Hello again

It’s been a while.  I apologize.  I have been playing catch up at work and spending time with my family.  My boyfriend uploaded the pictures so I will be posting the link so you can see them soon.  Today is his birthday.  I am so grateful to have such a wonderful person in my life.  He taught me to believe in myself again.  He reminded me that I had to put myself first. To forgive myself for my past mistakes and look forward to a better future.  He showed me how to love again.  He makes me happy.  He appreciates me, values my friendship and respects my opinions.  He motivates me and inspires me to do better.  We are a great team.  Today is his birthday.  I wish I could express everything I feel for him in words.  Instead, I chose to express my love with actions since they tend to speak louder than words.  I sent him an edible arrangement with chocolate covered fruit.  It was a beautiful surprise.  He was totally caught off guard.  He  told me that I was a Godsend.  I feel the same way about him. We are both so fortunate to have each other.  Truly, madly deeply in love.  Blessed and highly favored too.

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Returning Home

Woke up in a bad mood.  I barely slept.  Tossed and turned a lot fearing I’d miss the two alarms and wake up call.  Decided to go have breakfast at the buffet with the Disney characters.  I think I enjoyed it more than the kids.  Most of them don’t know the Disney characters.  Some are afraid of them.  Goofy made my morning.  You will be able to see form my kool-aid smile when I finally post my pictures.

 

Left the resort and headed to the airport.  It was very hot at the airport.  I walked around the shops while I waited for boarding time.  I have to thank God for ABC stores.  It’s like the equivalent of a grocery store or bodega.  They had everything.  I even got a free gift for spending a certain dollar amount.

 

I had safe flights and I had to part from my boyfirend.  I know I’m sad.  I know I’m gonna miss him.  already feeling withdrawal symptoms.  That and jet-lag.  I need some sleep.  Til next time.

 

 

Last two days so we decided what better than to unwind by the pool.  We did just that.  Had a few drinks, bar food and tried new things.  Namely, the rainbow reef onsite at the Disney Aulani Resort.  Being that it is a small private reef, they protect the coral and use salt water.  Hence the nearly freezing cold water temperature.  It was 54 degrees to be exact.  I am afraid of the water and the shock of the cold temperature made me wheeze.  I couldn’t get over the rubber under my nose on the snorkel equipment either.  I was literally freaking and freeing out.  I just let my boyfriend enjoy the experience.  I was envious as he snapped pictures but it wasn’t for me.  Maybe in warmenr water temperature.  Maybe after training myself in the tub.  LOL.  Oh well!  Better luck next time.

 

i promise to post pictures soon.

Remembering & Honoring

Today we got up really early and said a prayer. You see, since we stayed in Ko’ Olina, the tour groups wouldn’t pick us up. We had purchased Go Oahu cards prior to arriving to Hawaii.  We  drove out to Pearl Harbor. Since we didn’t have a reservation with the tour group, there was a chance we wouldn’t get tickets. It would be a damn shame to come all the way to Hawaii and miss the most popular attraction. I raced in and luckily, there were still tickets available. We had to put our bags away since they didn’t allow any bags but no complaints from us. We made it in. We started at the USS Bowfin Memorial. We had headphones for the audio tour. My boyfriend was a shutterbug. He took pictures of practically everything. He knew there were people back home living vicariously through us. Next we went over to the USS Arizona. We started with a film which was quite moving. It made me cry. I had learned about Pearl Harbor in school of course but being there in person and knowing that I was standing on top of tombs was a humbling experience.  There were a few survivors helping out with tours.  A handful of war veterans too.  Many of them were on family trips and telling stories of their time in the armed services.  I am grateful for each and every one of them.  I am proud of the many family members who selflessly served our country too.

We followed this somber experience by a trip to the North Shore where we visited Cholo’s restaurant.  The food was sooo good and the margarita’s were nice and strong.  The restaurant was decorated in Mexican art with various media types available for purchase.  Had a great time with my babe.  We got to see a lot of surfers.  Marveled at the beauty of the waves from afar.  Call me coward, I think it was smart to stay out of the water. Nest we headed to Matsumoto for shaved ice.  All I can say is Yuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.  Highly recommend it if you are ever in Hawaii.

 

Stay tuned for pictures.

Dole it out

Today we visited the Dole Plantation.  We took on the Pineapple Maze.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it  is considered the World’s Largest Maze.  Here are a few facts: built in 1997, expanded in 2007, it’s 3.15 acres, 2.46 miles of pathways and made of 14,000 local Hawaiian plants.  We were given a time card when we arrived and were tasked with locating 8 secret stations.  At each station there was a stencil which we had to trace onto our punch card.  We had to clock out when we finished.  They want to see if we could beat the record.  We made our way under the scorching sun.  I had a hard time because I was getting scared of getting lost.  I felt like I was going around in circles.  I have to give it to my boyfriend.  he got us to each of the 8 stations.  We have proof via pictures and the stencils:  Warrior, Sun, Fish, Pineapple, Hula Girl, Train, Palm Tree, and Sea Urchin.  After completing the maze, we took the locomotive train around the plantation.  We saw various types of pineapples, sugar cane and coffee.  Next we headed to the garden where we saw Bromeliads, Birds of Paradise, Gardenia, and Plumeria.  They had a nice pond with lily pads and a small waterfall.  It was a great morning.

Next we headed to see more of the North Shore.  We went to Cholo’s Mexican Restaurant and Margarita Bar.  We had chicken nachos and a few margaritas.  I had the fish tacos and my boyfriend had a beef burrito.  Everything was tasty.  They restaurant walls featured a lot of Mexican art.  One wall was full of Frida art and bags.  There were various crosses and corazones espinados(thorned hearts).  Some of the art was for sale.

We had to stop at Morimoto’s Shave Ice in Haleiwa for dessert.  We had to experience the best shave ice in Hawaii for ourselves.  There was a line outside of mostly surfers.   They had 40 flavors to choose from.  I selected a Lychee, Creamsicle and Sour Plum combination.  It was soooo good.  They give you the option of adding condensed milk and Azuki beans on top.  You could also have it with ice cream.  It was worth the wait.

On our way back we stopped by a Leonard’s Bakery truck.  The bakery is featured in both of my tour books Frommer’s And Fodor’s.  They sell Malasadas which are doughnut holes.  Some are flavored – cinnamon, Passion fruit, while some are filled with cream – Vanilla, Chocolate or Passion fruit.  They are served warm.  They smell and taste absolutely delicious.

Who says you can’t go to the pool after 5 PM? I’m on vacation and I decided to go whenever I please.  So I did.  I got about an hour of sun and it was worth it.  It contributed to my slow bronzing process.

Having left-overs for dinner.  Have to go to bed early.  Have to be up super early to get to Pearl Harbor when it opens.

Stay tuned for the rest of my vacation adventures.

Cultural Expedition

Today we had the chance to got he Polynesian Cultural Center.  After picking up our tickets, we met with our tour guide for the day. We got lei’d by a Tahitian beauty : ).  We received a gift of black Kukui  nuts.  She explained that lei’s are given as a sign of love.  They should never be thrown away.  That is a sign of disrespect and believed to be bad luck.  If you dispose of them, they should be burned.  It was an action packed day full of presentations on the islands that make up the Polynesian Triangle:  Samoa, Aotearoa (new Zealand), Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, and the islands of Hawaii.  Each presentation was different.  At the “Island of Samoa” we learned about familial duties – men do all the cooking.  Now that’s what I’m talking about!  We learned how to start a fire, how to climb a coconut tree, and how to cut open a coconut.  The presenter was really funny.  Outside of “Samoa” they had an arts & crafts station where there were women weaving.  Next we strode over to Aotearoa better know as New Zealand.   They spoke about honoring the past.  They demonstrated the game of storytelling and also tititorea which is singing and dancing while twirling sticks. This can also used as warrior training.  They also showed us the way they welcome guests which they do by touching head to head and nose to nose.  It’s a sign of respect and affection.  Our third stop was the “Island of Fiji”.  We learned of their history through song and dance. As we entered we were given a bamboo stick.  It was an interactive show.  We were shown three different beats and we were given a chance to perform with them while they sang.  It was fun.  Outside they had airbrush tattoos and bamboo drumming.   The next presentation was at the “Island of Hawaii”.  There they spoke of the warriors and demonstrated spear throwing.  They danced hula and spoke about their diet.  Particularly bread making.  We were able to taste Taro as well.  We were shown a few hula steps and were given the chance to strut our stuff.  In the “Island of Tahiti”, they showed us a wedding ceremony.  The couple is asked if they will ever leave each other to which they should answer no.  This is of course different from an American wedding where we affirm and say I do to the question do you take this person as your lawfully wedded spouse til death do you part.  We headed over to the “Island of Tonga”.  There we heard the sounds of various drum beats and saw of hula dancing.  They spoke about canoe sand weaving.  After visiting each of the “Islands”, we viewed a canoe pageant followed by a canoe ride.  Our guide then led us over to the theater where we viewed a 3D film about the Hawaiian Journey.  We had dinner after our long day and headed over to see the Ha Breath of Life show.  It was spectacular.  the performers were from each of the islands.  They each sang and dance  in their native tongue.  The show was about the importance of family and respect for generations of the past.  I highly recommend this experience to everyone who visits Hawaii.