Hawaii Trip Week 7: Back to Oahu with a Few Bumps on the Road


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Valentine's Day saved with a cookie.

It was really hard to board the plane back to Oahu. We all really loved Kauai – to the point where my husband is looking into real estate. I can’t imagine living there unless I could work at home from a company in the mainland. Anyone want to hire a contractor?

All kidding aside, I could easily see Kauai as our go-to vacation spot. We’ve normally come to Oahu since we have friends and family there, but we may just need to ask everyone to meet us in Kauai instead.

So with a few tears, we closed the door on our Princeville rental and boarded a plane to Kauai.

My kids can be handfuls but they’ve always proved to be well behaved at check-in and during airport security. Thank goodness!


Loving our beach house rental in Haleiwa.

Once we arrived in Oahu, we hit our first road bump. Our stroller, which we NEVER used in Kauai other than to transport our car seats from the airport to our rental car, was totally wrecked by Hawaiian Airlines. The handles were bent so I couldn’t even close the stroller. I had to report it at baggage claim, and they just told me to call the main claims number to report the incident.

Then we got our rental car, and headed to our new condo at the condos at Turtle Bay (not the resort, rather the Kulima Estates). We picked up some food at Costco on the way down to save time and the trip back to town. But once we checked into our condo I wished we hadn’t picked up food.

Our condo was a complete dump. There was hair on the carpet, ants all over the bathroom and kitchen, and the fabric of the faux leather massage chair in the living room was peeling – it was disgusting. I cringed each time my boys fought to sit in it.

Checking out the waves from our beach house.

So the night we first came into Oahu, my husband and I scoured the internet to find a last-minute vacation rental. We had a couple of leads, but otherwise no luck. It was last minute and the week before President’s Day. We were told everything on the island was booked.


But the next day, I called the property management company for our rental and told them we were moving out. I told them about all the issues with the unit, and they basically told me that I had rented a one-star unit. WHAT?! How did that happen? Well, it wasn’t apparent on their website and one star or not, no unit should have ants, hair on the carpet, or furniture that looked like it was picked up on the side of the road.They ended up just charging us for one night, and releasing us from the rest of our stay.

So we loaded up our van with our perishable food and all, and hit the road. We had a couple of vacation rentals to check out, and while we drove to each one I was on the phone with rental agencies. The first rental was gorgeous but not in a desirable location. My kids got hungry and the only thing around was McDonald’s – which I’m normally adamantly against taking my kids to.


The second rental took us to nearly the other side of the island. I was so disappointed because I really wanted it to be the one. But it was dirty, shared by another couple (two units on the same property), and expensive for what it was. By this time my kids got hungry again – it was lunch time. We drove around trying to find something to eat. And guess what – nothing other than McDonald’s. Again, fricken McDonald’s! Our food from Costco was melting, so my husband bought disposable coolers and ice from a grocery store.

I made one last call to a realtor I talked to earlier in the day. She had a rental in Haleiwa (on the north shore of Oahu) that looked a bit small and was nearly double the amount of Turtle Bay. But we were desperate. I knew we could have stayed with friends if all else failed but it would have only been for a night. My husband and I agreed that if we liked the unit we would just take it and worry about paying it later. We didn’t want to damper the last 10 days of our trip.

When we arrived, the beach bungalow was gorgeous. It was beachfront and we had a clear view of Pipeline. The photos of the unit on the internet were underwhelming. So when we walked around the unit our jaws nearly dropped. We booked it immediately – and thank goodness they rented it to us on such late notice.

Once we moved in and put our things away, we relaxed on the lanai of our beach house. We could hear the waves crashing on the sand. Our boys played soccer in the backyard and ran around on the beach to get their energy out.

Did I mention this all happened on Valentine’s Day? How romantic to stress out about a place to stay and drive around for more than half the day with all our luggage and perishable food.

My oldest son knew it was Valentine’s Day and got more anxious about not getting a Valentine from us as the day wore on. Once we settled into our beach house, my husband picked up a few Valentine-themed cookies from the grocery store. My son was happy that Valentine’s Day was saved.

After we tucked the kids in bed, my husband worked on the computer while I watched a movie. Not romantic, but at least we had a beach house we loved.

Settling into our new rental with baby boy.

The rest of the week was uneventful. We went snorkeling, played on the beach, and just hung out at our beach house. Well, it was uneventful until I accidentally backed our rental van into the large rocks on the side of the street by our house. Ugh!




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Comments

  1. I’m happy to report that Hawaiian Airlines did reimburse me for a new stroller. I had to buy one just a few weeks after we got back home because the old one was inoperable. Hawaiian Airlines asked for pics of my old stroller and a receipt of my new one, and just a few weeks after that I got my check for my replacement stroller.

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