. Trying to explain to the gate person that we had come in on a flight an hour earlier and the person who needed assistance was not at the gate and that we were changing airlines was a challenge but we finally got all got on the same channel and someone was called.

Who showed up was little tiny old Filipino man. When we explained that we were going to Continental he sort of got this OMG look in his eye since that was about 1.5 miles away. SFO is not like any other airport I have been in. If you have to change terminals you have to go out of a secured area and trudge over to the new terminal and go through security again. But the little tiny old Filipino man was not deterrent in the least.

This is what our trek looked like:

We landed at #1. Walked to #2 where we ate. Then Mom and I walked back to #1 where we waited for our little tiny old Filipino wheelchair driver. Then the three of us walked back to #2 where we picked up Dad. And then we trudged over to #3. We definitely got our exercise and so did our little tiny old Filipino wheelchair driver. Needless to say, we tipped our little tiny old Filipino wheelchair driver well and relaxed at our gate for just under an hour while we waited to board our final jet plane to Hawaii. Some people may have thought we were crazy for having a 4 hour layover but we needed almost every minute of it just to eat and get to our next gate.

Before we knew it we were boarding our Continental wide bodied jet destined for Honolulu. The plane was GIANT compared to our last flight. There was Hawaiian music playing softly in the background as we boarded and the flight attendants all had flowers in their hair. (Well, not the male flight attendants but the females did.) There was even an in flight entertainment system!!!! Woohooo!!!!

I was so excited about the entertainment system that I took a picture of my screen

All of the passengers finished boarding and we realized that the flight was only about 2/3 full. Score!!!! We quickly spread out. Dad was in two seats by himself and Mom and I were sharing the three seats in the middle by ourselves. It was glorious!! I kid you not. It was glorious - except for the man in front of me who had his seat back so I could barely move forward. Even though it was now 15 hours into our trip I was still chanting my mantra: No biggie. I am going to Hawaii so all is good.

Before we knew it the plane was pushing back from the gate and we were airborne. Mom and I finally figured out how to watch a movie and decided on Monsters Inc. I love Boo! She is so cute. At some point Mom's movie switched to Spanish for a few minutes. It made us laugh.

Eventually Mom went to sleep on Dad and I laid down on my three seats. I didn't sleep but it was nice to be horizontal for a change. I turned all three seat back screens so I could watch the plane's progress. I find it fascinating that it can be -59 degrees Fahrenheit outside and nothing freezes on the wings. Fascinating!

Next thing I knew the little plane on the screen was approaching land. Land ho!!! It was just after 7 p.m. Hawaii time so it was dark but the lights of Honolulu are beautiful.

20 hours after I had woken up that morning and we finally made it! And I was still chanting my mantra: No biggie. I am going to Hawaii so all is good. In no time at all we had gathered all of our stuff and deplaned. Aloha, Hawaii!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tonya Goes To Hawaii - Time to Jet!

Is it really 4:30 a.m.???? I check my phone and yes that is the correct time. Why do I torture myself with morning flights? I should know better since I am most certainly "not a morning person" but I am going to Hawaii so I "jump" out of bed and start getting ready and finish packing. Mom, of course, is already up and in the shower since she is most certainly a "morning person" while Dad is still in bed because I had to inherit my morning tendencies from someone.

Before we knew it it was 5:30 a.m. and my sister arrived at the house to take us to the airport. Please take note that I was the only traveler ready on time. My family and friends have this notion that since I am not a morning person that I can't be ready on time. But contrary to their assumptions, if I am given a time to be ready, I am always ready. I will give my Mom a little slack in this area since she was trying to get Dad on the move and that can be like herding cats but Dad gets no leeway here at all. He was late!!!

After the cat herding was done, we arrive at the airport with plenty of time. We get dropped off at the curb, say our good byes to my sister, and we manage to schlep our bags to the US Air kiosk. The only problem is that we are actually booked through United so we can't use the kiosk so the airline guy shows us the line to wait in for check in. (United doesn't actually fly in and out of the Augusta airport but books flights through US Air so there is no United desk at the airport.) After a few minutes it is our turn and we schlep our bags up to the desk. The airline lady begins checking us in while I start to do a preemptive weigh in of our bags. All the bags are under the 50 lb weigh limit but mine. Over by 1.5 lbs ***sigh*** How do they expect me to pack for almost 2 weeks and not go over 50 lbs??? I quickly unzip my suitcase but am perplexed as to what to take out and shove in my already full carry on. After some quick thinking I grab my fleece jacket and a hoodie. I don't really think those are going to weigh 1.5 lbs but I do another weigh in of my bag and low and behold I am now under by 0.5 lbs. Who knew a little fleece and a hood would weigh 2 lbs?!?!?

Meanwhile, the airline lady is still trying to check us in. They are having computer problems and she can't log in so she tries another computer. Thankfully she gets logged in and finds our reservation. She even found Mom on the reservation which made Mom happy since she wasn't on the online check-in last night. The airline lady is very nice and even tries to get us seats together on the plane. Hold on there, nice airline lady!!! Don't go rearranging our seats now!!! It took me a long time to figure out our seat assignments since Mom, Dad, and I all prefer aisle seats but still wanted to be close to each other. Luckily she doesn't succeed in any rearranging before we set her straight.

The nice airline lady was very proud of herself when she informed us that she only charged each of us for one bag so we paid $25/bag instead of $35 for one of the bags. Say what?!?!? Why would you even think that charging 3 people checking in with 3 bags as if 1 of the people didn't have a bag and 1 person had 2 bags was a good idea???? Like I said she was a nice lady but it was early so I am going to chalk it up to that. (((shaking my head still to this day))) The nice airline lady hands me our receipts for our baggage fees and our boarding passes and we are all set.

Have I mentioned that I have a love/hate relationship with US Air that doesn't include the love part of the relationship? There was an incident about 17 years ago that I still hold a grudge about and will not fly on US Air if I can help it. And the only reason I am tolerating this trip on US Air is that we actually booked through United so in my head it isn't as if I am flying on US Air. It is complicated.

We made it past the nice airline lady only to wait in line at security. We got behind a family of 5 who apparently had never flown before and was not aware of any carry on restrictions or security procedures. No biggie. I am going to Hawaii so all is good. (It is early in the day and this is still my mantra.) It is finally our turn to go through security so we start the great unpacking. First there is my laptop that has to be taken out. Then there is Dad's CPAP machine. Then there is my carry on and Dad's carry on and my purse and my shoes and my jacket - all the while Mom is taking care of her own stuff while Dad is explaining to the TSA person that they should just pull him aside now because his two replaced knees and titanium hip will just cause the machine to go crazy. Then to top it off, Mom gets chosen to be patted down. Apparently she hadn't heard any of the TSA pat down stories and was quite surprised when the lady TSA agent felt her up AND molested her. It was funny to hear her tell us about her big surprise. :)

The Augusta airport is nice but small so there is only one concession stand. The plan was to grab a quick muffin at the airport and get something more substantial when we get to Charlotte. The first glitch in the plan is that the concession stand was out of muffins or any other appropriate breakfast snack. So I did the only thing I could do and shared my breakfast of champions (i.e. pop tart) with Dad. The second glitch in the plan is that Charlotte was fogged in and our flight was delayed taking off and we already had a somewhat tight connection if we have to change terminals.

We arrive in Charlotte with about 30 minutes until our flight finishes boarding. And guess what?? We have to change terminals. UGH!!!! We flag down one of the shuttle carts since Dad can't walk long distances. The problem with the Charlotte airport is that the shuttle carts can only go so far before you have to get out and get Dad into a wheelchair, take an elevator up to the next terminal, and wait for another shuttle cart. Once we get up to the next terminal, Mom and I quickly flag down another shuttle cart heading to our terminal. There is one other lady on it that Mom starts talking to and lamenting our situation about how we are going to miss our flight and this and that. I am still saying my mantra - No biggie. I am going to Hawaii so all is good. Somehow or another - either from Mom's lamenting or divine intervention - the lady tells the driver to take us to our gate first. Wooohooo!!! We make our flight!!! But we don't get to grab anything to eat.

One thing I have learned about any flight over an hour is to have something with you to eat. I had mentioned to Mom earlier in the week about my life lesson learned the hard way and she sort of agreed with me but I could tell that she was dismissive of my life lesson. I however always try to learn from past experiences and therefore made turkey sandwiches the night before we left and froze them so they would stay cold until we needed them. And need them we did!!!! By now it was 10 a.m. and we have been up almost 6 hours with only a pop tart amongst us. As soon as the airplane got horizontal in the air I whipped out the sandwiches. Mom was now thankful that I had learned from past experience.

According to our itinerary, the flight from Charlotte to San Francisco is 5 hours and 50 minutes. The flight from Charlotte to San Francisco was packed. The flight from Charlotte to San Francisco was like a sardine can with wings. It was a 3X3 plane - 3 seats on each side of the aisle. I am seated on the aisle on my row with the window seat taken by a nice young woman who is in medical school at Duke on her way to interview at a hospital in San Francisco for a internship and a nice young man who was a Bolivian soccer player on vacation in the middle seat. Those two mostly chatted with each other but I listened. Okay, I eaves dropped but it was a sardine can in the sky what else could I do? Occasionally I joined in the conversation here and there but I have never been one to be a chatterer on a plane. As far as seat companions go they were good and entertaining to overhear.

The flight was sooooooo boring though. There was no in flight movie, no peanuts or pretzels, and no room to move since the beverage cart or the trash cart was in the aisle every chance it could get. I tried to read but I was so uncomfortable it was hard to concentrate. I tried to listen to my ipod but that didn't entertain me either. I read the guide book on Hawaii we brought along and found a tips so that was good. Mom and I did a crossword puzzle. Between the two of us we can usually get most of the puzzle done before we resort to looking at the answers. I watched the girl caty corner to me work on her pysics paper on her lap top and then reading on her Kindle in some Asian language. (Actually is was interesting to watch her. When we first boarded she was eating an ice cream cone in the weirdest way. It was sort of gross - nibble nibble on the cone and lick lick on the ice cream and repeat over and over again.) It was also irritating that the pilot never turned the seat belt sign off. I get the whole turbulence thing and safety first. But come on!!! 5 hours and 50 minutes crammed in like sardines!!! After a while people just ignored the seat belt sign and got up to go to the bathroom and roam the aisles. Ohh!! Did I mention that it was really warm on the plane also?

One bright note is that I did happen to notice the snow capped Rocky Mountains out the window about 4 hours into the flight. It was a very pretty sight. I always like spotting things from 30,000 feet - it makes me feel geographically knowledgeable in some small way.

All in all this was the flight from hell and nothing really bad happened. It gives me a new found respect for those people who get stuck on those flights that are on the tarmac for hours on end.

The journey continues . . .

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tonya Goes To Hawaii - It's Almost Time to Jet

It is almost December 15th!!!! So much still to do.

But wait a minute! I need to take a quick trip to Disney World before I get my Aloha on. Don't worry, my mother already called me crazy. I have spent the same weekend at Disney World for the last four years and I had friends going the same time and an Annual Pass burning a hole in my pocket. What was I supposed to do but arrange to take Brody Baby to Casa Edwards (his hunting trainer's house) a few days early and take a detour to Orlando for some holiday fun.

Oh and I still need to get a hair cut. I simply can't go to Hawaii without a trim. Thankfully my hair stylist of over 20 years fits me in. Thanks, Julie!

Hmmmm, what else needs to be done besides packing? LAUNDRY!! I have to do laundry! I am going away for two weeks and I will need clean underwear (and t-shirts and capris and a hoodie at the very minimum.)

What am I supposed to do with all these papers we need for the trip? There is flight information, cruise paperwork, hotel reservations, rental car reservations, event information, and restaurant tickets - oh my!!! Me thinks a quick trip to Staples before I go to the drug store to pick up my prescriptions is in order.

Look what I found at Staples. It works perfectly for the million pieces of paper I need a moments notice. A Staples Presentation Binder.

And did I mention that I made a little trip art for Carol's Hawaiian Adventure?

What else? Guess I should check in for our flights tomorrow. We booked our flights through United but our flights are with US Air and Continental and it won't let me prepay the baggage fees and Mom's not showing up when I print off the online check in. Hmmmmm, this is a little glitch in the process but what am I gonna do about it now? Well, I look back and see that she is on the original flight reservation so I opt to just figure it out at the airport in the morning. Keep your fingers crossed.

Now that I am all organized I am ready to pack and it is before midnight. So far off to a great start, right? Maybe I can actually get a few hours of sleep before my sister shows up at 5:30 am to take us to the airport.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tonya Goes to Hawaii - The Planning Continues

Where are we going to eat? What do we want to see and do? Should we rent a car? What is the ship like? Hawaii might be the 50th state but it is almost like going to a foreign country. So much planning - so little time!!

As the planning continues, I decided a good place to start would be in order to read some reviews of the ship and the itinerary. The reviews for Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America are all over the board. Some people thought it was the best cruise they have ever been on and others thought it was the worst. Some loved the food yet others thought it was inedible. But the one thing everyone agreed about were that the cabins on the Pride of America were tinyyyyy. (EGADS!!!) All this resulted in me managing my expectations but hoping for the best.

The unique thing about the Pride of America is that is registered as an American ship. Apparently this is the only cruise ship that is registered in the United States. With a US registry, the crew must either be US citizens or have green cards which decreases the work force considerably. It also means that everyone makes at least minimum wage and they all speak English (95% as a first language). Some reviewers also suggested that the US work eligibility requirement resulted in a less than stellar service (which I found to be insulting to Americans but that is just me.)

Have you ever noticed that when you are shopping for a new car you suddenly notice the car you are considering all over the place? Well, the same phenomenon happens when you are planning a trip to Hawaii!!! Every time I turned on the television, the food channel was mentioning food from Hawaii. So, I started making notes. One restaurant we wanted to try was Hank's Haute Dogs. I began to follow Hank's on Twitter. Hank happened to retweet a few things that led me to other things. All this following of tweets led me to find and You'll hear about those places in later entries. ;)

(I also found a lot of good ideas for activities and shopping on

One thing that was settled early on in our planning was that Dad was not going to be taking a ride in a helicopter. He was adamant about it. Apparently he had enough of helicopters when he was in the Army and was having nothing to do with them ever again. He still wanted to see the lava flows though. Hmmmmm. That creates a little bit of a problem. Stay tuned for how this turns out.

After reading more reviews on it became apparent that a rental car was going to be essential. Most people recommended Thrifty and to become a Blue Chip Member. So, I signed up and began making reservations. I booked a car for pre and post cruise and in almost every port we stopped in. My theory being I could always cancel the reservation but it was better to have a ressie than not have one. I did some comparison of rental pricing and Thrifty was competitive.

My biggest shock was the price of the car rental of the pre and post cruise reservations. Pre-cruise the car cost $45/day (12/15-12/17) but post-cruise (12/24-12/27) the car cost $179/day. What the tarnation?!?!?! Welcome to Hawaii!!! We actually saw a newspaper headline while were were there that said that rental car prices increase an average of 197% over the Christmas holiday. (It seems that the two busiest weeks in Hawaii are over Christmas and New Years.)

I kept getting emails from Norwegian Cruise Line about booking excursions but I was reluctant to book them. Many reviewers suggested that you could do any excursion that the ship offered on your own and save a lot of money. Sounds like a plan!!! I was also reluctant to make too many plans in advance because I wasn't sure what my father would be able to do (he has a few mobility issues) or want to do and I didn't want to over tax my mother either. We had talked about doing the sunrise over the crater and ride the bike down the mountain tour but that sounds better in theory than in reality. (There is the whole having to be there before sunrise thing.) Soooo, no excursions were booked.

Other than trying to figure out what to pack, most of the planning for Carol's Hawaiian Adventure are complete. (I named the trip Carol's Hawaiian Adventure since this trip was all started because of mom.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tonya Goes To Hawaii - The Back Story and the Planning Begins

It has always been a dream of my mother's to go to Hawaii. She must have seen movies and pictures as a child and always imagined herself sitting on a beach under a palm tree while the sun shines and the surfers surf. Not a bad dream to have, right?

The only problem was my father didn't really have a desire to go, so her dream of seeing the 50th State was pushed to the back burner. But as time has gone by and no one was getting any younger or healthier, my father announced one day last July that they were going Hawaii for Christmas and that I was coming along so that mom would have someone to do things with. (His idea of a vacation is to sit on a lounge chair and read a book in between naps.) Hmmmm. A free trip to Hawaii or spend Christmas by myself. That is a tough decision. I AM GOING TO HAWAII!!!

Now the tough decisions have to be made. Should we island hop or cruise? How long should we go for? What do we actually want to see while we are there? Will this be an adventure trip or a relaxing trip? What is the weather like in Hawaii over Christmas? Is it warm enough to swim? How many vowels does the Hawaiian language have? Should we rent a car while we are there? Will Mom eat Spam while we are there? Where will Brody Baby spend his holiday? The choices are endless!!!

The first thing Mom and I did (because Dad is not the planner on this adventure - only the payer) was to buy a couple of guide books. After reading said guide books, we were almost as confused as before. But eventually we sorted out that we should cruise and treat the ship as a floating hotel since this would be our first time in Hawaii. So I emailed our handy dandy travel agent (Tracy Whipple at and booked the cruise. One decision done!

The next decision is to decide when to arrive in Hawaii and when to leave. Mom decided that we should arrive 2 days early and spend 3 days after the cruise. But where should we stay? Since Dad spent his 20 years in the Army, we checked out if Hale Koa (the military resort on Waikiki) was available. Low and behold it was available pre-cruise but not available post-cruise. Hmmmm, one more decision to make!!! Wait a minute!!! Disney Vacation Club just opened up Aulani!!! So I find a friend with points to rent and we make a reservation. Two decisions done!

Now, how are we going to get there? Fly of course - but getting my mother to make a decision on flights is a chore. (Sorry Mom but it is true. But I still love you.) Mom still thinks that it is 1995 and that the price of flights will keep dropping until two weeks before the flight. I know this isn't true but she never believes me. Tsk tsk tsk. And then Dad insists that he wants a direct flight from Atlanta and we will drive to Atlanta. (This always sounds good until you are on your way home and have to drive over 2 hours after a long trip.) So I do the only sensible thing and set up a few alerts on flights so I can watch the pricing. Finally I find what I think are decent flights at a good price and get everyone on board with the plan. Three decisions done!

Three decisions down and a hundred more to go. Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Resolutions Lost - Another New Year's Resolution down the drain!

Yes, once again I have failed miserably with my New Year Resolution. This year one of my resolutions was to post on a regular basis. Have I? Obviously not. But the year is not over so I am not a total failure yet!!! (My eternal optimism knows no boundaries.)

What am I going to post about for the rest of the year? For starters, I plan on chronicling a fabulous Christmas vacation I have planned with my parents to Hawaii!!! I am very excited since I never really thought I would ever go to Hawaii. There is so much to plan since this could be a once in a lifetime trip - hopefully not but you just never know. It is like learning a different language even though we are technically not leaving the States. My uber planner is having a field day and I am loving it.

So stay tuned for so much more on Tonya Goes to Hawaii. (I watched Gidget Goes to Hawaii and it inspired me - sort of.)