Once in Portland, I spent Monday afternoon cleaning out our rental car and repacking all my luggage. On Tuesday, 9/26, I took Charlotte to get a bath at Petsmart so she’d be all clean and ready for our flight (I had read that if quarantine found any sort of ticks or parasites on an animal it could be held in their kennels, so I wanted to be sure that she was clean for her inspection). I also picked up a kennel and other supplies needed for the flight. Nothing like saving these important details for the last minute! I had a minor freak out back at the hotel trying to figure out how to put the kennel together, but thanks to some Youtube videos I found that I was just doing it wrong. I was also concerned with how Charlotte would fit — she’s such a long dog that even the biggest kennel size was questionable, and she would go nowhere near it for me to check.
I had so much on my mind, and was so stressed with how all this would play out. There seemed to be so many details that I was bound to forget something. But while I was worrying, I was reminded of a few things: we’ve been through so much this year in preparation for this move, and despite our hopes and prayers every sign seemed to be pointing to God wanting us in Hawaii. I realized that I just needed to trust that He really wanted us to be there and He had a plan for us, so I needed to stop worrying and believe everything would go smoothly.
On Wednesday, September 27, I got up at 4:30, repacked the car, took Charlotte out for one last walk, checked out of the hotel and forced Charlie into her kennel. It broke my heart to do that, and she certainly didn’t make it easier with her incessant whining. I never wanted to make her have to go through the stress of flying, but in this situation I figured that a 6 hour flight would be less stressful than not being with us in Hawaii…right? I turned in the rental car and made it into the airport with 2 large bags, 2 carry ons, and the kennel. We went through the whole check in, Charlie crying the entire time, and finally I said goodbye for now to my sweet puppy. Pets are not allowed in the cabin for flights to Hawaii because of the quarantine laws, and I’m against taking advantage of the whole emotional support animal thing. Instead, we’ll just do our best to make sure she doesn’t have to fly anywhere until we move again, and we’ll try to make the flights as short and direct as possible.
Getting to my flight went well, except for going through security and having them confiscate my corkscrew. However, once on the plane, a flight attendant noticed that the person in the window seat at the emergency exit had a broken arm, so we ended up trading seats. A window seat for my first trip to the islands! The flight attendants were also very kind and let me know when Charlotte had been loaded on the plane. And with that, we took off and said goodbye for now to the Mainland.
The flight went smoothly, and I was able to see Haleakala on Maui and Molokai island before landing on Oahu. My first impression of my new island is that it looked bigger from the sky than I had imagined when looking at maps — that’s good, right? I was soon hit by intense humidity, and confusion of how to navigate this airport. I met Curtis (who already had my luggage) and we went on a search to find the animal quarantine office. After a few tries we found it, filled out one last form, and they brought Charlotte out to me. I could hardly believe it — this one thing that I had been worried about for the past 4 months was finally over, and it had gone so much easier than I thought! I had signed up for direct airport release, and that actually happened! When they brought her out to us, she started whining again to let us know that she was so over this kennel. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next time she goes in isn’t until our next move.
Curtis drove us to our hotel, and I have to say that my first impressions of being in Hawaii weren’t the best. The backdrop was one of the most beautiful green mountain ridges I’d seen, but it was cluttered by traffic, interstate, road construction, tall concrete buildings, litter, normal fast food restaurants you’d see on the mainland. It was pretty from the air, but it was just too real on the ground.
We went to the hotel and decompressed and talked all about our week apart. That evening, we went out to a Japanese restaurant to celebrate our first night in Hawaii, as well as our 50th monthiversary. We had no idea what lay before us for our time on the island, all we could do was go and start creating happy memories of our first week here.
(In case you’re wondering, during Curtis’ first week in Hawaii he checked in with the base and into our hotel/home for the next 2 months, and in his free time he managed to hike 3 different peaks and visited the Pacific Air Museum on Ford Island. He’s opting out of writing a post about these, but will be writing more soon about other hikes we’ve done together here!)