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Hawaii. Is it worth all the effort getting there?

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by Alobar, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    First of all I am not a great traveler, at least when it comes to airports, security, sitting on a jet for hours etc. However that I could handle if it weren't for all the additional hassles of just getting from my place in a more remote part of the world. It starts with getting to an airport that has jet service to Seattle. We have to take a 5 hour ferry ride to Juneau Alaska. Not so bad right? But the ferry only sails 2 or three times a week this time of the year , and must be booked in advance in order to assure space on the car deck for our SUV. So that means the entire vacation, jet travel, accommodations in Hawaii, car rental etc etc all hinges on the ferry. It also needs to mesh with return travel back from Juneau home but that leg is less critical. Then there is the dog, and where we keep him boarded is also booked a month in advance to have some assurance he will have bunk space (this part sucks leaving him behind!).

    Of course there is the notorious bad weather this time of the year. Storms frequently postpone the ferry in and out of here, so in order to make certain we don't miss our flight and completely mess up connecting flights to Hawaii (Alaska Airlines is amazing at filling every seat on that flight!) we have to arrive in Juneau at the very least a day in advance, but 2 days is preferable, just to be sure to make it to our flight. This means staying around Juneau for a while (several nights), either at in laws, or a motel. Since our flight left at 5 am we opted for a nights stay at Super 8 near the airport. Getting up at 3 am sucks! Then sitting on a plane for around 10 hours ain't no fun either...

    Leaving home port: Ferry Malaspina 400+ foot, 55 years old. Part of the State of Alaska "Marine Highway" which serves all of SE Alaska. This boat chugs along at 17 knots, and makes a round trip from Skagway AK (15 miles north of my town) 1000 miles south to Bellingham WA every week year round.
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    The "Mal" on the return home in Juneau yesterday. We were greeted from Hawaii with a foot of fresh snow.
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    Was it worth all this? I suppose so!
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    Good to be back home, but there is a foot of fresh snow in the drive and my plow wont start! Starting to sound like a real whiner here! :whip:
     
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  2. GuyK

    GuyK Addicted Member

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    I don't know anybody that's ever thought a trip to Hawaii wasn't worth it, all things considered. It sounds pretty good to me right now, that's for sure. And your last pic with blue sky and sea REALLY makes it sound good after the day at work today.
     
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  3. whyaskit

    whyaskit music. Subscriber

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    Well worth it.
     
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  4. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Seeing the wife sitting out on the beach with coffee and watching the sunrise in the morning with that certain expression of contentment MAKES it alright! She absolutely loves it there and I do too, perhaps to a lesser extent than she does. We will surely be back there next winter about this time!

    AS a side note, we were over there about 2 weeks, and away from home 3 weeks. The extra week just getting there and back, the majority of that the first 80 miles!
     
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  5. hunter00

    hunter00 Super Member

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    wow a long jaunt for sure.My wife and I have been to Oahu twice in the last 20 yrs,we were busy raiseing kids otherwise it would have been more often.The flight out of Vancouver BC Canada was approx. 6 hrs an I hated it.First time we went was in 89' and we enjoyed that first trip more than the last one.
    Next trip for me will be south America,Venezuela,i hear with there beat up economy accommodation/costs are a real deal these days

    hunter
     
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  6. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    YEah that 6 hours sitting or waiting for the can.. This year on the way over we had some sort of wicked head wind and it was damn near 7 hours out of Seattle. Started wondering just how much reserve fuel these birds actually carry! Probably don't want to know actually!
     
  7. John James

    John James "Bob's your uncle" (Stolen) Subscriber

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    I looked at the pictures, why did you come back? :D
     
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  8. SPEC2man

    SPEC2man Are we there yet? Subscriber

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    I heading back for the third time this summer. Last year I was there for almost a month. I hadn't taken a 2 week vacation in my life, let alone 25 days. We were just outside Kona and it was great. My brother-in-law is heading back in a month to look for his retirement house. He and I are great traveling companions. We drink the same beer (Corona), like the same music and both like to hike. If he scores - I will be there every year for the rest of my life. There is plenty of crap to deal with on the big island but it's worth it. I dont sleep all that well most of the time but in Hawaii - I can do 9-10 hours straight with out even rolling over. Best food - fresh Ahi, local bananas and mango picked off the tree, mahi, mahi and dont get me started on the coffee. We are going to try to get to the volcano rim this year.

    All said, Maui was my best experience - rent a condo at a resort and spoil yourself. Love Maui but I'll settle for the big island.
     
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  9. 2526

    2526 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The smell of flowers does it for me.
     
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  10. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    We went to the big Island last year and I liked it OK but did way too much driving. My wife gets to reading those travel guides and off we go! 2 weeks is not enough time to explore an island that big! Totally agree with you about the coffee! Rocket fuel, and oh so flavorful! Seeing the sunset at 14000 feet was a highlight although just about passed out from lack of oxygen..

    This year we finally got to take a snorkeling cruise out of Kauai. I say finally because it canceled twice due to weather. It was a 5 hour cruise and I knew that I was in for a very long day by the time we cleared the breakwater. OMG! I have been in rough seas before, but not like this! I figured a 60 footer could handle about anything but simply wasn't prepared for the next 5 hours of having my head in a bucket! Seemed like everyone was barfing.. We finally got out to the snorkeling area just in time for lightening to start striking. It was far too rough to be out in the water anyway and I am sure nobody was wanting to jump in with snorkeling gear after the horrible ride out there. That Gilligan's Island them song started playing in my head at that point! I was never so glad to be off a boat in my life.. Got back to the timeshare and went strait to bed at 2pm and slept for hours, throughly exhausted! I can safely say both the wife and I have scratched that one off our list!
     
  11. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    We like the Big Island also and now days we stay put, right in Puako. Slow and friendly. Every January.
     
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  12. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Wow, with the ordeal you described I'm not sure I'd ever go anywhere!
     
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  13. evoroadster

    evoroadster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yup ocean conditions can be quite nasty during our winter season. The Captain probably shouldn't have gone out under those conditions but I am sure all he saw was dollar signs. Hawaii can be a great place to visit but it can also be difficult living here. Amazon Prime is my best friend!
     
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  14. El Pee

    El Pee AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I never had the logistical challenges that you did, but traveling there from the East Coast is a long flight, even if I didn't have to ford a river or something to get to Dulles Airport.... Regardless, if there is a paradise on earth it is in Kauai.

    Well worth all the trouble.
     
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  15. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

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    Would it be worth it to me? :no:

    Should have stopped over on my way back from Japan in the late 90's ... but oh well.

    Would like to see Europe again ... and maybe Aruba (friends told me it was nice) ... on the old bucket list. That's about it ... flew too much in my younger (rolling stone) life ... not into it now.

    [​IMG]

    My Father-in-law got to see Hawaii before he passed on ... waited all his life to take that trip .. it rained every day he was there. Isn't it Ironic as Alanis Morissette would say.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  16. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    IMO Aruba is no big deal.
     
  17. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Yeah, getting to Juneau this time of the year is often a gamble. The thing is, our little town HAS the road out, whereas it is Juneau (the state capital and much larger town) that has no roads out. I am thinking about making the 250 mile drive from our house to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory CA for future Hawaii trips were we can catch a jet to Vancouver BC and then a shuttle to SeaTac. Have to figure out different arrangements for our pooch and I am very fussy about who looks out for him. In Juneau we have family there who will go get him and walk him from time to time..
     
  18. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Big ditto for Amazon Prime here in Alaska as well! We get so much of everything from electronics, food, vitamins, even big sacks of dog food from them!

    I think the dollar sign was exactly what the Capt was thinking! I was watching the weather and the seas from the N.W had been kicking up for days, and with no money coming in and reservations piling up I can imagine they decided to go for it (and not cut the trip short and need to refund). We saw a few other catamarans turning back that day so not everyone thought it was a good day to be out. The main seating on the boat was outside on the upper deck but so much water was going over the bow everyone was huddled under the upper deck. I was thinking that they should have taken attendance after getting back at the doc. It wasn't all that difficult to imagine someone being swept off..
     
  19. frahengeo

    frahengeo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  20. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    I didn't take too many pictures as I lost my camera earlier and only had my phone.. Here are a few more. Paradise there for sure..
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    This beach was just 100 feet from our patio door! Beautiful sunrises here..

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