Our Second Honeymoon
April 29th, 2011
We left our home at 4:30 a.m. this morning to catch the first of two flights to Honolulu. 16 hours later, we arrived at the gorgeous Turtle Bay Resort. As tired as we were, the view immediately rejuvenated our weary souls. I have left Frank in the lobby talking to the receptionist about only god knows what to follow the bellboy to our room. Too many new people for him to meet and talk to today. I unpacked and he showed up about 20 minutes later. This has got to be the most gorgeous view on the planet. We will have a quick bite, shower and go to bed early tonight.
April 30th, 2011
Holy time change Batman!! We were both staring at the ceiling at 4:30 a.m. this morning. This is not good! We have given up and decided to walk along the beach until it is a decent hour, or at least the breakfast buffet opens. Thank god for the coffee maker in our room. The entire hotel seems to be asleep except for the pleasant desk receptionist who smiles and knowingly asks if we were adjusting to the time change. OH NO!!! This is the only invitation Frank needs. I don't have it in me to stand for 30 minutes while he shoots the breeze. I quickly distract him with thoughts of warm sand between our toes. Whew... it worked. We walk along a very dark beach, and I realize that this ocean has a rocky bottom very different from the Caribbean, Atlantic or mainland Pacific coast.
The sun seems to be peaking on the other side of the island, so we start to walk back to the hotel. We enjoy an amazing breakfast and hit the concierge's desk for some traveling ideas. Here is where we meet Charlie. Probably one of the most amazing women I have ever met. She is a native islander and knew all of the "off the beaten path" places to explore. She has amazing knowledge of Polynesian culture and traditions and you could spend hours just talking to her. Either I have caught Frank's talking bug or this is like no other place I have been. She sends us off to a macadamia nut farm and a bluff.
I find it apropos that we were going to a nut farm. However, this is not what you would think. We tour around in this old bus while this crazy Samoan guide keeps stopping and picking us fresh fruit and flowers. They show us how to crack coconuts, start a fire with sticks and danced traditional dances. Too much fun. On the way back to the hotel, we stop at a shrimp truck. They are very common, kind of like hot dog carts in Manhattan. YUM!! Fresh garlic shrimp. We eat until we can't move.
May 1st - 3rd
We have completely adapted to vacation life. This place is amazing. We have visited the Polynesian Cultural Art Center multiple times and have learned so much about the different cultures and traditions. This is run by students and volunteers from BYU. Everyone has been so warm, friendly and hospitable. The Luau and night show were gorgeous. Our favorite concierge Charlie has never steered us wrong. We attended the swap meet at Aloha Stadium and shopped til we dropped. Lots of goodies to bring back to family and friends. We stopped along beaches to watch the local surfers tame giant waves. We also stopped at Pearl Harbor to pay respect. We visited a Buddhist temple called Byodo that was breathtaking. However, I still love just hanging poolside or at the beach.
It finally happened. Frank was speechless. We woke up and were drinking coffee on our balcony watching the ocean. Then out of nowhere we saw a burst of water shoot into the air. We then saw a large lump appear and submerge, then a fin, then an entire tail. Then, we realized, it was whales. We watched for almost 40 minutes as they jumped and played in the waves as they passed by. We could not speak. I had never seen anything like this. Charlie let us know that they were probably juveniles that where lagging behind the rest who had migrated several weeks earlier. I'm so glad they were typical kids and not following directions. I would hate to think we would have missed this.
We then spent the early morning indulging in the spa amenities. We melted away to couples' massages on the beach followed by pineapple pedicures. Okay, well I had the pedicure and Frank talked the ear off of the staff while sipping on herbal tea. We had a late lunch, sunned by the pool, watched the amazing sunset from our balcony and then went down to Ola's for the most delicious meal we have ever had.
Don't remember much from this day except that we thought it would be a good idea to take some rum down to the pool and drink rum and cokes poolside. We must have been very thirsty or shared with strangers. The bottle of rum was empty the next day.
We have to check out of our gorgeous hotel. This week went too fast. However, we are off to the other side of the island to see Diamond Head.
Holy crud, I have never, ever been so tired and achy in my entire life. I was told we had to walk up Diamond Head, but it is less than a two-mile trail. Well in my infinite wisdom, I figured I could put in at least 10 miles on a good shopping day so this should be no problem. However, no one warns you that the trail is all rocky and uneven (they fool you by cementing the first 500 feet or so). Then you have the pleasure of about 700 million steep stairs... oh and it started to rain too. I was about 3/4 of the way up and quit. I couldn't move. I didn't think that my request for a helicopter rescue was too far out there. However, there was no one to ask. Where was Ranger Rick when I needed him? I continued to slowly climb to the top of Mount Everest.
After about an hour, I arrived at the top, climbed through some cement opening thing and began to take in the view... the view of the ocean. The same ocean that I was just standing next to a few hours prior. I just put my body into shock to look at water. However, this gave Frank the perfect opportunity to chat up dozens of new people. They were a captured audience.
After about 30 minutes, we began our decent. Thank god for the Hawaiian shaved ice guy at the bottom of the mountain. He was a godsend. After cleaning up, we drove into Honolulu for the most amazing mall I have ever experienced. Name the designer and they were there. However, I was still so tired, I didn't even want to go in to shop. Frank said he planned it that way on purpose. Off to the airport and back to reality. But best of all... back to reality with my husband and family.