Photo assist from Art Walthall
Arby’s $6 Hawaiian Getaway Day 2
After an absolutely amazing day 1 we got back to the hotel around 10:30 pm. We were scheduled to meet in the lobby at 6:30 am the next morning for our flights to Hawaii. I of course was restless and woke up at 4:30 am and was unable to get back to sleep. Way to make a long day even longer Mark!
We were still unaware of what would be in store for us on day 2. The only thing we knew for sure was we were flying to Hawaii in style, in lie flat seats! Also that we would be there for a mere six hours before our depressing flights home. Let me tell you, a lot happened in between those two flights.
Flying In Style
Arby’s and King’s Hawaiian pulled out all of the stops for our trip to Hawaii. We may not have been spending a lot of time on the island but we would get there rested and relaxed. The terms of the offer specified first class flights but it didn’t say anything about lie flat seats.
The one downside was that it was Delta Boeing 767-300. Which meant the plane was a little dated, the IFE screens were smaller, and the seats were a little tighter than newer planes. It was still a ton better than traditional first class seats though. We started off the flight with a nice rum runner cocktail.
A little after take off the food was served and I went with the oatmeal over the omelette. The oatmeal was not the best but I was able to snag an extra bagel to make up for it!
Luckily I was able to get a nap in to make up for my restless night of sleep. I would have never been able to sleep in a traditional seat so the lie flat seats were a life saver for the long day ahead.
Bus Ride to Paradise
Once we landed we headed to collect Ben’s bag (the only one who checked luggage 🤣) and meet up with our chartered bus. By baggage claim is where we met the nicest person in the world, Carlos.
Carlos was the tour guide for our short bus to the secret location. He spent the trip telling us the history of the islands, all about the Hawaiian culture, and pointing out landmarks on the way to our destination. He even offered to let us to crash on his couch so we didn’t have to leave so quickly. Gotta love that island kindness right there!
We Have Arrived
The bus ride was about 30 minutes to the resort area of Ko Olina. We ended up having a private space rented at what I think was the secret beach area (satellite image). This was right next to the Four Seasons Resort and Aulani Disney Resort. A few people walked over to Aulani and I should have joined them just to make Shawn jealous 😉.
There were some tables set up near the front of the open grassy area. Two singers where already playing that sweet island music as we approached our seats.
Once everyone was situated the hula dancers from Polynesian Cultural Center started putting on a show for us.
The group from the center gave us insights to traditional hula, where it came from, and told us the story of how hula was banned for a time on the islands. We were given a quick lesson and a chance to show our moves. They said we were the first group where everyone actually joined in. It shouldn’t be a surprise since we were all crazy enough to fly to Hawaii for six hours. The show last around 45 minutes and then it was time to hit the beach for our Arby’s!
We Have the Meats!
They had a couple of huts set up down by the beach displaying the food. I am ashamed to say I don’t have any close ups of the food set up. In the hut to the left they had the 3 King’s Hawaiian sandwiches. I think only Art tried all three…he was a champ. In the hut to the right they had mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, and some amazing salted caramel cookies.
I snagged a King’s Hawaiian Sweet & Spicy Luau Chicken sandwich, some mozzarella sticks, and a salted caramel cookie. If I am being honest I don’t like deli meat at all but I actually really enjoyed the sandwich. It had a great mixture of sweet and spicy and it seemed to be the favorite sandwich of most people there.
They gave us some time to lounge on the beach and digest our meals before heading back up for show number two.
The Amazing Kimié Miner
We were once again treated to an amazing show by singer Kimié Miner. She is Hawaiian royalty and wins all kinds of awards on the islands. Her voice was memorizing and I may have downloaded her catchy song Bamboo once I got home…
She had enough time to play 4 or 5 songs before she had to hit the road for another performance.
Shave Ice and Double Canoes!
After being serenaded by Kimié we had a chance to grab some shave ice from Island’s Finest Shave Ice. Shave ice was the one thing I really wanted to get while in Hawaii so I was very happy that they decided to set that up for us. The vanilla ice cream at the bottom was as good as it gets too.
After we all had a chance to devour our shave ice we headed back to the beach to take a double canoe trip with Leeward Kai Canoe Club. This was the highlight of the day in my opinion since I love being out on the water.
The guys were awesome and took us out for close to an hour. We were able to get some breathtaking views from the ocean.
Back to the Airport…So Soon?
Once we fought the waves back to dry land we had another hour or so to lounge around and enjoy Hawaii’s natural beauty.
Then it was sadly time to head back to the bus. The winners were once again split up among different airlines heading to different areas of the country. I had 3 others on my flight back to LAX and a couple more in our terminal heading to Salt Lake City. Only 2 of the 11 winners were able to extend their stay. Most everyone else needed to get back to work or family. I attempted to change my flights while on the plane to Hawaii but they wanted $500 to bump it till Sunday so I passed.
When I checked in for my flight home I was alerted that they were looking for volunteers. I got very excited…could I luck into one more day in paradise, for free?!? I rushed to the counter to check with the gate agent and plead my case why I should be her first choice. She said she would let me know when we got close to boarding and I thought for sure I had it. We decided to grab some drinks while we waited.
With the boarding time fast approaching I checked back in with the gate agent and I was given the bad news. There were a few no shows so volunteers were no longer needed. I boarded the plane in despair and settled in for the long ride home.
Not much to say on this front. I upgraded myself to Comfort+ on both flights and thought I was slick picking the seat with and empty slot in front. I forget to closely check the aircraft and got stuck on both flights with the exit door jetting out into my space. The extra legroom was still nice even if impeded some. Before passing out I had some friendly banter with another passenger who ended up commenting on my day 1 post, hi Shawna.
The worst part about the return trip was that it was over a long 24 hour plus period. A day without a bed or a shower is never a good day. I tried to grab a shower in the Delta lounge at LAX but my terminal’s lounge didn’t have one.
I can’t thank King’s Hawaiian and Arby’s enough for this trip as well as the marketing dream team that came up with the idea. It was a trip for the ages! The contest was so over the top that I still can’t believe I did it. We were 11 out of close to 250,000 people that went to the website on those two days. Those odds are minuscule but we somehow pulled it off.
I was also shocked by how well we all gelled together. I was worried that wouldn’t be the case before heading out on the journey. It is said that extreme experiences can lead to people forming an instant bond. That is never more true then when $6 Hawaii trips are involved. It felt like we were a big family almost immediately and everyone seemed to be at home with each other…a truly rare thing. I am going to try my hardest to get us all back together at some point in the future. Maybe at an Arby’s somewhere….
P.S. I will try to get Steve Garvey to show up there too Matt 😉