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December 14, 2001
Our trip began on an ominous note
when our flight from Portland to San Jose on Alaska Airlines was
delayed for over an hour for a backup generator malfunction. We
had just endured our first
taste of enhanced airport security, and the resulting long lines, and
now this. Once in the air, however, we took off like a
bolt of lightning, as we sped over 600 miles per hour to San Jose.
With the aid of a 180 knot tailwind, our flight was on time even after
We switched planes without incident,
and after enduring The Princess Diaries (with the help of
unlimited free wine!), arrived seven hours later in Kaluhui Airport
aboard an American Airlines 757 jet; on schedule! We made our
way to the Alamo rental car counter, where we were greeted with New
York-style rudeness. They eventually brought us around to our
Jeep, which smelled wet, like it had been driven with the top down in
We headed out into Kahului, which
was a rather ugly town, with American-style strip malls, factories,
and chain stores, and made off to pick up our
AOA Gold Card, which gave us substantial savings throughout our
trip. You just have to make sure you're planning on the
activities that it sponsors! We quickly noticed that gas was
over $2.00 per gallon at a time where the gas back home was under
$1.00! We did notice, however, that the prepaid gas offered at
the rental car agency was not any less than several stations around
town. We turned down the gas and the insurance (most insurance
companies cover rental cars) as usual and went off to find our hotel.
Worldmark at Kihei was our choice of
lodging, which looked painfully out of place in a resort community.
The "resort" condos were actually just a regular old Pacific
Northwest-style apartment complex with no real amenities or things you
would expect from a resort. Room service was available on a
limited basis from the restaurant next door, but for a hefty fee.
Although our room was nice, the community as a whole was quite
disappointing, and we told them so. At shortly after 12:30 we
hit the sheets.