6.07.2011

Aloha Honeymoon

While Mike is at work I have some time to catch up and post honeymoon pictures. All of them are posted on our FB album as well.

After the wedding, we returned Brother Walden's Mustang to his house and went back to my house, changed, organized and grabbed everything we needed before heading out to Garden Grove. My parents and Allyson and Peter made it home as well and we helped unload everything. The back of Peter's truck was full of gifts, it was insane. Then after the long drive to the apartment, we unloaded our stuff and well, you know :) Let's keep this PG and say we played hide and seek. haha. I won't mention what days we played hide and seek on the honeymoon either, it just goes without saying :P

On Sunday, Dad Burr and Amanda (Burr) drove us to the airport, and we were off! When we arrived at the Honolulu airport it was nice and humid. We had a guy from Costco "lei" us and take our bags and drive us to the Aston Waikiki Beach hotel. Good thing too, because we were exhausted from the non-stop wedding day and jet lag. When we got to our room however, I thought I had an "ocean view" room. Apparently that meant you step out onto your balcony, lean over and look out to the left, and there's your view. We bit the bullet and upgraded a little more to get the "ocean front" room we really wanted. This may be our only Hawaii trip for a long time so we wanted it to be the best. When we got to the final room, the AC was sooooo slow! We called the front desk to see if they had fans and they didn't (!) so we waited it out. They asked if they could send a technician and we said no, do it tomorrow. 20 minutes later (we had already gone to bed), knock knock and here's the technician. Geez. So he looks at it and sets it to stay on. Then, 20 minutes later (we've gone to bed and are super sleepy) the phone rings. (Seriously?!) and it's someone asking if the technician came. I gave a very blunt yes and he says "OK.... ... thanks!" "BYE." Check your clocks people! We're exhausted! haha.



The next morning, Memorial Day Monday, the sun rose very early, so we were able to fully enjoy the ocean view, and wow it was awesome. We were excited to do tourist-y activities so we took a tram out to Pearl Harbor. As we got there, some people had extra tickets for the 10 AM boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, so we only had to wait a half hour instead of two hours. We explored displays of the events leading up to the Oahu bombings, watched some videos, and enjoyed the atmosphere. Very cool stuff. The AZ memorial itself is beautiful and humbling. So crazy how so many hundreds are entombed there. Some survivors chose to be buried there with them.

Us on the boat ride



One of the tubes on the USS AZ

Lookout tower on top of the USS AZ

List of those who died, along with a list of those interred here who survived (lower left corner)

USS AZ Memorial



When we got back to the hotel we were exhausted. The heat and humidity just sapped all of our energy. (Well, not all ;) Later on we found an all-you-can-eat buffet with crab legs, YUM. We were so on it. So good. We walked around the main drag by the beach and saw a few street shows, did a little shopping. There was a group of black students who put together some tricks, mostly jokes and flips, which were pretty funny. We brought my mini laptop to a Starbucks for free internet off of Kuhio and got to watch hookers pick up guys/get picked up (I think this just turned PG-13). They stick out because they wear these specific types of heels, and they walk up and down and up and down the street. It was like watching real-life Sims.

Rainbow view from the hotel

The next morning we went to Duke's restaurant down the street, as was recommended by some Australians we talked to on the Pearl Harbor tram, and stuffed ourselves with their breakfast buffet. It was at that point that Michael and I looked at each other and said "We gotta stop this, we're making ourselves sick" haha. No more stuffing face, you just don't feel good. We had planned to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center that day, but they couldn't find our reservation just by our names. After many phone calls, Laura's friend who had reserved our tickets gave us the confirmation number, and viola, they found our tickets (under our names... don't know why it didn't pop up earlier!). However it was past the time of the last bus pickup, so we rescheduled them for Wednesday. We decided to do a temple session and rent a car so we could explore at our leisure. Driving up the eastern coast of Oahu and coming through a tunnel, you see these BEAUTIFUL mountains formed by volcanic activity, covered in greenery. We were able to see what real Hawaii is like outside of the tourist-epicenter of Waikiki. The PCC is right next to the temple in Laie, and everything was beautiful. Families live together in order to afford their housing, most have two jobs (and one is tourism related), and have just what they need and nothing more. An eye-opener compared to the extravagant lifestyles we're used to seeing in California. The inside of the temple was beautiful and we also checked out the visitor's center and talked to the sister missionaries. Then we drove further up North Shore and stopped in at Turtle Bay Resort. The difference between here and Waikiki was night and day - North Shore is much more relaxing. We had a beachside dinner at Ola's, it was romantic and delicious, everything we'd hoped for. It was dark out when we left, so we drove down H2 and H1 highways back to the hotel.

View on the east coast after the tunnel

Kelly @ the Laie Temple

Laie Temple

Turtle Bay Resort

Romantic dinner we won't forget

Wednesday was jam-packed with the PCC all day. Our tour guide was awesome, his name is Germaine Jeffrey (atypical of a New Zealander, he liked to point out) and we called him Cousin Maine. The whole day was fun, entertaining, and all of the staff were friendly (and most likely nearly all LDS). They called everyone cousin, made jokes, treated us like friends. The village presentations were great. After the Tahitian dance lessons, all of a sudden it started pouring rain. We hung out in one of the covered sitting areas for awhile, then saw the rest of the shows. Samoa's was funny, Aotearoa's (New Zealand) was intense - the guys slap their chest raw during their dances. After picking up some souvenirs for Matt and Amy's boys, we headed to the luau. Yum! The kalua pig was great. The presentation was a bit cheesy at times but overall it was nice. The night show - Ha, The Breath of Life - was so good it could've been Disney quality. We were especially impressed by the fire dancers - so intense! Photos weren't allowed, but I'll remember it for a looooong time. On the bus ride home, our bus driver kept everyone awake with jokes and silly antics, like having us pretend to flick our boogers at passing tour buses, haha. Entertaining but exhausting.

Tonga Village
PCC scenery

Thursday we used as our designated relax-day because that's mainly what we wanted to do. We didn't get to see all of the tourism sites or do all of the activities we wanted, but we did want to relax, big time. We said goodbye to Oahu by watching the hookers off of Kuhio, and walking along the beach. On Friday we grabbed some breakfast right before it started pouring rain. Luckily we were safely taken to the airport and flew home. We landed early, but there were some malfunctions with the ramp they connect to the door, so we had to wait. When my parents and Ozzy finally were able to get us, it was nice to be on our way to Simi.

Aloha Hawaii sunset

The next morning we opened gifts (which took two hours) and lazed around. After getting showers, we made stops by the Walden's, Burr's, and other places to drop off gifts. My Mom and Dad took us out to Chili's for their anniversary (Happy Anniversary! Thanks for spending it with us) and then we packed up what we could and headed to Orange County. Home sweet home. I caught a small cold but am mostly over it :crosses fingers: though it's really made me slow down. It's no fun when you can't breathe through your nose at all.

Still sleepy, opening gifts, including a blanket Terri made

Overall we're very happy to be home and getting back into the daily grind (booo work). I've picked up a few photo gigs so I'm very excited about that.

2 comments:

  1. Nice work on your blog. I believe Heather and I stayed at the Aloha Surf in Waikiki. I'm wondering if the Aston in Waikiki is one in the same? It sure looks like it might be. Course, you see one beach hotel you may indeed see them all. Unless it's a 5 star! Hahaha. I remember there were surfboards downstairs and video monitors playing surf videos all over the lobby downstairs. Good Times. Did you get to see Diamond Head? Great view from the top. No surfing? Any scuba? No beach shots? Boo hooo!!!! Whatever happened to being lazy in the sun? You can't spend time sight seeing without seeing the beach-clad beauties and surf heads milling about! Anyhow, you two saw more than Heather and I did....but our next visit will most likely be on Maui or some other island AWAY from tourists. Cheers!

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  2. I'm not sure, it's right next to a Marriott and I think the next one closer is the Pacific Beach Resort. Behind the Aston is one called Renew or something. I think it's a 3 or 4 star. We saw Diamond Head but didn't get to climb it, will have to come back! I heard it's awesome and I'd love to hike. No surfing or scuba or snorkel, but we totally laid out and slept on the sand. The next time we're there it'll probably be on another island too :)

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