Traveling With Keiki Can Be A Gamble

The author with (from left), her mother, Inyoung Boyd, and keiki Hana and Kaimana in the High Roller PHOTO FROM TANNYA JOAQUIN

The author with (from left), her mother, Inyoung Boyd, and keiki Hana and Kaimana in the High Roller

I rolled the dice on a different type of Las Vegas gamble recently.

Not the kind with potential winnings at the slot machines or a hot streak at the tables.

Nope. I’m talking about a high-stakes decision: traveling alone with the kids to the “ninth island.”

I’m talking a long, trans-Pacific flight with no reinforcements, and a daughter who doesn’t have a great track record as a traveler.

Yes, all bets were off, but the risk was worth it because that leg was a prerequisite to get to our final destination, Costa Rica.

The plan was to break up our trip to make it more manageable for my children and me. I just had to make it to my parents’ place in Las Vegas, then we would travel together as a family.

It’s a trip we have not made since 2012 because of a particularly horrendous experience.

I remember boarding and sitting near a nice man, who happened to recognize me from the news. He said, “I enjoy watching you on the news.”

I responded, “I hope you still feel that way after this flight.”

Well, I’ll never know, but I do know how loud and inconsolable Hana was during that five-plus-hour red-eye flight. I felt bad for my daughter, everyone around us … and hopeless.

After we landed (finally), I said sorry and told the polite passenger, “I hope you get lucky and hit the jackpot at your casino because you definitely were unlucky to be seated by us.”

I shook off that ordeal and was pleasantly surprised how well Hana did on our flight from Honolulu to Las Vegas. No crying, screaming or even whining. No sleeping either, but that’s a story for another day.

“Victory,” I thought, as we landed this time. I even high-fived my daughter and son and mentally gave myself a pat on the back.

It was worth it to share some of Vegas’ top family attractions with my kids and parents. My daughter was too young to remember our trip to the top of the Stratosphere last time.

This time, we all went for a spin on the High Roller at Linq. It’s the world’s largest Ferris wheel. It’s a 30-minute ride up 550 feet overlooking the Strip in a sleek, modern car that fits a party of 40.

The kids were tired from their flight, but they couldn’t stop talking about the Ferris wheel.

I was feeling pretty confident for our next two flights to Houston and Costa Rica. After all, each was only a couple of hours, she did so well the last flight and my parents were with me.

I said “were” because, as soon as we get to our gate, they go straight to priority boarding for first class.

Poor Coach class had to endure my fussy daughter for much of the way from Vegas to Houston.

The worst part is we have to do it all over again — first to get to our vacation, then to make it back home to Hawaii.

I may need another vacation to recover.