Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Happy Haunakah, Happy Winter Solstice and all that jazz!

Monday, December 22, 2003


As you can tell, I had an absolutely fabulous time in Hawaii. I recommend it to anyone who is remotely thinking about going. It truly is paradise. I've become slightly Hawaii obsessed since I've been back and I'm sure I'll continue to talk about it as much as I can, but I'll try to control it.

Day 8 Oahu

Day 8? I thought we were there for 10 days? Oh, I see, if you add up the travel time, lay overs and time difference I’d say yeah, it was a bout ten days.

Today was our last day in Hawaii and we planned on making the most of it. We got up early, checked out of our hotel and headed to Diamond Head State Park to hike to the top of it. It was a short hike per se, less than a mile in length but my god was it steep! Stairs, stairs and more sairs. It was fun and well worth the hike for the spectacular view from the summit.

After the hike we decided to hike some more (what were we thinking?) at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. We should have stopped here first for all of our souvenir needs. I can’t say how much the t-shirts were because some of the recipients read this blog, but let’s just say we spent as much as we could there. My favorite find? Hawaiian Barkcloth for $4 a yard!!!! I just about fell over dead and ended up buying as much as I could. I love me some barkcloth.

Since we had time to kill before we had to be at the airport I dragged Aaron around to help me find some lei making needles. Being the crafty person I am I could not leave Hawaii without some lei making needles! Granted, the leis I could make in Michigan are going to be drastically different from the ones you could make Hawaii but hey, who cares? I hunted high and low and finally found them at a craft store for a fraction of the price they are on this web site. Glad I got them while I was there!

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Day 7 Oahu

Today was the day we got to swim with the sharks. It was amazing! Unfortunalty we missed our boat on account of an acident that closed down the H1 Highway. I never would have imaged there were so many traffic problems in Hawaii but I guess I didn't consider the fact that it's a heavily populated island. We eventually made it with time to kill before the next boat so we decided to grab a bite to eat. I ate a spam masubi on the way up and we also stopped to try a oh, so famous shaved ice at Matsumoto's Shaved Ice on the North Shore. I'd seen this place multiple times on the Food Network. It's extra special here because they serve the shaved ice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sweet red azuki beans. Yum! Well....I wasn't thinking "yum" after we got on the boat. We road the boat 4 miles out into the ocean and the other two couples nominated us to go first. Aaron and I got in the cage, they pushed it off from the boat and started to throw chum into the water. Immediately the sharks started to circle around the cage we were in! We used up 2 underwater cameras within minutes. Soon they pulled the cage back to the boat and the second we got on deck I knew technicolor rice and spam were going to be seen in my immediate future. I spent the rest of the boat ride leaning over the side. What possessed me to eat that stuff before getting on a boat? I guess I didn't realize how rough water really was. I didn't feel so bad after I found out that one of the couples had come all the way from London, England to swim with the sharks and at the last minute the wife chickened out. And she was the one who's dream it was to do it! Oh well. I was fine once we got on land and I don't regret a minute of it. We went to the beach at the North Shore to recover and recoup for a while. On our way back to Honolulu I made Aaron stop at the Dole Plantation. We were tired and beat but it really was worth the stop. We saw ity, bity, baby pineapples growing! Did you know that it takes a plant 22 months to produce it's first fruit? 15 months later it produces it's second fruit and then it's done! No more fruit. Sad but true. Once we got back to the city we made one last stop at an extremely cool Japanese Dollar Store. I wish I'd have brought an empty suitcase just to bring stuff back from that store.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Day 6 Oahu

The first thing we did when we landed in Honolulu was go to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. It was very beautiful yet very sad. It was hard to stay sad when all of the kids were running around screaming and they limit your stay on the memorial to 4.5 minutes. Afterwards we headed off to Waikiki Beach to find our hotel and have some fun in the sun. Eventually the Roberts of Hawaii bus picked us up to take us to a luau at Paradise Cove. (I swear those green and yellow buses were everywhere!) The luau was really great and a lot of fun. I'm sure there is some level of cheesiness in going to a luau where people are probably paid minimum wage to exploit their own culture, but hey, I paid a pretty penny, it was a lot of fun and I truly believe you need to see one if you go to Hawaii. If only for the "cheese"!!

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Day 5 Maui

We had made reservations through the Pacific Whale Foundation to take a charter boat ride to Molokini Crater to do some snorkeling. On the way to the crater we overheard some people talking about a young surfer girl who had her arm bitten off by a shark while surfing off of the coast of Kauai. Kinda scary to hear as you’re being dropped off of a boat to go snorkeling. We did see a shark but he was just skimming across the bottom and never even looked up at us.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Day 4 Maui

On Saturday we did the Road to Hana. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. There were waterfalls, beaches, Hawaiian music on the radio, it couldn't have been a more beautiful drive. Unfortunately, we got a parking ticket while searching for the elusive red sand beach.

It's a shame that people drive the 4 hour trip to Hana and turn around and head back to town. A few miles past Hana is the O'heo Gulch, sometimes known as the seven sacred pools. Apparently it's not really sacred to anyone, a resort owner nicknamed it that in the 1940's to attract visitors. It was still a very magical place, though.

A mile or two past the pools is the site where Charles Lindbergh is buried. We didn't quite make it there. Past Hana we started to see a lot of "no tresspassing" signs and no signs for the church. It was starting to get late so we started to head back. Better luck next time, eh?

Friday, December 05, 2003

Day 3 Maui

The day we left for Maui was Halloween, so of course we were going to Lahaina, the Mardis Gras of the Pacific. What an unbelievable night! I saw some of the best costumes I've ever seen in my entire life! We started to write down all of the good ones we saw so that we could reference them later;-) Apparently we left fairly early (around 11pm) because as we left there was a 15 mile back up to get into Lahaina! When we got to the hotel the local cable access channel was showing last year's celebration. If only we'd stayed longer we would have seen nekkidness abound!

P.S. The image above looks a lot like the t-shirt I got while I was there.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Day 2 The Big Island

On the second day we got up and had breakfast at Ken’s House of Pancakes. I highly recommend this place to anyone visiting the Big Island. I had coconut pancakes with coconut and guava syrup! Very Ono! Afterwards we headed on our grand circle tour of the island. First stop? The black sand beaches. They were as gorgeous and as beautiful as I ever expected. Later on our circle drive we stopped at a coffee plantation, a macadamia nut plantation and the amazing white sands beach were we body surfed for hours. It was a wonderful day.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Day 1 The Big Island

After the farmer’s market we headed south to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. BTW, did I mention what our ride was the whole time we were on the big island? A 2003 red convertible Mustang. It was so sweet. Anywho, we didn’t get to see any hot lava flowing into the ocean like above, but we did get to walk on the recent lava flow from the spring of 2003. We also got to see a beautiful rainforest located within the national park and walk through a lava tube. After a long day, we headed back to Hilo to eat a local Hawaiian buffet at the Queen's Court Restaurant. Yum!

Monday, December 01, 2003

Day 1 The Big Island

Aaron and I got up early and headed downtown to the
Hilo Farmer’s Market to get some food stuff to take on our road trip. What an amazing site to see! Papayas for 25 cents (Hey! What happened to the “cents” button on this computer?? I know they used to have them….), Birds of Paradise flowers were a dime a piece, beautiful leis for less than 5 bucks, etc. I even learned all about Spam Musubi!! it was a really amazing cultural experience.