Background &Travel Day

April 27, 2011
This was our fifth trip to the island, second for Ryan (2.5 years) and first for Baby Jack (7.5 months) and my in-laws Bill and Nancy. We own a timeshare at the Point at Poipu and we love it, but my dad gave us an RCI week to use so we decided to see what makes the North Shore so special to many people.

I booked a Friday-Friday week at Wyndham Bali Hai Villas (Bill and Nancy used RCI points to book a separate unit), but as I was researching airfares I realized the only way we’d be able to use United miles one way (the HNL-DEN direct is a MUCH easier flight than connecting in LAX at 5:30 a.m.) and also find reasonable airfare for DEN-LAX-LIH would be to travel midweek.

I also realized we had enough points to book a couple of days at the Point (which would expire if we didn’t use them this year), so I added two nights to the beginning of the trip and booked our tickets Wednesday April 27 - Thursday May 5.

I booked DEN-LAX-LIH because I figured it would be easier on Ryan if he had the opportunity to get out and run around midway through the day, getting back on the plane right around naptime. It would have worked perfectly if United hadn’t kept changing our flight times after I booked, and then we arrived in LAX to find that our flight was delayed ANOTHER hour due to mechanical issues. We spent more time in the LA airport than I initially anticipated, but it worked out okay in the end.

I packed way too many toys and not quite enough snacks – Ryan was content to watch “Happy Feet” on my netbook and play with a bag of fuzzy pom poms, but he ate his way through all the food I brought and then a United Tapas Snackbox (marinated olives and all) and still wanted more (and this was after eating a full lunch in LA!).
Baby Jack did okay, taking a couple of catnaps throughout both flights and in LA. I had not purchased a seat for him on either flight, and the DEN-LAX flight was packed so he sat on my lap. The LAX-LIH was not full (another reason to book mid-week) so we were able to bring on his car seat. However, there was so much to look at that he had a hard time settling down for a good long nap.

We landed in LIH at 6 pm (10 pm Denver time!), claimed the Kelty backpack carrier and the stroller from the baggage carousel, and headed to Alamo. An 8 day compact rental was $179 including taxes and fees (reserved through Costco Travel). We got a Nissan Versa, which was JUST big enough (one more suitcase or bigger kids and it would have been too small). 

After wrestling to install the carseats, we headed south. Since our initial flight plans had us arriving at 5:15, I originally thought we could stop at Wal-mart for a few toiletries and baby essentials, but given the additional delay in LAX we decided to head straight to the resort to get the kids to bed and avoid any public meltdowns (mine or theirs).

Bill and Nancy stayed in the second bedroom at the Point; while we knew the kids would both ultimately end up in bed with us, we wanted to start Ryan in his own bed so we pulled the sofa cushions off and made him a bed in the walk-in closet – he loved it! The resort provided a crib for Jack, but it was rickety and I was not impressed.

You can read my comparison of the two resorts by clicking on the Timeshare Reviews tab at the top of the page. I think my two favorite things about the Point are the pool and the beds. We didn’t use the pool this time, so the beds were #1. I’m pretty sure they’re the Westin Heavenly Beds, and if they’re not, they’re pretty similar. As anticipated, both kids ended up in bed with us, but since it was a king, there was plenty of room!

In an effort to pack light (we did carry-on only) and because I had planned a quick stop at Wal-mart, I had not packed toothbrushes, contact solution, sunscreen, or razors and shaving cream. We also had not made plans for dinner that night, so Nancy and I drove up to Koloa to the Big Save. Even though I knew groceries were pricey from previous visits, I still had that initial “They want HOW MUCH for eggs?” reaction. We spent $57 on eggs, milk, oatmeal, bananas, bread, PB&J and a few toiletries. I forgot to get contact solution and I didn’t like the sunscreen choices, so I didn’t get any.

We ate a Red Baron frozen pizza for dinner and were asleep by nine (Bill said he was going to stay up to watch the royal wedding, but I don’t think he made it to midnight).