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By Barbara Kenney

Editor's Note:
Even seasoned travelers can have bad trips. The Kenney family travel frequently but as you will see when you read this story not all trips are good trips.

By Barbara Kenney

How can a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii be a trip to hell? Well, it started the day before we left when Sylvia, our housekeeper, discovered that we have a rat problem in the house. In exploring we found evidence in several places and called Terminex immediately. It took a leap of faith to let them have a key to our house so they could perform their magic while we were gone, but we really had no choice.

Our trip to the airport and flight to Hawaii were uneventful, but the tranquility didn’t last long. When we checked into our room at the Kingsland Time Share, they gave us a room that looked strange from the beginning and became more so as we explored. Our first clues were that there were no cabinet doors under the kitchen sink, and the washing machine was one story only. The bathroom seemed like a gigantic waste of space, and we wondered who their architect was. We decided this must be a handicapped room, which we definitely didn’t request. Then all of a sudden I thought – I wonder if there is a shower in that monster bathroom. There wasn’t! Only a giant bathtub in the middle of that wasted space. I really needed a shower, so I climbed carefully into the tub and took a tub bath.

The problem began when I tried to get out. The bottom of the tub was very slippery and I couldn’t get any traction to try to stand up. There was a grab bar on the wall, but it was too far to reach when floundering in the tub. I called Jerry to help me, and even then it was proving to be almost impossible to exit the tub. Then I realized that the water in the tub was turning red – obviously I had hurt myself, but had no idea how. When we finally got me out of the tub there was a cut on my left leg, right above my ankle, and it was bleeding profusely. Luckily I had bandages for a cut on my other leg – same location – that I brought with me, so I was able to get dressed and go to the desk to see if we could get a room with a SHOWER!

They found another room for us, and also called their medics to check my wound and bandage me better. Unfortunately our room wouldn’t be ready until the afternoon, and in the meantime we had to get everything out of our current room, including all the food in the refrigerator. This turned out okay – they sent someone to help us pack everything and take it to storage, and he even refrigerated our food for us. Our new room was ready about 3:00 p.m. and it was beautiful. And it had a shower!

Except for a very rainy, windy day, our trip continued with no mishaps, and included a wonderful dinner at the KPC restaurant at the Hilton, at water’s edge, to watch the sunset. The meal was great, and only cost $75 over the $100 gift certificate we received for listening to a time share presentation.

We started to enjoy Hawaii, and started touring and reading in our room. Then the next problem – we somehow caught identical colds at the identical time. After a sleepless night we did find a great cough medicine and took it several times a day. Only problem – it was in a 4-oz bottle and we could only take a 3-oz bottle on the plane. This problem was solved quickly. We bought another bottle of the same syrup and asked the pharmacist if they sold it in a smaller bottle. They didn’t, but sold us a 3-oz bottle for $2 which we filled before going to the airport.

When we drove to the airport, Jerry dropped me off at the departure area with our luggage, and went to return our car to Budget. We had 45 minutes to spare, but I watched five Budget shuttles go by before he finally showed up. Budget had written the wrong start mileage on the contract, and then couldn’t figure out how we were returning it with less mileage than we started with. This was their screw up but it almost made us miss the plane. But there was more! I got to the desk and couldn’t find my driver’s license. The last time I had seen it was when we boarded in SFO. Luckily I had my old Costco card with a picture, and after a 10-minute patdown they had just about decided I could board. But then Jerry walked by with our water bottle and I asked for a drink. It turns out he didn’t know I still had water in it, so they were taking it to throw away (one of my $20 Kleen Kanteens!). Once they discovered we were together we became more suspicious looking and they patted us both down again before allowing us to board. We were just about the last people to get on the plane. Luckily we were in Economy Plus and our fellow passengers were delightful in helping us get settled.

We waited awhile for our luggage at SFO– there must have been twenty empty luggage carousels that were not in use, so they sent us to the far end of the luggage area to a carousel that didn`t work. The guy had to climb into the compartment, throw out a bag or two, then repeat over and over. After all this lost time, we arrived just as the Airporter had taken off, so we waited an hour for the next one.

Finally, a little before midnight, we entered our house and could hardly wait to get to bed. However, our CO2 detector had used up its battery life and was going “beep beep beep” about every 30 seconds. We unplugged it from the wall and put it in the garage, but it was still so loud that we could hear it in the bedroom. I finally stuck it in a large roll of newspapers and closed two doors to shut out the noise.

With the trip over, we felt the worst was behind us, and started to relax. Until -- I went to the garage to drive to church and there was a dead rat behind my car. Looks like we went full circle!

P.S. How does one get a cut on her leg in a tub that has no sharp edges?

Editor's final word:
I have done an exhaustive internet search and been unable to find an answer to Ms Kenney's question. This is a serious problem that must be addressed. As I explained to Ms Kenney, giant bathtubs are being installed all over Hawaii with increased frequency so encountering one is almost a certainty without proper planning. I have submitted an unsolicited proposal. As outlined in the proposal, at the Kenney's expense, before all future Kenney Hawaian trips I will fly to Hawaii and spend two weeks inspecting hotels and beaches to ensure they have available showering facilities and these locations are designated as a "giant bathtub free zone". I look forward to working with the family to ensure they never have another "trip from hell" and I am willing to spend as much time in Hawaii as necessary to ensure this happens.


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