A Pissy Day
2007-07-08, 9:17 a.m.
From my original journal notes on this day:
Mom has packed EVERY SINGLE BIG SKIN CARE BOTTLE ON THE PLANET. God for fucking bid she leave behind one special shampoo, one wrinkle cream, one special smelly lotion. There is no way she can fit them all in. I have managed it, but my backpack is so full I may die.
As you can tell, as of about yesterday, but especially starting today, was around the point of the trip where my calm equilibrium was uh... run off the rails.
At this point, we lost three of our tripgoers, as Alicia, Kristen, and Travis could only get a week off from work. So they flew home and the rest of us flew to Kauai. It's 45 minutes from Big Island to Oahu, 45-minute layover in Honolulu, then 20 minutes from Oahu to Kauai. Even though I didn't exactly get to get off on Oahu, it is my favorite island and I was delighted to be there, even on a technicality and for a little while. Someday, I shall return there for longer.
My suitcase popped open mid-flight (the zipper lost it), thanks to the dang tennis shoes. However, I didn't lose a thing, the zipper wasn't permanently broken, and only one bottle broke open during the flight. But since I packed all of my clothes into 2 shrink-pack plastic bags, nothing even got wet! Hah! (I kind of wanted to shove this in Mom's face because at one point the previous day she'd bitched at me for packing like that. There's a reason to do it, Mother.)
Again from the original journal:
2 p.m.: We're at $ Rent a Car and there's nobody here but us chickens. Literally, there are chickens here. Random.
At the time, I just thought that was some kind of quirk at the rental car place, but it turns out that ever since Hurricane Iniki in 92, the island has been overrun with chickens. (The rumor is that they escaped from a destroyed chicken farm and were never recovered. I never found much of anything officially denying or confirming this, including Wikipedia. So during the trip, I amused myself by taking random chicken shots. (Like, who knew there were beach chickens?)
Eventually we got to our condo at the Makahuena (on Pe'e Road. Oh, the irony.). We uh...do not quite recommend it. To the point where we ended up bailing after two days to stay elsewhere.
Good points: the ocean view was truly lovely (albeit loud for sleeping, Cassie complained later). The living room and bathrooms were spacious. There were more free books and swim toys were there to use.
Not great points: My bedroom (being the only one not on the ocean) was boiling fucking hot until after 9 p.m. at night, and air conditioning apparently does not exist on Kauai. (At least there were fans.) My aunt and uncle were bitching about how the living room was "stuffy" (you have no idea HOW MUCH I HATE THAT WORD and how often it was used in nice, breezy, NOT HOT Hawaii), and I was thinking, "GO IN OUR ROOM!" The balcony was so slimy one couldn't really sit on the furniture- not that that's at all the fault of the management, that's weather and you can't help that.
Bad points: Things were...not clean. I am not picky when it comes to cleanliness and it was bad enough here to bug me. One of the closets reeked when I opened it up. (We suspected the staff working here weren't treated all that well, given the state of things.) But the worst thing was the spare bed. We had five people and two rooms, so we had requested one. They didn't get us one or have a foldout couch, and the one they eventually dug up was nasty. Speaking as someone who's been shoved onto many a spare bed in a hotel room before, they're usually not fabulous, but this one had a moldy bedspread and dirty stained sheets. Clearly someone hadn't even bothered to stash the sheets in a closet somewhere and had just left them in a room somewhere with the bed for a long time. Poor Cassie.
So my aunt and uncle were all, "We are NEVER using that travel agency again," and put in complaint calls to get us switched to somewhere else.