Friday, August 31, 2012

Hawaiian Vacation: Day 2

Day 2 we were up bright and early and ready to hit the beach.  And on our way to the car I nearly tripped over this puppy:
Yowser that thing was huge!

Before we left my sister in-law had given us 3 pages (typed!) of recommendations for beaches, hikes, restaurants and general directions. Taking it as an opportunity to not have to plan myself, we just took a few things from her list each day and tried them out (thanks Heidi!).  After eating at McDonald's (lame I know, but we had no food and were in the ghetto that is Wahiawa) for breakfast we headed to Waimea Beach.  When we arrived there was only a bunch of fisherman and an older couple we met from San Fran.  By the time we left that beach was jam packed and there wasn't a place to park! So we made a mental note to be at the beaches early each day to get a good parking spot and a good beach spot.

Waimea was gorgeous and even though we didn't have any snorkel gear we saw some turtles swimming right up near the shore.  We relaxed in the sand, swam a few times, and ate at the little food truck there.  Nachos with blue cheese crumbles?  Fancy!
A picture of the hot car for fun.
Next we headed across the street to the Waimea Valley botanical garden.  We were not prepared for the price ($30 for the two of us?  Ouch!) but it was beautiful and there were some really cool flowers and plants.  Now be prepared for eight million pictures of said flowers and plants.

We hiked to the falls (only about 1 mile and on an easy peasy trail), swam in the water, and looked at the ancient Hawaiian artifacts.

 That's my hubby up there!  And below is the coolest tree I've ever seen.

 And this tree, which I call Lord Voldemort's finger.  Not sure what it actually is. 
  It was such a beautiful drive all around the island.

On the way home we stopped at the Dole Plantation.  Had some yummy pineapple ice cream, looked at the beautiful gardens, fed some fish, posed in lame cutouts--you know, the touristy stuff. 

Every day around this same time we would be so exhausted we were ready for bed (late afternoon it was like 10 PM to us).  But we pressed on. We stopped on the way home to pick up food for breakfast for the remainder of our trip (since we had a full kitchen at the condo) and then went to dinner in Mililani.  Went home and relaxed before an early bedtime (again!).  


On a side note I wanted to give a shout out to our friends Tim and Laura.  They are our old next door neighbors (and friends) and while we were gone it was the 2 year Angelversary of the passing of their daughter Mikayla.  Just wanted them to know we were thinking about them that day in Hawaii, we will never forget her, and love you!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hawaiian Vacation: Day 1

Dropping my kids off was pretty rough.  I cried, I'll admit it.  But I knew that they'd be ok with their grandmas and aunts taking care of them.  And once we were in the airport, I was pretty giddy with excitement.  We stopped off at Cafe Rio and had some lunch and I was instantly feeling the relief of not having to take care of 2 kidlets at every turn.  Woo-hoo this is going to be a blast!

The flight was a long 6 hours but I read magazines, watched an in-flight movie--This Means War--and enjoyed some down time.  We arrived in Honolulu at around 2:15 PM and after getting our one checked bag, took the shuttle to Thrifty Car Rental.  I was surprising my hubby with a Mustang convertible and when the woman confirmed it with him he got the biggest grin on his face and was like "really? sweet".  And seriously folks, knowing my hubby, that is him getting pretty dang excited.  We got a 2013 cherry red Mustang and it was GORGEOUS.  And I know he loved driving it.  

We headed over to Waikiki and enjoyed figuring out where in the heck we were going.  (Side Note: If you go on vacation and do not have a smart phone I do not know how you get around!  The entire week we were there I would put in our destination and follow the step by step prompts, or just use the map and the little blue dot showing our current location.  I always had the iPhone in my hand in the car and am so grateful that we had it)   Aaanyway, we were both starving at this point, so we decided that we'd just have an early dinner then head to my brother's condo.  We ate at the Shore Bird Restaurant located at the Outrigger Reef Hotel on Waikiki Beach.  It is a BBQ style restaurant and we were sitting literally on the beach, it was gorgeous.  I had never been to a BBQ style restaurant before but basically what it means: you cook your own food.  They had a big salad bar which was good but my burger was kind of dry (sorry hon, I know you did your best!), the hub's steak was pretty good though.  And of course the grilled pineapple was to die for.  Then the cook told my hubby it came from California.  Ok then.
Grilling some pineapple.
After dinner we walked around the shops on Lewers street and I was having fun window shopping.  We ended up walking into this art gallery and saw some pieces by Peter Lik.  They are massive, beautiful photography portraits and they totally draw you in.

But all of a sudden we had gotten sucked into this presentation about the art and they were showing us pieces from our home state and...ugh.  I have no idea how that happened.  The art was amazing, but like I have that much cash to drop.  Anyway, the rule the rest of the trip was no more art galleries!  Ever!

We were getting pretty tired by then so we decided to head up to Mililani where my brother and his wife's condo is.  It was an easy drive and we literally crashed into bed the minute we got there.  I think it was like 8 when we went to bed.  HA!  Losers.  (Hey we were jet-lagged ok?)  Plus waking up at 6 AM the next morning ready for the day wasn't too shabby.

Day 2 to follow....