We only got a taste of the warm Hawaiian breeze before we had to go to baggage claim with our 20 family and friends to pick up what seemed to be an infinite amount of bags and boxes. Joann and I used all the checked bag allowance for BusinessFirst passengers – 6 bags/boxes between us, each weighing about 60 lbs. (70 lbs. limit). Definitely a pain to have to transport so many bags but it was MUCH cheaper than shipping our wedding supplies over via UPS/FedEx! And besides, this was only a one-time deal. Between islands, we would only be traveling with one check-in each.
While Joann waited with our freight, I took the National shuttle to their pick-up lot across from baggage claim. Several rental companies share this huge lot – Hertz, Dollar, Enterprise. In retrospect, I probably could have just walked there but after all the chaos of baggage claim, I wasn’t going to turn down an air conditioned bus. I was dropped off at the booth in the lot instead of the main desk because I’m a National Executive (thanks AmEx Platinum). Usually, this means I have the pick of the litter in their whole lot (aside from specialty cars), but there was one issue; I booked a Priceline Name Your Own Bid car. The attendant informed me that they don’t extend elite benefits on those types of reservations (I expected this), but she would upgrade my Economy car booking to a Mid-Size. For the price we paid ($130 for 7 days), I’d be fine with whatever they gave us. I took a VW Jetta with about 10,000 miles which worked out just fine. I drove back to the terminal and we managed to fit EVERYTHING in the car. The Jetta has a surprising amount of trunk space – 2 checked bags, 3 boxes, 2 carry-ons, a wedding dress, a suit, and 2 personal bags!
We stayed on the west side of Oahu, in Ko Olina. We love this part of the island because it’s a lot less touristy than Waikiki. Nothing wrong with the buzz of ‘downtown’, but we’ve had our fair share and wanted something quieter. We booked a 3 bedroom villa with 4 other friends at the Ko Olina Beach Villa Resort. Everything was new and tastefully done. The highlight was definitely the pocket doors that opened to the lanai, making the whole main area open air. I could easily see why these go for $1.1 million… maybe one day!
That Sunday, we got married on a green overlooking a small beach and the ocean. All I need to say is that it was amazing and it was everything we imagined it would be. We were even fortunate enough to have watched a perfect sunset right before dinner. It could not have gone any better. If you’re thinking about getting married in Hawaii, definitely give Lanikuhonua a look.
After that night of partying, we stayed at the JW Marriott’s Ihilani, which is also in the Ko Olina area. It was a standard room but very well appointed – comfortable bed, nice lanai (balcony) overlooking their salt water pool with eagle rays, stingrays, and hammerhead sharks. The bathroom was definitely the best part as it was huge, sporting opposing vanities and a separate tub and walk-in shower.
A few more days of fun with friends and family on Oahu and we’d be ready to start our honeymoon on the beautiful island of Kaua’i…