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Garwaii Day 2...the North Shore

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Garwaii Day 2...the North Shore

Because it's vacation and I should be relaxing, it is to be expected that I'd be awaken at 3:30 am, not even the crack of dawn. What happened? Well my gorgeous corner room at the Queen Kap. is also near the side street. So a delivery truck or maybe even a garbage truck rudely awakened me. Wouldn't be the only day it would do that, and thus began my early morning wake up routine.

Well, 3:30 am is not crack of dawn NY time so I call the family......husband and I chit chat a good hour or so. I entertain myself watching TV. Did you know they have home shopping on TV in Hawaii? Or that there are two Japanese channels on that talk about Hawaii tourism? Pretty good even if all I did was check out the video.

Today I am free most of the day...what to do? Hike up Diamond Head? No way....I have a North Shore nature Tour later this afternoon so I better save the energy. Why not walk around, check out Waikiki and explore my favorite outdoor and indoor activity, SHOPPING! And never mind trying to climb in all that wetness!

By this point, it'd been raining all night and it was dry intermittently. Now that it's dry, the law of my luck would have it that when I am least prepared, a deluge would fall. But I go and risk it. I walk along the beach, enjoying the fresh air from the ocean breeze. Somebody slap me for even typing that commercial tripe...LOL....but it's true. It smells amazing! I check out the gagillion ABC stores. They are about the only thing open and 7 and 8 am. The hotels along the water pretty much start to look and feel the same...a cluster of them. But the Pink lady and the white one (the sheraton)do have some additional charm. The Planet Hollywood and it's mural look pretty cool too.

I finally make it to the International Marketplace. I am ready to jay walk across the street and everyone is just standing there. Hmm.....what is up with that? SO I wait, feeling like a school kid, cross at the green and not in between.....sigh.....

I see the Starbucks and figure, oh why not. I wanted kona coffee, but heaven forbid you can buy that there. They peddle some weak coffee as a substitute. I get some fruit in a plastic bucket for an arm and a kidney. The pineapple was amazing. I love pineapple and I have never tasted anything so darn delicious. Now the coffee, yuck...I imagine sewer water to taste just as unpalatable, but fortunately, I wouldn't know for sure!

I start to wander around the marketplace but not much is open or looks of interest to me. So I throw on my MP 3 player, listen to the Emancipation of Mimi and walk for what seems to be miles to the Hale Koa. I am a good girl and always cross with the light....argh...it goes against my NY nature to do this!

Now I am ever vigilant of my carefully prepared budget and know that the kids have a mother lode of a list of souvenirs, particularly my princess who wanted an aloha dress, a doll from Hawaii and a grass skirt. LOL.... I can not get over the fact that she is FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I debate, the Army museum or the PX. Now, I've seen any number of Army museums, same for the PX but hey, shopping is shopping. So PX it is! And boy are they loaded with souvenirs. I buy so much stuff there, it's ridiculous. I mean, I had about 8 bags (not very smart when you have to WALK back) and it was still under $200....yay ME! I tried on a dress in their and it looked like I had a shelf for my top...LOL....Aloha wear is not meant for anyone of a generous nature...teehee.....matronly look in my 30's is not my goal!

Anyway, I get good ole Mariah back on my ears and start the walk back. I need lunch and I need rest before venturing out for the afternoon...

And what was the law of my luck...yup, a deluge!!!! I wait at a bus shelter for 10 minutes. It goes down a little and I begin some speed walking down the long blocks. The rain ends and somehow I find myself at the Duke Kahanamoku statue. I whip out my cell phone and call home. Thank goodness for the web cam and Hawaii.com. The kids and I think Dad too, get a major kick out of seeing mommy live. I wave like the many idiot tourists that spot the camera. What do I care? My kids are excited and so am I. I wind up doing this several times throughout the week and each and every time the kids love it!

I get back to the Queen Kap, get my gear ready and hit the restaurant on site. I order a teriyaki burger. Another lady was eating alone so we share a table and chat. She was a very sweet older lady...notice the trend...no hot young things for me to talk too...LOL...... Anyway, we complain about the slow service. The food wasn't bad, just not terrific either. Anyway, she complains that her room has no lanai, no table and char, nothing....it is virtually non existent. She wasn't even asked if she wanted an upgrade and she is staying for 10 days. And out of spite, she won't ask for an upgrade...seems to be it's hurting her more than the hotel staff...LOL....

Anyway, I run out and wait in front of the Queen Kap. for my Oahu Nature Tours shuttle. And I wait and wait and wait and wait! He finally shows up...young surfer named Brian who also happened to be a student at the university...an ethno botanist? Who the heck knows what that is? LOL....

I climb on in, an we go in search of the next patron. There is confusion about where she is, she's none too happy when we finally find her, taking off about 40 minutes late. We have a regular rainbow coalition going. Two very funny ladies, well traveled, from Australia, an Indian lady from London, Hindu (?), an older couple from the East, two lovely Asian girls from Canada, and me, the Puerto Rican/Cuban mix from NY. LOL....

We begin our travels. I enjoy the scenery and don't listen much at the history, sites and flora talk....I am actually relaxed and enjoying Hawaii! Brian mentions the banyan trees, how their roots grow from above and take root in the ground. He shows us the sights where the TV show Lost is filmed. He points out where Jurassic Park was filmed along with some other movies.

Our first major stop was the Byodo-In temple. Wouldn't you know it, deluge! Figures. So I throw on my fancy glad bag rain poncho. Sigh...I hate sticky days wearing trash bags! But I am excited to get to the temple. We ring the bell to shake away those sins. Maybe I should've rang three and four times...LOL... Anyway, the flowers and trees are colorful and gorgeous. He mentions one in relation to hair care, which strikes my fancy, but obviously not much since mommy brain set in and the name escapes me!

We remove our shoes. Thank goodness mommy taught me to wear clean socks always...LOL...I take a few pictures of the massive Buddha inside. I figure there is a museum or something...nope, that's it. The gardens, the lovely fish in the ponds, the birds and the ever present gift shop. And the heavy rain. But I get a few shots, including one of me in said trash bag. ;)

We continue our drive, check out more of natures beauty. And for such a restless soul as I, even I have to sigh, contemplate and be forever grateful to my husband for allowing me this experience on his time and dime...LOL....

We stop at La'ie Point. The day is slightly overcast, but the rain abates and we get to see some blues in the water and the sky. We admire the natural arch formation, the fireman hanging out on their truck looking at a black hawk helicopter (well, they weren't sure at first), and we admire the waves, the trees...yep, botanist guy! It really was interesting when he spoke though. But mommy brain cannot absorb one single new thing! LOL....

And we get to Sunset Beach. I was in awe of the giant turtles lounging at the beach. Never in my dreams did I think I would come so close to these ancient beings. They were magnificent and to see them without benefit of glass all around them! Remarkable!!! I wanted to take hundreds of pics just of them!

We checked out a few of the beaches along the North Shore and they really are something, particularly in the winter months, or so I've been told. We even saw the bleachers being set up for the huge surfing competition. Brian had tons of surfing info to impart. But he also threw in Hawaiian music and language. We all threw in the colorful jokes.....good thing we had no children traveling with us!

We stopped by a coffee plantation, macadamia nut farm. Those samples were awesome and I developed a taste for the kona coffee topped ones...Please send me more guys! LOL.....

And we tried to squeeze in a trip to the Dole Plantation. I had no great desire to visit there but I wanted a Pineapple Ice. Brian called ahead so they expected us, maybe a little late. We got there at exactly closing and they would not let us in, not even for 5 minutes. We were plenty peed, after they said no just to buy an ice. But in all fairness, I've done my fair share of service jobs as a student and when it's closing time, get out! LOL....

So we drove back to Waikiki, the traffic not so bad, surprisingly as it was almost 6 PM. I was feeling a little cooped up now and with it being dark outside, I didn't want to be in a confined space anymore. So we were all dropped off at our respective hotels and gratefully tipped Brian.

Of course, the deluge began yet again and I had no desire to experience a wet night life. Maybe if dh was around, we could've hit a club but I just wasn't in the mood to traipse about alone. So I went to my room. I called the family to let them know I was back and share the experience. And after proclaiming laziness about 100 times, I went downstairs to find dinner. I had the prime rib at the Queen Kap. One word, DON'T! I am very particular about my steak. I season like my mother and her mother. lots of Spanish seasonings and marinades. This was bland. If you have to eat there, get it medium because well done was not making it!

Then back to my room to do what a typical couch potato does, watch TV. What was on Tuesday night? Hmmmm....must've been Amazing Race....LOL....

I took a nice shower and hopped into bed after doing a few AB crunches. The next morning would be my Pearl Harbor Duck tour so I better get beau coup rest time! 8 am....ARGH!!!!!!!!!!


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1. Re: Garwaii Day 2...the North Shore

i love reading your trip reviews!! have you ever thought of becoming a writer? can't wait for day 3.(hurry, i leave in 2 days)

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154 posts
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2. Re: Garwaii Day 2...the North Shore

""i love reading your trip reviews!! have you ever thought of becoming a writer? can't wait for day 3.(hurry, i leave in 2 days)""

ah thanx....I don't think I'd have the disciplinme or creativity to write....but thanx! ;)

I wish I could write that fast...LOL....you'll just have to read when you get back from having the time of your life! LOL.... I look forward to reading your reports!