Yesterday we arrived in Hawaii for a family vacation in Kauai with the in-laws!.... we had about 5 hours to kill during a layover in Oahu and we, Amy and I, the world adventurers that we are, decided to not spend that time sitting in the airport, but instead to rent a car and see as much of Oahu as we could!
'Iolani Palace in Honolulu
Well, a whirlwind tour wasn't exactly our plan to begin with... the plan was to see this, the 'Iolani palace... and we did, as you can see.... from the outside. Closed on Sunday.... along with most of the downtown area of Honolulu. (Should've gone to Wakiki.)
Us world travelers, who travel sans map nor GPS nor compass, had no idea what to do from here... luckily we randomly stumbled upon the Aloha Tower area by the wharf... and enjoyed heat-lamped pizza overlooking the shipyard. Smartly, we picked up a map at this point. Not-so-smartly, we picked up a surfing map.... which tended to leave out minor details, such as street names... and added little things also, such as nonexistent roads.
We decided at this point to throw caution to the wind, and to drive around the entire peninsula to the east of Honolulu .... This was our whirlwind tour of Hanamuna Bay pictured here.... we paid a buck to get into the parking, parked illegally on the side of the lot, ran to as close as we could get to the bay without paying out the eye sockets, and took the above pic.
The plan to drive around the peninsula, however, was soon thwarted, as we discovered that the road that's on the map that loops around and connects back with the interstate, doesn't exist. Yes, I know it looks like a major road on the Google map, but trust us. It's not there. It's all cliffs on one side, ocean on the other. Beautiful, but not about to help us get back to our plane on time, which was taking off in 90 minutes. Yes, and we're on what seems like the other side on Oahu. With no clue where we are and a deceptive map.
We decided to backtrack, and Amy and I pulled together, combining our skills of acute observation, and impulsive improvisation... and found a route back. Somehow, we made it back to the airport with an hour to spare.... and then my lovely wife managed to lose her purse.
Yes, in the haste of not wanting to miss our flight, Amy left her purse somewhere, either in the rental car, or the shuttle, or somewhere. After a series of unsuccessful calls and even with Amy jumping back on the shuttle to go back to the rental car place (all the while the clock is ticking), we were SOL. Thankfully Amy had her passport in her bag, so she still could board. But then Amy, after having gone through security, suddenly conjures up the bright idea to call her Blackberry from her mom's phone. And a nice National car rental man, furiously trying to find Amy in the airport, answered, and sent the purse through security. 40 minutes before the flight, and the Amy-Josh duo, purse and all, were safely on their way to Kauai, along with the rest of the Lunde clan.
The takeaways here?..... 1) ALWAYS have alternate ID available. 2) All roads in Hawaii eventually lead to where you need to go... but 3) Don't trust the surfing maps. And finally, 4) Amy and I took another step in learning how to trust and lean on each other in times of crisis. It's my belief that "mini-crises" like this one, that pale in comparison to the grand scheme of life, are training for the real crises that we will undoubtedly face at some point.
Now in Kauai. Hoping for a more relaxed pace on this island.
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