Hawaii, Part the Second

I love to travel. There is just so much in the world I haven’t seen yet. Being on the west coast has given me plenty to do, and I love weekend adventures. And Eric is my favorite travel companion. We’ve seen lots of amazing places these past few years.

A few months ago, we were online looking at flights to come home for our friends’ wedding, and we discovered that Delta had an accidental sale on their website. A pricing error had many flights marked down by hundreds of dollars, and we had the crazy fortune of being online at exactly the right moment.

The whole thing was a whirlwind lasting no more than 15 minutes. We looked at all our free weekends and all the places we wanted to go and plotted and schemed and booked tickets. We were also selfish: when we finished our own trips we started looking into trips for our families, but by the time we went to book them it was too late: the site was down and Expedia had returned the prices to normal. Despite our guilt, we were optimistic about the potential for travel.

We figured at the worst the trips would be canceled and we’d get our money back and go nowhere, and at best we’d get fantastically inexpensive trips in a year when I didn’t think I’d have many far-away adventures. Delta chose to honor the tickets and our first adventure to Albuquerque went amazingly well.

This morning our second adventure began, to Hawaii. Last year we took advantage of the well-priced tickets from the west coast, and went to the Big Island for a week. Typically I’m not a beaches-and-sunshine type of traveler. When I invest in a trip I like to take advantage of every moment, and I feel that pure relaxation isn’t getting the most out of that money. I also very much dislike crowds when I travel: I always try to go to places off-season, and I don’t like feeling surrounded by tourists, even though I am one. So I have a weird bias against warm, sunny, beachy places.

But I really enjoyed the Big Island. We snorkeled and ate really good food and I swam in warm ocean water for the first time in my life. And there was a National Park, which gave us a nice balance of relaxation and adventure. The landscape was super interesting – so much more than beaches, so lush and with a ton of amazing plants I’d never seen before. So this year, when we found the cheap flights, we decided to go to Maui. The second Hawaiian National Park is here, and the beaches are supposed to be even better. And I’m excited.

Today I was really anxious, because we had three flights and two short connections at massive airports. ROC to ATL to LAX to OGG. But we made them all and we’re almost halfway through our final stretch! I’ve got a phone interview tomorrow morning, but then the week ahead will be filled with beaches and snorkeling and hiking and shave ice and hopefully some fun new experiences.

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