Heather and Randy's Honeymoon
Monday October 9, 2000
Our flight left Hopkins bright and early at 5:25am.
The first leg of the flight was on an MD80 to Atlanta. We arrived
there at 7:07am then boarded an L1011 for an 8:05 departure to
Honolulu. This flight landed in Dallas to refuel and then was off to
sunny Hawaii. Heather and I never left the plane in Dallas, but tried to catch
a few z's as we had to get up way too early! The plane finally landed
in Honolulu at 1:54pm (Hawaii time, which is 6 hours behind us). We
got off the plane and were treated to a lei greeting.
We didn't spend much time in Honolulu as our interisland flight on
departed at 4:05pm. The interisland flight was scheduled to be 40
minutes on a DC 9 (see picture) which kind of surprised me. I expected
the distances involved to be much shorter and that we'd probably be
taking a much smaller turboprop plane. At any rate, we landed at
the Kailua-Kona airport at 4:46pm, got our luggage and went across the
street to the rental car place and picked up our cute little white Dodge
Neon. I brought along a laptop computer and GPS for the purpose of
navigating, so Heather became the pilot-in-command for our trip and
I was the navigator.
The trip to the hotel was about a 30 minute drive north on route 19.
As we drove, we were amazed at the black lava fields. It was really
odd to see nothing but black lava rock for miles. Every once in a while
we'd see huge patches of white stones arranged so that they spelled peoples'
names. I have no idea where the people got the white stones, but it was
quite interesting to see the stuff that people had created with the little
white stones. Perhaps they had a little too much free time!!
We pulled onto the road that lead to our hotel,
Outrigger Waikoloa Beach,
and it was like an oasis. Everything was nice and green with palm trees
and all sorts of tropical plants. As we pulled up to the hotel, we were
amazed that it looked so new and so very elegant. The beauty and elegance
were not easily achieved. We learned on our trip to Hawaii that most
tourists stay on the sunny side of the island while Hilo, the rainy side,
gets most of the flowers...and rain. This rain is moved over to the sunny
side of the island and a great amount of work is put into irrigating the
tourist areas so the environment seems so lush and vibrant with colorful
flowers and blooming shrubbery.
When we got to our first hotel room, they had a bottle of champagne waiting
for us along with a couple of glasses. The champagne glasses are now in
our collection! The hotel also gave us tickets for a free breakfast for
the few days we stayed there, so we took advantage of that. Our
complimentary buffet breakfasts were out of this world. The restaurant
staff kept the outside/inside dining area incredibly clean, well stocked
and beautiful - to boot!
The buffet had Mahi Mahi and locks and bagels every day as well as breakfast
staples like eggs, pancakes, fruit, bacon and well the list goes on... Every
morning we would see children playing around the restaurant chasing birds (who
came for a quick morsel) and being completely mesmerized by the swimming Koi
fish in the surrounding ponds.
Tuesday October 10, 2000
While on the big island, we took a van tour to the top of
Hawaii's tallest mountain. At the top we stayed until the sun set, which
was about 20 minutes or so after we reached the peak. When the sun set,
the tour guide took our picture. It was quite cold at the summit. It was
about 30-35 degrees with a constant 30mph wind. We later joked that we had
traveled thousands of miles only to end up in Cleveland like weather in
Hawaii! At the summit it was a little hard to breath too. There isn't a
lot of oxygen at close to 14000 feet. After watching the sun set, we
traveled down to about the 9000 foot mark, where we set up a telescope
and checked out some stars and the guide pointed out several of the
constellations. I really enjoyed the trip, although I could have done
without the cold that quickly developed after that!
Wednesday October 11, 2000
Our next day on Hawaii we traveled down the west coast to Kona. We had
planned on seeing the lady that I buy my green coffee from, Cea Smith, but
didn't have any luck in finding her. Unfortunately, I forgot to email her
before we left to get her exact address, so we had little to go on besides
the name of the farm, Smith Farms.
After looking around for a while, we thought that it probably wouldn't
happen and decided to tour a little coffee farm that we had passed,
"UCC Hawaii Coffee Factory".
It turns out that the inviting little shop was owned by the Ueshima Coffee
Company, a Japanese corporation. We went to that coffee shop, sampled the
coffee and bought some. While we were in the Kona area, we stopped at
several shops. We also came upon a little coffee shop called
"Bad Ass Coffee". Of coarse
we had to stop there and get some coffee and have our pictures taken!!
Too cool to pass up those photo ops....
Kona didn't seem like much of a tourist area, so we got to see how the
native people lived. We both got a kick out of seeing that sort of thing.
It was like a different world where time meant nothing. You couldn't help but
relax when everyone around you was in low gear! I was amazed a couple of times
when we wanted to cross the fairly busy road and cars would stop to let us cross.
We were out and about for most of the day. One thing that we noticed all along
was the number of cyclists along the highway. It wasn't until later that we
found out that the Ironman Triathlon was that Saturday, so everyone was getting
set for that. That night we had dinner at an exclusive restaurant called
Roy's. It was about a 10 minute
walk from our hotel, and the food was wonderful. We both loved our meals, but
can't remember exactly what we ate. Heather vaguely remembers a caesar salad,
lobster tail and a great German white wine, a riesling. Also, not to be missed
was the heartbreakingly beautiful sunset from our honeymoon suite.
Thursday October 12, 2000
After our stay in Hawaii, we hopped on a plane to Maui. Our flight left
at 10:15 am and arrived in Kahului, Maui at 10:42am. One thing that was a
little odd about the interisland flights was that there were no seating
assignments. It was more like a bus ride than a plane flight! After
landing and getting our rental car (a silver Neon), we were off to our
hotel on the west coast of Maui, a place called Outrigger Napili Beach.
There were only 2 routes to get there, a north route and a south route.
The north route was noticeably shorter, so we headed off that direction.
It didn't take long for us to discover that maybe it wasn't the route
The road started out ok, but then started to wind around the mountains
and got to a point where it had narrowed down to about the width of a car.
We had to plan where we were gonna let other cars pass, because the road
was just wide enough for a car, with the mountain on one side and a drop
of several hundred feet to the other side, and there weren't any guard
rails!! When we saw a car coming, we'd scope out a spot in the road that
was a bit wider (there were occasional spots like that for the purpose of
passing) and stop there until the other car went by. Some of the spots
were -just- wide enough for this purpose. There were times where I
thought we'd hit mirrors with the other car, but we never did. Heather
did a -great- job at maneuvering around the corners. Too bad her
navigator fell asleep on the job!! (He now knows to take the southern
route if we ever make it there again!)
At one point about halfway to civilization, we saw a little gift shop
(see pic) and decided to stop for a little break. At the Kaukini Gallery
shop they had an "I survived the drive to Kahakuloa" t-shirt, so we both decided
that we'd earned the shirts so we bought them and had a little snack and were back
on the road. If you should ever desire to give a loved one a real Hawaiian gift
the Kaukini Gallery was a great place to look. Their e-mail is
We finally got to the hotel about 3 hours after we landed. We went to our
room and were -very- disappointed. The room had no air conditioning, a bed
on wheels and a meager stand-up only shower stall. Heather likes to take
bubble baths and was unhappy with that situation. I wasn't happy and I
could tell that Heather was equally as disappointed, so I called up the
front desk to see if they had any rooms with AC and a regular bathtub and
they didn't. We decided to see if there were any Outrigger properties down
the beach a ways that we liked better. There was one Outrigger property that
had 3 bedroom rentals, which we didn't want, so we gave up and headed back
to the Napili Shores Outrigger. (We just wanted to mention a hotel employee
at the Embassy said the meals at the Outrigger Napili Shores were tremendous
and most Maui buildings don't have air due to the great amount of cross wind
ventilation. We weren't happy with the hotel, but others would be very happy
there. We just wanted more luxury for this, our honeymoon, trip.) Heather
suggested that we look in the yellow pages to see if we could find a phone
number for AAA, which had booked the entire trip. Fortunately, they had a
local phone number, so I called. After an anxious moment, the lady at AAA
put me in touch with a lady from Pleasant Hawaiian Vacations by the name of
Debbie. I explained to her the situation and that we weren't happy there
and she said that if we didn't like it she'd get us out of there. She
said that she'd call around and see what she could do. About 30 minutes
later she called and told us that we could get a room at the
or at their top of the line hotel, Ka'anapali Ali'i (Ali'i is Hawaiian for
king). They were both more expensive, but the Ali'i was a -lot- more expensive!
We decided on the Embassy, so we drove there to check it out. The guy at the
desk told us that he had an ocean view room with a limited ocean view, or a corner
room with a -great- view for slightly more money. We settled on the corner room and
when we got there, the view was awesome!
The ocean was right outside of our living room window and from the
bedroom we could see the ocean out one window and the hotel's pool,
waterfalls, and palm trees out the other window. It was truly a
great view no matter where you looked! The left-most picture shows
a distant view of the island of Lanai' while the right-most picture
shows a view of the island of Molokai'. Heather was very pleased
that I decided to call up the AAA and have the room changed. There's
no doubt that our honeymoon would have been wrecked had we stayed at
the Outrigger Napili Shores. We spent the rest of the evening there
just admiring the amazing view of the ocean and enjoying our new room
(complete with his and her vanities).
That night we had dinner at the hotel restaurant, the North Beach Grille.
Heather tried a nearly uncooked highly prized fish called Ahi. It was
seared on the outside and fixed sashimi style on the inside. Surprised,
she actually enjoyed raw fish very much. It was a nice ending to our
most trying day.
Friday October 13, 2000
Our second day there we were invited to a breakfast orientation.
We went to that and listened to a guy describe to us places to go
and things to see. We heard about Ulalena, a Maui Myth and Magic
Theatre Production, which fascinated us, but we decided not to go
see it. There was a Ulalena cast member named Anthony Natividad
at our orientation who played the flute with his nose. Hawaiian
legend has it that people could lie if they played music with their
mouths, but a person couldn't lie through his nose, so the nose
flute became popular. What a difference this culture is compared
to those on the mainland! We also were told about a great magic show called
WARREN and ANNABELLES MAGIC.
The hotel had someone from that show do some magic with a few kids
in the audience. Then it was time to decide what we really wanted
to do since we only had seven days on Maui.
After the talk, we got together with a person who helped schedule
different activities for the hotel guests and decided what sort of
stuff we'd like to do. We signed up for several things and the
lady took it from there. She took care of all the reservations,
and made up a schedule for us including the time we'd have to leave
the hotel each day, what to wear, what to bring along and that sort
of thing. She truly did a great job and all of her departure times
were right on the money. The first thing that we decided to do was go to the
that night (4:45pm). We had a great time enjoying the food and
watching the dancers. I even tried the poi (the purple putty looking
stuff on the plate!), which the breakfast orientation guy described
as tasting like drywall compound ... he gave it too much credit! I've
never tasted anything so nasty! (We were later to discover-through our
Maui tour guide-, Enselm, that poi is cooked very differently in
Hawaiian homes than at luaus. Most Hawaiians make patties out of
the ground up taro plant and add spices that make the meal delicious.)
The rest of the food, though, was pretty awesome. During the start of
the Luau, we were all encouraged to introduce ourselves to the people
setting next to us. We found that no less than 3 other couples at our
table were on their honeymoon's and had been married the same day we were.
Saturday October 14, 2000
The next day (6:00am) we took a boat,
to the island of Molokai and then a van took us around the island.
Molokai was northwest of our hotel ... as a matter of fact, you
could see the island from our hotel window. It was an overcast
day, but a very pleasant day for a boat ride. The wind, as usual,
was pretty strong, so the boat ride was a little rough, but nothing
that we couldn't handle. When we finally made it to the dock, the
tour van was waiting on us, so we jumped in and away we went. The
island was mostly natives with very few tourists. If you ever wanted
to see what the natives lived like, this is definitely the place to go.
We pretty much toured the whole island and had lunch at the little
restaurant in the middle of town. We also had the opportunity to
spend about an hour walking around the town (that was more than enough
time!) and check out all the little shops.
While there, we also stopped at one of the local macadamia nut farms.
It had rained just before we got there, so it was too muddy to walk around
the farm but Kathy, our tour guide, talked the farmer into coming out with
samples of newly roasted macadamia nuts, and fresh coconut. We enjoyed the
treats for about a half hour and then some of us bought the farmer's products. (One
interesting note is that Kathy, the lady to the right of the frame in front
of the van, has a son who plays football for the Pittsburgh Steelers.)
After the tour, the van took us back to the dock where we got on the boat
back to Maui. We got back to the car at about 3:30pm. Once we got back to
the hotel, we were able to go to the happy hour that they had every day
from 4 to 6pm. I had their draft beer and Heather got a Mai Tai.
Sunday October 15, 2000
We took a
Blue Hawaiian Helicopter/
tour of eastern Maui. We drove to the Kahului airport in Central Maui
to get on the helicopter. The helicopter took off at 11:15am and flew
over Haleakala, the volcano on Maui. We had to climb at about 1500 feet
per minute to keep up with the rising ground. The base of the volcano
was pretty close to the airport, so it was a pretty hefty climb from
there to the top at 10,000 feet. On the way up, we passed over Central
Maui which is where sugarcane is grown. The fields looked like puzzles.
Our pilot, Rich, said that the fields had the maze of roads through them
so that when it was time to harvest, the fields could be burned one section
at a time. I didn't realize it, but when sugarcane is harvested, the field
is set on fire to burn off the leafy part of the plant leaving only the
On the way to the top we also got a good look at the Haleakala Highway.
That's the road that you'd have to take if you wanted to get to the top
of the volcano by car. There's also a bike tour that travels down the
Haleakala Highway from the top. If you decide to go that route, you
can ride the bike for over 20 miles without pedaling! We were happy
that we decided to take the 10 minute helicopter ride to the top as
opposed to the 2 hour drive by car! We had had enough of driving
treacherous roads and the helicopter flight, Heather's first, was wonderful.
At the top of the volcano we circled a few times to take some breathtaking
pictures and then it was a dive back to sea level to land at the Hana
airport on the other side of the mountain. Incidently, you can see deposits
of vibrant yellow and red earth while at the top of Haleakala. The yellow
areas are densely composed of sulphur and the red areas are composed of iron.
On the way down, we stopped at several waterfalls on the rainforest side
of the mountain to snap some pictures. The rainforest is so dense that Rich
said that the only way to see some of the waterfalls is by air. (If these
pictures look at all like something out of the movie, "Jurassic Park" then
you are right on the money. Our helicopter tour company, "Blue Hawaiian" was
the one that helped Steven Spielberg produce that movie.)
After a pretty quick decent, we landed at the Hana airport. It was a cute
little airport, with almost no activity. Kinda reminded me of a small Salem
Airport on a slow day! After landing and getting our picture taken with the
pilot and helicopter, we loaded into a van. (We were treated like royalty or
starlets during this tour. The helicopter and van were luxurious and very
comfortable. We felt like we belonged at this little Hana Airport where people
like George Harrison and Jim Neighbors land and take-off.)
The van was very nice inside ... leather seats, plenty of room, big
windows, etc. Once we got in the van, we drove to the small town of
Hana. The town was -very- small ... New Waterford was a big city in
comparison! It had a general store, a hotel, a gas station, and a bank.
The bank was open from 3pm to 4:30pm M-F and the gas station didn't list
the prices. At that point, you're a couple hours drive from the closest
gas station, so if you need gas, you have to buy it there! This was
another place where there weren't a lot of tourists. My guess is because
of the long, hazardous drive. The tour guide, Enselm, said that a stay
at the Hana Hotel was very expensive. He did say, however, that the
price included all meals since there wasn't anyplace else to eat in town!
After looking around town a bit, we headed to one of the black beaches.
We stopped there to have a picnic lunch and headed back toward the big
Maui airport to our car.
After driving a bit, Enselm stopped at a little picnic area that had a
small pond that you could swim in. Heather decided that she wanted to
go try it out, so we headed to the pond. We made it to the pond after
going across a small stream by stepping on rocks. Fortunately we both
had sure footing and didn't fall off any of the rocks! Once we got to
the pond, we both sampled the temperature and found it to be freezing!
I'm not sure how she managed it, but Heather somehow jumped in and spent
a few minutes in the freezing water.
We took the northern road back to civilization. It was very similar to
the road that Heather and I took to the hotel, but this road was at least
newly paved the whole way and had guardrails. On the way back, Enselm
showed us where Jim Neighbors had a mansion complete with a commercial
macadamia nut farm. He also pointed out a bunch of stuff about the
plants and that sort of thing. One thing that I found very interesting
was that every now and then you'd see one of the streams blocked off
and the water diverted into a cement channel. Our guide explained that
Central Maui was very flat and was a perfect spot to grow sugarcane with
the exception that it was too dry. East Maui had plenty of rain (about
400 inches a year), but the mountainous rainforest area would be
impossible to plant and harvest. The solution was to build an aqueduct
system to channel the fresh water from the rainforest area over to Central
Maui and use it for irrigation. He explained that it took about a ton of
fresh water to produce 1 pound of sugar, and the rainforest had that kind
of capacity. Pretty interesting stuff. On the way back, we also stopped
in a little town called Paia. It was a neat little town about the size
of Columbiana. The guide had to return stuff from our catered lunch at
one of the stores there. After that brief stop, we were on our way back
to the airport where we hopped in the car and headed for home ... the
Embassy at Ka'anapali.
Monday October 16, 2000
The following day (8:15am) was another boat ride. This trip was on a small
power boat called the
for a snorkeling trip. We drove south to the dock at Mala Wharf and
were fitted with fins and snorkel gear. After we got our stuff, we
loaded onto the boat and headed out. The sea was pretty calm at that
point, so the ride wasn't too rough. We headed to an island called
Lanai which was just south of the island of Molokai that we had toured
earlier. We never set foot on the island, but stopped at 2 places along
the coast for people to snorkel. I don't swim, so I stayed on the boat
while Heather went out. She did a great job of snorkeling and even
dove under the water several times with a disposable waterproof camera
to get some pictures. We spent about 30 minutes at the first location
where we saw dolphins and all sorts of stuff. After that it was on to
the second location. En route, we came upon a school of dolphins so the
guy stopped the boat and just floated. They were everywhere! They
were called spinner dolphins, and as they popped from the water, you
could tell why. Instead of just leaping from the water and diving back
in, they were spinning (on their roll axis) as they came out. It looked
like they were having a blast! We spent several minutes there and then
moved on to our second point. When we got there, everyone got off the
boat except me and the boat crew (2 guys). After a couple minutes, I
asked one of the guys if there was anything that a nonswimmer could do.
He said that they could get me in the water if I wanted to try it. The
one guy told me that I had nothing to lose, except for maybe my life.
I thanked him for that image and put on my fins. He gave me a little
board called a boogy board that looked like a mini surfboard. I held
onto the board and plopped into the water. The guy stayed with me for
a while. At that point, Heather saw me in the water so she came over
and kissed me and told me that she never thought I'd get in the water.
From then on, she was my lifeguard. The guy told me that I was in good
hands and that if I needed mouth to mouth, she'd probably be willing to
give it to me. He said that she might even give me mouth to mouth even
if I didn't need it! I felt pretty safe having her as my lifeguard,
because she is a great swimmer. We spent quite a while in the water
and after I figured out how to steer myself and that sort of thing, we
all got out and back into the boat. The trip back home was pretty rough.
I'm not used to small boats, so I was concerned that I might get sick,
but I was fine the whole way. There were a couple people who got kinda
green, but nobody tossed lunch or anything like that. After docking the
boat, it was back to the hotel.
Tuesday October 17, 2000
The following day was our last full day in Hawaii. In the morning we
listened to a timeshare presentation (10:45am) to get 10% off all our
activities. It's not something that we really wanted to do, but since
we'd save quite a bit of money, Heather decided that she'd like to go,
and I agreed. After the presentation, we spent some time in our room
and got ready for our sunset sail. We drove down to the boat dock
(3:45pm) at Whaler's Village where we got on a 53 foot sailboat called
The boat went up and down the coast for a couple hours and we got back
just as the sun was setting. The price included some snacks and an open
bar, so we each had a couple drinks while enjoying the view. It was a
very nice trip. After leaving the boat, we went to a pretty fancy
where we had made reservations for 6:30. It was a very nice last day
of our honeymoon.
Wednesday October 18, 2000
On Wednesday we had to check out of our hotel at 11am and our flight
wasn't until 9pm, so we had about 8 hours to kill. We decided to
drive up Haleakala a ways and turn around before the road got too
twisty. We drove for about 30 minutes to a small town called Kula
and discovered cactus EVERYWHERE! It was such an odd thing. There
were cactus plants by the thousands. They seemed to only occur right
at that particular altitude. Heather decided to stop and snap some
pictures in a few different places.
On our trek up the volcano, we also found a greenhouse that grew orchids.
Since Heather's Grandma grows orchids, she wanted to stop and check them
out, so we did. We went into the greenhouse, but didn't find anyone there.
We looked around at all the plants for several minutes and headed out.
Across the street was a McDonalds. We were both a little hungry at that
point, so we stopped and had a bite to eat. We left there and decided
to head back to lower ground. We were close to the little town of
that we had gone through on our way back from Hana, so we decided to
drive there and check things out a little more. We got there, parked
the car, and walked through the town stopping in all the little shops.
In the one shop we found a lady, Terrissa, who was originally from
Springfield, Ohio. She immediately took a liking to us, so we spent
quite a bit of time talking to her. Her shop, Old Plantation Store,
had some of the most interesting wind chimes that I've ever heard.
They were made of bamboo and koa wood (nearly extinct) and had a nice
Hawaiian-like relaxing sound. I told her that I'd like to get a set
and asked her if she could ship them. She said that they could easily
do that since the post office was right down the street, so I got her
and info on how to order the chimes. While there, we both talked about
how we enjoyed some of the local Kona coffee, and she pointed us to a
little coffee shop,
Anthony's Coffee Company,
a block away that had a roaster right there. She said that they roasted
their coffee every day, so you couldn't get it much fresher than that.
We thanked her and headed to the coffee shop.
We both got our favorite coffee and sat there in the little shop and
enjoyed drinking it while checking out the place. After spending some
time there, we decided that it was time to head back. So we went back
toward the airport, gassed up the rental car and stopped at a K-mart
next door. Heather had a pretty nasty sunburn on her back that she got
while snorkeling so she wanted to stop to find something to sooth the pain
a bit. After some searching, we found some stuff that claimed to help
sunburn pain, so we bought that along with a couple other small things
and headed to the car. Heather dropped me off at the terminal area with
all the luggage and returned the rental car. I waited where she dropped
me off until she had returned the car and gotten a ride back to the
terminal on their shuttle.
We then went to one of the agricultural inspection stations and had our
luggage all checked. When flying back to the main land, you have to have
your bags checked to make sure that you aren't carrying something that
could have some sort of bad insect in it or something like that. I expected
this to be a long process, but it was pretty quick ... they just ran all the
luggage though an x-ray machine. They asked us if we had any sugarcane and
when we told them we didn't, we were cleared to go. Once that was done, we
had to check our bags and the normal airport stuff and then it was off to
the gate for a 2 hour wait! When it finally came time to board the plane
(another L1011), we got to our seats and headed for our first stop .. LAX.
We took off on time at 9:10pm. During the flight both Heather and I managed
to get a little bit of sleep, but not much. After a long flight over the
ocean, we got to Los Angeles at 5am (LA time). Our next flight was scheduled
to depart for Cincinnati at 6:25am, so that gave us just enough time to get
to the correct gate ... LAX is a -big- airport! We got on a Boeing 757 and
were on our way to Cincy. After another long flight, we got to Cincinnati
at 1:35pm and had to wait for our final flight to Cleveland at 3pm. That
flight was on another MD80. We finally got to Hopkins at about 4:10pm,
collected our luggage, got a cab, and made it home at about 4:30. Upon
our arrival, we were amazed to see the house all decorated for our return.
You can't imagine how that brightened our day after spending so many hours
on airplanes and at airports!! Thank you very much Ma, Pa and Carla!!