Category Archives: Hawaii

Hawaii Day 2

After brunch in the hotel dining room, I walked out onto the terrace to admire the view of my greatest challenger: Diamond Head Crater. My friend Grace and I had asked Laurie to take us hiking in the crater the day before, and today was the day. When Grace and I got to the lobby of the hotel, our supposed meeting place, Laurie said she’d forgotten she was going to take us hiking. As a result, she’s have to drive us herself in her car. No problem, right?

On the way there, we stopped at a convenience store to buy bottled water. Laurie noticed me bending over curiously at a sushi-like dish on the counter. It looked like seaweed wrapped around rice blocks and ham slices. I asked her what they were, and she said, “Oh! Spam musubi! It’s a delicacy here in Hawaii. Sometimes we put eggs in it and sometimes teriyaki sausage!”

Okay, for starters, I know Spam. I know Spam isn’t a delicacy. I can buy it for $2 at the grocery store, and $1 if I throw a can on the ground to dent it. So I feigned not knowing what Spam was to cover my disgusted face. This apparently invoked some necessity for Laurie to buy one for me to try. Not so bad, til I reached the seaweed. At which point I turned to musubi over to Grace.

We reached the crater, and began our ascent,

discussing Hawaiian culture, and differences between Massachusetts and Hawaii. Our initially easy climb became a nightmare of inclined stairs. Which led to a small cave, and continued to the top of the crater’s overlook. The island was, in one word, stunning.

After a myriad of photos, we walked back the way we came, taught Laurie about the Salem Witch Trials, ad that led to our discussion on paranormal activity. Now, when it comes to ghosts, I’m a nonbeliever. Laurie is too, but she explained how her husband and son can sense and see the presence of ghosts. Maybe that was when she was deemed “Crazy Laurie.”

Or maybe it was when we pulled into the driveway of our hotel, and Laurie went into hysterics, saying we couldn’t tell our chaperones that she’d driven us, or she’d lose her job. Thereby, confirming she is, indeed, insane. We said our goodbyes quickly and got out of the car without hesitation.

Grace and I suited up for the beach, got ice cream at Cold Stone, and sunbathed a bit. That was before we hit the water (blue, warm, plenty of waves) followed by some shops on the boardwalk.

Relaxing by the pool. It’s all fun and games til someone comes away looking like a lobster. Unfortunately, that person was me–my face, arms, legs, stomach, and chest were a brilliant red. Multiple aloe tubes later, we dressed for the group dinner–my skin stuck out against the blue dress I borrowed from a friend. So we went to the lobby, waddling in pain, and the group walked to Tiki Bar & Grill. It was fun, a great last night in Hawaii, with a spectacular sunset.

Back at the hotel, we made homemade ice packs with ice from the ice machine and plastic bags we scavenged from our shopping materials. Every part of my skin was on fire as I packed for home.


Australia Day 5/Hawaii Day 1

Today we packed our bags and headed to Paddy’s once our bags were in storage. Using only our memories for navigation, we got to the flea market for the final time, and we haggled for bags and other souvenirs. Then we walked to 7/11 and bought more Tim Tams to take home. After lunch, I hiked to a grocery store, Coles, with a friend to help her pick out her Tim Tams. the security guard told me I wasn’t allowed to take pictures within the store…so naturally I did because I was told not to.

Then we hiked back to the hotel, and said our goodbyes to Matt, while we waited for the bus to the airport. Four hours later, we were on a nine hour flight. A flight I got no sleep on, had no music for, and didn’t feel like reading on. Otherwise known as a red eye. We crossed the International Date Line, so we left on July 9th Australian Time, and arrived at 7:30am on July 9th, Hawaiian Time. So to answer any remaining questions, yes, we did in fact travel.

We met our new tour guide Laurie, and bus driver Richard. Tired, hungry, dirty, and disheveled, we were told we wouldn’t have time to change or clean up before visiting the USS Arizona Memorial. It was beautiful and very cool to learn about Pearl Harbor, or at least what I hadn’t already learned from the movie. 😀

After a short film about December 7th, 1941, we took a boat out to the memorial which is built over the Arizona, never recovered. There are seven windows on two of the sides and the roof, symbolizing the 21 gun salute.

While there, a Pearl Harbor survivor hobbled in on his cane, and everyone applauded him. Apparently he comes back to visit the memorial every year the week of July 4th.

Then we took the boat back to the mainland and loaded the bus to Punchbowl Cemetery, with a pit stop at a hot dog stand to appease our stomachs. Punchbowl was a drive through, and then we drove to Diamond Head Crater (another drive through.) Finally, after seven hours, we could rest at the hotel. We got our rooming assignments, and headed straight for the beach. Intermittent sun showers didn’t spoil the beauty of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. Our skin hadn’t seen sun in a week after the New Zealand and Australian winters.

We went back to Queen Kapiolani Hotel, dressed up for the first time in weeks, and walked to get smoothies with the girls. We enjoyed the beautiful boardwalk, street performers, and warm weather most of all.