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Hawaii 2003

Author: EastCoastTropics
Date of Trip: August 2003

August 5, 2003:

We left Boston on time and with no problems. Newark, NJ was overcast when we arrived. Since we would be there for an hour, we grabbed some lunch. By the time we NJ, it was pouring. Our departure flight was shutdown for about half an hour. This and the fact that our flight was overbooked caused us to leave NJ 1½ hours behind schedule. The flight from NJ to Honolulu was long (10 hours) but the service in the coach section was outstanding. Their entertainment included tv shows, movies and video games. I slept for to the first 4 hours. After getting up I had to get out of my seat and walk around…my butt felt like stone! Walking around the cabin I saw at least half dozen infants and children who were under the age of 4 years. Towards the end of the flight I stood in an emergency doorway and dozed off for an hour.

We arrived in Honolulu, HI at 6:30pm Hawaiian time. It was so beautiful! The water was soooo blue, the sun was out and it was 85 degrees. It’s a sight to see the island laid out before you as the aircraft makes it’s final approach to Honolulu International Airport. When we got off the plane and into the lobby the smell of the air was very evident! It was hard not to notice how fragrant the air smelled! Professional Lei greeters stood with armloads of gorgeous flower leis and called out the names of passengers. My parents met us at the baggage claim area and presented each of us with a fresh flower lei. I almost forgot how beautiful and intoxicating the flowers of Hawaii can be! We got our luggage quickly (none of which were searched!) and loaded them onto my dad’s El Camino. I was surprised to see his license plate for Korean War Vets! My dad was a US Marine and a combat veteran in the Korean War.

We got onto the rental car tram and headed to Enterprise Car Rental. I had an SUV reserved and ended up with a 2004 Chevy Trail Blazer.

At my parents home we unpacked and had some pupus to snack on…sushi, teriyaki chicken and fresh fruit. We hit the sack before 10pm but was dead tired as it was 4am EST time! More later!

August 6, 2003:

This morning we had surfing lessons with “Sunset Suzy!” (www.sunsetsuzy.com) We had to met her at the lifeguard stand at the Waimea Bay Beach Park at 11am. We left early so that we could take our time getting there and to spend some time at the beach. Suzy came along with two other students and we got in our cars to follow her to Chun’s Beach and little ways down the road. There weren’t too many folks at this beach…about half dozen or so sunbathers. There were a few beginners catching the foot-and-a-half waves. There were two other instructors in addition to Suzy. Doug and Al were fabulous and gave us a 30 minute beach lesson. Then in the water we all went. All three instructors brought everyone out and got everyone to catch waves! It was so fun! My daughters and their friends had such a blast! They were ripping and I got great shots too! Suzy brought me out and pushed me into the waves. I almost got up but ended up riding boogie board style! *LOL* After the 2 hour lessons we followed Suzy, Doug and Al to another cove where there were several Honus (hawaiian sea turtles). They come onto the beach to snack on the algae on the rocks and reefs. It was such a great experience to see such beautiful creatures up close. I even got photos of my daughters trying to feed it. It was finally time to say goodbye to Suzy. We said our “alohas” and I also bought a cute little t-top shirt from her as a moment of my lessons from her….yes, I gave her my card! *S* After the lesson we headed into the town of Haliewa for lunch. The town is still quaint and I took more photos! We had two large pizzas at Pizza Bob’s….there goes the Atkin’s Diet! But it was delicious and afterwards we went to Aoki’s Shave Ice store (http://members.tripod.com/bexdevon/id45.htm) for shave ice and to purchase some souvenirs. We also went shopping in the Sand & Sea Surf Shop and the girls picked a few items as well as bikinis.

Afterwards we headed to the Aiea area. We stopped at the Ice Palace so that my daughter could get a schedule for their ice time. The Ice Palace has changed very little since my husband and I met there over 20 years ago! More later!

August 7, 2003:

I took my oldest daughter to skate the 7:30am morning ice session at the Ice Palace. She commented that the ice was hard and there were only two other skaters on the ice with her. She was able to practice all her double jumps including the double axel which she’s still working on. I spoke to John who is now the general manager of the rink. He has worked there since the rink first opened up and when he saw me he called me by my nick name which I hadn’t used in years!! *LOL* It was so good to see him again and catch up a bit. Afterwards, I took the girls to the Ala Moana Shopping center. On the way I took a wrong turn and ended up going over the H3 freeway. It took us to the windward side of the island. As soon as you go through the tunnel, you’re on the windward side of the island and the view is just from the freeway is absolutely breathtaking! I had to get onto the Likelike highway to get back into Honolulu. We arrived at the Ala Moana Shopping center and my, oh my has that place changed! There are more stores, especially high-end designer stores! *L* After two hours of shopping, we had some lunch in the crowded food court and headed back to get ready for the luau.

We left for Paradise Cove at Ko Olina with good appetites for hawaiian food! After arriving, we checked in and mingled with other guests while sipping on mai tais. We were greeted with beautiful flower leis and got our picture taken with two cute hawaiian boys. There were lei making, polynesian tattooing activities, hawaiian games, story and legend telling to take part in. There were also various little booths with hawaiian crafts as well as a gift shop. Paradise Cove is located on the ocean in a cove and I got some photos of a local fisherman and his net as well as the magnificent Hawaiian sunset! The food was plentiful and sooo ono (delicious)! We started out with a garden salad, french dressing and macaroni salad. The main course consisted of rice, kalua pork, fish and fried chicken. For dessert we had Haupia, Banana cake with Coconut frosting and slices of pineapple. The food was too much but our two servers kept asking us if we wanted more!! It was all you can eat but I just couldn’t eat anymore! *L*

The entertainment was top notch and I would highly recommend this show! The musicians sang beautifully and the dancers were so energetic! I was blown away and so impressed with the vigor of the dancers. They participated in numbers for the Moari, Tonga, Hawaiian, Tahitian and Samoan dances! And it was a special treat to watch the fire dance! On our way out we purchased the photo with the two cute Hawaiian boys! *L* More later!

August 8, 2003:

We spent the day shopping today!! Since I have a Sam’s CLub Business Membership I took the girls shopping today. I ended up buying 13 Hawaiian Music CD’s! They are such a good price and there were so many to choose from! I got Slack Key Guitar music, Cecilio & Kapono, Olomana, Kalapana, Brothers Cazimero, Kapono Beamer, Hapa, Keali’i Reichel, Guava Jam, Manoa Sunday and more! *L* I also picked up several strands of Kukui Nut leis, hawaiian snacks and a pair of Hawaiian print car seat covers! I usually hate shopping, but I had fun today shopping for hawaiian stuffs that I can’t get up in the states! *S* Later in the afternoon went to pick up more Lauhala baskets! They didn’t have the rectangle size I needed so I ended up with the square size instead….it’ll work! *S*

Weather today was sunny, hot and slightly humid!! More later!

August 9, 2003:

Today I picked up a friend of mine since small keed time and we all went to the Aloha Stadium Flea Market! It’s an outdoor market that is held every Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in the parking lot surrounding the stadium. There were so many booths….many of the same items. We saw so many T-shirts….5 or 10 for $20. Hawaiian print bookbag, suitcases, fanny packs and purses. Hawaiian barbie dolls with hula outfits and implements….too many bargains to list. We were there for only 2½ hours and we still didn’t get to all the booths! I picked up many items for my newly-to-be remodeled kitchen…pot holders, coffee mugs, counter displays, as well as wooden wall hangings. Also, picked up some fabric for the lauhala baskets. As the morning wore on it got hotter and we left for lunch at a nearby McDonald’s. Afterwards we headed out to the beach at Ko Olina. We went to the “Ulua – Lagoon 4”. It’ such a beautiful beach! It’s located in a small cove that is set just next to the resort. The weather was just perfect too….the tradewinds came right off the mountains and kept us comfortable! This facility was great and I highly recommend this beach especially for those folks with small children. There were parking and beach attendants….showers, restrooms and plenty of shade provided by coconut trees and large grass umbrellas. You could choose to sit right on the beach or a few feet back on the well- manicured lawn. We went in the late afternoon so it wasn’t to crowded. The cove is perfect for small children …. it has reefs so that the waves (small ones!) break on the reefs keeping the water in the cove nice and calm. There are also nets to keep the sea creatures out of the cove. This are is alo quite busy with commercial aircraft overhead making their approach to Honolulu International Airport.

The weather is starting to cool off….not as humid as the past couple of days we’ve been here….it’s more tolerable now! More later!

August 10, 2003:

Today my niece from Washington came to stay with my parents. I have never met her … just spoke to her on the phone in the past but it was so good to have finally met her and she looks exactly like my younger sister! *S* Later in the afternoon we all drove down to Sunset Beach. Uncle Leroy and Aunt Diane live across the street from the beach and all the ohana was gathered there for “kau kau” (eats). I saw cousins I hadn’t seen in years!!! They were there with their children “and” grandchildren!!! Funny how things change but still remain the same. Some of my cousins and I took my daughters and their friends across the street to the beach. The water was so calm except with waves of about 1½ feet. The water is so, so blue! I took alot of photos but I really don’t think pictures can do the water and beaches any justice. My cousins went body surfing while the girls searched for puka (poo- kah) shells….shells with holes in them. They were trying to gather enough shells to string them into necklaces.

Later we came back to the house and ate … then ate … then ate! *LOL* There was so much food! It was a great mixture of Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese and Samoan foods. My cousin Paki (Bert) played the ukulele for us and my dad joined in. It was so funny cuz my dad isn’t that good of a singer but loves to sing in front of the whole ohana. When he sings, he reminds me of someone who is totally drunk and trying to sing! *L*

The drive to Sunset Beach is wonderful. On the way to Sunset Beach I recommend taking the long seanic route through Haliewa rather than taking the short express around the town. Haliewa is so quaint and “hawaiian-country-like” with it’s shops and eateries. The Waimea Bay Beach is a sight to behold! When you’re coming around the bend just before getting to the entrance, slow down a bit and catch the sight on your left! More later!

August 11, 2003:

The Pali Lookout was our first stop today. It was windy as to be expected and the view of the windward side was breathtaking…just as I remembered it to be! I took alot of photos of the windward area from the lookout as well as the old Pali road. Next we headed to Waimanalo. Many years ago I spent my weekends on a local Waimanalo stable. We’d take the horses across the street to the beach for exercise. The beaches are still so beautiful. We parked just outside of the public access way and made our way to the beach. The water was clear turquoise blue. The winds were coming off the sea! It was like I never left! There were also some jellyfish getting washed up onto the beach by the waves.

We then headed east along the coast and stopped just past the Makaha Point Research Center. There is a tiny point where you can park your car and get out to take photos of the coastline.

Further along we passed Sandy’s Beach where there was a rescue in progress. The parking lot was packed with fire fighters, rescue personnel and the rescue chopper had just plucked someone out of the water. Past Sandy’s Beach I stopped along the road’s edge to take more photos of the shoreline.

Hanauma Bay was our next stop. This place has changed so much since I was a little girl. There are now attendants at the entrance to the park. There was a “Parking Lot Full” sign but the attendant motioned at me to drive on through. At the parking lot entrance I paid my dollar to the attendant….if you leave within 15 minutes of arriving, your dollar is refunded to you. There was a long line of folks waiting to get down to the beach. An admission fee is charged to access the beach and not everyone is allowed onto the beach at once! We walked up to the landing where you can view the entire bay and shoreline area. The view just was stunning….we were in awe to say the least! The water was so clear and turquoise and the outline of the underwater reefs were visible. There were folks snorkeling and scuba diving. The beach was full but didn’t look overcrowded at all!

Afterwards we headed over to the LocoMoco at the Koko Marina for local-style plate lunches. After lunch we drove out to Pearlridge area and I found a “Mailbox Etc” type of store and picked up three shipping boxes. The shop also carried handmade soaps and gift items. I bought 4 bars of handmade soaps. Two were made from scratch and the other two were glycerin based.

Our last stop before heading back to my parent’s home was the Pearlridge Shopping Mall. When I was growing up this was “the” mall to hang out at. I picked up several 3-pack cases of Macadamia Nuts as well as several bags of Kona Coffee and t-shirts from Crazy Shirt. I also window-shopped from packaging/gift ideas.

Before hitting the sack, I packed up all my Lauhala baskets and souvenirs into the boxes…gonna have to ship them out to myself at home in a couple of days. More later!

August 12, 2003:

Last night I actually slept more than 5 hours! Since we’ve been here, I’ve been getting up early hawaiian time. The first night we were here I awoke at 1:30am. ‘Course it was 7:30am EST and none the less, I was wide awake! *L* This morning I picked up my friend Peri (from small keed time) again and we headed to “Tanioka’s” in Waipahu. Tanioka’s is a very small fish market located just down the street from Waipahu high school. I must highly recommend this fish market for it’s sushi, sashimi and nigiri sushi! Their Limu Poke (raw tuna with seaweed strands) is outstanding! They also carry boiled peanuts, assorted musubis, snacks, cookies, candies, japanaese crackers and Poke.

Afterwards we walked next door to visit one of our high school classmates Cindy … she works next to the fish market. I had purchased a CD of photos of our 25th class reunion so we went to go pick it up from her. It was good to see her after all these years! She introduced us to her husband who graduated the year before us from the same high school and I introduced them to my daughters.

The next stop was Jet skiing at Haleiwa Harbor. When we got there, we had to wait over 30 minutes for someone to show up at the booth. When someone finally showed up, we realized that she wasn’t very pleasant at all….ya know, the type that works 24/7 with tourists and is really only interested in getting your credit card information. We decided Jet skiing wasn’t for us and we didn’t want to spend our money with this company so headed towards Sunset Beach. We spent an hour at the beach just across from the Sunset Beach Support Park. It was a bit crowded with locals and tourists. Apparently, this beach is also a stop for the tour buses as every 20 minutes or so the buses would stop so that the tourists could get out and photograph the beach and water.

After swimming, we drove out to the Waikele Outlet Mall and browsed the shops. There were outlet shops such as Bebe, Crazy Shirts, Osh Kosh and many more. And just across the street, you could find the Big KMart and Borders Book Stores. Also, there was that ever-popular red and white trailer parked in the parking lot!! *S* The Leonards Malasadas trailer!! *L* Malasadas is fried dough about 4 inches around and covered in sugar. They also come covered with sugar and cinnamon and you can get the kind that is filled with different cream flavors such as Haupia. They call these Malasada Puffs! These taste so ono when just made…nice and hot! The Waikele Outlet mall is another stop for the tour buses. 🙂

This evening I packed up the last of my souvenirs and Lauhala baskets. I also found two of my high school yearbooks and packed those to ship home too! More later!

August 13, 2003:

This morning I drove to Jene’s Shop to try and send off the three boxes of Lauhala baskets and souvenirs. They wanted $24 to UPS Ground the smaller, 10lb box…whaaaaaat!?!?!?!?! I didn’t even wanna know how much they would charge me for the two larger boxes (24x18x18) which were a little over 30 and 35 pounds!! Sheeesh! Anyhoos, I asked the guy if that was the cheapest price that they could get for me. He explained that they were a “retail store” and that I would get better prices directly at UPS on Lagoon Drive. So he helped me put my boxes back onto my SUV and I drove out to Lagoon Drive. Down on Lagoon Drive there was a check point with two local police officers checking everyone’s ID’s. I sent all three boxes off…every Lauhala basket and souvenir…basically stuff I didn’t come down with….got sent off this morning and it cost me close to $90 to send. Later I picked up Peri and we dropped the girls off at the Ala Moana Shopping Center. She and I headed off to Flora Dec on Nimitz Hwy and the Kraftsmania shop on the Sand Island Access Road. This was the first time I’ve been to Flora Dec but I have heard a lot about it from my cousins and sister. Basically, what this is, is a large shop of craft supplies. They even have a warehouse ajoined to the shop which they store and sell plastic and glass vases/bottles/jars, bowls, baskets, artificial plants…and too many more to list!! Afterwards, we drove to Kraftsmania on the Sand Island Access Road. Prior to my trip, I made arrangements to go out to the shop to meet Denise the owner. I also brought her some samples of my soaps and lotions. She has a small soap supply shop located just above the Subway shop. The parking is located in a rooftop garage. I purchased some Puakenikeni fragrance oil from her and cannot wait to try this. It is such a sweet floral and I cannot get this from any of my mainland FO suppliers! I will be carrying this with me as a carry-on for my flight back home. In the past, I’ve bought soap molds from Kraftsmania and use it for my Mele Soap line at: http://eastcoasttropics.com/Ectms1.html

After dinner I went to pick up six rolls of film that I had developed at Sam’s Club … which by the way, is a FANTASTIC price at $2.79 per roll (24 exposures). Before I left I purchased a lead bag at the Ritz camera store. I anticipated that I would be bringing home all my rolls of film undeveloped and that I would get them developed at home (for $10 per roll). When I saw the price at Sam’s Club, I decided to give it a try. I am satisfied with the quality and the way that the photos came out using the processing at Sam’s Club and would highly recommend this process. This price is for 1/2 day processing. If you want 1 hour photo processing, it’s an extra $2…which is still a good price! After picking up my photos, I worked on putting them in my photo album…wanna get this done so that I can show the album to all the ohana at Friday night’s wedding! More later!

August 14, 2003:

Today we spent time at Sunset Beach point. It was a perfect beach day! I met my cousin Lovi at the Island Creation (?) store on California Ave in Wahiawa. I was able to speak to the owner of the shop. They have been in business for many years and sold t-shirts and music CD’s as well as surfing videos and posters and such. They also do woodworking and had several wood signs which they auction off at eBay. I met the son, Harris Okuda, who does all the wooden signs. All the signs are so beautifully done! I followed my cousin as we headed out to the Sunset Beach Point. We stopped at the Sunset Pizza and bought pizza and burgers for lunch. This is a great local place to get burgers….their Bacon Avocado Cheese Burger is so ono! For $6 you get a whopping burger with a thick hamburger patti, slices of bacon, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and onions with a hot pepper on the side. Next door is a laundry mat, next to that Kammies Market where I picked up a pair of local style rubber slippahs! For $4 I got the ones with Honu turtles on it! Next to that is the Ohana Surf shop where you can buy towels, surfing magazines/videos/posters, sarongs, towels, and rent boogie boards.

At the beach, my cousin’s son Jake showed up and he went to go get his surfing buddy Duke along with a couple of surfboards and boogie boards for the girls. Jake and Duke caught a few waves with their longboards and the girls went boogie boarding and body surfing. The beach wasn’t crowded at all and there were many young boogie boarders and a couple of 8-year olds surfing as well. While we watched the kids on the beach, my cousin taught me how so crochet leis and hair scrunchies. This is so easy to do and I will be offering these unique products on my website in the very near future!

Later in the evening I spoke with my husband. He was just getting off of work (11pm EST) and there was so much traffic in Boston due to the power outage! More later!

August 15, 2003:

Today is Admissions Day in the state of Hawaii. Forty-four years ago today Hawaii was accepted as a state into the USA. My cousin Lovi’s daughter got married today! The wedding ceremony and reception was held Hauula. I drove on the H3 to get to the windward side of the island. Again, that view of the windward side just as you get out of the tunnel on the H3 is breathtaking! Too bad there aren’t any “stop points” so that motorists can get out to take photos. The ocean water is so clear you can make out the color of the water and the underwater reefs! What a sight to behold!

We made our way through Kaneohe, Kahalulu, Waikene, Kaaawa and Punaluu traveling on Kamehameha Highway towards Hauula. The drive was wonderful and relaxing and it was hard to concentrate when the ocean is just on your right side. In some parts the ocean was less than 15 feet from the road!

The wedding ceremony and reception was held at the Tradewinds Estate in Hauula (http://tradewindsestate.com/). The enclosed grounds are beautiful and the house itself is very large and accommodating. The wedding ceremony was held outdoors in the front yard surrounded by all the friends and family. The reception was held in the back with tables and chairs for 300 guests. The food was so ono (delicious)! There was fresh salad greens, rice, fried noodles, sweet and sour pork stew, kalua pig and lomi salmon. We didn’t stay too long as the drive was an hour long. I brought my photo album and showed all the relatives. Drats though…..I forgot the album on the table! And one of the girls forgot her bag too. Gotta call my aunt tomorrow morning and see if anyone picked them up! More later!

August 16, 2003:

Took my oldest daughter to the Ice Palace for the 6am freestyle session this morning. Both my parents met us at the rink to watch their granddaughter figure skate (in person) for the first time. Afterwards, we went back to my parents place to get ready for my grandfather’s 94th birthday party. The party was held at the Royal Palace restaurant. It serves Chinese food and is located at the Stadium Mall next to the Ice Palace. They have a lunch buffet from 11am to 2pm. There were 68 folks that attended the party, many were my grandfather’s friends who I haven’t seen in years! My grandparents arrived at the party after everyone else arrived. They looked really good! My grandfather can still walk without assistance, although slow. And he sure looks good for 94 years, especially the surgery last month to correct the ruptured aneurysm!

The lunch was delicious and filling…many different dishes to choose from. A long-time friend of my grandparents brought homemade “bod bod” and “concanin” (sp). We played a couple rounds of stand up bingo and prizes were handed out to all the winners. Afterwards, the birthday cake candles were lit and we all sang happy birthday. The cake was oh no – vanilla with a middle layer of coconut cream pudding! All in all, everyone had a great time. I saw relatives I hadn’t seen in years – or at all! Don’t know if my grandfather remembered me or not, but it was great to see him and he sure smiled a lot! *S* After the party I swung over to the Ben Franklin craft store in Mapunapuna on Pa’a street. I had to pick up some black and red yarn to crochet a lei for my mom before I leave Hawaii! Looking forward to attending the “Made In Hawaii” festival tomorrow! More later!

August 17, 2003:

I’m so glad that we went to the “Made In Hawaii” festival! There were a lot of parking available even 25 minutes to the opening of the festival so go early! 😉 Another benefit of being one of the first through the front door when they open is being the first in line to try all the food and drink samples! *L* This was the last of the three day event and there were so many people attending! By the time we left, the aisles were jammed packed with people! WOW! Everything was soooo ono!! I entered in as many raffles as I could…especially the coffee raffles. And I tried almost every single food and drink sample at that festival but was only impressed by a few…

Molokai Coffee Plantation www.molokaicoffee.com Was practically giving away their coffee! Their “3/$10” was a great deal and my daughter bought 3 bags to give away as gifts. Their coffee is 100% rather than a 10% blend and has a very, very smooth taste, even black! I will definitely be buying this brand online!

Uncle Louie’s Sausage Company Had samples of sausages out to try. What a treat their “Macadamia Nut Sausages” were! The sausages contained itty bitty pieces of nuts! *L*

Volcano Winery www.volcanowinery.com A lot of free taste samples and because it’s alcohol, none to sell on the premises. Too bad I can’t have any shipped to me on the east coast. Their Macadamia Nut Honey Wine was warm and slightly sweet. Their customer service has a bit to be desired though. After the guy manning the booth found out I was from MA, he basically ignored me! *L*

Meadow Gold Dairies www.lanimoo.com Ono, ono flavors of yogurt! *L* My favorite two flavors I kept sampling was the Orange and the Papaya! So fresh and tropical tasting. Wish I could get this brand on the east coast!

Sweet Aloha Chocolates www.sweetalohachocolates.com Ono chocolate in various shapes with custom wrappers and labels. They even had surfboards in white chocolate! *L*

Honey Girl Water Wear www.honeygirlwaterwear.com Cute, local brand surfing and beachwear, especially the little girls’ bikinis with matching board shorts.

Creative Native Crafts http://www.creativenativecrafts.com Carries Hawaiian-themed scrapbook and craft products. I was most impressed with their Origami kits that have papers with Hawaiian designs!

I bought several light switch covers and matching coasters from Sunset Beach Traders (http://www.sunsetbeachtraders.com/). I wanted either a Tapa or Lauhala pattern. They only had the Tapa pattern available. It has shades of brown and beige with Hawaiian petroglyphs in black and would go great in my new kitchen! We stopped in at Zippys for only a quick snack after the festival since we were all full from snacking on all the samples! *L* While at Zippy’s my husband called to tell me that my new kitchen may not be done byt the time I get home. They mis-measured the counter and ended up having to move the entire sliding door over two inches to accommodate the longer counter….hmmmm…. *sigh*

Later in the evening my parents had my grandparents, brother, sister, uncles, aunts and cousins come over for a dinner gathering. Again, so much ono food!! Lau lau, lomi salmon, rice, limu poke, sashimi, sushi, kimchi, malasadas, potatoes, bbq steak, pies, various salads and too much more to list here! I even taught my cousin Auli’i how to crochet a yarn hair scrunchie. We all talked, laughed, looked through photos, while the kids played pocket billiards and sang karaoke. It was so much fun and everyone had a great time!

….still working on my mom’s crochet lei…hope I can get it done before I leave Hawaii! More later!

August 18, 2003:

My sister Donna picked us up and we spent a few hours in Waikiki. We parked her car the Honolulu Zoo and walked down Kalakaua Avenue. Our first stop was the ABC Store, which, by the way, is plentiful in Waikiki! There is an ABC store practically on every block and we lost count after we passed the 7th ABC store! *L* We stopped in on some of the high-end designer shops along the avenue and visited the shops in the International Marketplace as well. The marketplace reminded me of the flea market at the Aloha Stadium. Almost every other shop/stand is selling the same items! The difference is the price of the items! 😉 We also visited my cousin who works at the hot dog stand in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Plaza. He treated us to hot dogs and shaved ice. Afterwards, we spent some time on the beach. It was crowded but we did manage to find a shady spot under a couple of coconut trees. The water was extremely warm and full of swimmers, boogie boarders and surfers….locals and toursts alike. The view of the Waikiki shoreline was stunning! What a difference compared to the Sunset Beach shoreline! Of course, I got photos! *S*

I had a great time but wished that we had dropped the kids off at the mall or something. Would’ve been nice just to spend some time with my sister over coffee without five teenage girls hanging on our conversation or demanding our attention. I know better for the next visit! *S* More later!

August 21, 2003:

Back home! We left Hawaii at 6:30pm on the 19th. I turned the Chevy Trail Blazer back into Enterprise Rent A Car that day. We started out with 40 miles and when I turned the SUV in, it had 1,010 miles on it! I did 970 miles of driving within two weeks! I made the SUV rental reservation online through Travelocity.com, with unlimited mileage, and paid $523 (includes state tax). I paid a total of $200 for gas for two weeks, just as I estimated I would prior to our trip. When we got to Hawaii the (cheapest) gas prices were at $1.94/gallon for regular unleaded. When we left, it was at $1.98/gallon for regular unleaded.

At the airport security check out we all had to take our shoes off and both my daughters and one of their friends had to be hand scanned because they kept setting off the alarms. The flight was uneventful and I was somewhat sad that I was leaving such a beautiful place. Funny, how more precious and beautiful Hawaii has become to me since I’ve grown and moved away.

While in Hawaii we stayed at my parent’s home, the home I grew up in. The home is located in Pacific Palisades which is the heights of Pearl City and overlooks lower Pearl City and Pearl Harbor. I had the coolest room in the house. The room faced the mountain trade winds and nights were comfortable to sleep. It was wonderful to experience the familiar cool nights again. And we’re very fortunate to still have ohana there who we can stay with and not have to worry about hotel costs.

The girls and I ate a lot of the local island foods! I’m currently on the Atkins Diet and the first week I was there I lost two more pounds. After that I didn’t lose any more weight but didn’t gain any weight either. I’m happy that I was able to maintain my weight and I think it was because of all the running around and swimming I did! We ate a lot of foods that are common in Hawaii. My daughter’s and their friends experienced local foods like Poi, Lau Lau, Lomi Salmon, Limu Poke, Tako Poke, Sushi and Sashimi, as well as favorite island pupus and snacks for the very first time. They were open-minded about trying these for the first time! *L*

The weather was beautiful everyday we were in Hawaii. It rained everyday but not for long…”liquid sunshine” as it’s commonly referred to. *S* The island showers were short, just as I remembered while growing up, but that’s what kept the island so “green.”

The water is something that I will never forget! It was so good to swim again in ocean water so warm! I took many photos of the local beaches and will always treasure the clearness, color and warmth of the Pacific Ocean! I will miss the “casual-ness” and laid-back attitude of the islands. I’ve found that it’s not uncommon for folks to wear board shorts, surfing brand T-shirts, and rubber slippers on a daily basis.

Souvenirs are best bought at places the “locals” shop at. The most popular long-running event is the Aloha Stadium Flea Market. The market is centrally located making it accessible to the locals, tourists and military personnel and their families. There are bargains galore and a lot of the items are cheaper at the flea market than at the stores! The flea market is open every Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The local stores such as Longs Drugs, KMart, Price Busters, Foodland, Daiei, Sam’s Club and Costco etc also carry reasonably-priced souvenirs. I shopped at every one of these stores, with the exception of Costco, and there are Hawaiian souvenirs at each of these stores for such a great price! You can find souvenirs such as stationery & picture frames, various colors of Kukui Nut leis, macadamia nuts, candies, clothing, beachware, towels, kitchenware, toiletries and dishes. Much too much to list here! I highly recommend shopping at these local stores and the flea market for good prices on souvenirs.

I’m still waiting for all my Lauhala baskets and souvenirs to arrive. I should be getting them this week. I also have to get my mail off of “hold” at the post office. I will have a lot of work ahead of me in getting more soap & toiletries made and baskets decorated.

The over night flight home took us to Houston, TX then onto Boston, MA. I didn’t get much sleep during the flight as those Continental Airlines Economy seats are small and hard. But the flight home was easier to tolerate than that 10 hour non-stop flight from NJ to Honolulu! I experienced jet lag the first week in Hawaii. After the first week I was starting to get used to the time change although I was very tired from doing all that driving! I’m glad to be back home again. My new kitchen isn’t complete like I was told it would be when I returned, but a majority of it has been completed at this writing and it won’t be long when I have my entire kitchen back in use again.

I have many photos taken of my trip in Hawaii. Majority of the photos taken were on a non-digital camera. I had the photos developed at Sam’s Club for a fantastic price that can’t be beat! I also took many photos using my digital camera and have yet to look over these and organize them.

While in Hawaii I received over 400 emails. I still have yet to look over these too!

It’s good to be back home and sleeping in my own bed again! Can’t wait for the next visit! For now, I’ve got to catch up on my sleep! *L*

More Notes:

Hawaiian Music CD’s I bought 13 Hawaiian music CD’s from Sam’s Club. All were less than $12 a piece! Wish I bought more! *L*

Airfare Continental Airlines $530 round trip Made reservation 6 months in advance on Travelocity.com

Car Rental Enterprise Rent A Car $523 includes taxes but no added insurance since my insurance covers me wherever I rent a car. Made reservations 6 months in advance on Travelocity.com for an SUV.

Hotel Accommodations I had no hotel/motel fees because I stayed at my parent’s home. They didn’t charge me at all and didn’t expect me to even pay for groceries. But I did buy some anyways, which turned out to be a waste! There was soooo much food in the house! *L*

Kau Kau (eats/food/grinds) Portuguese Sweet Bread Ani Brand that can be bought at Longs Drugs Stores. Usually sells for just under $4. On sale for under $3. Bread comes plain or cinnamon coated.

Lau Lau You can purchase these in the frozen section of Foodland and Daiei.

Poi Available in the usual plastic package, frozen and now powdered! Powdered comes packaged in small jars.

Seafood & Catering I mentioned Tanioka’s in my travel journal. Here’s more information: Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering 94-903 Farrington Hwy Waipahu, HI 96797 www.taniokas.com 808/671-3779 808/677-9253

Foodland Like a lot of grocery store chains, Foodland also has a store card. I got the “Maika’i Intro Card” and used this whenever making purchases.

Aloha Stadium Flea Market Wednesday, Saturday & Sundays 50 cents per person I prefer to go early in the morning when it’s cooler. Sundays is the day with most vendors as folks with yard/garage sale items are allowed on this day to sell their wares. They are kept in one section of the parking lot. Many of the vendors sell the very same items, especially t-shirts and suitcases/backpacks/purses…you get the picture! There are also many vendors that sell various colors of Kukui Nut and shell Leis. A couple vendors sell Hawaiian print fabric at reasonable prices. They offer cotton and cotton/poly blends as well. My friend Peri pointed out a couple colors and hawaiian patterns for me and I bought some to decorate the Lauhala baskets with. I found one vendor that sells Hula implements but she doesn’t accept any credit cards. She has Ipus that are beautifully decorated and at very reasonable prices.

There are a couple of booths that sell Aloha Wood Art by the Le Family (www.alohawood.com). You can find these wood products in Waikiki stores but they are less expensive at the flea market. I purchased one set that came with a surfer and Honu. Another with two palm trees. Various types of woods are used to produce each item. The woods are not stained but rather highly polished. The woods are beautiful and I thought these would look good in my kitchen.

I have received all my boxes of souvenirs and Lauhala Baskets. Not one was damaged!

Great trip!!

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