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Calling for Input

Posted by Dorothy on 1/11/05 at 17:45 (166914)

ok, here's the deal: we may be going to Hawaii in March. One of us will travel free and the other is getting a pretty good deal. One of us has to go for work-related conference; the other will go 'for suppport.' We have never been. One of us(me) has sometimes thought she would want to go to Hawaii, but cost and other factors (kids) have mitigated those thoughts. This seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity.... BUT....
One of us (me) is very (as in VERY) worried about the long flight and all other demands vis a vis the back and the feet, both of which give me lots of trouble. This all gets complicated in my thinking/planning by having to fly out of O'Hare in what would very likely be winter (or sleet or ice or some other thing) weather and in the course of one long non-stop flight end up in ?hot? weather. This all gets further complicated by my sincere desire to pack in one carry-on bag, one pair of shoes - and altogether travel light!! I am getting so overwrought about this that I keep thinking I just should not go. I HATE the whole idea of the whole airport 'security' fiasco and because I think it is all so badly done and wrongly handled, I have so far managed to avoid flying anywhere. But you can't drive to Hawaii (can you?) And now - ok, I admit it - with the recent earthquake and tsunami events - I feel pretty sure that the earth is in some kind of unusual instability and Hawaii has a lot going on anyway (volcanoes, tsunami warnings posted, etc...) I've been doing some Hawaii reading, trying to gather information, and I have asked people who have firsthand knowledge - but - ok, I admit it - I am a major neurotic chicken and most of all because of the back and the feet, moreso than the earthquake and tsunami fears. When I read and was reminded of Carole's Hawaii background, I thought - ok - I'm going to ask. So, I'm asking - everyone - talk to me about Hawaii, about air travel, about back pain/foot pain/air travel/long-non-stop flights, about going from winter to summer in one day with one bag, talk to me about - oh, yeah, almost forgot - sharks..... go ahead: free associate. Talk to me!! I need to either commit to this or drop out of the plan (and that idea is not going over well in my house, I can tell ya!) Oh - about shoes - when I think of Birkenstocks (thick, warm socks for winter/no socks for summer), I think of slogging through the winter-segment and ruining the Birkenstocks. Good grief. What a (worry)wort!!! Ok - now - talk to me!! Please.

Re: Calling for Input

Dorothy on 1/11/05 at 17:50 (166915)

Re my statement: 'I HATE the whole idea of the whole airport 'security' fiasco and because I think it is all so badly done and wrongly handled, I have so far managed to avoid flying anywhere.'

I meant avoided only since the security stuff has gotten so bizarre. I have flown since 9/11 and had to remove the shoes, got segregated and 'specially' wanded and all because jewelry set off the alarms, etc etc. I think the whole thing is very badly done - but it is the system that exists. You hear all the stories - some people hardly get checked; some are strip searched. Some women report really out of line searches, etc.

I didn't want you to think that I meant I have not flown. I've just been avoiding it since that trip after 9/11.

Re: Calling for Input

Linda V on 1/11/05 at 18:42 (166918)

What a wonderful opportunity for you! I admit traveling is a whole lot more hassle nowadays, but...to forego such a nice trip because of 'what if..' seems such a shame.
What if there is a storm? Ok, so there's a delay. A pain, but you will still get there.
I ALWAYS traveled light with just one carry on. Now I find it is much easier to check the luggage, and just carry a lightweight tote with my essentials and one change of clothes, in case.
A long trip does require some thought and planning, and you have plenty of time to buy some elastic 'teds' stockings, practice foot exercises for circulation during the flight, etc.
One of my Moms favorite sayings was...Never trouble trouble, till trouble troubles you. ie...plan well, have a wonderful time, and if something comes up---good grief, you are an intelligent woman and can handle anything, I bet.

Re: Calling for Input

Suzanne D. on 1/11/05 at 19:35 (166923)

What a special opportunity for you, Dorothy! I hope you can go. I have not been many places, but Hawaii (in pictures and descriptions) seems like such a beautiful destination.

Here is a thought/recommendation about shoes. Of course I have no idea if your feet and mine have any similarities, but the following link (I hope) will take you to some Birks on the German site (can't find them anywhere else) that suit my feet better than any other Birks I have tried and would work nicely for warm weather. Of course they are discontinued(just my luck!), except for the black ones, so that's why those in colors are at bargain prices. If you have a thin, narrow foot, they should fit you better than other styles of Birks. There is no toe-ridge, and there is no uncomfortable raised ridge around the front of the shoe like many Birks. They are in the Tatami line and are not soft-footbed, yet the footbed is covered with some black material that makes it somewhat softer to me than just the cork. I know it would be a chance - and you would have to order them soon and maybe pay the higher shipping price to get them in time - but I thought I would mention them to you and give you the link. http://www.gobuyeurope.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv ?

I wore my beige pair all around St. Augustine this summer (the only shoes I wore) and my black pair with pants at Disney World. I managed that by wearing black socks with the shoes which, unless you look closely, fairly well hide the fact that they are open-toed shoes. The shoes served me well both places. Just my input on the shoe question.

Now, here is a little something to make you smile (I hope!). Today, my first graders read a story about a little Raccoon named Wally who didn't want to walk to school by himself. His mother kept encouraging him to do so, telling him how he knew the path so well by walking with her, how she would be watching from the hill where they lived, how he would meet his friends, etc. He kept saying things like, 'What if I fall in a hole which a giant dug and can't get out?' 'What if I see a rainbow and look at it so long that I am late for school?' 'What if I see berries and eat to many of them and get sick?', etc. His mother assured him that he was smart and knew what to do and would be fine. Of course in the end he did walk to school and was proud of himself. He told his mother that once in a while, if she wanted, she could still walk with him, but not too often. :) That was what I immediately thought of when I read your thoughts. You are smart to think everything through, but in the end, I think you will be like the little raccoon. You can do it!

One parting thought - My mother was fond of saying that John Glenn went to the moon with no mishap and later slipped in his bathtub and got hurt (broken leg? I can't remember). Anyway, she would tell us that to reassure us when we were preparing for some big event.

Happy planning!
Suzanne :)

Re: about that link I provided...

Suzanne D. on 1/11/05 at 19:37 (166924)

I just tried it, and it took me to the site, but not to the page with the shoes. Use the link I gave you, then type the name Santee in the search feature. It should then bring up the page with the Santee shoes in different colors.

Suzanne :)

Re: Calling for Input

Carole C in NOLA on 1/11/05 at 19:40 (166925)

Go to Hawaii! Don't you DARE not go; you'd regret it for years!

Take more than one pair of shoes. Take two plus the ones on your feet. YOu can fit that into a carry-on. You will need something like Birkenstocks that you can slip in and out of, for comfort in the hotel, and you will need whatever works best for you, for standing and walking long distances. When I went to sea with PF I fit Birkenstocks amd shower shoes in my carry-on, and wore my SAS shoes with the custom orthotics. I never used the Birkenstocks, but you might in Hawaii. Maybe some pretty Birkenstocks that you'd feel all right about in a nice, Polynesian restaurant.... :)

As far as natural disasters go... earthquake and tsunamis... Hawaii is about as safe as you get. We had a tsunami in Hilo (on another island from Honolulu) back in the 1950's but I think that was the last one that caused a loss of life.

Unlike the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean (and Hawaii in particular) has the Tsunami Warning System set up by NOAA (the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration). When an earthquake is detected, Hawaii is instantly notified. That means you will always have hours of advance warning in case of tsunamis. We had maybe two or three tsunami warnings when I lived there on the beach (though no tsunamis ever arrived). You just drive away from the beach towards higher ground nearer the middle of the island. No problem.

Take only carryons that have wheels, period. No fair carrying a heavy bag through a huge airport. That would mess up your feet.

And above all, have fun! Let me know if you have any particular questions.

Carole C

Re: Calling for Input

Carole C in NOLA on 1/11/05 at 19:42 (166926)

I noticed the last time that now they make everybody take their shoes off! That can be so difficult if you have no place to sit and take them off, and you don't want to walk very far barefoot. Maybe you can figure out how to best do this.

Carole C

Re: Calling for Input

Suzanne D. on 1/11/05 at 20:00 (166928)

Good point, Carole. I haven't flown since security has included removing one's shoes, but I have thought about how difficult that would be if you had to stand long or walk very much. Perhaps, Dorothy, you could slip a pair of Birk sandals in your carry-on bag, and as soon as you removed the shoes you were wearing, you could put on the sandals. You could just say you have foot problems and cannot stand in your bare feet.

Suzanne :)

Re: Calling for Input

marie on 1/11/05 at 20:39 (166929)

Aloha Dorothy!

Call ahead to the airport. They have wheel chairs and they have little golf carts you can ride in to get you from one end of the airport to the other. All you have to do is request it.

Now let me see long hours on and airplane can't be as bad as sitting on the sofa all day so I say GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Warm weather and beautiful sunsets!


Gorgeous even when it rains!


Waterfalls galore!


Go Scuba Diving.......yeah don't have to walk!


Lots of men in bathing suits.


Palm trees!


Music and Entertainment!


And the locals love to dance!



And lets not forget the HULA GIRLS! Hey what did you expect? ;)


Have fun!

Re: Calling for Input

john h on 1/11/05 at 21:35 (166931)

Sandals are in when you fly these days. Do not even bother to wait for you to ask them to take them off. Just throw them in the basket with you purse that goes through the x-ray machine. Do wear cool socks. Perhaps 'cat' socks. I was using my running shoes but that is to much trouble taking them off and putting them on. Sit by a good looking cool guy named Brad and ask him what his sign is? You will be a big hit.

Re: Calling for Input

wendyn on 1/11/05 at 21:38 (166932)

Yes Dorothy - you must go! You will LOVE it there. O'Hare has the wheelchairs as others have mentioned, and they also have little things that are like buses that will drive you around _inside_ the airport.

Have a pina colada on the beach for me....enjoy!


Re: Calling for Input

john h on 1/11/05 at 21:39 (166935)

No problem with sandals Carol. Easy on easy off. You do not even have to sit down.

Re: Calling for Input

john h on 1/11/05 at 21:42 (166937)

By all means go to the big island and look down into the active volcano near Hilo. There are some black beaches in the area which resulted form lava flow. You can take a helicopter tour over the volcano and perhaps see a little lava on the move.

Re: Calling for Input

john h on 1/11/05 at 21:45 (166938)

If you do not fly anywhere Dorothy you will never have the pleasure of meeting all those slick,cool, worldly, high IQ pilots.

Re: Calling for Input

john h on 1/11/05 at 21:48 (166939)

It just may make you forget you have foot and back pain Dorothy. I feel safer in a plane than in a car. As to earthquakes and tsunamis you have a better chance of dying from a fall in your home. Go and take a walk on the wild side. I never fail to meet some interesting people in airports.

Re: Calling for Input

Cyndi on 1/11/05 at 22:28 (166943)

Do Not Pass on this trop Dorothy!

Do not regret what you could have done. If something happens, it happens!
It could happen anywhere. Get the wheel cart to ride at the airport and go walking in the sand!

Take photos please, :-)

Re: Calling for Input

Cyndi on 1/11/05 at 22:28 (166944)

Do Not Pass on this trip Dorothy!

Do not regret what you could have done. If something happens, it happens!
It could happen anywhere. Get the wheel cart to ride at the airport and go walking in the sand!

Take photos please, :-)

Re: Calling for Input

Geri on 1/12/05 at 05:40 (166950)

Dorothy: I have been there twice on business trips with my husband. Such a beautiful place. I fly every 2-3 months to Atlanta from Tampa. I always request a wc. They always have one waiting and it is no problem getting through security. They actually wand the wc when I am out of it. If I complain stern enough they let me wear my sandals all the way through the
security check, after checking them while I'm still sitting. The key to carryon is wheels. O'Hara airport is big like Atlanta's, I definately would request a wc when you book your flight. You do not want to sit on a plane with your feet hurting.
I know your hesitation feeling well. Each time a trip comes up, whether flying or on a cruise which we took just before Christmas, I get this uneeasy feeling. All kinds of thoughts just like you. When the trip gets underway, I'm fine. When flying any longer than an hour trip I get up and walk to the BR in the back of the plane, whether you need the facility or not. I have sciatica and 1 hour is my limit for sitting.
Do go on your trip, as it will be so beautiful there compared to the cold and snow up north.
Hope you are looking forward now to going to the ALOHA Island.

Re: Calling for Input

Kathy G on 1/12/05 at 10:56 (166957)


I didn't go to Hawaii when my sister and brother-in-law were living there. We were newlyweds and my husband was all for it but I was the practical one who thought we couldn't afford it. Now, thirty-two years later, we're no richer or poorer monetarily than we would have been if we'd taken that trip and I still regret it. By all means, GO!

As for the airport, I could never get around the Orlando airport without a wheelchair and my husband doesn't mind pushing me in it. I won't go into how he likes to push me down inclines as fast as he can and scare the heck out of me. He's holding on but it psyches me out every time!

As for footwear, I have worn nothing but my custom Birks and Asics running shoes with orthotics for the last seven years. The only exception was for three weddings and I wore Josef Siebels for those. My advice would be the same as Carole's. Wear one pair and bring two pair with you. Bring broken-in shoes that you know are comfortable.

If you go to a tourist attraction while in Hawaii that requires extensive walking, opt for the wheelchair. I did that when we went to Disney and when we went to tour a garden in Pennsylvania. Because I'm a control freak, it was very hard for me to give in but I wouldn't have missed either experience for the world. I figured the wheelchair was allowing me to do things I might no otherwise be able to do. It's just an issue I had to deal with and once I accepted the fact that I had limitations that were no fault of my own, I did much better.

As to fears of natural disasters, etc., I would never let those fears stop me from going to Hawaii. If I was traveling in other parts of the world, like the MidEast, it might give me pause, but not Hawaii.

Go and have a wonderful time! As Carole's mother said, you could fall in the bathtub at home, like John Glenn, and break a leg! Life is short; don't waste it by worrying about things that may never happen!

I hope you go and have a wonderful time. You have lots of time to figure out the packing because all I can tell you is that when I go away, I either bring too little or too much. Maybe if I was a more experienced traveler but I'm hopeless!

We'll all look forward to hearing about your trip!

Re: Calling for Input

JudyS on 1/12/05 at 11:12 (166960)

I hear there's a rather cute Brad back on the market.....
Maybe he wears cat sox!

Re: Calling for Input

JudyS on 1/12/05 at 11:23 (166962)

Dorothy if you get to the Big Island and Hilo (or Kona, I forget which), look south of Hilo for a small, black-sand beach on a small lagoon. It has the best snorkling in Hawaii! Also, there is a very, very tiny, one-room church on that beach called St. Peter's. It's just beautiful.

If the volcano isn't active, you can hike across it and get some true heat treatment for your feet!