Travel in the time of covid

As mentioned previously, I had been on a plane since covid surfaced. I flew with my sister, a short flight to Tucson, for her rehab drop off this past July. It went okay.

We then had our Hawaii time share booked for October, our mostly annual at this point birthday trip for Blue Eyes and The Peacemaker. When I booked it, I had no idea covid would still be a thing. I vacillated back and forth on whether we should go. This was pre-Omicron, but still questionable whether travel was advisable. Well, I don’t think it was ever advised, but it was do-able. I went back and forth on purchasing the plane tickets. Finally I decided we shouldn’t go. We could wait. It didn’t feel right.

I went online to reschedule the timeshare, but I was past the cancellation date. There was nothing left to reserve in 2021, and the usage options didn’t extend into the new year. It was too late to exchange for anything else. Surely covid was an extenuating circumstance. Nope. Hotels are getting wiser. No money to be made if everyone cancels. I fumed for a while on my lack of options. I then decided we would go to Hawaii after all.

Normally we spend one week at the time share on Oahu and then an additional 5-7 days down the beach at the Four Seasons, or on another island. I decided this time we would go back to the big island, but visit the Hilo side. I found a lovely airbnb with lots of space right on Hilo Bay, a quick walk into Hilo Town, for a very reasonable price. The plane tickets were also very easy to get, and cheap.

In the end, I’m glad we went. We followed the protocols, had our vax cards and lots of masks. We social distanced. When traveling with The Peacemaker, vacations are much more about seeing lots of places, having tons of new experiences, and hiking. It’s not my preferred lie around on the beach reading a book and getting fat kind of vacation, but that’s okay too.

Oahu and its restaurants were very good at checking vax cards and requiring masks, plus tracking everyone. Laid back Hilo, not so much.

We celebrated both birthdays on Oahu. Blue Eyes chose massages and dinner at a Japanese Steak House. Two days later, the Peacemaker chose fresh Poke for lunch in Honolulu’s Chinatown, a hike on the Kalawahine Trail to Pauoa Flats, watching the new James Bond movie (boo!) at a real movie theater, and late night grilled cheese sandwiches in Waikiki. It was quite a day. The trail was really muddy due to recent rains (thankfully before we arrived), and we were so filthy at the theater and at dinner.

We had an amazing vacation. Here are some highlights:

The timeshare on Oahu
My one day of relaxing on the beach with my pineapple juice and iced tea
Lanikai Beach at dusk
Poke from Maguro Brothers, Chinatown Honolulu
The birthday hike, Kalawahine Trail
Pauoa Flats viewpoint
Our favorite dinner spot in Waianae, Coquito’s Latin Cuisine, tostones, mofongo, cuban sandwich, gandule rice, dulce de leche cake, yum!
Driving the leeward coast of Oahu at dusk
Mokoli’i Island
Kayaking to Mokoli’i Island
Looking back over to the windward side of Oahu
Byodo-in Temple on the windward side
Our favorite Hawaiian breakfast: walk through the country at Countryside Cafe, bananas foster french toast with caramel sauce, lilikoi pancakes, strawberry waffle.
Surfers at Makaha Beach
Our final sunset on Oahu
Good-bye Oahu, until next time.

Next up… Hilo.

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