Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Aloha from Honolulu.. Part one of our trip!

So Im going to back track quite aways and go back to February 28th which was move out day! We ended up going to bed quite late the night before with more to do the next morning than we cared for but we were kind of stuck with both of us working until the last day so we just sucked it up and went to bed. We got up early the next morning and got to work, Jason took our GCI (cable) stuff back and I started cleaning, we got the last of the packing done and I only cried once! Haha! This was probably the most we actually had to do on the final move out day but the walk thru went well and we got all our deposit back except for the money they charge for cleaning the carpet, which we knew about!

We went to the hotel and checked in and then I stayed while Jason headed down to the docks to drop off the truck. He was gone about an hour and came back freaking out that he had forgotten his shoes in the truck, luckily Tanya had just text me and said her and Josh had just gotten to their hotel and would be heading down to the docks so Jason hitched a ride with him… he came back with extremely good news.

As I believe I said before I had gotten a notice from Immigration saying that I needed to be in Portland, Maine on March 5th which obviously wouldn’t have worked on account that we were going to be in Hawaii, so I had to send them a letter and let them know that I needed to reschedule and of course me being me I couldn’t stop worrying about it. I worried that they wouldn’t get it, and the letter said right on it that if I missed my appointment my petition would be voided.. well Jason’s mother called and told him that a letter came and it said my new appointment was March 25th… THANK GOD!! I seriously wouldn’t have been able to enjoy any of our vacation worrying about that so it was a HUGE relief!!!

We got changed and headed across the street to the Cattle Company for dinner, Jason had planned to go there for weeks knowing where we would be staying and as always dinner there was absolutely amazing!!  We were so exhausted from the week we just went back to the hotel and went to bed early anticipating the next day’s long flight!

March 1st – AND WE’RE OFF!

We got up early and had breakfast and basically sat around waiting to leave. Jason was having a much harder time leaving then I was. Its not that I hated Alaska that much at all, and truth be told I had a hard time leaving on account that we had a life there and routine and I knew very well leaving that we had nothing in concrete and after vacation we would be in limbo and with no home and I hate that. But I was so ready to get on that plane for warm weather that all that seemed so small.

The shuttle picked us up at the airport WAY earlier than necessary! The shuttle driver was kind of an asshole but he gave Jason a bunch of moose sausage which he happily ate on our way to the airport, clearly he was not taught as a child not to take candy from a stranger.. he didn’t even second guess it, he just stuffed his face.. I couldn’t believe it, the guy wasn’t even nice!

So we toured around the airport for longer than necessary and I got a chance to talk to Dad on the phone and tell him about our plans before boarding our flight! Our flight was unfortunately awful, Jason really isn’t a good flyer as he gets extremely bored and therefore annoying, not to mention the fact that his ears really hurt him and there is just really nothing you can do. Not to mention the fact that we pretty much had steady turbulence the whole entire flight! It was the worst flight I have ever had, usually when we are on a flight I read the whole time, but reading on the plane was like reading in the car .. it was making me sick to my stomach for literally 6 hours straight!

We very happily landed in Honolulu and got a taxi and were off to the Hyatt Regency on Waikiki Beach! Honolulu is a huge city, it was just like being at home, major highways, high rises, tons of traffic.. it was really nothing like I expected!

We got to the hotel and when we went to check it we got a pleasant surprise! Apparently the hotel made a error somewhere and they ended up putting us on the platinum floor.. the very top floor in the Diamond Tower.. amazing!! You couldn’t even get to the floor unless you swiped your room card in the elevator! The view was incredible, the bed was super comfortable, the toilet seat was heated! Haha! It also had the option of rear and front cleanse, not to mention a dryer! Yes Im not lying the toilet had a dryer! LOL

We decided that we would leave the hotel and head to dinner on account that it was late and we were starving and we were dying to explore!

I was unaware of the phenomenon we were about to encounter, trade winds. It was seriously beyond windy there, we were blowing all over the place! But we walked along what I would consider Honolulu’s Rodeo Drive! All the stores were Fendi, Prada, Cartier, Kate Spade.. etc. Our hotel even had a Coach and an Ugg store in it!

However what comes along with Rodeo Drive.. HOOKERS! That’s right everyone Honolulu was FULL of HOOKERS! I couldn’t even believe it.. Hooker heels, slutty dresses, the whole works.. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing!!

We landed at Duke’s Canoe Club for dinner, it was amazing! Everything was so fresh and came with a pineapple garnish, the hospitality and friendliness was so welcoming! We were literally less than 20 feet from the ocean, tiki torches everywhere, frozen drinks.. It was so great.. Perfect way to spend our first night in Hawaii! We ended up in bed super later, but ready for the next day of our Pearl Harbor tour!

March 2nd – Pearl Harbor

Today our tour guides name was Johnathan, he is a native of the island of Oahu and was full of great information. He started off with explaining the meaning of ‘Aloha’. Aloha is really a transferable phrase, Polynesians use it for hello and goodbye. ‘Mahalo’ means thank you.. which Jason took quite a liking too and used our entire trip! ‘Ohana’ means family!

So we started our Discover Tour which began at the site of Pearl Harbor. When we arrived I couldn’t help but feel this overwhelming sense of sadness, it reminded me a lot of the first time we went to Ground Zero in New York.. you just know what happened there and cant help but think of what that day must have been like and you cant help but be grateful for all you have right then and there.

We toured around the site of Pearl Harbor, and the USS Bowfin Submarine before seeing a video of the day Pearl Harbor took place. After that we took a ferry over to the USS Arizona which for me was the most amazing part but also the saddest! You are sanding above the ship looking down at it and knowing that 177 men rest there.. that they weren’t killed fighting for their country they were ambushed and died somewhere they called home, somewhere they felt safe.. it was extremely moving.

We got back on the ferry and headed back to our original location to meet our tour guide to head to Ford Island where we would then Tour the USS Missouri battleship! Jason thoroughly enjoyed this part of things, the ship was kept intact to accurately depict how the seamen lived while aboard her! After leaving the ship we headed towards the ‘Punch Bowl’ which is a historic burial grounds for many of men and women who have served their country.

On our way back to the hotel we did a tour of Honolulu and found out a bunch of information, such as:
The State flower is the Yellow Hibiscus.
Aloha really means – Loving, Caring and sharing which is what the islands are all about.
All the drinking water comes from natural rain water and takes 25 years to purify and be ready for drinking.
We saw where Obama was born, went to school, where he lived with his grandparents and that his grandfather is buried at the punchbowl.
Honolulu has a population of 400,000 people and is the second safest state to live in.
We learned that the original Hawaiian alphabet consisted of 5 vowels and 7 consonants and the W is pronounced like a V, therefore natives of the island call it “Havaii”.
Pineapples are not native to the island but grow extremely well there, they were introduced from Spain and many years ago many people came from Spain and the Philippines to work on the plantations.
The Trade winds comes from the mountains and were named after the trade ships that brought in good from the lower 48.
90% of everything on the island is shipped in therefore things such as a gallon of milk are $8.00 in Hawaii.
Oahu (the name of the island) means ‘the gathering place’.
The Hawaiian flag has a Union Jack on it to symbolize their good relations with the British.
Hawaii is actually on the same continent as Australia but still owned by Uncle Sam!!!

On our first night in Hawaii I bought a flower to where in my hair, without any thought the morning of our tour I put it in my hair and off we went. Our tour guide later informed us that in Hawaii a flower in the hair has meaning, if your flower is on your left side it says you are taken, worn closest to your heart. On the right side it says that you are available and looking, in the middle that you are up for anything.. haha Jason immediately checked out my hair and was impressed that it was on the left side of my head!

That night we decided to have dinner at the Hard Rock Café, we have been to them all over the US and absolutely love them. On Waikiki beach there really wasn’t a lot of original restaurants so we figured we might as well go somewhere that we know wouldn’t disappoint, and of course it didn’t. However we had started to notice at this point that everything really did taste so fresh and amazing, especially pork.. it was really such a different and enjoyable taste!

After dinner I absolutely had to get new flip flops, I took one pair thinking if anything I would do some looking around there but it just wasn’t going to last until we went to the mall my feet were KILLNG me! Thankfully I ended up with a FABULOUS pair that were SUPER comfortable for the rest of our trip!

We decided because it was still early that we would walk a few of the shops, it was funny to see the different things they offered, such as flavored pancake mixes, guava and pineapple. We got ourselves Hawaii beach towels and then decided to walk along the beach back to the hotel. On our way we came across a beached seal! I was sooo upset until I saw a sign that said “Shh… Im sleeping” I was so convinced it was dead, Jason said it was probably pregnant and that’s why it was up on the beach.. but let me tell you it didn’t look like it was breathing to me! However I did assume because it wasn’t a hand written sign that maybe it did happen often and therefore they were prepared!

Jason had to pee, so I sat on the beach and waited.. it was so peaceful! I so enjoyed just sitting on the beach watching the waves, even though the beach was extremely crowded it was as though no one else existed.. I felt so grateful for our time there and the peace and quiet; it really makes you appreciate the simple things in life. When we got back to the hotel we headed to the hot tub which was located on the top floor of our atrium and therefore we sat in there looking at the stars. When we got back to the room I decided to take a shower and came out to Jason in a kimono.. I nearly died.. he was really living it up!

We decided to head to bed early, we had encountered a time difference coming from Alaska and were now 5 hours difference from the East Coast, plus it had really been a busy week!

Sunday March 3rd – Last full day in Honolulu!

We got up and had breakfast in a little café at the hotel, it is seriously crazy how expensive things are there.. but how good the coffee was! Kona coffee is probably the best coffee I have ever had in my life, so fresh! We then headed out for the mile and a half walk to the largest outdoor mall in North America! To be honest it was a little disappointing in that the stores were so incredibly ritzy that we didn’t really busy anything. I got a shirt from Lululemon but that was it! We decided to stop for lunch at the hotel before heading back to the hotel just for something different, Jason decided this would be a good opportunity to try Ahi Tuna fresh on the island and let me tell you I would have never thought that I would have liked it as I have never had tuna ever in my life but it was AMAZING! Jason wasn’t totally sold on it but was glad that he had tried it and enjoyed something different.

It was funny on our walk back we noticed that there was a marathon going on and TONS and TONS of Asians waving signs that said “I love Japan” – I thought this to be a little ironic due to Pearl Harbor and what not, don’t get me wrong I know they have moved past all that but it all seemed a little over the top, come to find out it was all part of the 19th annual Honolulu festival!

When we got back to the hotel we decided it was our last chance to go and lay on the beach, we didn’t know if we would get that chance there because there was so much to tour around but we were dying to lay on the beach and go in the ocean. Waikiki being an extremely famous beach was naturally PACKED! It was extremely hard to find a place to lay and the winds were crazy, it was all pretty funny! It was so hot that day and there was tons of people out in the water, surfing and swimming, there was huge waves, we couldn’t wait to get in! We noticed right away that the beaches weren’t like Florida, sandy and white there was a ton of coral through the sand and tons in the water… it made it extremely hard to walk you had no choice but to swim over it! The salt smell and taste was also incredibly strong, more so than I had ever seen anywhere! When we were drying off you could literally pick pieces of salt off your skin! We laid out until we were fried and then headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for dinner.

By the time we came back down from the room the festival was in full swing! The streets were lined with TONS of people and there was a huge parade going on which is hilarious because I always joke with Jason about how much American’s love parades and will use any excuse to have one! Unfortunately this fact also meant that every restaurant on the strip had over an hour wait… so we headed back to the Hard Rock because if we were going to wait we wanted to know we would be happy with it when we finally did eat!

After dinner we headed to the most amazing Froyo lounge we had ever been to and got some frozen yogurt. On our way down we noticed that people were lining up along the beach so I finally stopped and asked someone what was going on, they were preparing for fireworks! Well anyone who knows Jason knows that he absolutely LOVES fireworks.. so we rushed back to the hotel and went up to where the hot tub and pool is on the top floor which was open and pulled up a pool chair and curled up for absolutely incredible fire works!! They did such an amazing job, the sky was illuminated without fail the entire show.. if we hadn’t seen fireworks as Disney world I would say it was the best show I had ever seen!

We got back to our room and were pleasantly surprised to find out that we weren’t nearly as burnt as we had thought which was nice! We decided to head to bed as tomorrow we would be heading to the airport Maui bound!

I will leave off here for now as I am exhausted and I haven’t even gotten to Maui yet! I promise to make it back tomorrow and fill you in on more and I will get to the pictures as well!

Mahalo for reading!!

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