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Day #1: To Hawaii

Having completed our country and continent goals, we’re turning our attention to finishing up all 50 US States this year. Thus, we found ourselves on an early morning Delta departure for Honolulu via Los Angeles today. Unfortunately, our connection time in LA got compressed due to schedule changes, giving us only 35 minutes between flights (assuming an on-time arrival). While I do this sort of thing regularly for business travel, I don’t enjoy the stress when I’m on vacation with the girls. 

Sure enough, our inbound flight landed on time but got trapped on the taxiway due to gridlock at LAX. So, I called Delta and reserved us seats on a later flight. The fact that I could secure these seats seemed to cause the airline gods to see the futility in their endeavor to thwart me and thus they delayed our outbound flight by 30 minutes. So, despite the added stress and mad sprinting between terminals, we ended up boarding with time to spare.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, even pleasant, aboard a newly retrofitted Delta 757. We arrived in Honolulu about 30 minutes late and proceeded to our hotel in Waikiki. The Marriott gave us a free upgrade (nice) to a “premium oceanview room,” which was a nice touch. 


Arriving in Honolulu

After checking in, we dropped off our stuff and headed down to Waikiki beach to explore a little and find dinner. Having not been to Hawaii in about 30 years, I didn’t know what to expect, but my first impression was that is was largely familiar though not unchanged. What do I mean? Well, Waikiki feels like it’s lost a bit of its local flavor, replaced by international (mostly higher-end luxury) brands and chain restaurants. One example: the International Marketplace has closed and will be replaced by a Saks Fifth Ave. department store, which is currently under construction.

After contemplating dining options (Cheesecake Factory? P.F. Chang?), we settled on Roy’s, which at least comes from Hawaii and represents its regional cuisine. Dinner was generally very good (ultra fresh seafood), albeit a bit pricey. We strolled back to our hotel and called it a night, generally feeling good to be (back, for me) in Hawaii. 

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