You know those hikes with such a gradual incline that you don’t even realize you’re going uphill until you turn around and gasp at the view? That’s how the beginning of our trip to Hawaii (our longest, biggest vacation as a couple!) felt. Instead of flying out of our local airport and landing directly on the island of Oahu, we decided to make a few stops along the way.
First, we decided to fly out of a more major airport near my parents’ house, about six and a half hours away. The night before our flight we made the familiar trek and arrived at my parent’s house early enough to spend some time with them and my youngest brother.
Thanks to a Christmas gift from yours truly, my dad has taken up beer brewing and we were just in time to taste test the first batch! Mom and Dad had tried the batch earlier, but it was too carbonated and the flavor hadn’t fully matured. A few weeks later when we pulled in to the driveway, though, it was perfect!
Yes, those strange, alien-like shapes in the window sill are sweet potatoes hovering over jars of water held up by toothpicks…you know, to get them ready to plant in the garden!
The next day we were off the airport! And in case there are any concerns – no, Thomas is not carrying a purse! It is my camera bag and he is my hero for carrying it all over creation for me. This was also only his second flight ever, so I was really excited to share in the air travel experience with him.
Our first stop was Phoenix, AZ – already a far cry from our flat, cold Midwestern stomping grounds! I had separated our flights to include an overnight stop here, so that we could visit some friends. This was a new travel tactic for me, but it is very easy. Just do round trip searches like normal, but take note of where the layover cities are on the flight paths. Then do a search for multi-city flights and use the layover city as one of your stops. You can essentially choose the same connecting flight you would have taken, only on the next day or a following day. The cost was about the same as if we had only stopped in Phoenix for the normal 30-90 minute layover, but we got to see friends and start getting used to the time difference! I used Google Flights and loved the simplicity and detailed information. Plus, it was easy to save flights and track their prices over time!
No matter how short it is, time with dear friends is always worth it! And of course, catching up with their kiddos that have aged 5.78 years in the past 12 months.
Real, unmasked conversations…loose tea…nerdy board games…laughing. It’s nights like these that make you wonder why you live so far away…
The only disappointment of the evening was that our friends’ son had grown out of called Thomas “Mr. James”, after some Thomas the Tank Engine train confusion. All good things must come to an end?
Have you ever played the airline flights to squeeze in something extra special to a trip?