Saturday, April 09, 2011


We're back in Japan after our week long, super-chillaxing vacay in Hawaii. Sometimes just stepping away for a few days really does help. That is until your back home and your mother-in-law knits her brows and tells your son it's going to rain his first day of school and since he has a 30-minute bike ride there and back he must dress head to toe in a rain coat, hat, and gloves as well. Why? Because all the radiation will be falling from the sky. I'm thinking ,where the hell are my flip flops and pina colada?!

Back to vacation.

Here are some random photos I pulled off my camera. No order and no story. It's kind of a sampling.

We stayed at the Hale Koa, a lovely military hotel with loads of chatty, friendly people. I had almost forgotten what it was like to say good morning to someone and have them answer back. On the down side people who work the registers in the PX should worry less about the state of their fingernails and more about the customer who's standing there grinning furiously at them. No complaints though. Top notch joint with two great restaurants.

Look! Trees!

Here's a sunset at Waikiki Beach, literally a 1-minute (if that) walk from the hotel. I tried to get out there every night to take pictures. Once -- much to the delight of everyone in the restaurant -- I had to bolt during a meal and run to catch it.

Here's another...

And here's one of my favs: my mom and cousin I-forgot-his-name. We all loved him though. He was funny (his timing superb), a fire spinner (somehow I don't think that's the correct word for it), and an artist. He was also very, very short. My mom is short and he had to stand on his toes to look taller than her. That's why she's laughing. That and his muscles. I've got more photos of her with hot Polynesian men than is decent.

Me and M. Riding in something going somewhere.

This little baby was served at the Barefoot Bar (on the beach, of course) and touted to be Hawaii's best Mai Tai. Everyone was drinking them. They were surprisingly stronger than I thought they would be. Very delicious though. The local beer wasn't bad either.

Hanauma Bay. Saw some amazing fish, took some photos of them (I need to get those developed). I also used up another one of my nine lives (a post in and of itself). But I'm not bitter (stupid undertow). Hanauma is breath taking. And you can see colorful fish as long as your arm.

I was worried because the forecast called for rain every day. But nope. Perfect weather. And speaking of perfect, one thing I learned about Hawaii is that all you havevto do was lift your camera, point and click. Perfect.

Remember I mentioned the Barefoot Bar? A great place to sit, read, write, stare at the waves or listen to the musicians who played short gigs during the afternoon and at night. After the luau (twice a week) all the dancers, singers and performers would come over and party with the guests here. I liked it better when it was quiet, near empty, so I stayed away from the luau parties. Although I did hear them until midnight or so. They sounded like fun.

At the Hilton next door they had fireworks one night. Of course, guests from all the hotels up and down the beach gathered to watch. They were nice, but seriously no one does fireworks like Japan.

Oh, and I thought I saw two famous people while there. One was Bill Gates. I could have sworn I saw him walking up and down Waikiki one evening with a very old woman (his mother?). Of course I'm probably wrong. But when I mentioned it, my mom insisted she saw him too. This ticked my dad off to no end because I didn't notify him earlier. I think he wanted to go shake the man's hand. Yes, I'm very glad I didn't mention it to him earlier.

Also saw this guy who I thought looked just like Donald Sutherland [Thank you! Pat for the catch. I had the show right (M.A.S.H.) but totally the wrong actor.]. No? No? He does, doesn't he?

Probably one of the biggest highlights though were the sea turtles. J and I absolutely loved them. We saw one in Hanauma swimming around and this here is Elizabeth. She was on the North Shore resting. They have volunteers that stay out there all day to make sure people don't harass the poor things. Despite that there was some nutcase local who was swimming around trying to "help" three other turtles onto the shore. The volunteers were trying to shoo him away but he wasn't having any of that. Sometimes people suck.

Both J and I decided we'd love to have jobs/enough money to enable us to sit out there and keep an eye on turtles. Don't tell anyone but he bought a really cool pair of pajamas with sea turtles all over them. I was pretty jealous, but since he saw them first and called dibs, I had to settle for a really adorable turtle stuffed animal instead. Not bitter.

Out of nowhere, this, my friends, is a noni. Loads of health benefits. Smells nasty!

And last but not least, the boy-child. Not sure he'd appreciate me putting his sun tanning pics up, so here he is on the beach the first night there. Jeans and long sleeves, soon shed for bathing trunks and short sleeves.

Did I mention how perfect the weather was?