Aloha! Well we are back and enjoying life in the real world but had a blast in Hawaii. Things went pretty much as I explained our plans in the previous post/entry. We arrived at the Honolulu airport late Wednesday, April 24 and took a National van to pick up our rental. Geoff had helped me find a coupon code to make the car rental reservation online. Well we also got a code from online and when I tried to check in to get the car she thought that it was for a business. I told her that I did not work for them and I must have put the code in wrong by mistake. She said no problem and met the price we had been quoted online and added Jonny as a driver. Then we plugged in the address to our hotel into our GPS and found the area but not the parking until we looped back around. Parking was $20 a day! Crazy! Anyway we noticed that they had a buffet so we ate at the buffet the next morning. Then checked out. We went to Snorkel Bob’s to get our gear and on to Hanauma Bay. We rented a locker to store our shoes and shirts etc. then had a good time snorkeling. Jonny had to be patient with me because it was my first time snorkeling.
I had a hard time keeping the water out of my goggles and the see water stung my eyes. Overall though I had a great time snorkeling because of all the fish we saw. While I went to the bathroom Jonny saw a sea turtle up close because he went out near the strong currents off to the far left side of the bay. Yeah not the safest decision but I am glad I stayed closer to shore once I went out to meet back up with him. We took an underwater camera and hope the pictures turn out well but want to use up the rest of the pics before we develop the roll. Anyway, we left our change of clothes in the car so we hiked up to the car and got them thinking we would go back down to the bath house as it was worded online. I thought it would be an indoor shower but when we asked before going back down the lifeguard said there were no indoor showers so we just changed in the bathrooms by the snack bar. Then we drove to Haliewa (hall-ē-ā-vu) where we ate lunch at Haliewa Joes Seafood Grill, where we got a recommendation to eat from a family Jonny visit teaches. Jonny later bought a t-shirt there when we did shopping in Haliewa.
After lunch we drove to the house I reserved on airbnb.com and got the keys and garage door opener. The homeowner and his wife (they met in Thailand) brought us fresh guac. Then we got washed up and changed to go to buy food for the rest of our stay. Foodland was very close but a bit expensive. Hopefully we saved though because it would have been even more expensive to eat out every meal. The house was on the edge of their property so it was not a secluded as it looked in pictures but they did not bother us. I chose it because of the privacy that I feel many busy hotels don’t offer and the kitchen so we can cook and prepare our own meals. Well before we headed down to buy the food I called to ask if we could barrow a casserole dish and he joked around about the size because the house only had a little toaster oven. Oh! Oops so I said never mind we would figure out something else. Well we made it work and I still got my chicken and broccoli casserole made mostly on the stove.
Jonny and I had a great experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). We did the all day package. So at noon when they opened we were there to get the most out of our day. The Cultural Center is an educational center where you visit the different countries of Polynesian culture: Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, Tonga, New Zealand, etc. We had a great time visiting the different areas and watching the presentations. They even had a boat parade where each area was represented on their own long canoe with platform for the dancers to preform while being pushed along the river. The rower of the Fiji canoe even fell in the river and the dancer mostly responsible had to pull him back on board. Our baby was rocking out to the drums during the Tahiti dance too. J
After visiting all the various areas we headed to the Luau where we stuffed ourselves with purple sweet potato rolls, sweet potatoes, salad with papaya seed dressing, salmon, pork, and beef. They also had pineapple bars, some kind of cobbler, and chocolate cake. We even shared a smoothie mango and strawberry that they served in a pineapple. While we ate we enjoyed the entertainment. Then they brought out the Kahlua pig but I was too full to eat any. Jonny did try it and said it was good pork but nothing special.
We then walked to the amphitheater where they performed the evening show called Ha, Breath of Life. It was a great performance but we were both pretty tired by the end and I was grateful for the intermission to stretch and take a potty break. That was a touching story though and I liked the message of the importance of families and the gift that life is.
Saturday was the day we set aside the morning to attend the Laie Hawaii Temple. I enjoyed learning from the sister missionary in the Temple Visitor’s Center that this temple is the 2nd oldest temple today. Joseph F. Smith dedicated the Laie Temple in 1915. We also talked to a cute family there from Sandy, UT. They were there with their three oldest children because their daughter is battling cancer and came for her wish made possible by the Make a Wish Foundation. Her wish was to eat at a luau. We did not get their names but they have been my thoughts and I need to include them in our prayers.
We then went back to the house for lunch and then on to the beach. Our first stop was at sharks cove. The water level was really low so I decided to work on my tan and Jonny snorkeled. He saw the second turtle on this trip t the edge or sharks cove and no sharks. Then we went on to the next beach. There wasn’t any sign to tell us which beach we were at. So we looked for the calmest area and I got on the boogie board and got past where the waves were breaking. It was very cool and calm but then I wanted to come in and did not time it very well and did get pushed in harder than I was comfortable with being pregnant and all. Later we found out that that was the pipeline where the best surfing competitions take place. Anyway, there were no showers there to clean off with so we had to wait until we got back to the house and used the outdoor shower to clean up but sand was all over us so it took a while to clean off all the sand and what was the worst was it was all over my scalp even after showering.
Sunday we made it to church early and enjoyed meeting some of the ward members. There was a couple that spoke with the husband’s mother. The wife had to pull a twelve-hour shift and then come the next morning to speak in church. She gave a good talk though and I wish I had some of the quotes and poems she read. There was a man in the row in front of us who was the Hawaiian presenter and our luau host at the PCC. Also Jonny told the men in priesthood, when he was introduced as a visitor, that his mom served in the ward as a missionary 40 years earlier and asked if specific people she remembered were in the ward. They were not in the ward or no one recognized the names but the currant ward mission leader was the mission leader 40 years ago and remembered her. He sent his joy in hearing about how she was doing and sent his enthusiastic, “Aloha”!
Monday morning we got to Waimea Valley Waterfalls (not Bay as I had mistyped in the previous post) before it opened and were the first to the waterfall. Jonny spent more time in the water and I got out and took pictures. For our final day in Haliewa we spent time at the Waimea Bay beach and then went into town for lunch and shaved ice. Jonny ate at a shrimp van and I got some chicken tenders and fries at an Italian fast food place. All were well received, especially the shaved ice. They serve the shaved ice with vanilla icecream or a bean icecream and have so many choices and combinations of flavors of syrups. I chose the Haliewa mix that had melon, mango, and watermelon and Jonny got a different triple combo. We then took our shaved ices over to the shop next door and we began our shopping. After shopping we returned to the beach did some snorkeling, Jonny boogie boarded and we had a great last swim in the ocean. Then we headed home and watched part of a movie on my nook and ate up our leftovers and popcorn. We even tried a third time to see the sun set over the ocean but the clouds kept us from that experience this trip.
The next day was Jonny’s 30th birthday so when I woke up at 4 am thinking about what I needed to do to pack everything up before checkout I decided to finally get up at 5:30 am and shower. Then I made Jonny an egg sandwich for his birthday breakfast in bed. I woke him up singing happy birthday and served him his breakfast. He ate it but not like a sandwich. J Then I cleaned up the kitchen and started on the packing. Due to the early start we were ready to check out half an hour early. It took us a while to get ahold of someone so we could check out early but we did and headed to Pearl Harbor. We decided to start with the outside sights and take pictures and then we lined up for our tour of the USS Arizona that I registered online for ahead of time. It was a very sober and patriotic memorial where we learned quite a bit. Jonny rented the audio tour and I preferred to take in the different areas by just reading plaques posted nearby.
The memorial is built over the top of the sunken ship and it is the ship that has the most victims in US history. At the USS Arizona we saw a fish swimming over the remains and they had two divers checking on the GPS of the ship to see if the ship was shifting at all. We were informed that the survivors have the option of their ashes being buried in the ship, returning them to their crew who fell in the attack at Pearl Harbor. The presenter at the memorial said he had told this to a group and a lady came and talked to him after and she told him that she was a niece of a survivor and that her uncle’s brother died on the ship. Her uncle’s ashes will most likely be one of the next added to the ship. It was a very warm day and I had a hard time staying on my feet. Jonny would go through the indoor exhibits for a longer period of time than it took me and so I would go and sit down or got a snack from the car since we could not bring in bags. I am glad that it worked out to go to Pearl Harbor on Jonny’s birthday because he just enjoys soaking in the history of it all. He said that there were survivors who shared their experiences on the audio tour that were touching and brought tears to his eyes.
After we finished up at Pearl Harbor we went and found a Teddy’s Bigger Burgers that we had a coupon for in the rental car magazine and I saw good reviews for online. It was delicious! They are ranked #1 burgers in Hawaii, you have to wait a while for your food but it is all made with fresh ingredients. I had a crispy chicken sandwich and they put their special sauce on it, honey mustard sauce. Mmmm! The fries are skinny (just the right thickness) stake fries. Jonny had a medium sized (7 oz.) burger with pineapple ring and a delicious sauce. It was very good and messy!
Then we went and vacuumed out the rental car and the only time the weather was less than perfect was at that moment of course. It started raining right after we put our money in. Oh well! J We then went to Snorkel Bob’s and returned the snorkel gear. Then before heading home we stopped for some shopping at the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Jonny was a good sport and we even walked to the beach to see if we could see any beach vendors selling t-shirts because when we went that morning back to the Waimea Beach it was too early and he was not out with his shirts yet. I ended up getting a t-shirt from a shop at the mall.
We were both sick with worry all the way to the car rental return because Jonny forgot to take the keys out of his pocket the last time we went swimming. The rental magazine said it would cost like $250. On the way we decided to be honest and hope for the best. Well our honesty shocked the guy we returned the car to and he did not charge us but he said we did not tell him. So unfortunately it was a kind gesture by him but he would have to lie that we did not tell him. This did not really feel wrong because of the intent of his heart in my opinion until we relayed the story to Steve when we got back. It is one of those things that I am glad the Lord has to judge. Anyway, while we waited at the airport I was missing AJ and watching the little girl across from us with her mom and wishing I could be holding him. I mentioned this to her and chatted with her a little. She was waiting to fly standby and so she had to wait with all the late boarders rather than get on early with the families. Her daughter was squirmy and the young mom was getting a bit agitated so I think it helped her to feel more comfortable around us. Then another lady played peek-a-boo with the girl too. Jonny and I got our seats changed so we could sit together this flight. We both got to sleep about three hours, which was perfect for Jonny because he would have to wait to sleep until he got home from work. Before we fell asleep we watched an in flight movie, Parental Guidance, about grandparents who watch their grandkids for a week and build lasting relationships with them. It is also a comedy that we felt Billy Crystal played well as well as his costar Bet Midler.
Anyway, we arrived on time and safely and were glad we checked our roller bags at the gate. Picking them up with our checked bag which were there waiting for us at the caracole when we got there. Prayers were answered because we had to get home with enough time for Jonny to shower and get ready for work before going to our ultrasound. The tech was not sure at first and then got the money shot and said she was sure it’s a BOY! Yep we are having another boy. AJ will be a great big brother to his little brother!
Because we have so many pictures I am putting them on Photobucket and you can see them by clicking on these links: http://s1312.photobucket.com/user/Jamie_Bratt_Lamb/library/Aloha%202013 and http://s1312.photobucket.com/user/Jamie_Bratt_Lamb/library/It%20is%20a%20BOY%20again.