Monday, March 28, 2011

Hawaii - Part 2

Have you been waiting with bated breath for the second installment?? Good

Justin and I (well, mostly Justin) purchases a number of Hawaii Groupons in the months before our trip. One of them being a tour of Pearl Harbor and historical Hawaii. The tour left at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am. Uggghh. Our tour guide was a lovely little native named Tony.
Pearl Harbor
Admittedly, I am pretty dumb. I don't know much about most things and it turns out this is true of Pearl Harbor and its history. Well, I know the basics but it was interesting to learn much more. Pearl Harbor consisted of a museum, video presentation and ferry boat to the memorial over the USS Arizona.

Historic/ Modern Hawaii
This portion of the tour was a little disappointing because we didn't get out of the bus to see anything. Kinda lame, but still very interesting tour. We stopped outside of 'Iolani Palace, which I'm sure is just as lovely inside as it is outside. We then drove up to the Punchbowl Cemetary that overlooks Honolulu. I'd love to have such a good view when I'm dead. On the way to Punchbowl we passed government offices and the home of Dog the Bounty Hunter - not sure why he hasn't upgraded the office...

View from Punchbowl

On the way down from Punchbowl we passed by Barak's high school and the apartment he grew up in. Pretty modest digs for a future president.

After our tour we went to the very large Ala Moana mall for lunch. Then it was off to Diamond Head State Park. Diamond Head is basically a very large hill with a trail and stairs leading to the top. It was once a coastal artillery observation platform - built in 1908. Event though the trek wasn't very treacherous, it was very humid, so we got were sweaty and tired.

 The view at the top was more than worth it!

 On the way down it started to rain. Very, very hard

We ended our busy day with a few beers at Kona Brewery. I'm pretty in love with this brewery because their beer is delicious and...well that's about it.

On Saturday we started the day off right with breakfast at Big City Diner where Justin had another Loco Moco and I had delicious macadamia nut pancakes.

We then decided to use another Groupon for kayaking in Kailua. I don't think we could've picked a worse day to go since it was raining quite a lot. We kayaked out to a small island and got out to walk around. We tried to snorkel off the island, but I ended up floating around in a fit of laughter over the impossibility of walking on rocks with flippers and the ridiculous rain situation.

After kayaking I think I took a nap and then we rode bikes to a local surf bar - Boardriders. The special was Kamakazi shots! After the surf bar we rode to the Kailua Pub. You can definitely be too drunk to ride a bicycle. Haha. After we got home we took a rest and then headed to The Shack for $1 wells. $1 wells...on a Saturday night. A Saturday! That was a sloppy night.

On Sunday we ate breakfast at a lovely crepe place called Crepes No Ka 'Oi. We then headed to a more secluded beach area down in the Southeast corner of Oahu. Beautiful!

In the evening we drove to the west side of the island for the Paradise Cove Luau. The night was filled with lots of activities, entertainment and food. I wish the food had been better and there were unlimited drinks, but the entertainment was great and an overall awesome experience.


 My Polynesian tattoo

 I had a crush on this guy

DAY 7 - The End : (
Our last day in Hawaii. Awwww. We had breakfast at a popular Kailua spot called Cinnamon's. Justin had...shocker...Loco Moco.

We packed up and headed toward Honolulu/ Waikiki. Went to the same beach we went to our first day and then another beach. Trying to soak up as much sun as possible! We went back to the Kona Brewery for happy hour and ate dinner at BluWater Grill. I had a couple of delicious passion fruit mojitos and filet mignon.

We then made our way to the airport. Justin insisted we finish the rest of the rum we bought from Costco earlier in the week, which led to a less than sober trip through security and on the plane.

These birds were everywhere. They are terribly awkward looking

Passion fruit mojito. Yum

Airplane back to Bellingham. Rain. Cold. Sadness


Moving to Hawaii in 2013 : )

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hawaii - Part 1

For the last month I've been terrible at reading my friend's blogs and writing in my own. Not toooo much is going on these days except being incredibly busy. We went to Hawaii the first week of March and since I haven't even posted photos anywhere else, I'm going to tell you about that adventure.

I may also touch on the depths of sadness that wash over us on a daily basis since. I love Hawaii and Justin and I are already making plans to move there in 2013. : )

Justin and I drove to Bellingham to catch our 5 pmish flight. We got such a good deal because Alaska just began direct service from Bellingham to Honolulu. My good friend Taune was nice enough to let us park at her apartment and drive us to the tiny B-ham airport.

We got into Honolulu at 10 pmish and got to our vacation rental in Kailua after 11. The room we had was...not great. Not at all. That's what you get for being cheap I guess.

We went to Mokes Bread & Breakfast for breakfast. At this time, Justin first fell in love with an island dish called Loco Moco (a combination of rice, egg, hamburger and gravy). After breakfast, we drove to University of Hawaii's Aloha Stadium in Honololu for the Wednesday swap meet. I've never been to a swap meet so large! I bought the most delicious pineapple covered with a red seasoning called Li Hing and Justin bought a coconut. News to me: I hate Coconut water/ milk. I also hate fresh coconut.

 After the swap meet, we stopped at Costco to stock up on cheap alcohol. And oh man is the alcohol cheap!! Gallons for nearly nothing compared to Washington. Hawaiian Costco also has an entire aisle dedicated to macadamia nut products. It's pretty magical.

Since the sun was out we decided a trip to the beach was a requirement. We stopped at Ala Moana beach, which certainly isn't the most magnificent beach around, but it was great to be in the sun and near the water.

After the beach we headed back to Kailua and got a lot of much-needed items at the drug store and then ate dinner at a local Thai restaurant. We weren't aware of all the great dining options yet - if we had been I wouldn't have chosen a random Thai place. We ended the night with a drink at a sport's bar.

 DAY 3
On Thursday we decided a trip to the North Shore was a must do. We headed along the east coast and up north. Along the way we stopped at beaches and took in the sights. At one beach we tried hopelessly to get photos of sea turtles, but they allusive little bitches.

We stopped at the Polynesian Cultural Center, but it doesn't have a lot to offer if you aren't paying to do something there - except these cool tiki statues.

We briefly drove through BYU's Hawaiian campus. I am obviously not Mormon, but the Mormon's have my respect for thinking to put a campus in paradise. Funny enough their other campuses are in Utah and Idaho, which I would define as the opposite of paradise.

Eventually we ended up at the city of Halei'wa, which is a quaint little beach town with lots of cute shops and restaurants. A friend recommended a Mexican restaurant called Cholo's, so we stopped there for lunch. I am very impressed by their name, but found their food really underwhelming. You win some, you lose some.

After stopping in Hale'iwa we moved on to the Dole Plantation. I am a big fan of pineapple and learning new things, but the Dole Plantation is not a place I would recommend if you have anything else to do. It consisted of a large area to buy things and attractions that are pretty lame after all the pineapples have been harvested. We did hop on the Pineapple Express train ride, which is still pretty lame when there are no pineapples to look at.

After a ride on the express we made our way back to Kailua. Kailua has a farmer's market on Thursday nights, so we headed to the market to check it out and eat dinner. Justin got kalua pork, I got crab corn chowder and we both got lumpia (that took fooooreeeever to make). I also snacked on a delicious Pineapple Vanilla OnoPop for dessert.

That's it for Round 1 of Hawaii. Stay tuned for the next installment!