It all started last year in March of 2020. Mom had planned a two-week Hawaiian extravaganza for herself, celebrating her 80th birthday. Then COVID-19 rolled out and proceeded to become our new reality. She begrudgingly canceled the trip.
In the interim, she decided it would be most enjoyable for the extravaganza to become a mother-daughter trip and surely all this COVID stuff will have concluded by December…so she proceeded to reroute and juggle all the points and credits. She managed to line up all the plans again, this time in December of 2020.
As December loomed closer, we started to realize that the new reality wasn’t going away. In fact, on the day we were to head to the airport, the governor of Hawaii decided to reinstate tougher regulations and voilà! we were thwarted once again. Bags in hand, we turned around and mom, being the tenacious woman she is, went back to the drawing board. Now taking this personally, mom rerouted and juggled (again), determined to win against this incredible assault on what she considered good and polite travel etiquette.
March 2021. Take three. This time around we strategically adjusting our plans a bit by staying on one island for the duration, reducing the time to one week instead of two, leaving from Denver International instead of Albuquerque, and arranging to take a $200 (each) COVID-19 test that insurance does not cover, but was completely guaranteed to be accepted by Hawaii. (that last thing hurt). With all that we were FINALLY in the air and actually heading toward this mythical island in the Pacific! Once landing in Hawaii via Dallas, 12 hours later, we were subjected to a gauntlet of proving; proof of clean tests, proof of filing our information, proof of lodging, proof of itinerary logged onto the Hawaiian government site and proof of who we were. We then were able to move to…waitfor it… yet another line to be tested once again before being allowed to finally enter Hawaii.
Hawaii, we have arrived! It was worth everything. I have never been, and it was not disappointing. We rented a car and did a self-guided tour via an app that took us around the entire island and it was a super way to see so much of it in just five days. We ate great food, got good photos, and saw a ton of the island.
Despite knowing there were a lot of Japanese there, I was pleasantly surprised and so happy to be exposed to so many Japanese and half-Japanese people like me. I had a weird and pleasant sense of belonging at times, and I thought that was super funny. I didn’t grow up around many Japanese people, three to be exact, so this was a new feeling entirely.
Mom and I had a great time, and believe it or not, she has already planned another visit in March of 2022! (sigh) We will see how that pans out, I guess, but I am not complaining. So with that said, until next time! I have posted many photos and videos of our trip in case you have a hankering for the tropics right now.