Okay, I didn't post yesterday so I'm posting today. Time to re-group and remember all that happened yesterday. We started out at Diamondhead. It was an awesome hike and I'd really like to do it again. We're not really the hiking type so I was quite surprised to find that it was a "beginners hike" but found it not to be so easy. Thank God for having been running. Although it wasn't "easy" it wasn't hard either. Just all uphill with some rough terrain and a decent amount of steps, with some being quite steep. It was great to get that anxiety out of my system and work up a good sweat. They say to give yourself 1.5 hours to finish. We finished in less than 40 minutes. We didn't race through the hike but we kept it challenging by keeping up our speed. And the final paved 1/4 we ran down the slope which felt even better. If you're ever here definitely check it out. I found the biggest issue with people is that they're not prepared. Don't wear crocs, sandals, flip flops, or brand new shoes. You need stability, comfort, and something you don't mind getting scuffed up. Once again, definitely something I'd recommend.
After that we headed back up the windward (east) side of the island and checked out Kailua again, running into rain. Lunch wasn't exciting, just McDonald's, but we finished up with a treat from Famous Amos' Chip and Cookie. We explored the area a bit then headed back south on H-running into rain again. I just had to see the Haiku Stairs aka Stairway To Heaven. I've read and researched about them a lot since learning about them a few months back. I do hope that at some point they re-open them to the public. I'd definitely do the hike, which would be a huge challenge. Right now they are closed, although people trespass and still climb them. If you'd like to see what it's all about just Google "Haiku Stairs" or "Friends of Haiku Stairs." Just amazing. It'd feel like you're on top of the world. Someday.
When we got back to the city we decided to take a swim at our hotel pool. Actually I ended up in the jacuzzi and David ended up in the pool. The water was quite brisk in the pool. Not my cup of tea. After that we headed back to the streets of shops. I think I've said this before but you mostly have two ends of the spectrum when it comes to shops. High-end (Cartier, Tiffany, Burberry, Fendi, Gucci, Coach, etc.) and then the T-Shirt Shacks. I guess we'll stick with the T-Shirt Shacks (gotta love ABC Stores). We stopped at Niketown and I had to pull myself away from the Honolulu Marathon gear. They got some awesome stuff but I just can't get it out of my head about the stigma that comes with wearing gear from a race you haven't run. Although I do think in the back of my head, "I'll never run the Honolulu Marathon." I walked away. I did find these rubber bracelets I wanted. They were kind of like the Livestrong type but thinner and sized for women. The proceeds go to supporting women athletics. They of course had run out and wouldn't sell me the ones on the display. Ah well. Of course I find something that I actually like and want, and am willing to buy and they don't have it. No surprise.
We continued down the street to The Beachwalk (more high-end shops) and got stopped by a hotel/information person. She asked us where we were from and we told her Ohio. She then went on to say, "Oh you looked european!" Right...me look european. And David with his Ohio State Buckeye Nation shirt. Okay, whatever. She went on to give us a coupon book (which we already had) and then started some pitch about coming to see the Wyndham during breakfast to see what they have to offer with their vacation homes. In other words, timeshares. Oh no, we've been through that experience before. Of course they offer you all this great stuff but we declined the offer.
Dinner started at Senor Frogs, but we ended up leaving before ordering. We had never been to one and everyone raves about them, so we figured we'd give it a try. We've been sharing all of our meals for financial and caloric reasons. We looked at the menu before entering the restaurant and decided there was something we could share, and then we would get free nachos for mentioning an ad. Well, we mentioned the ad and came to find that we physically had to have the ad for the free nachos. Oh, heck nah. After reassessing the situation it was too expensive, we wouldn't get our free nachos, and we just wouldn't be happy, so we politely excused ourselves. It's the first time ever for us walking out of a restaurant.
We ended up at a highly rated (according to my books) place called La Cucaracha (yes cockroach, but it was darn good), that was at the other end of the beach. We were VERY pleased by the price, meal size, and general ambience. We bummed around the shops some more. We're definitely getting bored with the shops. You can only browse so much and at night there's not much else for us to do. We're not much of nightlife people so it's either the shops or sitting in our room. We stopped by Coco Cove, a convenience store. Something cool here is that they sell individual beers and smaller bottles of alcohol too. Once again, since we're not really big drinkers it's a way we can check things out without wasting money. We holed up in the room the rest of the night and each had our individual sizes of alcohol.
We arose this morning at 6am and headed out for our first run in Hawaii. It will probably be our last too...I'll talk about that later. The run went fine. It's very humid and the pavement was still wet from, you guessed it, more evening rain. We went up the Ala Wai Canal then down to the beach and park. Hitting the beach was like hitting a wall with all of the wind. Very tough. We ran into a lot of runners, people just out for morning walks, and more homeless people than we expected. Due to the wind the run was cut short at 2.5 miles. Hey, at least we got out.
After our run we went over to the Pearl Harbor area. As we got closer to the area the sky got dark and it started to rain. Are you seeing a pattern here? Rain, rain, rain. We stopped and waited for a bit only to find it wasn't going to stop. In hopes of experiencing what we had the other day we headed to the North Shore only to find that it was just as bad up there. So back down Highway 99 we went. As we got closer to Pearl Harbor the skies started to "clear" and we decided to try back at Pearl Harbor. We arrived and found that our wait was going to be an hour. Not too bad considering the books said you could wait anywhere from 15 minutes to over 3 hours. We checked out the grounds until our number was called and then we went into the theater to see the 23 minute movie. I got stuck neck to a kid/toddler that was inquisitive at every little thing during the movie. If I heard, "What's that?!" again that kid was going to see the back of my hand. I shouldn't write/say that should I? Can you now tell why I don't want to have children? David had the notorious gum chomper next to him. I appreciated the film but it could've been better without the surrounding issues. After the film we went immediately to the ferry. I sat on the left side. As the ferry started up we got some misting on our faces. Not that big of a deal. We continued on and the misting got heavier and heavier. By the arrival to the memorial I couldn't see out of my sunglasses due to the salt water on them. Oh, but it gets better. The ferry was docking and whoosh! a splash of what came into the boat and got me soaked from head to toe. David got some too. I couldn't believe it. I immediately felt uncomfortable. Wet and sticky with salt water. It's the type of uncomfortable where you are about to freak out in your skin and want to scream. Kind of like when you're a kid and your socks don't feel right on your feet (maybe that's just my family, dunno). Add on top of that the people watching us as we got off. I could see in their faces, "What the heck? What happened to them?" I just wanted to say, "Don't even ask." I took a few quick pictures, tried to put my issues aside to honor those at the Arizona, but it just couldn't be done. We got immediately back on the ferry and headed back. That's when the tears hit and all I could think of is, "I just want to go home."
After taking making the trip back to our hotel I took a shower, again. We re-focused and went over the Ala Moana Center, including Walmart and had some Papa John's for lunch. Ah, comfort food. Haven't had Papa John's in years. It was good. When we finished up there we stopped back at our hotel and then stopped by the Cheesecake Factory for take-out dessert. Stopped by Coco Cove for our nightly alcohol sampling (don't worry sita!) and here I am.
I know I'm going to get a lot of flack from writing this on here, but I gotta stay true to myself when I say that this wasn't the trip we had hoped for. I had this thought in my mind of having a dream vacation full of paradise and it was a huge let down. Maybe my expectations were too high. We've battled rain on a daily basis and are constantly trying to be on top of it, trying to try another part of the island, only to be let down. As stated previously, in the way of shopping, there's not much choice for us. Not to mention, who wants to only shop on vacation? In our circumstance we're tight enough on money that shopping isn't really an option. I thank God we bit the bullet a few weeks ago and reserved a rental car. If we didn't have that thing I think we'd lose it. I know everyone's going to say, "Relax, you're on vacation." I hear ya loud and clear. My relaxing would be a quiet day on the beach. That's what I expected and packed for. Too bad we haven't been able to do so. The rain and overcast hasn't provided the best of circumstances to chill on the beach or by the pool. And when you have the opportunity to get in the water whether it is the ocean or the pool you freeze your arse off. It's not bathtub water let me tell you. And relaxing in the hotel room isn't really an option since it's so small (we aren't even sharing a bed for gosh sakes...one twin and one double bed. That's what happens when you try to go on vacation on a budget). And with only about 10 channels with 3 being Asian and 1 being a loop reel of tourist activities, there's not much to watch. I never thought I'd say this but I'm also sick of showers. From all the humidity, rain, salt water, etc we've each been taking 2-3 showers a day. I'm running out of clothes. I never thought that would happen on vacation, I always over pack. We'll wear our clothes and sweat or get rained on (or get soaked with salt water!) so we have to head back to the hotel and change. We set our clothes out to dry in various places around the room but with the humidity they don't dry and only become musty. And since I had planned for mostly beach wear my choice of clothes choices is dwindling. Another things that was unexpected was the amount of Asian influence here. From food to tourists. It's almost as though you're in a foreign country. No joke. And they can't understand you. As for running tomorrow, there's a storm front moving in tonight with heavy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds that will be here the next 3 days...in other words the remainder of our trip.
On top of all of that I've been battling with some severe nausea while here. My gag reflex has been heightened and it's as though I could vomit at the drop of a hat. I've been getting light headed and just in a plain funk, especially in the morning time. I get these hot flash feelings and feel like I could pass out. Eating tends to help but I have to get passed the feeling of wanting to vomit while eating. By evening I feel decent. I can only attribute it to the highs from eating too much sugar and hitting too far of a low. I don't know, but it hasn't been fun. On top of that both of us have been sleeping horribly and battling constant headaches. Something even Tylenol PM can't help (we've tried it).
I question myself, "Are we not adventurous? Is this just not our thing?" I come to the conclusion that we are adventurous but when it comes to vacation we don't want to think hard for activities. In that way Disney was perfect. Everything was prepaid so we didn't have to worry so much about money and transportation was provided, so we didn't have to worry about that either. Live and learn I guess. David and I have decided to accept it for what it is and continue on.
I'm done with my rant...I can see the comments flying in now (even the unposted ones). On a much lighter note, we got to see Da Kine Bail Bonds today aka Dog The Bounty Hunter's business. I got some pictures. Then something else that brought a smile to my face was the parade of cars with huge Menorahs attached to the roofs of their cars tonight. They were beeping their horns, waving as they went by, yamikas and all. I got a picture of that too. Happy Hannakuh!