03 March 2013

Oahu Recap (Part 1)

Now that I've been home for a couple of days, I thought I should recap my trip before it's faded away too much. It was such a whirlwind trip with barely any sleep that it's hard to hold on to it all. Glad I took my camera so I can refresh my memory.

First off, I have to say that I think I could totally blend in there in Hawai'i. I felt surrounded by cousins and everyone was so friendly.

We landed in Honolulu right at noon on Tuesday. While my body was sleep deprived and feeling like it was 4pm (it was in Oklahoma), I felt like I should take the island in while it was daylight because the next 2 days were mostly about work.

So we got settled into our hotels and then we hit the road. My head was on a swivel checking out all of the flora (beautiful fragrant flowers!) and fauna (mostly chickens) and the beautiful blue ocean and waves. I am so glad that I didn't have to drive so I could take it all in.

After we drove around for a bit we decided to head to the Dole Plantation to check out what they grow in HI and get some pineapple samples. We walked through the gardens a little and then took a train through the bigger gardens.

Red Pineapple (I think)

Koa Tree @Dole


After we got our free pineapple samples we hit Matsumoto Shave Ice for a shaved ice. I got Coconut Cream and it was PINK!

Matsumoto Shave Ice

I didn't pack enough warmer weather clothes so I picked up a tank and some flip flops (and a rice paddle) at Matsumoto.  Money well spent.

We also drove by the BYU campus just to see what it looked like (not very impressive in my opinion but we only quickly drove through) and then on the way back to the hotel, we stopped in at the Polynesian Cultural Center. We walked around and checked out the market place for a bit and inquired about the events. We discussed coming back the next night for the show that included dinner, but we ended up not going back. My mom was disappointed that we didn't...next time! It sure smelled good but it was getting late...

I did check out a local ABC store (The store with Aloha) near my hotel though. They are convenience stores and they are everywhere. They are worse than Starbucks and they are on most every corner in Waikiki. I am not complaining because I rather enjoyed the store; I could get water, souvenirs, snacks and sundries there for a song. I liked that. I visited the store closest to my hotel every day that I was there... They had a special going that if you spent $100 cumulatively, you would get a free gift. I am now the proud owner of an ABC 2014 calendar!

View outside my hotel

I stayed at a quaint little hotel called Stay Waikiki. I thought the hotel was cool (how couldn't it be with such a cool name?) and there were no frills. The only views I had in my room were of the backside of the Hyatt or  the Hilton but I am not complaining. I left my window and balcony door open much of the nights to get the ocean breeze, but I was always awakened by the beep-beep-beep of a tour bus backing up or the talk of some hotel workers from across the street taking a smoke break or cars making that eee-eee-eee sound as they rounded the corner in the parking garage that was catty-corner from my hotel. Once again, not complaining, just letting you know I was not in a resort...

On the 2nd day on the island, I woke up with a major headache (started behind my right eye) that stayed with me much of the day. I walked a few blocks to meet up with my team lead (who drove and was my personal tour guide) and then we make the trek to the north shore for work. Traffic in downtown was a bear and I got to see some of the unglamourous parts of the city, like the grafitti. I also noted that Hawai'i has many of the same weeds as I do...they are bigger of course.

On the way to the site I took in some pretty views. I got a few cool captures of a very hot surfing spot near work but check out this cool aerial photo I found.

Beautiful Pupukea Paumalu
Here are some of my captures of the views I experienced at work on a daily basis:

Beautiful Blue View

Beautiful Blue

Beautiful Blue

I'm told that they filmed Soul Surfer in this area so I will have to watch that movie again and see if I recognize anything. I also might watch 50 First Dates again because my recent research has indicated that most of the film was shot on location in Oahu on the Windward side and North Shore.

(I'm tired from a late night tasting wines for my brother-in-law's soon to be open restaurant so I will resume posting tomorrow starting with the cows and lunch...)

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