Saturday, December 01, 2007

Aloha From Hawaii

Aloha everyone! As mom stated in her comment, we've made it safely on Oahu. No big problems with the travel yesterday with the exception of David having some head/cabin pressure issues during our last leg. I will make a note to myself not to drink a huge thing of OJ in the morning before any future flights. I swear I had to keep using the lavatory during our first flight. And it was the kind of thing where you had to go NOW. It's not that big of an issue but when you have to make two people move so that you can get out of your seat, that's not cool. We were about 1/2 hour late into Phoenix so we raced to get something to eat and to our connecting flight.

We made it fine and the second leg of the trip was fine. No bathroom problems and we were right near the lavatory so when I did have to go I didn't have to travel far. We were well into our flight when the flight attendant told us that we were in the "chosen seats" and that anything we wanted to drink would be at no charge. Shoot, wished she had let us know earlier. Come to find out since we had the backs to the lavatory and couldn't lean back, but the people in front of us could, we had "crappy" seats with very little room. Ah, didn't bother us none, but I took her up on the offer and had a nice glass of wine. Heck, I'm on vacation. I probably shouldn't have drank though. Right after finishing the glass we hit turbulence. With me being a light-weight with the whole drinking thing, not having anything too substantial in my stomach, and the turbulence, the room started spinning. I didn't feel sick but it did make me laugh and made my head heavy. Upon descent David started to have the pressure issues. He's had the problem before so he started to use the earplugs called Earplanes. They have helped in the past but it wasn't the case this time. It's almost as though his head's about to burst and it even effects his nerves. Weird. He's a bit better today but still battling a slight headache.

Hawaii greeted us with rain. Boo. The sun wasn't shining at all. And we found everything to be outside. Basically the open-air type of thing, including the airport. We got our car and received an "upgrade." We were supposed to have an Aveo-type of car but ended up with a VW Bug Convertible. Pretty cool, but when there's high crime in the area and you can hardly fit your luggage in it, it's not that cool. And we can't even figure out the darn thing. In all honesty I think the thing's broken. Ah well, we didn't find that out until about a 1/2 hour ago and even if we had figured it out at the rental place, nothing would have changed. The whole rental car place was crazy. The guy was handing out upgrades left and right mostly because they didn't have the capabilties to give you anything else. Our gain, I guess.

We hit the road and got stuck in their rush hour traffic. It took us forever to get to our hotel. I had everything mapped and planned out but that totally went out the window. Needless to say once again we have found that we wouldn't be good on Amazing Race. It's not that we were yelling at each other but we were just done. If you think about it, it was about 10pm (eastern time) when we were trying to get to our hotel. Add on top of that no food, a LONG plane ride, and David's head issue, it pushes you over the edge. During our long wait on the highway we came to realize that Hawaii wasn't really what we expected. It's not all paradise and beach for sure. To get from the airport to Waikiki you have to go through some slums. Very sad. We should be desensitized to it considering we've lived in that type of area with New Orleans and all, but I think that's what actually brings it to light even more. You're aware of it more, considering you've been exposed to it. Once you hit Waikiki it gets much nicer.

After getting to our hotel, check-in was a breeze and our room's nice. Small, but nice. We wanted to crash but since it was only 5pm here we decided it might not be that good of an idea. We unpacked our things and headed out to find food. Once again, all of my planning went out the window and we ended up eating at Denny's. How unadventurous is that? People will ask, "What did you do in Hawaii?" And we get to say, "Eat at Denny's." Great. At that point we didn't want to go far and we wanted something in our stomachs. After that we adventured out to check out some of the area. As expected there's a VERY high Asian population here....both tourist and local. The shops are pretty cool. Mostly t-shirt shacks or high-end type of stores. We got a few things for friends, family, and us. We were several blocks away from our hotel when it decided to rain. We're not talking about just was pouring. Hard. We waited, only to find that it wasn't going to slow down so we ended up running to our hotel...good thing I picked up some running skills in the past few months. By the time we got to our hotel we were soaked. It's so humid that by this morning our clothes still weren't dry. After that we hit the sack.

Sleeping was okay but I'm still on eastern time. At 5am here our bodies decided it was time to be awake and so we were. It was still wet and humid outside. We ended up going to the Aloha Swap meet and the Aloha Stadium. That was an enjoyable, cheap time. While there David got his one and only Hawaiian shirt. We also got some local-made jelly. Mmm Mmm good. It's amazing. We then got some fresh pineapple with something on it. I'm not sure what it was but that guy told us it was the best and that we had to try it. If we didn't like it he'd give us our money back. Oh my gosh. That stuff was good. So juicy. Amazing.

Following the swap meet we headed to the Ala Moana Shopping Center to park and the walked to downtown Honolulu to sight see and take pictures. FYI it's a much longer walk than you'd think. We were exhausted by the time we got back and it was time to eat. Why not look for PF Changs? Shoot. We got lost. Again. But this time we were on foot. At this point I started to get cranky but David kept me going. I think we were looking for it for 1-1 1/2 hours. Once again, we were still on foot. I love my crocs, but they can only do so much. It was also hot and humid with the sun shining. After taking so many wrong turns and asking a ton of people, we finally found it. It was yummy as always. We then headed back to the Ala Moana Center, walked around, headed back to our hotel, and now here I am. We're not sure what the rest of the day holds. Maybe a trip to the beach if the rain holds off. Yeah, by the way, our forecast shows rain all week. What the heck?!

As stated previously so far this vacation isn't really what we had expected. We're not really sure what we expected though. Our experience thus far isn't bad it's just not what we expected. It's been a true adventure. I'm definitely looking forward to checking out the rest of the island, especially the north shore. I wonder what surprises it will hold. David's patiently waiting for me to finish the post so I better get going. See ya'll later!


Mom said...

By the time you get comfortable with the Island, it will be time to come home. Just to let you know...the snow basically turned into sleet and everything is covered with ice. So, it should be fun tomorrow!! I was jealous before, now I am down right green with envy. Enjoy your trip.

Dave in Honolulu said...

Hope you enjoy your stay here. I'll give you a few tips: Don't leave valuables in your rental car (not even in the trunk). When you go to the North Shore go early in the day. The traffic can get really bad in Haleiwa, it's a 2 lane road. Stop by the Dole plantation on your way there. Back in town, go climb Diamond Head, it's a fairly easy hike. All paved or concrete but it will get you winded. TAKE WATER. When you get to the top the view is fantastic. Just past Diamond Head is Hanauma Bay, great place to snorkel. Get there early because once the parking lot is full they close. You have to watch a video about the reef before you go down to the bay, it only takes a few minutes. They are closed on Tuesday. Keep going past the bay and there is great scenery, its all 2 lane road and there are lots of places to stop and take pictures. Sandy Beach, Sea Life Park, and Makapuu Lighthouse are all out that way. On the Ewa (west) side of the island is Paradise Cove. They have a good Luau and the sunset is gorgeous.
Have a plate lunch sometime. It's served in a Styrofoam box, some type of meat rice and mac salad usually. Just look for the lunch wagons or a canopy set up by the road on weekdays. Have a loco moco for breakfast, I like the ones at Big City Diner. Take a rain jacket with you if you are on foot, it's the rainy season here. It's humid because the Kona winds are blowing in from the south. When the trades are blowing its really nice. Hope this helps. Aloha!

Dave in Honolulu said...

This is a cool place too:
We were there last weekend and swam around the waterfall. The water is cold. It's all paved super easy walk. They have a snack bar (expensive) but the place is great. Look for the peacocks by the snack bar. Aloha again.


Anonymous said...

Hey kids ~
Be safe and have a great time.
I had the biggest horse laugh from heidi's wine-turbulence story.
God's speed.
love you,
sita & alpa

from alpa: "Buckeye's #1!"

Anonymous said...

O-H-I-O!!! Go Buckeyes!!

Anonymous said...

I shold have mentionend to you to take along rain coats. We discovered early on in our travelling to always put ours in a bag as we started out. Just rolled them up and they did not take much room. It could come down in torrents and we just trudged on. You learn. Have a wonderful time
Grandma Q

kyleroth said...

Heidi and David, just enjoy the trip and relax. It can't rain all the time can it?


Cheryl Aloha said...

Heidi,'re on vacation, don't be so uptight. There is a lot to do here, be open minded and have fun! Sorry about the weather, but of course you know that is beyond our control. Dave in Honolulu gave some great advice! Pick up a free This Week magazine, there's good information in there and maps too. Be safe and have fun! Aloha!