Day 1 of the trip, Thursday, was a very long travel day. My girlfriend and I arrived at Baltimore-Washington International Airport at 5:30 a.m. ET after spending the night at a Red Roof Inn near the airport. (Normally, I prefer properties such as Marriott, but $200 was way too much for an airport hotel and I “settled” for the $69 Red Roof Inn.) After changing planes twice (Houston and Honolulu) , renting a convertible at Kona International Airport and then driving through rush-hour and construction traffic in Kona, we made it to our hotel around 6:30 p.m. HT (11:30 p.m. ET). We are staying at the Royal Kona Resort (where the wedding will be held on Monday afternoon on the beach) and the balcony from our hotel room overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

After 18 hours of travel, I was ready for bed. However, while unpacking, the hotel’s fire alarm went off. We decided to take this is our cue to eat a late dinner. From the reviews I have read, the food in our hotel leaves a bit to be desired. Since we are within walking distance of downtown Kona, we headed toward town.

We decided on Huggo’s, which is on the water, right next to the hotel. The good news is that our table was on the water, with waves crashing below. Unfortunately, it was already dark and we had missed the sunset. (Kona is on the West end of the Big Island.) A couple of guide books had recommended Huggo’s and our first dining experience in Hawaii was a good one. My girlfriend’s seafood pasta was full of fish an shrimp and my prime rib hit the spot. I’ve also found my favorite Hawaiian beer — Big Wave Golden Ale.

Not much to report on our first day in Hawaii. But Friday’s plans include a drive up the coast to check out some beaches and dinner with the wedding party at one of the big resorts North of Kona.