Hawaii Travel Blog› entry 2 of 8 › view all entries
December 23rd, 2008 – by: worldcitizen
Fifteen to twenty minutes later, we arrived at the chaos that was the United check in area. Exceptionally long lines, special lines for "special" customers, and loads of frantic passengers desperate to get on their flights. After switching lines two or three times, we realized there was a much shorter line for people on flights to Hawaii. We breathed a sigh of relief and just barely made the 45 minute cutoff for checking luggage (which costs the big bucks, by the way).
Our flight to Maui was relatively on time and smooth. Once you get through the haphazard and disorganized check in and boarding, United flights are fairly comfortable. They seem to have more leg room than American Airlines. Of course they won't even give you a peanut, but they have decent coffee that they serve in adequate sized cups.
We had a two hour layover in Maui before boarding a short flight to the Big Island. When we landed in Kona, I immediately recognized the airport. It's hard to forget an airport in the middle of a lava field that's open air and has somewhat of a third world atmosphere to it. It's a great airport, but I wouldn't want to be stuck there in the middle of a rainstorm.
We rented a car which is definitely the way to go in Hawaii.
We arrived at our hotel, the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort. I'm not at all a resort person and have come to enjoy basic accomodations and the fun memories that come with them. We scored a great deal on this hotel though, and I decided it would be an interesting cultural experience. I had a laugh at the two ugly and ridiculous gigantic horse/mermaid statues at the hotel's parking lot entrance. We walked into the huge lobby where a tram was stopped. No joke, this place was so huge that there is a tram to take you around. Just beyond the tram is a fake river with a boat (on tracks of course). I felt like I had arrived in Hawaiian Disneyland. I couldn't stop giggling from the shock and dismay and inherent humor of the place.
We settled in and went to find dinner. The hotel had several restaurants on the premises, all overpriced and all close way too early. After literally getting lost at the hotel, passing by several fake waterfalls, and crossing a wobbly rope bridge, we ended up finding some food at a shopping center nearby. The place was buzzing with tourists from the different resorts, all searching for a reasonable restaurant that was actually open. After dinner we bought some fruit and granola bars for breakfast the next day before heading back to go to bed.
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