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Trip Report

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
444 posts
13 reviews
30 helpful votes
Trip Report

Aloha everyone...I am so sorry to start this report so late, but this is the first hotel with wifi service......ready to go :+)

Day 1 of our trip took us to the Hampton Inn Airport Hotel in Tampa for an overnight stay for my darling husband, myself and darling granddaughter(Aged 12)...and parking for our car for the next 17 days (all included in our one night stay. we literally saved a couple of hundred dollars for not prking at the airpoprt...thru Stay 123.com. . The day manager Matt and night manager, Mark were the most thoughtful personnel during our stay. Since their shuttle had to pick us up at 5 a.m. for the airport, they actually had 3 brekfasts packed up for us to go, since breakfast at the hotel didn't start until 6 a.m. At Tampa International Airport, things could not have run smoother. Curbside check-in and straight thru TSA with only 1 pat down (me) and on to our gate and our plane. For the past 25-30 years we have always flown American Airline o Hawaii. This time we decided to change to United...and were quite happy we did. They were quite courteous and helpful but the seats we had were awful. I now have two pressure points on my knee from the seat in front of me...no economy plus seats were available at time of booking...but I was able to get bulkhead and economy plus for our return trip. Anyway, we changed planes in Denver and both legs of the flight were uneventful with sunny skies throughout. When we debarked, we were met by Melvin Kim of ABC Limos with the most beautiful leis of aloha. He had already gotten our luggage and we continued to our beautiful white super limo for our drive to the Hilton Hawaiian Village. (note: we do the limo service not to be pretentious, but becuse I am handicapped with a wheelchair and a cane, and this is much more tolerant of my body than most regular cars), and since we found Melvin Kim several years ago, this will be our "always" method of airport service in the island of Oahu. We arrived at the HHV and were greeted by Ryan-who welcomed us warmly after telling us how much I reminded him of his grandmother. After big Aloha hugs, he proceeded to direct us to check-in where we were surprised by a free upgrade to an ocean front room in the Kalia Tower. This was our first time in this tower...but when we got there, certainly won't be our last. Exhausted, but still ready to go, we did a brief walk around our new locle and decided to go to C Js Deli for dinner. Our waiter couldn/t have been nicer and the food was excellent.. After dinner, we went back to the pengin area tobid them good night and went back to the room around 9:30 p.m. (which on our old time was 3:30 a.m.) Somehow with the fragrant breezes encompassing us, the lush tropical fokliage and flowers of the HHV and that gorgeous beckoning ocean infront of us, we are totally oblivious to time and totally submissive to the island....leaving all worries and troubles behind. We are beginning to once more unlock the secrets of Hwaii and its beautifully hauntingcall to us. In my mind, I am already planning our next trip and when it will be...perhaps for our anniversry in May??? We will be going to Shorebird for breakfast (day 2) and I am so looking forward to this magnficent day ahead. Day 2: well, this day of water slides and pools, turned into a day of shopping. Our breakfast at Shorebird turned out to be disappointing...although we had a reservation, we still had to wait quite awhile for our rail table...and the food itself left alot to be desired....not like it used to be. From the Reef, we took a leisurely stroll down Lewers Street-seeing some of he addons to Beachwalk, on our way to Kuhio to catch the bus to Hilo Hatties, where we stocked up on MacNut Brittles, macnuts of all varieties and Kona coffee.Also what seemed like tons of macadamia nuts.-the chocolate covered ones. Melvin Kim had given us a box with our leis on arrival, but needless to say, they were gone in less than an hour. We had lunch at Zippys-a fairly reliable place...not spectacular but not bad either....like I said, reliable standard food. On out wy back to the HHV, we stopped at the Ala Moana Mall for some more shopping. DGD needed o go o the Miss Kitty store, where she bought a lovely quilted tote bag for her numerous belongings...ahh-hh youth :+) so exhuberant and fun!!!!! We walked back down Ala Moana to the HHV...but had missed the sunset. It was now dark. We did catch some beautiful firewoks ion the way back but not from the HHV, since it was a Tusday night, and theirs are on Fridays. After dropping of our days labor in the room, we were too exhausted to venture out again for dinner- so we wen to a noodle shop on the premises. DGD had dumplings which she said were amazing, while DH and myself had the shrimp fried rice. To oursurpise, the choices on the menu were quite limited...but at his point, our main goal was SLEEP. :+) Day 3: We were supposed to go on a Pearl Harbor Tour today, but DGD was exhausted and wanted to sleep some more, so we didn't go on the tour which was scheduled for 6 a.m....Instead, we spent a beautiful day of leisure at the lagoon and taking in the Hwaiin culture. For me, Hawaii is the ocean, the fragrances in the air, and the music of the islands- when I have that, I have "no worries". When I return home, I will plant my own plumeria tree to be able to walk out to that beauiful fragrance....to be continued... a hui hou

Level Contributor
302 posts
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
1. Re: Trip Report

Wow thoroughly enjoying your trip report.....cant wait for more. Thanks so much for sharing and taking us along with you on your holiday. Cant wait to get there and have no worries too by absorbing whats around me (oh and shopping as being Aussie thats relaxing too).

Level Contributor
29,245 posts
79 reviews
42 helpful votes
2. Re: Trip Report

Yes, great report. Looking forward to reading your posts.

My wife has managed to kill 4 or 5 plumeria trees that we brought back from Hawaii over the years !! LOL

Actually we have just not had much luck getting them to grow back home after we bought them in Hawaii. If anyone knows the secret we would love to try again.

So, continue to enjoy the rest of your trip.


Soddy Daisy...
Level Contributor
1,808 posts
39 reviews
16 helpful votes
3. Re: Trip Report

Trip reports often say more about the reporter than what is being reported. I have no doubt you are a wonderful person to be around.

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
4,028 posts
2 reviews
14 helpful votes
4. Re: Trip Report

amazing beginning !!! More please :)

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
24,179 posts
265 reviews
171 helpful votes
5. Re: Trip Report

placebets: Yes! I finally have the secret after killing my fair share, too. I plant them in pots or amended soil. I use lots and lots and lots of cactus mix soil when I plant in the ground. It is very porous and probably more like the lava soil they grow so well in on the Hawaiian islands. They also grow beautifully in the Carribean, Florida Keys and Mexico where they're called frangipani. When planted in pots, I use 100% cactus mix.

If you have the little "slips" that you purchased in Hawaii, I would cut off the end that you'll put in the soil. Dip that end in a rooting hormone powder (any garden center), and place firmly in the cactus soil you prepared. These can easily fall over, so I use chopsticks and garden tie tape to secure them. They go in a very sunny, hot location in my garden. I live in coastal California so I need to give them plenty of heat. In your location, they might need more shade to start so you may wish to try a location where they won't get burned by afternoon sun.

I have a simple drip system so put a button dripper in the pot and water well twice a week. I find they don't rot if they are allowed to dry out between deep waterings.

In winter, my plumeria lose their leaves. By mid-June they are gorgeous and some are flowering. They flower through November or whenever we get our first cold snap. I've got about 10 plants now that have lived (and grown a lot) for 3 years, including those that I planted directly in the ground. They surround my deck where I also have outdoor speakers. Weekends I play my Hawaii CDs and pretend...

Good luck!

Edited: 11:34 am, August 04, 2012
Level Contributor
7,733 posts
6 reviews
34 helpful votes
6. Re: Trip Report


Your outside gardens sounds almost as nice as this trip report. LOL...... I could almost smell that sweet aroma, most be beautiful.


Thanks for taking the time to write about your trip, can't wait to read the rest.

Edited: 11:54 am, August 04, 2012
Corona del Mar...
Level Contributor
62,171 posts
442 reviews
775 helpful votes
7. Re: Trip Report

Good TR, just remember paragraphs are your friend :)

Level Contributor
10,916 posts
23 reviews
20 helpful votes
8. Re: Trip Report

" we are totally oblivious to time and totally submissive to the island..."

That line took my breath away....that is my experience no matter where I am in Hawaii. I daily live knowing my countdown days until we return to the place that makes me so happy. (54!) I am fortunate my guy loves Hawaii, too!

Your trip report is so awesome and you seem like such fun! Thanks for taking us along on your trip! Deb

Level Contributor
29,245 posts
79 reviews
42 helpful votes
9. Re: Trip Report

ddffpp - thanks for all your tips.

Maybe if I can get my wife to read and remember all your tips she might be willing to give it another try. We are going back in October and are always tempted to give it another try.

Thanks again for the info.


Kapaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
55,724 posts
3 reviews
5 helpful votes
10. Re: Trip Report

Great start oahudog, sounds like a magnificent trip. Paragraphs would make soooooo much better!!