Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Missing Bag & Blue Water Shrimp

We got up very early the day we left for vacation. Our flight was at 7:30 am. It was 5 hours to San Francisco, then a 3 hour layover, and then 5 hours to Honolulu. Once we arrived in HI, we trudged through the airport looking for the rental car area. Honolulu is not, in our opinion & experience, a very nice, easy to navigate airport compared to others. We got lost, had to ask for help twice, it was hot & stuffy because it seems, from our experience, that only the "boarding gate rooms" are air conditioned, but finally we found the rental car place. I can't remember what kind of car they gave us at first, but it just wasn't going to work for us for a week. The passenger seat was not a good height for me to transfer into from the wheelchair.
So we spent time asking for a different car. SP got the keys, transferred the luggage from one car to the other, got me in, and off we went, 30 minutes through traffic to our hotel. A very cheery valet greeted us and unloaded our bags. He said to us,"Just these 3 bags, right?"

Uh, no. There should be 4 bags. He and SP searched the car. Frantically. One bag was missing. My personal carry on. With the passports. And my prescriptions/vitamins for 2 weeks. And other items I did not want to be without. The only bag without a luggage tag. The brand new bag that was on its very first trip. Thank goodness I had taken out my small, travel crossbody with my sunglasses, credit cards, cash, and cell phone.
The stress level was high. Way high. As SP drove back to the rental car place, I frantically tried calling them but of course, no one answered any of the options. We finally got there, he slammed the car in park and ran to the first guy he saw. They went into the building. I waited in the car, at maximum stress level, wondering why was it my bag that got lost (as if another bag would have been any better)? About 10 minutes later SP returned with my bag. Thank goodness it was still in the original rental car. Thank goodness in that hour no one else had been given that rental car. SP claims he simply didn't see it in the black trunk because it's a black bag.
Crisis averted. Not a great start to vacation. We drove another 30 minutes back to the hotel, spent 30 minutes checking in, dumped our stuff in the room, and since it was 7 pm Honolulu time (which was 1 am for us), went in search of dinner. We went to Blue Water Shrimp. Super casual. Order at a counter, take a seat, they bring your food to you. I think they started as a food truck and while there is still a food truck, there also is this stand at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort.
Since it was 1 am for our minds and bodies and since we weren't super hungry, we shared the calamari. A large calamari steak that was delicious, breaded with panko, covered in lemon butter caper sauce, served with some brown rice, corn, and salad. Feeling the need to hydrate after a day of air travel, we drank lots of water with the meal.

Then we walked around a bit, went back to the room, got settled in, and went to sleep by 9:30 pm.

Tip #1: ALWAYS do a bag count. Every time you move them. That's what we did the rest of the trip. I probably annoyed the heck out of SP with the bag checks and counts. It got especially annoying once we moved from Oahu to the Big Island because then we also had a small cooler and a bag of car snacks.

Tip #2: Even if it's your personal carry on, attach a luggage tag. We spent the trip looking for a souvenir luggage tag and finally found one at Blue Hawaiian Helicopter after our helicopter tour. It is now attached to my black bag. Also, next time, I think I'll tie an obnoxiously bright scarf or bandanna on the bag like I did with our black carry on suitcase.

Tip #3: Blue Water Shrimp is a yummy first night meal.

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