Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hawaii Day 4 (Monday)

Monday morning began like any other Monday... with a hike in a luscious paradise. We hiked the Diamond Head hike, which is near Honolulu and a really big touristy hike. There were tons of people and lots of languages being spoken. Still a fun hike though, despite the oppressive heat of the day. The hike included several sections of tunnels and stairs, such as these...

The view from the top. You can see the ocean, Waikiki/Honolulu, and the crater that makes up Diamond Head.

Ah, here's an example of one of the tunnel sections.

Yay, we made it back!

We then headed back to our apartment, stopping for groceries and the famous and delicious malasadas at Leonard's Bakery. We made fried rice and eggs at our apartment for lunch and decided to take advantage of our close neighbor, the Waikiki Aquarium.

Then back to our apartment to change into beach clothes and off to Waikiki Beach before the sun went down. We also enjoyed walking down to see the Duke statue (big famous surfer guy statue). There are so many stinkin' people on Waikiki Beach. We decided that we liked staying in Waikiki because the atmosphere was really fun, especially at night. You probably shouldn't go wondering around the more isolated beaches late at night, but you totally could in Waikiki. However, Waikiki Beach itself is not that fun. Go check out the North Shore beaches. Much less people and much more beautiful.

Throughout that day we had noticed a large stage and seating going up on the beach. We didn't think too much about it until we noticed what it was for...

The new version of Hawaii Five-O was broadcasting the following Monday and they were doing a special premiere the week before. While we thought about our possible plans for the evening, we walked over to Teddy's Bigger Burgers (also a close neighbor) for the most amazing hamburger, fries, and shake.

We decided to go hang out on the beach again as the sun went down. It's just so peaceful and sweet. I think this was the night we saw a grandma/grandpa couple wade out into the water and watch the sunset holding hands. How sweet is that. Also, notice the flower behind my ear... Mark picked it just for me. :)

We then decided that we didn't have anything else going on and it sounded like fun, so we found a spot where we could stand and see the stage and screen for the Hawaii Five-O party. And guess who showed up?? Jin from Lost!! Nowhere near us of course, but up on the stage. There were hundreds of people sitting and standing on the beach, but thankfully they had the speakers turned plenty high and the video quality wasn't too shabby. Apparently they show movies or shows there on a regular basis. The show actually turned out to be pretty awesome and we have been seriously hooked ever since. It's especially fun to watch now and see the places we visited.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hawaii Day 3

On our first Sunday in Hawaii, we woke up early (partly due to planning and mostly due to the time change), got ready, and went straight to Pearl Harbor. We opted to pay a few dollars to get the audio tour, which was really interesting but definitely not necessary. Before you leave to see the monument, you watch a 20 minute video about what happened during the attack. The area around Pearl Harbor is absolutely beautiful, which makes the realization of what happened there so much more crazy. Here we are on the boat ride over to the monument.

The monument is definitely awe-inspiring and touching, looking at the USS Arizona still underwater below your feet and reading the names of the men who died there. Before leaving Pearl Harbor, we got some ice cream because we were so hungry and hot.

We then drove over to the Swap Meet to see what souvenirs we could get. I know, I know, much less of a "Sunday appropriate" outing, but the Swap Meet is super close to Pearl Harbor and it's only open so many days of the week. It was fun wandering up and down the aisles, seeing all the different booths, despite the oppressive heat of the day. We got some fresh pineapple, which was delicious and cold, as well as some other souvenirs.

We then drove up north to the Dole Plantation, where we took full advantage of every activity they have available. We went on the garden audio tour...

worked our way through the pineapple garden maze, which in 2008 was declared the world's largest maze. We actually didn't make it all the way to all of the check-in points because it was going to close soon, but we got enough of it to be awesome.

We ran straight from the maze to the train that drove us around the plantation and told stories.

As we finally went inside the actual Dole Plantation building, we walked by a booth where they were roasting macadamia nuts with some sort of carmelizing going on. We love free samples, so we took the sample offered and realized they were very yummy. We meant to come back and buy some that day, but totally forgot until too late. However, they were seriously good enough that we made sure to come back and buy them another day.

We then came to the "piece de resistance" of the Dole Plantation... the best ice cream in the entire world!! Their pineapple ice cream is worth traveling for. We each got a waffle cone full of pineapple ice cream and loved it too much to even stop and take a nice picture.

After a long day of walking around outside in the heat, we were super tired. We came home to find that our nicest housekeeper ever had actually done all our dishes that we had gotten dirty so far. We then ate homemade burritos in our apartment for dinner. We relaxed by sitting out on our balcony and hanging out on our bed watching none other than...


We are kinda nerdy, I know, but I love it. We also watched Malcolm in the Middle. We usually ended up watching two episodes of Malcolm in the Middle (from 10-11 pm) most nights, because we were so tired and most things shut down by that time anyways. The show seriously reminds me of Hawaii and is hilarious. Since getting back from Hawaii, we've started watching the show reruns regularly.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Mark and I went to Hawaii last September and had the seriously best vacation ever. I went to a spring term at BYU-Hawaii in college and thought I had the best time ever then. Turns out I was wrong. Going with the Mark-man just put it ridiculously over the top. Oahu will always be one of my most favorite places in the world and I had so much fun enjoying it all with him.

Day 1: Friday
  • Shuttle ride to the airport (where we were very early and had lots of time to hang out)
  • Airplane delayed by 1-1/2 hours after we were already seated (finished our airplane magazine crossword puzzle before even taking off)
  • Long flight where we enjoyed watching the A-Team
  • Landed in the evening and walked out to muggy lusciousness
  • Picked up our rental car (after switching cars because the first one didn't have a working cigarette lighter... not for smoking, duh, but for our GPS)
  • Followed the GPS directions to our hotel, ended up parking in a lot kitty corner from our hotel, which was cheaper and super close
  • Checked into our awesome room and ate packed poptarts because we were starving before falling asleep
Day 2: Saturday
  • Woke up super early because we weren't used to the time change yet
  • Ate poptarts again out on our very own balcony

  • Walked down the block to our first view of Waikiki Beach and enjoyed the view

  • Gorgeous drive up to the North Shore!!! This view makes me so ridiculously happy... pineapple fields with the ocean in the background. Perfection.

  • Waimea Bay, my favorite beach, where we snorkeled, laid out in the sun, read books, played in the surf, and even made up a silly game throwing rocks. The water is so blue and the sand is just so wonderfully sandy!

  • Drove to Hale'iwa, one of my favorite towns ever, and went straight to Matsumoto's for the best shaved ice. Gotta get the plastic cup (worth not dealing with the mess for a mere 25 cents), a scoop of ice cream on the bottom, and condensed milk on the top! I cannot do it justice. Simply delicious.

  • Speaking of yummy food, it was time to head out down to Giovanni's shrimp truck for the best garlic shrimp you have ever tried. Finger licking good!

  • Then we went to check out my old haunts... Laie Tempe, BYU-Hawaii, and my old apartment

  • Back to Halei'wa to eat at Cholo's Mexicano restaurant for some yummy eats

  • Safeway trip to pick up groceries
  • Long laborious walk with groceries, towels, backpack, sweatshirts, etc down three stories in the parking garage, across two traffic lights and then up 6 floors in the elevator
  • Realized how super burnt we had gotten. Mark even made me sit in a bath of freezing cold water to bring out the heat (so cold!).
  • We then realized that our bathtub wasn't the greatest and the water had actually leaked out into our bedroom, soaking the carpet. We decided we didn't care enough to actually move out and change rooms, but we did have to have the hugest fan on full blast during the next two days.
*Can you tell that I love Hawaii and I loved our vacation? Everything is the BEST EVER!!