A Shoe Rescue and a Dry Fish Sandwich

I think the jet lag is just now catching up with me.  Five days after getting home – is that even possible?  I’m finding it hard to keep my eyes open in the morning but can’t hardly go to bed at a decent hour at night!

Anyway, the first full day in Hawaii.  Ah….Hawaii.  Since my body was still operating on Texas time I happened to wake up several times throughout the night and finally couldn’t stay in bed any longer.  I got up around 7am and found that my mom and dad had been awake already for a few hours and had even been down to Starbucks.  Did I mention that there was a Starbucks downstairs?  Perfect.

It was so cool and breezy that morning and every morning thereafter – quite a welcome change from the boiling hell of Texas summer.  I sat on the lanai for a while just taking in the scenery.  Same thing every morning:  the beach equipment stand guys would dig the holes for the umbrellas and set up the chairs.  The bird guy would dig the hole for his umbrella and set up his stand.  About an hour after that he would go home and get his birds…7 of them to be exact….2 cockatoos, 2 eclectus, 2 macaws and 1 amazon.  The once-surfer-now-beach-bum would wake up from his “bed” on the beach and wait for the restrooms to open so he could clean himself up for the day and twice that week there was a hula class going on next door to the tune of ukulele music.  What an awesome place!

My morning view

After coffee and a little breakfast, we woke the kids so we could take a walk out on the beach.  Directly outside the building there is what they call a “jetty” in which you can walk out on.  I was able to get some great pictures from out there.  My daughter bends over and dropped one of her sandals into the ocean.  It started to sink as the waves were pushing it a bit further out to where I couldn’t reach. I don’t know why but I instinctively stepped off of the jetty onto the rock attempting to save the sandal as if it were my daughter herself!  My foot slipped and my whole leg went down in between two rocks and at this point I was waist deep.  I ended up saving the sandal (yay) but when I got back up I had forgotten I was wearing some thin beige Capri pants which now, soaking wet, were completely transparent.  Good thing I was carrying a big purse.  I had to go upstairs and change.

View of Diamondhead from the jetty

View of Waikiki beach from jetty

After the shoe incident and clothing change, we took a walk along the shopping area of Waikiki.  Of course, the first shop we walk into, my husband is ready to start buying stuff.  I had to remind him to slow down, since we were going to be there the week and might see other things we’d like to get.  He did end up getting a couple of shirts and I spent $7 on the best darn pair of sandals ever created.  I bought a pair years ago while in Florida but my dog had chewed them up since and I just had to have another.  I haven’t seen them for sale anywhere else.  They are pure heaven, like clouds on your feet.

I just love this picture

Our picture at the Duke Kahanamoku statue

Underneath the famous banyan tree at Waikiki

The name of this store made me giggle. Reminds me of home.

The front drive of the Sheraton Moana Surfrider hotel. Pure beauty and it also has an open air lobby.  So much history here.

We walked down all the way to the Hyatt Waikiki building and back, taking a few pictures along the way.  By the time we returned to the condo, it was lunch hour.  We took advantage of the Subway inside the condo building and found out that it’s not “$5 foot long” in Hawaii – it’s more like “$9 foot long” as 3 foot longs and 1 6” with chips and drinks came to over $40.

The rest of the daylight hours were nothing but beach-filled.  We spent the entire day on the beach and in the ocean.  My niece arrived in the evening and was able to take some of that in as well with us. We ended the day with an interesting experience at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.

Having eaten at the ones in Orlando and Las Vegas, my husband and I thought we would enjoy the one in Waikiki.  It is located inside the Holiday Inn Beachcomber hotel and was quite empty when we arrived.  When I took a look at the prices inside I almost had a coronary.  $25 average per meal…and I’m talking nothing fancy here – the same food you would get at any Chili’s or TGI Fridays.  We got a chuckle while placing our drink orders.  The waitress was nice but obviously not a very good listener.  My son ordered Dr. Pepper.  She said “Root Beer?”  He said “No, Dr. Pepper please”. She said “Ok, I’ll be right out with your root beer.”  My husband said “Dr. Pepper” and she laughed and apologized.  When she brought the drinks she said out loud each drink as she passed them out.  She got to my son and said…..yup, you got it “Root Beer”.  At this point we were like, forget it it’s not even worth it she obviously wasn’t paying attention and told my son to just drink the root beer.

Inside Margaritaville

Everyone except my mother and me settled on the $17 cheeseburgers (“In Paradise” lol get it).  Since we don’t eat meat but eat fish, we ordered the fish sandwich.  Mom asked the waitress what kind of fish it was and although I can’t remember the name, she said it was locally caught and was similar to tuna or swordfish.  Sounded good but what we actually got wasn’t as advertised.  The fish was dryer than a popcorn fart on a bun but holy crap my mom and I ate it anyway since they cost $16 a piece!  We weren’t in the mood to complain about it and just laughed the entire time while trying to choke them down with our beers.  And – I don’t know about you but if I’m going to Jimmy Buffet’s restuaurant, I expect to hear Jimmy Buffet music playing or some steel drums…something tropical at least.  Nope, not so much.  We felt we were back in Texas since all they were playing was country music.

Waikiki is a happening place at night.  It reminds me of New York City and Las Vegas in a way.  We left the restaurant around 930pm and the streets were crowded.  There were still lines to get into other restaurants and I could hear music off to the distance.  As we arrived back to the condo I spent some time sitting on the lanai watching the hustle and bustle of people walking through on the beach.  I don’t think people sleep in Hawaii.  Maybe they don’t want to lose out on a minute of their time there – I don’t blame them.

Aloha Oy…

A Safe Arrival and Warm Island Welcome

My Aunt picked us up at the airport and we were “leid” – greeted with authentic Hawaiian flower leis. It was SO nice to walk outside and not be instantly drenched in sweat. The weather was a soothing and cool 84 degrees. It literally felt like we had landed in heaven. We took the scenic route to my aunt’s house, as we were going to wait there until my parents arrived from their flight later that evening. Here are some sights we passed along the way:

The Fam in the Back Seat

Upon arrival to her house, we were welcomed with family hugs and lots of good food! My favorite surprise of all was that my cousins had picked us up a box of malasadas from the famous Lenard’s bakery down the street from their house. If you aren’t familiar with Lenard’s go HERE to see what all the fuss is about!

This is how they describe their malasadas on the website: “A malasada is sort of like a doughnut without the hole. We fry generously-sized balls of dough until the crust is golden brown with a light and fluffy inside. Because our dough is made with the finest ingredients, you get a malasada with a sweet toasted flavor, both crunchy and chewy. Ono, as we say here in Hawai’i!”

This is how I describe their malasadas: “A total party in my mouth!” Served hot and rolled in sugar, they are SOOOOO sinful and yummy.  You can also get them with custard filling tho I prefer the plain ones.  We had them again for breakfast later in the week. I would make the long journey to HI again just to enjoy more of these!

Along with those little pillows of doughy goodness, we had a plethora of salads, my favorite sticky rice and teriyaki beef/chicken for the carnivores. The evening continued and the kids got to meet new cousins as well as swim with them in the pool. My husband and I got to catch up with our Hawaiian family members who I haven’t seen in many moons!

My parents arrived later on in the evening, around 730 or so Pacific Time which was 1230am in Texas! By this time we had been awake for about 22 hours. Looking at my husband and kids, I could see through my blurry tired eyes that we were all fading fast. Mom and Dad caught some food and visited for a bit but then thought it best for us all to make our way to the condo for the night.

Once inside the condo all we could say was WOW. I knew this sucker was on the beach but this was literally ON the beach — 1st floor right above the Subway sandwich shop and snack shack. It had a lanai that wrapped itself around the condo with a panoramic view of the ocean and the neighboring park. When we arrived it was night but there is nothing like hearing the sound of waves crashing against the shore to put you right to sleep.

Inside the condo, living room with lanai outside over beach

Snack shack below

My Favorite Chair

Dark Picture but this is the beach/park view to right

View to the left

The owner of the condo had fully prepared for our arrival by preplacing goodies in the fridge for us. My son quickly found the ice cream and downed a few prior to going to bed. We all crashed pretty darn early for Hawaii time, even though it was really almost 2am by this time back at home!

Disney iPhoneography

I am a fan of the Disney Tourist Blog and came accross a wonderfully informative post about taking pictures at Disney with your iPhone.  I’ve always shyed away from using my iPhone for taking pictures because they never really turn out right.  However, after reading the post and downloading some of the suggested apps, I think I’m ready to give it a go!

Read the post here:  Disney iPhoneography

I downloaded the suggested Camer+ app and was able to do this:

Do you have any tips for taking pictures while on vacation with your iPhone?

Our Disney World Trip 2011 in photos

Here is a photo trip around the World from last July 2011!  There are a ton more photos but I posted most of my favorites here.

Can you guess where this is??

Lunch at Chef’s De France — and a visit with Remy!

Future of the Fantasyland Expansion Project

I was quite excited to see Captain Eo again after almost 13 years!

Mickey Hiding in my lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern!