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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Quick and Dirty Vacation Recap

Wednesday: Arrived tired and hungry, but happy to be in Hawaii. We had dinner at our hotel - beachside - beautiful view. Dinner was a buffet with all you can eat salads, fresh fruit, veggies, and fresh seafood, including king crab legs.

Thursday: Up early to attend an "orientation," associated with our travel agency, where we signed up for our trip to Pearl Harbor and a luau on the west side of the island. We narrowly escaped the clutches of the "Maui Divers" jewelry sales team and safely returned to the hotel for a couple of hours in the sun. Another delicious dinner at a seafood restaurant.

Friday: Up super early for the bus trip to Pearl Harbor. The experience was fascinating and I highly recommend it. I did have some trouble understanding, though, why people were commanding their children to "smile" in posed pictures at the memorial, including in front of the list of names of the people who lost their lives there.

We squeezed in a little time in the sun after our return and then headed out to the luau. It was, ah, interesting. And though we missed the actual moment that the pig was lifted from the earth where it'd been cooking all day, we caught some breathtaking sunset views.

Saturday: Up early to arrange for a shuttle to the "swap meet." Both souvenirs and items for ourselves were bought at this sprawling flea market located in the parking lot surrounding Aloha Stadium. We spent some more time in the sun upon our return and then, in the evening, had massages on the beach in cabanas. Heavenly. Those were closely followed by fantastic pizza delivered by room service.

Sunday: Up early to rent a car and drive first to Hanauma Bay and then to the North Shore. At Hanauma Bay, we both snorkled for the first time. Learning to snorkel (especially when teaching yourself) has its ups and downs, but I LOVED the experience and plan to buy my own snorkel set in case the opportunity should ever present itself again. There were more fantastic views of the water at the bay.

(We did spend some time watching and praying as a man's lifeless body was dragged from the bay waters and rescue workers attended to him for quite some time. I've no idea what happened, and can only surmise the exertion of swimming caused him to have a heart attack or something. His family appeared to be in shock and the entire situation was a bit disturbing.)

After a couple of hours, we drove around the island to the North Shore. Again, the views of the mountains and the beaches and the ocean were spectacular. It was a drive that was well worth it and our reward was a nice spot - Sunset Beach - where we basked in the sun and the lack of people for several hours.

Monday: Today! I did get up early again, but only to savor our blessed lack of plans. I claimed a oceanfront spot early in the morning, and stayed there all day. It was wonderful. The waves seemed stronger today than other days, and there were plenty of surfers out all day long, who were fun to watch. We also enjoyed a couple of pina coladas while sunbathing. In just a few minutes we'll head back down to the seafood buffet - it's good stuff, we can sit outside, and Mickie is battling allergy problems so we're trying to stick close to our hotel.

Tuesday: All good things come to an end. Though we don't leave Hawaii until early evening, the latest airline requirements mean we must leave our hotel by about 1:30 to be at the airport early enough to get through security, etc. That said, I called down to secure late check-out and plan to snag at least a couple more hours outside, listening to the crashing waves and soaking in the wonderful weather.


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