Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Last Full Measure...

While that line is found in a Civil War book I love to read, we gave it our all on our last full day in Hawaii. Friday, we went off early to Hanauma Bay, ready to snorkel around with the beautiful fishes. It's a state park and nature preserve. So before you set loose on your aquatic adventure, you have to go through a little video training on how to treat the coral reef and beach. It gives an interesting little history on how the bay was created as well. So we trekked down to the bay and swam our hearts out. I hadn't been snorkeling in a while, so it took a little practice to use the mask and tube, but once I got the hang of it, I was off. I only wish I had an underwater camera, but guess you'll all have to go there for yourselves if you care to know what we saw:)

We decided to drive around the island one more time. So up the coast we went, our car King Kamehameha having been a fabulous host and continuing to show us the sights. We stopped at Sandy beach one more time. The water was much more tame than the previous Sunday and absolutely GORGEOUS! The colors were amazing, just so beautiful, i could have sat there staring forever at it. When I think Hawaii, that will be the beach picture I remember. (one little thing, I finally got sun! my back had burn lines, woohoo!)

After that, we continued driving, still in awe of where we were,

...till we reached Laie again. We hadn't stopped by the temple on our earlier drive on the north shore, so we stopped there for a little bit. We kind of tried to avoid the sister missionaries(sorry, love them) but we just wanted to walk around, but they caught us on the way out and gave us flowers.

We of course had to stop by Matsumoto's for our third and final taste of Shave Ice. LOVED IT!! And we took our final drive down the highway through the middle of the island, past the jungle. But we were anxious to get food!! It was our last night in Hawaii and we were going to get something great. We had made reservations for the Hula Grill. And we were going for whatever we wanted. It was my turn for steak and it was the best meal I had had all week and I think Pam and Bryonny would agree. We had finally found food heaven in Hawaii. Our server was awesome, and it was a great evening to end Hawaii with.

*One little foodie note, this restaurant the Hula Grill, had this dipping concoction that was fantastic. Just like at some Italian restaurants, they had oil and a vinagarette to dip bread in. Except this vinagarette was something fruity and also had chili peppers in it, so sweet and hot. It was SOOO good. i need to find out how to make that...apparently there is a sister restaurant to the Hula Grill, called Jake's up in Del Mar, so if they have that bread and dipping oil, I'm there.

Request for more...

So I got a request for more hawaii...I did kind of leave our week hanging there. So I missed a couple things that we did. One of the days there, we went horseback riding along the north shore. We went to the Turtle Bay Resort and rode along the beaches and forests there, where it was pointed out that Lost was filmed along there (I swear I saw the huge banyan trees from the show, remember the one Kate hid in from the smoke monster?) and the "candy" lane. This is appropriately named, it's where the horses LOVE to stop and eat. Our guides told us this before, that the horses really like to veer off for a treat and in front of our eyes, Bryonny's horse did just that. It turned off and did not want to leave, but did manage to walk away with a mouthful of the tasty rushes.

We then went and tried a local joint for lunch, recommended to us by some San Diego friends. My lunch of coconut shrimp was really good, but bummer for Pam and Bryonny, their fish dishes were not cooked thoroughly. We promptly sent that back and their dishes came back out cooked to their liking.

Then we spent the rest of the day at northshore beaches. By this time, I had not burned yet. I thought, I'm pretty fair skinned, heck I'm Scandinavian, the far north, I should be baking. But nothing, so this day, I went without sunscreen. And much to my disappointment, again, no burn.

Friday, May 23, 2008


While in Hawaii, my friends and I went to Pearl Harbor. I don't know if they could tell, but I was really looking forward to this part of the vacation. I am an history nerd (I have annoyed many with my backseat history lectures:), and being a history addict, I love going to historical sites. So let's just say that Pearl Harbor was up there on my highlight list. Being that Memorial Day is around the corner I thought it would be an appropriate time for me to reminisce on this part of the trip.

Before going to Hawaii, I had tried to brush up on my WWII history, to get in the right frame of mind for the visit. We also did the museum tour before taking the ferry. There original items from ships and people who were there that day. It just made me reflect more on the many sacrifices given by men and women in uniform and civilians to maintain our freedoms. The men and women there at Pearl Harbor that day were living their lives and not expecting the events that they soon were a part of, but they maintained their courage and gave their all in the heat of the moment.

The whole experience was awe inspiring. Before the boat ride out to the USS Arizona memorial, you are shown a video that details the history of the battle and the history of the memorial that is now floating overtop the sunken USS Arizona. Many times during the whole process, you are reminded about being respectful out on the memorial. The men who went down in the Arizona were never removed from their under water tomb, 1,177 still buried below the surface. So on the ride over, it gave me some good reflection time. The memorial sits over the center of the ship, which you can see as you look over the railings. There is still oil rising from the ship, which survivors call "black tears" shed from the men who perished. The names of the men who died that day are engraved on a large marble wall. It was a moving moment to look at that wall and see many similar names and that there were many brothers, fathers/sons that served on that ship and perished together. I came to appreciate even more, the history of our country, a history that has many ordinary people, rising to their best in extreme circumstances and not shirking when they are faced with the ultimate choice.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Octopus anyone?

Beach picture of the day:

One of the accomplishments I achieved while in Hawaii was eating raw fish. I am not a fan, but I thought maybe I should try it again. So I tasted what is called "poke" marinated raw fish. I had some at the luau, and then again on Tuesday, the difference being that on Tuesday, it was octopus. Yup, little octopus tentacles, I'm thinking maybe they were baby octopus...I know gross. My adventurous spirit though got the better of me that day. I got back to SD, and I can assure you, that probably won't happen again.

One of our days in Hawaii was spent appreciating the beauty of the island, the views and hiking the natural wonders. We hiked Diamond Head to the top and saw great views of the island, a pretty lighthouse at the base and the mountainous jungle in the distance. I have to admit, I thought I was in pretty decent shape before the trip, having run and been a gym rat for a while, but that last little climb up to the top almost did me in. Luckily my training on the stair master kicked in!

We also went to the Pali Lookout to view the lush and green canopy. I observed that the island seemed to have a desert side and a greener side. The north side of the island seemed to be a little more green and Pam tried to teach me about how the island created it's own clouds and it rained more on one side...she had a name for it and it escapes me now. Oh well, it was still a great place to see out and walk around.

Our culinary experience this day was much better than our first couple days on the island. We went to The Shorebird, a seaside restaurant, where the "Scandinavian Pepper" grilled her own food. Yup, this restaurant allowed you to choose the type of meat you wanted and then you grill your own. I had chicken. My two travel mates did the beef kabobs, looked so good.

This delectable experience was achieved through the mode of "reservations," something we figured out was required to have a good dining experience while in Waikiki. The rest of our evening meals were achieved through this planning process (and I suggest it to anyone else that goes there!)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shave Ice and PCC - LUAU!

Beach picture of the day:

Sandy Beach, we stopped here Sunday.

Monday was the start of the full fledged planned activities. We tried to go to Pearl Harbor, but got there a little late. The wait for the ferry out to the memorial was 2 hours, so we decided to switch up our plans and head to Laie, to the Polynesian Cultural Center. On our way we decided to make a couple stops to satisfy our need for authentic Hawaiian cuisine.
First Matsumoto's for Shave Ice, which has ice cream at the bottom and if you want, atzuki beans, Japanese red beans boiled in sugar, added as well.

Next, a shrimp truck. There seemed to be one on every corner driving from Haliewa to Laie, they love their shrimp. It was pretty good I have to say! Pam enjoyed the coconut shrimp...

On to the PCC, where we were taught about and could sample life from 7 different Polynesian nations. Sadly we didn't get to all of them, but we made it to Samoa, for the coconut husking and tree climbing; Hawaii for the music and dance lesson (sorry Christy, no hula video though); and New Zealand for the welcoming ceremony and dance demonstration, including the haka. We also made it in time to watch the canoe parade, where all the islands showed off their dancing, the luau at night and the Horizon's show. My favorite, the Tahitian dancers - my new goal is to be able to move my hips like that; and New Zealand, I loved their music.

*See if you notice any tanning, that was one of our biggest concerns on the trip. Would anyone be able to tell we had been to Hawaii?*

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm back and loved every minute of Hawaii....

View from our hotel's beach.

So this may have to be a brief introductory post. I have some pictures of our trip, but my friends have a bunch as well, especially of some of our earlier events in the week. So until I can download those onto my computer, my pictures will have to suffice.

Bryonny, Pam and I flew into Hawaii on Saturday, May 10th, and landed with some time left for the beach! First things first though. We landed in Honolulu and went to the baggage claim carousel, thinking of course, our baggage would be there, how could it not make it! Well, Lisa's bag took a little detour. Don't worry, it was all fixed. My bag apparently made it into a pile of luggage destined for another island. When I noticed my luggage was not coming up the ramp to the carousel, I had a moment of panic, but I, apparently, very calmly, filled out the necessary forms and hoped my bag would appear. Luckily, I had packed my "essentials" in my carry on. What girl could honestly go on a trip without her makeup ON her? About an hour later, I got a phone call from the airlines, my bag had been located, it had been ready to go to another tropical hawaiian island on it's own adventure, but they retrieved it and were going to drop it off at our hotel. And, it even made it there before me! So a little rocky start, but all fixed, so on to the fun!

We stayed in the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort, in Waikiki. Pam suggested this place and she delivered. It was right on the beach, had pools, great virgin margueritas, musicians at night and a great view of Diamond Head. Our first stop at the beach got us excited for the rest of the week. I have to say, napping on a Hawaiian beach is one fantastic experience.

Sunday consisted of us walking up and down Waikiki to check out or 'hood, stopping in at the historic Moana Surfrider hotel(built in like 1900 and so cool looking, I know the historian came out and probably annoyed my vacation mates), going to church in a fmaily ward, driving around the island a bit to see the sights.

The wind played a little havoc with our attempted beauty shots..

We got our bearings and were able to solidify our plans for the rest of the week. But even the best laid plans don't always go the way you want, so we learned to be a little more flexible as the week went on....

Up next...the trio make it to the PCC after morning yumminess!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

me in a few days

I'm just getting excited, my first real adult(meaning a lot of my OWN money spent) vacation, with 2 other awesome's been a long time coming. So this will be where I will be in 4 days....

Friday, May 2, 2008

A new favorite show

I have recently found this show online. It's called Samantha Who? starring Christina Applegate. I have class when it's on TV, so I catch up on it later in the week. What I like about this show, besides the crazy storyline of a girl who was in a car accident, woke up from a coma having forgotten parts of her life, especially the part of her life that WAS her, is her comedic moments. She can't remember what she likes, how she feels about people. She will occasionally have flashbacks that show her what kind of person she was, and it wasn't good. So with her new take on life, she is trying to be better than she was. And this is funny folks! Every episode is a new situation for her to learn what she would have done in the past and not do it in the present. I find this so funny. She usually brings the situations on herself, she gets herself into scrapes by her actions or what she says.

I just crack up, cause sometimes I feel like I can empathize with her. I am sometimes a klutz, she isn't the most coordinated; I sometimes can't put my thoughts into the correct words and it comes out differently than what I intended, she just doesn't think sometimes before she speaks; and when looked at in hindsight, she learned something from every situation, usually it's just to just laugh at yourself and go on with who you truly are. This last weeks episode though, was right up my alley. It's on, so check it out!