Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Aloooooo-ha!

I missed all of you bloggies! I missed reading your blogs and am putting off work as much as possible trying to catch up on all that has happened in the world in my absence.

So basically, Oahu was awesome. But you knew it would be. It’s just as gorgeous and laid-back as you’d expect. We were extremely lucky to know a local Honolulu-an (one of my sales reps from work) who picked us up and delivered us back to the airport, loaned us his jeep for the week and took us out for the real-deal, genuine local Hawaiian food. We managed the perfect mix of tourist-ing and relaxing. We slept late, ate ice cream for lunch and wore braids in our hair (well just me). It was the perfect vacation and perfect anniversary. Now let’s look at some pics. As per usual, I uploaded in a hurry, did no editing and picked some random faves. In no particular order...

I took a lot of pics from inside the car while we were driving up to the North Shore. It's just miles of blue ocean on one side of you and huge tree-covered mountains on the other. We did this drive twice and it was one of my favorite parts. We stopped for lunch at the Crouching Lion which sits under a rock formation that looks like a....crouching lion! The food was pretty damn good but the service kinda sucked. But I had to keep reminding myself that we were in Hawaii and the rush service I'm used to just doesn't exist there. They probably don't need stellar service there because the view from the restaurant is amazing and that alone draws the crowds. Well that and the fact that it's the only place to eat besides the 15 shrimp trucks we passed.

One of our must-sees was obviously Pearl Harbor and the Missouri. When you go to visit Pearl Harbor, you watch a 20 minute film with actual footage from the day of the attack. It was interesting and sad and really puts you in a somber sort-of mood. Everyone then files to the ferry where they take you over to the memorial that sits atop the Arizona. It was completely surreal to see parts of the ship that sunk still sticking out of the water, knowing that you were basically standing over a tomb. Later, we took the bus over to tour the still-standing Missouri, where the treaty with Japan was signed at the end of WWII. The bus takes you all over the Pearl Harbor base and you really do feel like you stepped back in time. A lot of the buildings and airplane hangars look the same as they did 70 some years ago. Overall, I found it fascinating and really emotional. I highly recommend you go. You know, if you’ve got a couple thousand bucks lying around.


We stayed in Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, which as it’s name states, really is it’s own little town. It’s got everything you could possibly need right there, including an ABC store. If you haven’t seen an ABC store before, they are EVERYWHERE in Oahu. They are your basic convenience store/souvenir store and they kept me stocked with chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Anyway, the hotel upgraded our room to a corner lot, so we had two balconies with an oceanfront view. I literally squealed when we opened the curtains.

Hello best view ever.


The other balcony looked down on the pool, which was never too crowded and sits right next to the beach. Salt or chlorinated water...decisions decisions.



Ok, luaus are complete tourist traps. Didn’t care. Had to go. Had to sit with strangers, which I’m not a fan of but we got seated next to the cutest little Japanese couple and a couple of giggling, peace-sign-giving, single Japanese girls. We got away with conversing with universal hand-signals like pointing and the clicking-camera motion. The food was pretty good, I was all over the Dim Sum while John ate up all the raw fish he could get his hands (blechhh). The show was what we paid to see. The cute little Polynesian girls, who apparently are the only ones that long frizzy hair looks okay on, were phenomenal hip shakers. The massive dudes were all tatted-up with tiny costumes and yelled and grunted a lot. Kinda hot.

Oh, is this what I have to look at every night? Poor me.


Oh Shave Ice, how you captured my heart. You were the most delicious thing I tasted all week. Ralph, our local friend, took us to this tiny whole-in-the wall storefront that had a line halfway down the block in his neighborhood to get this deliciousness. Ok, here in Philly, we’ve got our water ice (pronounced wood-er ice) and down at the Jersey shore, we’ve got our Sno-Cones but neither stand up to Shave Ice. They shave the ice right from the block in front of you into a massive ball then pour your choice of flavored syrups on top. They had a million flavors to choose from but I had Kahlua and Vanilla Cream with Condensed Milk drizzled on top. Seriously, I have to stop typing and go back to get more. It was sooooo good.

Now say aloha to real Hawaiian food. Me? Not so much a fan. John? Happier than a pig in shite. It doesn’t help that the girl who doesn’t eat any seafood besides crab goes to the place where fish is king. So I ate the shredded pork and ribs. The purple stuff is poi, which comes from the Taro plant. It looks and tastes like purple glue. The tomato-y stew is filled with tripe. Yup, cow stomach lining. Delish. Then in the middle, you’ve got your fish product wrapped with seaweed. John wanted authentic, he got it. Oh and this restaurant happens to be Helena’s which is another hole-in-the-wall in a tiny strip of stores in a dicey Honolulu neighborhood. You’d never know that the owner was a James Beard winner and that just the other night they were featured on Man vs. Food. Maybe meals like this were why I demanded ice cream cones for lunch.


And that my friends is a little taste of Oahu. I'm sure I'll wrangle up some more good pics and bore you with those later this week.

9 comments:

Emily said...

Looks fabulous! So glad you had a good time.

Sarah Mahalo said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome. I want to go again and quick.

How did you feel about the poi? I can make guesses based on the "purple glue" comment...Todd LOVED it. But I think it's because he likes to be weird.

Shannon said...

Yeah John "liked" the poi too but I think he just wanted to be cool...haha It wasn't gross, it just didn't have a whole lot of taste and the consistency was nast.

bethany said...

Sweet lord. This is the most glorious and beautiful place ever. And it looks like you had an amazing time! How in the world did you get on a plane to come back to reality? I would have gone AWOL...

Love that blue dress!

Lyn said...

Your photos are fab! Reminded me I was there just a few short months ago! Craaaazy!
We spent most of our trip in Maui but loooved Oahu. Waikiki is the greatest! I love the shopping and the life. Such fun!
Glad you celebrated your anniversary in such a beautiful place!

TetVet68 said...

Remember Pearl Harbor -- Keep America Alert!

America's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 101st year is former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, U. S. Navy (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, "The Day of Infamy", Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.

Visit my photo album tribute:

http://news.webshots.com/album/141695570BONFYl

San Diego, California

LizzieBeth said...

wow.

the needle on my Jealousy-Meter is off the charts.

Those views are amazing. Seriously. And men in gold lame shorts is ok in my book.

Thank you for pronouncing it wooder ice.

Uh, no alcohol? I thought for sure you'd be sipping on Mai Tai's and whatnot.

Missed you. Glad you're back ;)

LB

Katie dew said...

I liked your view from the hotel. I'm glad you're now back and land-locked with the rest of us.

Isrut said...

great pics! welcome home, braddah

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