What we did on the first few hours on the Big Island

Yaaasssss….we finally arrived on the Big Island. We headed straight outside to catch a shuttle to Budget Car Rental. It was still raining steady showers at the time, and it took a little while to get on the shuttle. Three Budget shuttles passed by, and could only pick up a handful of passengers at a time. The fourth shuttle could only take two, and I decided to get on the shuttle, I brought Caitlin with me, so I could get a head start in getting our paperwork done. Nancy and the rest of the kids could just follow along. I had somewhat of an unpleasant experience over at Budget. It took over an hour to get assistance. Our arrival time coincided with the arrival of 4 other planes. That’s why all rental car shuttles were busy that afternoon. My somewhat unpleasant hour at Budget turned around. I will write more about this and submit it to Points with a Crew.

Free upgrade

We ended up being given a full-sized SUV, a Ford Explorer. I booked a minivan, but they were all out of a minivan. I was given a free upgrade, and I didn’t complain. Why should I? We loaded our luggage and backpacks, and we were off. The rain had stopped and the sun began to shine. In a typical Francisco fashion, our Hawaii first hours were spent at Costco and Walmart. We grabbed a few grocery items that we could use for the week.

Another upgrade

It was already past 6pm when we made it to our timeshare, Kona Coast Resort. We’ve never stayed here. We stayed at its sister resort, the Holua Village in Mauna Loa, which was another 10 minutes away. Check in was a breeze. We booked a one-bedroom unit, and we were pleasantly surprised when we were upgraded with a two-bedroom unit.

We headed to our building. There were three levels and we were on level one. First impression, huge. It felt huge even for a family of six. Huge kitchen, spacious sunken living room and dining room, a lengthy lanai with a ocean views at a distance, a sunken master bedroom, two full bathrooms, another bedroom, laundry room….we were set. The style? It didn’t feel “Hawaiian” to me. It was oozing of brown and tan color. I think it could use a little aloha-feel. But I can’t complain.

Why did we buy a timeshare?

We got married 18 years ago, a time when I had no idea how to travel for nearly free. We had no idea we’d have four kids. And trust me, we’ve been using our timeshare 2-3 times per year. We’ve used many times in Hawaii (Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island), Phoenix, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Anaheim, Napa, and we’ve exchanged it to get on a cruise, and once to a trip to NYC over ten years ago. Knowing what I know now about traveling for nearly free, we probably would not buy timeshare. But since we already have it, we made sure we get our money’s worth with using our timeshare.

My first island dinner

Nancy and I bought freshly caught shrimp at Costco. I cooked with garlic butter, added the shrimp to the pan, let it cook for 3 minutes or so on each side, seasoned it with salt and pepper. Finally, I added a bit of Aloha Shoyu and Lilikoi Passion drink from Aloha Maid. Yep, that was dinner!

That, right there, was our first few hours on the Big Island. We just got settled, and enjoyed the rest of the evening after our long travel day. Mahalo for following our journey.

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