Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Spring Break Hawaiian Style

It's October but I want to pretend we just got back from Hawaii (where we went for spring break).  It was our big trip of the year and it was fabulous.  I've been writing this post in my free time since April--it's taken a long time to recap. I wonder how long it will take to recap our Disneyland trip in August!  Listing our fun Oahu itinerary here so I will remember for all time:

Friday, swimming at the hotel, Sheraton Waikiki (because you can get Dole Whip there!), dinner trip to musubi cafe. Four of us like to eat spam musubi. One of us is a complete twinkie, banana, you name it and will not eat Asian food unless it is plain noodles (think udon or kalguksu without the broth or anything) that taste like nothing. H won't even eat plain white rice anymore. He has some serious issues. So while the rest of us were stuffing rice and seaweed creations into our mouths, he had to sit there with a sour look on his face. On the way back we got him some popcorn chicken from KFC. I don't know how many other people go to Hawaii to eat KFC, Burger King, Subway, McDonald's and even R had to join in the fast food frenzy with his favorite orange chicken from Panda Express!

Saturday, wake up early to eat breakfast at Bogarts and have the biggest most deliciously decadent haupia macadamia pancake ever, hiking up Diamond Head with one of my besties from law school, C and her partner B. B was so nice, she stayed with R when he started protesting that he was too tired. Somehow she miraculously convinced him it was worth going to the top and he made it all the way up.  Afterwards we sampled the many offerings at the farmer's market and I bought many many jars of delicious jam. If you were at our wedding, you know that we gave Hawaiian Sun jam as part of our wedding favor. I love Hawaiian flavors like passion fruit, guava, pineapple, which are all so good on freshly made scones.  I pretty much love Lilikoi anything and wanted to name my daughter Lilikoi but Stewart wouldn't let me name my daughter the same names as his sisters so Lili was ixnayed from the get go.

Sunday, Hanauma Bay. If you get there before 8, there is no attendant to take your fees so you can enter without paying a fee. H loved it and had a great time snorkeling. R was back to his fearful, tired self and spent the entire time sitting in the stroller. E had fun making sand castles. I have to say, going to Hanauma Bay was a bit disappointing considering how much I enjoyed it the first time I went there, which was over 12 years ago.  Back then there were turtles and many many schools of fish that swam very close to shore. I was pretty amazed by it. This time, there were not as many fish, which I was told is due to tourism and the ban on feeding the fish. It was still well worth the experience, especially since it was FREE!
Monday, Breakfast at Aulani, tour of Dole Plantation, North Shore drive through to get to Masumoto Shave Ice.  The breakfast at Aulani was great. When you go to a character breakfast in the Disney Parks (I've been to the Minnie and Friends breakfast at Disneyland and Pooh breakfast at the Crystal Palace) you feel a bit rushed because there are so many people they need to get through there and plus the eating time is taking away from your stand in line for Space Mountain time.  At Aulani we were able to take our time and eat the many many plate combinations offered at the buffet.  They sang R happy birthday since we were there for his birthday. The kids got up to do the dance and activities during the breakfast. This was similar to the character breakfast at the Disneyland hotel in Anaheim. You have to look at the meal as an experience, otherwise your palm will hit your face when you realize you just paid $$ for your child to eat one mini pancake.

The tour of the Dole Plantation was everything we thought it would be. A great train ride through the different fields where we saw really cute baby pineapples and the other fruit that grew on the farm. If you didn't know, any pineapple that says Dole on it that you can buy in the supermarket is actually from Dole plantations in the Philippines, not Hawaii as Hawaii can only grow enough for the local market. The kids had a great time in the maze and I had a great time inhaling more Dole whip! I was still really full but I wanted to see why people loved the North Shore shrimp trucks. We went up there and I was not that impressed. I think it's because I had the garlic shrimp fried rice at Bogart's our first morning in Honolulu and it raised the bar as to what constitutes flavorful shrimp. I need to get some more of that fried rice!!! Matsumoto Shave Ice was good, but not better than the shave ice we had at the stand in front of our hotel.  Of course H was not eating any of this so we had to stop by the food court on the way back to the hotel so he could get his subway sandwich, cold cut combo footlong on flatbread with nothing else on it. Sometimes it feels like such a waste of money because he's getting a piece of white bread with fake meat. I have no idea how that boy grows.

Tuesday was our trip to Pearl Harbor.  I have a lot of Japanese friends, I love Japanese food, I've visited Japan, I have Sony, Panasonic, Sanrio, Muji, etc stuff all over our house. But after you visit Pearl Harbor, you have this feeling like you never want to encounter anything Japanese ever again. The stories of all the people who were killed and affected by that attack and the images, the huge images of destruction, the names of the sailors on the wall of the memorial, and the artifacts from the era all really get to you.  I noticed that while there are Japanese tourists all over Hawaii, very few were at the USS Arizona Memorial. It would be too hard when you are there for vacation, not an exercise in self-loathing. I suspect that Americans who go to Japan on vacation do not visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I certainly didn't.  I fully believe in the theory that the US military knew about the attacks and could have mobilized to stop much of the destruction, but let it happen anyway because they wanted Congress to vote to enter the war.  So many lives sacrificed.

Our last day we were supposed to go play with dolphins but after reading all of the reviews of how inhumane those places were we decided just to hang at the beach and pool. Somewhere thrown in the trip was H's surfing lesson, hiking to a waterfall, outlet shopping, Leonard's, Costco, Liliha Bakery, and two hours spent at the Ross Waikiki because it's open till 2 AM!  We also met our friends from church, who coincidentally were staying at the same hotel in Waikiki. The wonders of social media, they posted a photo at a hotel on FB and another friend commented, Eunice is there too!

There are still so many things we wanted to do so we will definitely be back. None of us are stay still and relax type people so I don't think we will be making it to Maui or Kauai.  Maybe our next trip will include the Big Island--I remember the volcano being pretty cool! Aloha!

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