My husband is writing his own write-up of the vacation on his blog. I won't bore you with repeating anything he has already shared there, but since he is leaving out things I found significant, here's my version of the trip, day by day! :)
The day before we left (Wednesday), my husband started having a tooth ache from a wisdom tooth that came in several years ago. I use the term "came in" somewhat loosely, since the back half of it is actually covered by the gums. There is a pocket between the tooth and the gum where food residue can get stuck, which causes the gums to become irritated and infected. This only happens rarely, so he hasn't felt inclined to get the tooth pulled, but it just so happened to act up the day before we were to leave.
By Thursday, the pain was so severe, and was causing him such a headache, that he woke up at 3 a.m. and was unable to go back to sleep, eat, or want to do anything - he was just miserable. Thankfully, I was able to find a dentist that opened early that day, and was willing to take him in first thing, since we had to be to the airport by 10:30 a.m. This dentist turned out to be awesome. X-rays revealed no cavities, just the gums were infected. She was willing to pull the tooth on the spot, but advised him to just stick it out since he had had this tooth for years, and it rarely acts up. Plus, getting a wisdom tooth with a twisted root removed and then going on a long distance flight don't really mesh well. She did a thorough rinse of the gums, prescribed him antibiotics and a steroid for the infection, advised him to keep rinsing with salt water, and sent him on his way with a huge discount on her usual charges. This may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as I have been unhappy with the dentist we have been seeing for years - overpriced, not very friendly, so-so quality of dental work, and hard to get an appointment with. We will take the family to this new dentist for the next cleaning/checkup. After the appointment, although the pain was not really any better yet, my husband was his usual happy and cheery self because there was a solution on the horizon.
My mother-in-law had come into town a couple of days earlier, as she was staying with the kids and watching them at our house . They all dropped us off at the airport, and we were FREE! Knowing we had a long flight and no food service ahead of us, we ate a big lunch at the airport while waiting to board. I forget the name of the place, but it had a pig in the name and in the logo, and you just never can go wrong with those sort of places. It was good!! I also had some gelato to round out the meal.
Being 21 weeks pregnant that day, I was a bit apprehensive of the long flight. Sitting for long stretches, especially on planes, can cause varicose veins and even thrombosis in anyone, but even more so in pregnant women. Thankfully, as it turned out, we were sitting in the very first row behind first class, and had a lot more leg room than a typical row. In fact, I was able to put my carry-on bag in front of me, and stretch my legs all the way out. Nice!!! We also had the row to ourselves, and were able to use that empty third seat to spread out our stuff.
We spent the flight playing a little Spot It, watching some short videos about Maui that we had downloaded from YouTube, and then I read while my husband (who had been up since 3 a.m., remember?), took a nap. When you live 24/7 with eight kids, you just don't get bored sitting on an airplane for hours - you just soak in the glorious sound of silence, and the fact that nobody is interrupting your thoughts every 10 seconds. It's funny because everywhere we went, people thought we were newlyweds, expecting our first child and taking a "babymoon." It's always funny seeing the shocked faces when we tell people, "This is number 9!" Invariably, they ask again, to make sure they heard us right.
One of the clips we watched on the flight kept going on about this local Hawaiian musician, Willie K. We didn't really understand the enthusiasm as he seemed just sorta, kinda average. When we landed in Maui and proceeded to baggage claim, we could hear music blasting through the terminal, and my husband jokingly remarked that it was Willie K playing for our welcome. Imagine our surprise, when indeed, it turned out that he was playing a short gig in baggage claim just as we were arriving, to advertise the shows he was playing at that weekend. Ha!
While we were waiting for our bags, we picked up tons of brochures of activities on the island. Then it took almost another hour to get our rental car, so by this time we were starving (again). The trip was a surprise for my husband, but I had known about it for months, and had been planning activities and food venues so we wouldn't waste any time during the trip on trying to figure it all out. I had read about this local food place, Da Kitchen, being recommended everywhere, and since it's right by the airport, that's where I thought we should head for dinner. From the outside, it looked like a hole in the wall, and it was hard to convince my husband to trust me on this one. As soon as we stepped inside, he agreed with me - even the smells were delicious! We had a great meal, accompanied by the best fresh lemonade.
After that, we went to Costco (also right by the airport), to buy some foods for sack lunches and breakfasts, and because they offer discounted prices for activities on the island. We ended up buying the helicopter tour and the submarine tickets from them.
It was dark by the time we arrived at the guest house, and we pretty much went straight to bed, since there is also a 3 hour time difference between Arizona and Hawaii and our bodies thought it was much later than it really was.