I will try and keep this as short as possible but it's going to be hard!
Our family of 6 (2 adults 3 teens and a child) arrived in Hawaii 18th March after a long flight from Sydney. Our limo driver Melvin was waiting for us from ABC limos with fresh flower leis for the three girls which was lovely. The boys were most impressed when the limo slid up to the curb and they realised it was for us! I can highly recommend ABC limos as being very professional and spot on. We booked into the Embassy Suites and were so pleased to find out we could get into our room straight away (have posted glowing report for Embassy Suites Hotel). They had our room all set up with equipment for my daughter in a wheelchair which made her stay more comfortable. We all crashed for 3 hours then got up, showered and went to explore.
I had told the kids all about the Cheesecake Factory so of course, that is where we had to head for an early dinner/late lunch. Service and food there is excellent and the servings are huge! $2.95 for soft drinks with free refills! You MUST try the Godiva chocolate cheesecake... it is to die for!
Hubby then took the boys for a wander around and I took the girls to... shop!
Came back to the room and went down to the Manager's Reception where they had free drinks, cocktails, nibblies for 2 hours. Really good strong drinks and they don't skimp on the alcohol! Early night to stack some zzzzzzz's.
19th - Up early and hubby and I went for a walk to get our bearings. Walked right up past RQ Waikiki Beach Hotel (we stayed there last time) turned right and headed down the road to try and find Leonard's bakery as I had heard so much about the famous Malasadas. We walked and walked until unfit hubby could walk no more so turned back malasadaless : (. Came back, collected kids and headed down to breaky which was great (and free) loved the made to order omelettes and am now addicted to jalapeno peppers.
Headed off to get the kids some surfing lessons but the jellyfish signs were up so I took 2 kids and went to the zoo while hubby took the other to find some shoes (he's 13 and a size 15 shoe!).
The zoo was rather nice, not huge but some lovely plants and flowers and a nice way to spend the morning.
Came back for a quick swim and spa, dropped youngest daughter off at hotel and headed out for a lone shop (bliss!) Hubby took the two boys and went shooting at the shooting range which they reckon was the highlight of the trip!).
Went to Senor Frogs for dinner and a great time, the kids loved the whole fun atmosphere and the food wasn't too bad either. I did object to being harassed a little in the toilets because I didn't take my purse with me and couldn't tip the woman. She was very grumpy and told me that tourists needed to learn!
Finished the night off with some window shopping as eldest daughter wanted to check out the Ed Hardy store.
20th Another beautiful warm sunny day! Had our usual yummy breakfast then headed down to the beach to do some surfing. Hired boards for the boys and paid $80.00 for youngest daughter to do a private lesson as she was too tiny to go out in a group. Had a lovely instructed who went on the board with her and in no time she was standing up and riding the waves! Paid $40 for the photo cd rom which had some gorgeous photos on it of her surfing in with Diamond Head in the background and Waikiki Beach in front.
Hurried home to pick up eldest daughter (doing a Uni assignment in the room poor thing) and went on the Outrigger Catamaran ride. She was very reluctant to go as hubby had to lift her in a fireman's hold and carry her on the boat while we left the wheelchair on the beach in safe hands. I am so glad we forced/cajoled her into going as she had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of something fun and feeling the wind in her hair and getting out of her comfort zone. I used the coupons to get $10 off each adult trip so saved $50 in one hit!
Raced back to the hotel, put a load of washing on and headed out to the International Market Place to find fresh flower leis for our wedding vow renewal ceremony! It was 4.05 by this time, we had not found ANY flowers and we were being picked up by the limo at 5.10 and I had not even showered and washed my hair.... PANIC!! Got dressed in a flurry and headed out in the limo for Magic Island where we met our guy from Hawaii Weddings for the ceremony. It was a beautiful setting but rather windy so I looked like Medusa in most of the pics as I don't wear hairspray as recommended! Had a beautiful ceremony apart from a bad attack of the giggles in front of the kids then headed to Dukes for dinner.
We had a 7.30p.m. booking and only had to wait about 15 mins before we were shown our table. Enjoyed the meal but did our usual trick of filling up too much at the salad bar so couldn't eat all our main meals on top of the lava flows as well! All in all a lovely, special day.
Sorry this is so long.
21st March Picked up by a limo to go shopping to Ala Moana as it was easier than catching The Bus with the wheelchair plus with 6 of us it was a pretty good price of $15 and we arrived in style! Have to say there were not that many bargains to be had because of our poor Aussie Dollar but had fun picking up a couple of things here and there. Signed up for the 11 % discount Macy's card which saved me quite a bit the whole trip.
Tried a skinny cappuccino at the Coffee Bean on my quest for a good coffee and was very pleasantly surprised.... tastes just like home!
Headed back to the hotel and took son no.2 out AGAIN to look for his size 15 shoes but unfortunately no luck. One guy suggested amputation of his toes to help!
Left the kids in the hotel room with sandwiches and fruit while hubby and I went to the Yard House for a steak and beer. I tried the Maui blonde which was really nice! Had a craving for vegetables so had the steak with mashed potato and beans which was so tasty. Great vibe at the Yard House, good service and good food. Left there and shared a peanut butter sundae at Baskin Robbins. We are amazed at how peanut butter is such a popular flavour here and nearly every chocolate bar features some sort of peanut butter filling!
Got to cut this one now and do a Part 2.