This trip was really a fortunate mistake of timing, planning and a lot of luck. Paul and I were hoping to go to with his family to their annual get together in Florida but decided to be extremely cautious about Zika virus as local transmission was reported in Florida and we weren’t sure how it was going to develop over the following few months. We decided to think about alternative destinations and were tossing around random places. I came across a travel blog which noted that United was having discount domestic award ticket fares, and this included Hawaii. I looked into our options, and one aligned seamlessly with Paul’s vacation request around Thanksgiving.
Paul and I were like school children looking at the various award miles ticket options. We randomly decided to take the plunge and use my award miles. Luckily, I fly a lot of segments on United and I was able to upgrade our seats to bulk head or Economy Plus with a lot of extra leg room for my very tall husband. All the cards seem to fall into place and before we knew it, we were off to Hawaii with roundtrip tickets for $60.00. WHAT A DEAL?! Talk about fortunate timing and amazing luck!
We decided that we were going to take our son with us, who was a year and a half. I fly home with him all the time, so I figured we could try to triple our normal flying schedule and fly into the wee hours of the morning. It was a bit overwhelming to think of our long flight itinerary, but you really never know how your kid is going to do until you try. Also, it depends on so many factors that can change on a dime including your kids’ last cold, their night sleep, what they had for breakfast, the last time they pooped, if they decide they like the specific food choices you brought that they loved last week… etc, the list goes on – so I say, it’s worth diving in and hoping for the best.
Paul, the little man and I woke early the morning of our flight and Paul dropped me off at the front door to the airport. I strapped the little guy into the baby carrier on my back and somehow managed to wheel four large suitcases and two bags of luggage to our ticket counter. It was quite the scene. I’m sure I scared a few people, as usual. Shortly after, Paul arrived with our carseat backpack and our family team was off to catch our plane to Chicago! The first flight went off without a hitch. In Chicago we went into the United lounge to fuel up on snacks, food, and a few beverages. We met a man who was playing a one and a kind, custom Gibson guitar. I think he was popular on YouTube – another family took a picture with him as he was showing their daughter how to play the guitar briefly, and he was letter her hold his prized possession. He was so nice and had a son, named Gibson, who was our son’s age. I love making random friends – they surely brighten your day – especially while you’re self conscious about your toddler in a airport lounge, hah!
Our next flight came quickly and we were off to Los Angeles – a long flight, but our little man was a trooper. We sat on the runway a while trying to taxi to the gate but finally made it into the airport to hit the restrooms, grab an extremely overpriced sandwich, and get right back on the same plane for our late night flight to Maui. We landed in Maui at 3AM Eastern time, exhausted. Our little man slept the whole flight and was a better traveler than I could have imagined. We checked into our hotel near the airport and tried to get as much sleep as possible. The sleep was short lived, we were up way too early because it’s difficult to adjust little ones to new time zones, but we made the best of it!
That day we did some shopping, loaded up on groceries at Whole Foods and Costco and drove to our resort! It was such a surreal feeling to be in Hawaii. Island living must be so different, and so amazing. It didn’t take long before we were at the pool and making dinner in the kitchen. (PS. I highly recommend a kitchen when traveling with a youngster).