Sunday, May 29, 2011

Home Is Where The Heart Is - Day 1 - Travel

Over a month ago, after a 6 year hiatus, we finally made it back home.

Home to our beloved Hawaii.

The last time we were in Hawaii, TG and I were still newly married and our children were only stars in the sky.

We've tried several times over the years to plan a trip back, but houses, jobs, babies and life just got in the way. So when the last minute opportunity to take our whole family came up we jumped on it.

We decided to break up the 12 hour travel time and stop in San Francisco overnight to give ourselves and our kids a break. That was the best decision we ever made.

We left here on a Wednesday night (after missing our 4:00 flight) on Virgin America. I simply can't say enough about this airline. From the staff in the airport who went out of their way to help us get on another flight, to the pilot who after a 6 hour flight went out of his way to locate our stroller - their customer service was unmatched by any airline we've ever been on. Add to that the seriously beautiful and spacious airplane with cable tv on demand and courteous flight attendant service and you've got the ideal cross country flight with two small children. If you haven't flown Virgin, you are missing out.

After a much needed night of sleep we woke up early West Coast time and majorly excited for our flight to Honolulu. Now, can we talk airports? In my opinion, Dulles is one of the worst airports to fly out of. It's busy, understaffed, and sprawling. The majority of the reason we missed our flight was simply our fault for cutting it too close, but that combined with the ridiculous security line at Dulles sealed our fate.

Not wanting to make the same mistake that we did in DC we arrived 2.5 hours early at SFO for our Honolulu flight, but much to our surprise that amount of time was unnecessary because San Fran has a security line just for families. We breezed right through, had a delicious breakfast and had 2 hours to spare. 2 hours that were happily spent playing in the Kids Science Area. SFO is seriously family friendly, hello Dulles can you get on that train already?

Our flight to Honolulu was okay, mostly because we knew at the end we would be in Hawaii. Camden slept almost the whole way with a raging fever due to an ear infection we were battling right up to the day we left (with a last minute morning trip to urgent care to get yet another antibiotic). Riley happily played the iPad for most of the trip while TG tried to relax. I missed winning the halfway point game by a mere 2 minutes and TG and I enjoyed a yummy cheese and wine tray as our lunch.

My heart swelled with joy when we caught our first breath of island air and Riley grasped my hand and solemnly said, "Mom, this is my faber-it place in the whoa-el werr-ld." I couldn't have said it better myself.

After we grabbed our bags, we hopped on our Roberts Hawaii bus to the hotel where we immediately dropped our bags off at the bell hop and ran down to the beach to put our toes in the water. Riley soaked herself and her dress while Camden squealed with excitement at the waves lapping over his little feet.

I might have shed a tear of at that moment watching my two babies so happy in a place that brings me so much joy.

Then we sprawled on the grass, played with shoes, and ran off some pent up energy while we waited for Gammy and Gampy to arrive.

We wrapped up our first afternoon there with dinner at Bibas and an early 6:00 pm bedtime for all.

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