Friday, February 04, 2011

Aloha again!

This should take us to my last post for this vacation. We leave tomorrow. (Friday Hawaii time) Boo! It's going to be hard to leave this beautiful weather & go back to snow, rain & freezing temps. Anyway , last Tues is where I need to pick up. That day ended up being Mark's 1st work day so Siena & I went down to the beach. We 1st walked down the beach a little to take a few pictures of Diamond Head. All along the way Siena played in the surf. There were never any shells on the beach but she picked up a few small rocks that she wanted to keep. I let her keep 2 since I don't think you were supposed to take the lava rocks out of the state. Also along the way I found 3 pieces of what I think are sea glass. I've never found any before but isn't it broken glass that's been smoothed around the edges by the sand & water? It's really pretty but I think it's really sad that it's there in the 1st place since it usually starts out as broken bottles on the beach. Once back to the hotel we walked over to the Lagoon that was just on the other side of the hotel tower that we were staying in. By that time it was time for a little snack so we split a Hawaiian shave ice. And boy did it taste so good on the beach. I took a picture of Siena playing in the sand that I've voted to be one of my new favorite pictures of all time. I had to go ahead & post it here. But don't worry I will be posting many more once I get home & I'm able to use our photo editing program to get them all cropped & adjusted just right.

For the 1st time Siena wasn't afraid of the water like she had been in the past. She loved playing in it but unfortunately we never went too far out since it was so cold. The Lagoon area would have been great to snorkel in but just too cold for my whole body. After the beach we got cleaned up & went to the I-Hop across the street for a late lunch. Just to give you an idea of the prices here, our lunch was 24.00 not including the tip. With that I got a soup & salad and a soda & Siena got the kid's mac & cheese w/ broccoli & a chocolate milk. was that day that I took some pictures of Siena in front of the Hotel sign & water fall in her new big girl dress that we got in Maui. After our lunch at the I-Hop it was time for Mark to be getting back from work so we headed on back.

That evening here at the Hotel we caught a TV show being filmed. It was the new Hawaii Five-O. They apparently had been filming most of the day. They also used some of the hotel guests as extras but like Mark said, "They picked all he pretty people staying here for the extras." Since we don't watch the show we weren't sure which people to try to find that were the stars. Later that night I went back out window shopping when Mark & Siena went to bed & they were still shooting. I talked with a couple that pointed out some of the main actors. I was able to get a few shots of them but nothing really good.

On Wednesday, Siena & I went to the Mall via the city bus. I guess we could have walked it but I wasn't sure if she would have done the whole walk & I certainly didn't want to carry her. It wasn't a bad ride anyway. There wasn't a playground in the Mall like she had hoped for but there was a small arcade with some kiddie rides so she got to ride a few things for fun. My whole shopping intention was to shop for Siena a new pair of sandals. I found a shoe store for ladies & kids that had the sweetest little girl shoes with affordable prices. I didn't get any brown ones that I wanted to find but I did buy some cute black ones. They had a little heel to them like a big girl shoe. Siena calls these type of shoes "click clock shoes" because of the sound they make when she walks. By the end of our shopping it was time for Mark to be leaving work so I had him pick us up on his way back to the hotel. It would have been our plan to try to celebrate Chinese New Year while hear but we kept missing each island's celebration because of our travel back & forth so we just decided to take in Oahu's China Town for dinner. We got down there pretty late in the day so most of the shops were closing. I wanted Siena to see the stores goods but we only made it to a bakery & got a little Chinese New Year banner & few sweet treats. One of them was a little moon cake. It was good but the other treats weren't so great. We went to dinner at "Chen's" which was suggested by one of the locals but was very disappointed. The service was terrible & my beef broccoli was full of cheap fatty meat. Mark said his seafood bowl was okay.

Thursday was another morning for Siena & I to hang out. We didn't have anything planned so we went down to the hotel shops & grounds for some picture taking. The hotel grounds are great for picture taking & has lots of beautiful orchids. The Hilton is also a popular place to hold weddings. Right in the middle of everything is a sweet little white chapel. We were allowed to check it out. Siena decided she wanted to be married there & says she "wants to marry Daddy." Yeah...we will see how long that lasts. LOL! But throughout our stay we did see several beautiful Asian brides in their gowns getting ready for their big day. So you never know, we may be back here sometime ( in the far future & long after college I'd hope ) to host Siena's wedding. Hopefully we will win the Lottery by then too! Thursday was Mark's last work day & he was able to get out early. Our plans were to head out on the road to the popular North Shore. We 1st got in the car & wanted to find the Hula Grill for lunch that was in Waikiki Beach. We ate at the one on Maui & loved it. But the traffic down on the main drag where the Hula Grill was supposed to be, was so crazy so we went on up the road by Diamond Head. We stopped at one of the scenic views for pictures & then headed on, in search of food. We were using "Mark's trusty GPS" (and I'm saying this sarcastically) to help find a restaurant. Well...let's just say it took us on a little scenic side trip. We ended up the mountain side with great views & cool homes mind you, but no restaurant. We finally stumbled upon one of the restaurants that we went to 3 years ago & had lunch there. Really good Italian for a change! After lunch we were just too pooped to go on anymore so we headed back to the hotel where we all had a nap. I know, we sound like we are really a lot of fun, but after all of the running around & Mark working, it was catching up to all of us. That evening we went back out to the Mall since I wanted to get back there to pick up something that I had on hold for Siena. Also while there we did catch a little of the Dragon Dance that was going on in front of a Chinese restaurant in celebration of Chinese New Year.

Hawaii has been a lot of fun. The most perfect weather on both islands with lots of sun. I think next time we have to see the big Island (Hawaii). That's where the active volcano, Kilauea is. That would be awesome to see. Actually when we were leaving for the airport, the car rental bus driver said that it was because of it's eruption is why the skies on Oahu were so hazy & is called "vog." It would also be a good idea to have a lot more money when we go next time to be able to enjoy more shopping. I don't think there is any other state in the union that you will see as many Japanese tourists or I should I say "shoppers" than in Hawaii. For the Japanese, Hawaii is quicker to get to than the mainland & they have the money to shop at all the high end shops. Hawaii's cheaper for them than Japan. The state of Hawaii caters to them really well with all of the Asian restaurants too. For the most part Siena was really great on such a long trip. There was one time that I had to put her in time out because of becoming so fussy & demanding but that did the trick. She was a big girl Princess after that. Now we all just need a vacation after this vacation!

Be sure to check back in a few days to see all of the pictures. I will post them throughout this post so that they will be with each days events.
Aloha....we're now homeward bound!

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