Friday, August 18, 2017

a day of "one last time"s

it's always a little weird to get to the last day of a vacation and your flight home doesn't take off until later in the evening.  that was the case for us on our final day in paradise.  we had to be checked out of our hotel room by 11, but we didn't really need to leave for the airport until at least 5 or so.

packing at the end of vacation always sucks so hard.

and the floaties we'd used so happily all week long sat sadly in the corner, waiting for one last whirl in that fabulous waikiki water.

while the hub headed down to see if we could either get a later checkout time or maybe pay to stay in one of the rooms for half day, the girls and i threw on our bathing suits, grabbed those floaties and made a beeline for the beach.

after awhile, we got hungry and decided to meet up with the hub to grab some lunch together.  we headed upstairs to our room-for-the-day to drop off our gear and put on some dry clothes.

we decided to walk to cheeseburger waikiki, which is also one of our hawaii traditions, and stopped briefly to pay homage to the statue of duke along the way.

cheeseburger was just a couple of blocks away.

we shared an order of island style fries, topped with cheese, kalua pig and bbq sauce.

my cheeseburger was also island style, with similar toppings.  pretty tasty.

she insisted on posing here.

and then we had just enough time to head back to our umbrella and enjoy a couple of final hours at the beach.  the old lady had had enough of the sun and surf and opted to just hang out while the bean frolicked in the water for as long as she possibly could.  because i could feel my skin starting to rebel against the prolonged sun exposure, i stayed with her for a good chunk of time.

and what's a trip to hawaii without at least one xtend anywhere photo submission?

all too soon, it was time to pack it up for good and head upstairs to take showers and get ready for the long trip home.  we got cleaned up, packed the rest of our stuff in our bags and headed down to hop into the jeep one last time.

bye bye, moana surfrider!  thanks for a wonderful week!

although we'd milked our hotel room for as much time as we could get away with, we were still a good hour ahead of schedule.  and so we decided to make one more pitstop before making our way to the airport - waiola shave ice, which has replaced matsumoto in our hearts as our most favorite spot for the cold, refreshing treat.  i don't know what they do to it, but their ice is shaved so finely that it really just melts in your mouth while still holding onto the perfect amount of syrup.  so good.

and this time, the hub opted for the azuki bean topping.  i don't think he loved it, but at least now he can say he tried it at least once.

we somehow managed to get lost as we headed back towards the airport and ended up here, where we got as far as the front gate before making a quick u-turn to get the hell outta there.

and then we were here:

and after a little bit of waiting around (which gave us enough time to grab something to eat before the flight), we were here.

thank goodness the flight was only 4.5 hours long, because that plane offered probably one of the most uncomfortable seats i've ever had to fly in.  like, ever.  i couldn't get comfy, but because of my skin issues i'd popped a couple of benadryls and managed to pass out for most of the flight.  we took off from honolulu just before 9pm hawaiian time and landed at 4:30 the next morning at LAX.

after grabbing our luggage and climbing aboard the shuttle to park & fly, we hopped into the car and got home somewhere around 6am.  we all fell asleep, although the old lady had to get up to go to work around 10 and then the bean had cheer practice at 5.

welcome home, huh?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

even more good o'ahu eating

before we left for hawaii, i'd gone on a hunt for a photographer to do a family shoot for us while we were in the islands.  i went back and forth with a few of them, but because i'd waited till the last minute most of them were either booked, on vacation or simply unavailable on the days i was looking for.  oh well.

but then when we checked into the surfrider, the girls and i found ourselves sitting next to a desk where a couple was viewing photos on a computer and realized that the resort had a photographer that we could book for a quick 20-30 minute shoot on the beach and around the property.  with no session fee, a complimentary print and options to purchase either prints or digital photos, we decided to go for it.

as for attire, the hub had two really nice hawaiian shirts that he'd packed for dinners.  and so the girls and i decided to hit up the abc store (and checked out target when we were there) to find some simple little dresses.  we'd chosen a morning shoot to try and limit the number of beachgoers in the background, and while the hub grabbed some coffee we got ourselves dressed and ready to go.

this is the shot that the photographer chose for our complimentary print:

the rest of them will have to wait till we get our christmas cards out.  i know you're so bummed.  heh.

we decided to head over to the royal hawaiian hotel to grab some breakfast.  the hub had been to the bakery there (which was also on our honolulu list) a couple of times earlier in the week, and i wanted to check it out since he said it was really good.  not to mention, the hotel is so pretty.  it's pink everywhere. the grounds here are gorgeous, and the resort overall just seemed more open and spacious than the surfrider.

the old lady spied these immediately and had to have one.  i'm not a huge coconut fan, but i had to agree that this snowball was fluffy, light and delicious.

we decided to hit up another spot on our list for lunch that day - gina's bbq.  we ordered the recommended korean plate lunches and giggled at the super grumpy older lady behind the counter who could barely contain her annoyance as other customers came in and asked a bazillion questions.

and then because the bean couldn't really find anything on that menu that appealed to her, we drove about a mile away to another spot we'd earmarked as essential.  this is ahi assassins, where they go out and catch all of the fish for the day that morning, come back and get everything all ready and then close up shop as soon as the fish runs out.  super duper fresh, and the bean was super duper excited for some delicious poke.

we made just one more stop before we headed back to the hotel...this one is also technically on the list but hadn't originally been on OUR list.  mmmm, malasadas.

we took all the grub back to the hotel, where we had an umbrella and chairs reserved on the beach, and enjoyed a nice little picnic lunch.

before heading out to ala moana center to do a little window shopping and walking, we stopped briefly to watch the drummers do a special performance in the banyan courtyard.

those silly glasses that the bean has been wearing nonstop are from claire's, purchased with some of her vacation allowance that she'd been hoarding since we landed.

alas, my vacation allowance wasn't sufficient to cover what i had my eye on.  heh.

the girls had been craving some italian food after all the hawaiian and asian meals we'd been eating all week, and so the hub did a little yelping and got us a reservation at bernini, a little spot within walking distance of the mall.  the chef here received his training in japan and is known for authentic italian cuisine, which he brought here to honolulu.

starters included toasted bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a seared filet and arugula salad and a classic caprese.

and then we enjoyed the beef ragu rigatoni, chicken carbonara, prosciutto and mascarpone pizza and amatriciana.

back at the hotel, i dug into one of those dobash-filled malasada puffs and called it a night.

whew.  this was one good eating trip, yeah?
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