Friday, November 30, 2012

August of Awesomeness: Hawaii Day 5

Our fifth day in Hawaii was Sunday, and, at least compared to the other days of our trip, it was a day of rest.  We were relatively lazy until church time, and had dinner with George's family after church.

And then we did a somewhat traditional Hawaiian Sunday drive. At least I've done it once before.  We drove up to the Pali Lookout and then over to Punchbowl, and then up around Tantalus Drive, the same way that we did on my first Sunday in Hawaii.

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Pali Lookout

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Somewhere on Tantalus

This time was a little different in that we stopped and took a little hike up through a bamboo forest (that both looked and sounded really cool!), and then afterward we swung down to downtown Honolulu and saw the Iolani Palace and the King Kamehameha (as Brandon would say King Kame-hame-ha) statue.

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Near the start of our hike

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Cool Bamboo Forest

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At that one park near the end of Tantalus where you can take great photos

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Hail to the King!

Also I sprained my ankle in such a hilarious fashion that when I finally recovered enough to stand up, Cara had turned away in tears from trying not to laugh.  Just from my experience when you feel it roll and you hear it pop, its time to get all your weight off of that thing.  Apparently me going down like a sack of bricks was entertaining. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

August of Awesomeness: Hawaii Day 4

Our 4th day in Hawaii was Saturday, and the big things we had planned for the day were: Pearl Harbor, the swap meet, and babysitting kids while George and Kimi went out for their anniversary. 

We had reserved Pearl Harbor tickets (to go out to the USS Arizona memorial) online (for $1, I think) but still had to pick them up an hour before the scheduled tour time, which was ok, because there were a few museum buildings to wander through and see artifacts and diagrams and watch some movies about the attack and other surrounding events.

A few things I thought were interesting there:

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A pennant from the USS Utah

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A rough draft of FDR's "A Date Which Will Live in Infamy" speech

Before long it was time to go into a theater to watch the "official" visitor center video (I'll be honest, I slept through a lot of it) and then to board a shuttle boat to take us over to the Arizona.

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This veteran was there being honored in some fashion while we were there.

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Looking over toward the Missouri

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This guy was driving our shuttle back to shore and commented on the Utah shirt I was wearing, said his brother had played football at the U. Turned out it was Nai Fotu's brother.

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They give you more time for taking good photos on the way back.

I didn't take any photos the rest of the day, but I can tell you that Brandon thoroughly enjoyed the swap meet, especially the T-shirt stands and he bought lots of them. He even bought all of us (George and Kimi, too!) T-shirts.  I picked up a couple beach towels, and that was about it.

We ended up getting late lunch at a nice local place in Kaneohe called Fresh Catch which was going to be featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives just a few days after we were there.  Everyone got fish but me, but my meat and onions dish was pretty tasty, too.

Babysitting wasn't too bad either as there were 4 of us and 4 kids.  I mostly took care of Cole: fed him dinner, changed his diaper (successfully dodged when he tried to pee on me), and the other kids were pretty well entertained by iPads and iPhones. :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

August of Awesomeness: Hawaii Day 3

We decided to spend our second full day in Hawaii over in the Waikiki area.

We started the day driving over to Diamondhead, the crater of an extinct volcano where there used to be some sort of military installation.  There's a little park in the middle, and a trail that takes you up to rim overlooking Waikiki and Honolulu and the ocean.  Pretty quick hike, though the additional humidity over what I'm used still had me sweating before too long.  There's a nice view from the top, and i was worth doing once, but I don't feel like I NEED to do it again.

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From the top of Diamondhead

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Cara's the King of the World!

The only other thing we had planned for that evening was the weekly fireworks show at the Hilton after dark, so we just decided to hang out down in Waikiki the rest of the day.  We spent a couple hours walking past ABC stores, and checking out the international market place, and then found a place we could park all day and picked out a spot with a little shade on the east end of Waikiki beach to hang out.  We took the boogie boards out for a bit, but mostly we just ended up laying around napping and reading and being lazy for most of the day.

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Looking through some banyan trees at a yoga class on the beach

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Our hanging out spot

At one point we took turns walking into town for lunch, and toward the end of the night, Brandon and I stopped to watch a little bit of beach volleyball that was starting up. Eventually we drove over to the west end of Waikiki and after a few tries at figuring out the one way streets over there, were able to find a parking spot and walk over to the Hilton.

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The fireworks didn't seem to last quite as long as they had the year before when I was there, but they were still fun.

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Fireworks through the palm trees

Afterward we were all ready for bed, so we headed home, possibly grabbing some dinner on the way. At this point I don't quite recall.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

August of Awesomeness: Hawaii Days 1 & 2

Remember when I used to blog? Its been a while, but I've had some other stuff on my mind lately, namely purchasing a townhouse.  So that's my excuse. And then I didn't have internet at home for a few weeks (apparently that's something that comes in handy more than ever these days).

Anyway, since Christmas is coming and I'm going to need to summarize the year before long, I figured I better get cranking on some of the stuff I did the last third of the year.  And it kind of seems fitting to get back to writing up my Hawaii trip since it's Thanksgiving morning and my whole family is over there. Yes, I was invited, it just didn't seem like the best thing to do to go so soon after August.  Anyway...enough rambling...

August's trip to Hawaii was my first time going with friends, as opposed to going with my family.  Liz and Cara came over to our house and Brandon's mom picked us up and took us to the airport. 

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Waiting at the airport
The flight over was fairly uneventful, watched a couple movies, etc.  We landed in Honolulu, grabbed our luggage, and picked up our rental car -- free upgrade to full-size SUV! (Lincoln Navigator) (we'd paid for mid-size, but it was nice to have the extra room) -- and headed to Costco to get a few things.  Then it was over to the other side of the island to George's house, where Kimi graciously had made us dinner.

Our sweet ride

And that was about it for the first night. I mean, we chatted, and played with the kids and did some setting up of beds, but with the 4 hour time change it starts to feel late pretty quick that first night.

Which is why I always like to go over to Hanauma Bay the next day or the day after.  It's free (and less crowded) if you get there before 7, and I'm always waking up by 5 at the latest anyway. George was off work, so that made it even more fun as he was able to go with us. 

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Sunrise

We spent a couple hours there, and I took a few breathers along the way, but definitely snorkeled more than I have in the past.  We saw several turtles (phew! I always like to know that everyone got to snorkel with at least one turtle when we go) and on George's recommendation I took a long swim out to the far end where the water was much clearer than it is where we usually are and there were some great colors of coral as well.




At one point there was a large (for Hanauma at least) school of convict tangs cruising around

Half-decent shot of a nicely colored wrasse (Christmas, maybe? or Pearl?)

Eventually we'd had our fill (and I'd gotten some sweet triangular sunburns on my shoulders), and we headed back home for lunch. 

Post Snorkeling

In the afternoon we took Kimi's recommendation and went down to Kailua Beach Park and just took it easy, laying on the beach, reading books, and napping.  Not the kind of stuff my family typically likes to do, but it was definitely nice to just relax.

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Kailua Beach Park

For dinner, we went to Teddy's Bigger Burgers (Liz got something from Whole Foods) and also checked out the nearby farmer's market before calling it a night.

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Farmer's Market

More to come soon.  Feel free to browse all my pictures (and some of my friends') here.