“I’m gonna make this happen, I’m going to Hawaii.”
This is Casie, describing the loss of her honeymoon.
I know that it is often said that little girls grow up dreaming of their wedding day–what things are going to look like–everything is going to be perfect. And I never had that idea in my head whatsoever. What I did care about was my honeymoon. So, we raised enough money to go to Hawaii, which I was excited about. It was funny, because it was the one place in my mind that seemed unattainable–like I’d always want to go, would I ever get there?. So, finally I’m, like, I’m gonna make this happen, I’m going to Hawaii, this is really exciting.
We go, traffic is really bad, we get there late, we think we are going to miss the flight, we go to the wrong checkin place, just a serious of unfortunate events. So, we end up running through the terminal, we get to a lady who sends us to the front of the security line, we get through… we literally jogged to the very,very end of Terminal C, the furthest point out there. We get on the plane, we are good to go, we see our bags on the plane, things are good.
And we miss the connecting flight, because a blizzard hit Las Vegas, and then; there are so many flights that are oversold during Christmas break time that we ended up spending two and a half days in LAX. They had us flying standby on six different flights at a time. So, finally, we get on a flight that takes us to Maui, which we didn’t plan on doing, but we were, like, “OK, nothing wrong with that.”
We get to Maui, we spend one night there and then we finally get a flight to Kauai. It has been six airports and five days later we end up in our final desitination. Which should have taken 12 hours and three airports. We get there and, of course, Craig’s luggage is lost.
We ended up getting a vacation rental by owner. We find this place that looked awesome, so we got this place “This is going to be so cool!” and the way the ad made it sound was like it was its own seperate carriage house from the person’s house, it was going to be awesome, this is going to be so much better than staying in some stupid, generic hotel, any hotel. I want this to be very local and authentic. So, it ends up just being the back half of their house, seperated by a blanket through a doorway. And there was this whole book–a bound notebook!–of all the rules you are supposed to follow when you are in this house. You can’t leave fruit out, there was this specific tupperware container that, if you had fruit, it was supposed to go in it and you had to seal it. Like, a whole book you understand. And then I got this mad, crazy snorkel mask rash all over my face, it was rough! It was not good, it was not ideal for all the pictures and stuff. And then it rained the whole week we were there.
We were supposed to be transferring from Kauai to Oahu, which is a different island, because Julie Albers, a good friend of mine, was getting married and I was in the wedding party. I found this awesome hotel on the internet that was really affordable, but really, really nice. I should have been skeptical.
We get there and “How far is the hotel?”, “Ohh, you are on the west side of the island, I don’t know if I’ve ever been to the west side”, we are like “Really? What do you mean…” So, we had to drive probably 90 minutes to our hotel. It was looking less and less like what I would picture Hawaii and more kind of like, run-down suburby, I don’t know how to explain it. We start to get further and further to the west side of island and there were big signs spray painted on the walls, like, “Tourists go home, we don’t want you here!”, “You stole this land from us!”. We get there and they are like “You room isn’t quite ready yet.” “Well, do you have a suggestion where we should eat?” and this was Christmas day, by the way. The guy says “Oh, this is a really awesome, local restaurant, authentic food, this is just what you want. Now, keep in mind that Craig is wearing giant Hawaiian shirt. I mean, if there couldn’t be two people were more “TOURIST” written across their forehead, it was us.
So, we open the door and, the glimpse… I can’t describe it. It was kind of fifties diner, kind of what you’d picture a Big Boys to look like on the inside, kind of american dinery, kind of dirty, totally run-down, pretty busy though, lots of people in there. So, it was like mirrored glass doors with big windows, so we couldn’t see anything. We were just walking up on this and opened up the door and it was like you could have heard a pin drop, I think I actually heard forks hit the plate. People stopped eating, because it is Christmas day, we couldn’t be more touristy, we are super-white, super “on-vacation”, Craig is wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Later I realize this was a major miscalculation.
Basically everybody in the restaurant was not eating, mainly they were just watching us and not trying to hide it–they were trying to make it really obvious that they were watching us and that we weren’t welcome there. And I remember it being Christmas and there was Christmas music playing on like a little radio in the kitchen and I remember the way that they had decorated for Christmas. They had taken the pieces of wrapping paper, that was like the end that wasn’t going to fit a present and literally taped different squares randomly on the walls. Pieces of garland, some garland that was 5 or 6 inches on the wall, over here or over here, this was the way they decorated, it was just a sad Christmas moment.
So, a lot of that week was spent dealing with the west side and just the total, complete “we-don’t-want-you-here” vibe. So then one night we are going to make the best of this, we are going to go see a movie, that sounds weird, but we are totally going to do it. We are watching the movies, I wasn’t getting into it, but then I noticed the sound would speed up, then slow down a lot. So, finally I’m like “I guess we are having a power outage, this is weird.” We have to leave, and then it is like everyone wants a refund and it is pandemonium. And Craig is trying to explain to the person that we can’t take an IOU, because we are never going to come back, so we just want our money back. The lady [says] “Whaaat?” It was one of those glass windows with one of the metal vented hole thing you talk through and he cups his hand–and by the way wearing a Hawaiian shirt again, because he’d packed 15, only 15 Hawaiian shirts–so he cups his hand around the hole and starts yelling “We are from the mainland”–because that is what everyone said, it was common–“We are from the mainland and we can’t take an IOU!” And everyone in line is looking at him like “You asshole”, I remember just slowly taking steps backwards like “I’m not with him,” but I’m the only white lady, so I’m probably with him.
We finally get our money back and we get in the car and we are listening to NPR, and this little broadcast system comes on and warns that there is a lot looting on the west side, in particular this boulevard, which was the street that we were on, which we had to drive down to get to our hotel room. So, sure enough, we pass a Burger King, of all places, like a few other places, that were totally getting looted and ranscaked, chairs tossed through the window, people are inside, people are going banannas.
We get to our hotel and that was going to be our big night, when we had a fancy dinner. But since there is no power, they can’t have anything refridgerated, so they aren’t serving anything, so they ended up giving us white bread with baloney and no mayonaise in styrofoam containers and warm tap water. And a glow stick to find our way back to our hotel room.
Our vacation is starting to come to an end, at this point we are ready to be home. Things didn’t go as planned. So, we get home and they’ve lost Craigs luggage on the way home.
Suffice to say, I really had lived my whole life envisioning going to Hawaii and having a honeymoon, I really did. And to have all these things line up and happen at the same time, the looting, people dying on the plane, losing luggage both ways, it was to unbeleivable to be true, but it all happened. But I felt cheated; cheated out of a good time, because it just doesn’t seem that all those things could happen, statistically, in the same two week period. It just seems impossible, you know, but it did happen, it was unfortunate. Now, I’m almost glad that it happened the way that it did. Just because it is so funny to think back on how ridiculous the whole thing was.
Losing Something by Jody Stephens is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.