Saturday, April 21, 2007


So, I recently took a vacation in Hawaii. It was a fabulous time. I went with the roomie and stayed with the sister and her 5 kids. So here is an update of what I did, how it was, etc.

First Impressions:
I hate humidity! That was my first thought as I stepped out of the jetway and into the airport. First: I hate humidity! Second, why does it say "toilets" rather than "restrooms" on the restroom sign? Third, it smells like flowers. Let's just say that I got used to the humidity, and since I've come back to my desert state I've had countless nosebleeds without it. I appreciate that they cut to the chase about the bathrooms. The flowers on that island--incredible! The first night all I could smell were these flowers. They are always blooming! If you like flowers, seriously, go there.

The Kids:
It only got better from there. My nieces and nephews are adorable. Even the socially awkward, pubescent, voice-cracking, 14 year old nephew. What can I say, I have a place in my heart for the awkwardly aged. It's endearing. We've all been there. The sister's newest baby, which her husband and she named "Joaquin"...a name I'm still trying to get used to. Sister, we're white! But hey, it's her kid, right!? Anyway, this kid is adorable. Fat cheeks. Big blue eyes. A bit of a spit-up problem, but I miss him already. :) Her 4 year old is too smart for her own good. She runs the house, or at least did before the baby arrived. I think she's going through inner-trauma.

1. Ocean! A. (the roomie) and I took about a gazillion pictures. What a beautiful place. My new favorite color is the color of Hawaiian ocean. Words, for once, just can't cut it. I have got to go back to that ocean. Pablo Neruda has a line in one of his poems about the sea, "on the blue shore of silence." I guess we can say the oceans and beaches of Hawaii left me silent. Awed. I will include some of these shots sooner than later.

I also went "amateur" snorkeling for the first time. Amateur in that it was no where fancy and I simply strapped on the sister's snorkel gear and set off looking at less-than-amazing coral (i.e. don't imagine that vivid stuff you see in pictures, this was hardly so epic). And yet, for me, it was a memorable experience. I want to do it again somewhere with more fish, more coral. I did see a sea cucumber and a few other things which I wouldn't know where to begin in telling you names.

2. Pearl Harbor. The history buff in me took great interest in this. It was humbling and for some reason emotional to stand over the Arizona and see the oil leaking out. To read over names engraved in stone. It was surreal to know that on a quiet Sunday morning all these names, these men, lost their lives so unexpectedly. I think the shock of it would be unnerving. At the museum on shore, there was a display of the life of this Navy Officer who passed away. His wife had kept it all: his work uniform, the telegram she received announcing his death, photographs, love letters, a Christmas card, a letter from a commanding officer. Reading what he wrote to her, the line of X's scrolled beneath his name, reading the faded telegram that said your husband is dead--pretty moving, emotional experience! And I'm a woobie, so things like this always make me cry.

3. The temple. The sister lives right across the street! Literally RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the Laie, Hawaii LDS Temple. It was beautiful to just look up and there it was. We finally went to the visitors center and walked around the grounds the day we left. It was so peaceful just to be near it. It was a perfect ending to our trip.

4. Odds & Ends. We also spent a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The night show was cool, I attended my first and hopefully my only luau. It was, I suppose, enjoyable. Hawaiian Shave Ice & Dole Pineapple Plantation soft serve pineapple ice cream/sorbet are worth the trip. We also ate at "The Top of Waikiki" in a revolving restaurant that had a view of the city and the ocean at sunset. It was a fancy place with menu items like "Duck L'Orange" and other words we can't pronounce. The typical tourists, we took a picture of our entrees :).

So, that is, in a nutshell, Hawaii. But don't take my word for it, go for yourself. I am already planning my next visit!


Blackeyedsue said...

Okay, now I don't feel so bad. I really didn't like the Luau either. Dh and I prefered to find the seafood places and sushi restaurants. My MIL (Mother-in-Law for the "Rookies") served a mission for the PCC and her husband built the Tahiti exhibit. ANYWAYS, they took us before it opened and we got to see all of the behind-the-scenes stuff. Everything at the PCC lost its magic for me after that. I LOVED the flowers and all of the little coves for snorkeling. Shark Cove was my favorite. DH and his brothers went cliff diving and swam with some dolphins...only later to find out that it is illegal. Whoops!

I am so excited sister had another baby! How many does this make for her now?

Did you really eat duck?

Stine said...

I'm SO glad you started one of these. You need a place for your writing. And what a nice additional place at which to bug you.