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Empress' Hawaiian Honeymoon


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#16 displayname

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 02:23 PM

Yeah that's the one I meant! Atlantis right?

Yep we did go to Hanauma Bay - on our very last day!! Sorry to hear you didn't get to go. sad.gif Did you drive there? We went on a tour (well, I mean we got picked up at our hotel and driven there and back and it included snorkel hire and flipper hire) so I guess we didn't have that problem but yeah, I did read if the carpark is full you can't get in so you have to get in early! We had to queue up for ages (in the boiling hot sun) to get in - but it was so worth it.

#17 alaia

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 02:27 PM

I have fiiiiiinally finished your story tongue.gif and have to say that was fantastic and your photos are amazing. I am a huge Lost fan and that is exactly what the island looks like on TV and the photos of the "airport" is exactly what it looked like (without the counters, people etc biggrin.gif)

Sounds like you had a ball!

#18 displayname

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 02:29 PM

Hehe Thanks Alaia. I have only just started though! there is heaps more to go laugh.gif

I had a look at that Lost virtual tour website and it said all the counters were just props, put there for the movie - hehe.

#19 mrsm00kz

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 02:37 PM

QUOTE(empress @ Mar 19 2007, 03:23 PM) View Post

Yeah that's the one I meant! Atlantis right?

Yep we did go to Hanauma Bay - on our very last day!! Sorry to hear you didn't get to go. sad.gif Did you drive there? We went on a tour (well, I mean we got picked up at our hotel and driven there and back and it included snorkel hire and flipper hire) so I guess we didn't have that problem but yeah, I did read if the carpark is full you can't get in so you have to get in early! We had to queue up for ages (in the boiling hot sun) to get in - but it was so worth it.


Yeah the first time i went in 04 we drove there but the bay was closed because it's a Tuesday and they don't open on Tuesdays (how we were supposed to know that!) and then in 05 we drove again (NOT on a Tuesday) but it was full rolleyes.gif

We didn't even go that late too... 10am? but yeah i would imagine every tom, dick and harry would be getting there at 8am! Oh well, just means i have to go back biggrin.gif
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#20 displayname

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 02:53 PM

QUOTE(missmookz @ Mar 19 2007, 03:37 PM) View Post

We didn't even go that late too... 10am? but yeah i would imagine every tom, dick and harry would be getting there at 8am! Oh well, just means i have to go back biggrin.gif


Oh that's a shame.. yeah 10 is not even that late! They've got signs all over Waikiki now, saying that it's closed on Tuesdays, obviously there were a LOT of disappointed tourists turning up on Tuesdays! sad.gif Of course you have to go back, for that and a million other reasons hehe smile.gif

#21 faza

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 03:25 PM

Thanks empress, we are going to Hawaii for our honeymoon, and you posts and photos were not only great, but have lit a bit of excitment fire inside!!! Thanks!!!!
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#22 displayname

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 03:30 PM

How exciting Faza! When do you go? smile.gif

#23 ~Luna~

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 03:41 PM

Great story and pics Empress, thanks for sharing and I can't wait for more.

I LOVE Hawaii and can't wait to go back.
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#24 displayname

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 04:49 PM

Fri 9 March cont'd

After the submarine it was getting dark fast and we had to get to the North Shore to see the famous Pipeline! It took about 45mins to get there. We couldn't find it (as someone else mentioned in the December thread) and had to ask. The guy I asked was so helpful and friendly and cute (oh oops, I'd need to be about 10 years younger! wink.gif )

It was almost dark and cold when we got there sad.gif but we still hung around to watch the waves. Funnily when we thought we had gone too far we stopped at another beach, and there was a couple who'd just been on the movie tour with us! (there were only 2 other couples on the tour and that was one of them, freaky).

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#25 Delli

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 04:54 PM

Empress, I love your story!! How awesome does that movie tour look. I love Lost to, I would have been like those guys driving around the whole island finding film locations laugh.gif

I love Hawaii, cant wait to go back one day!

#26 displayname

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 04:54 PM

Then we started to head back to Waikiki. The trip back wasn't nice. It was now pitch black and pouring rain sad.gif then we took a wrong turn and got lost and wasted heaps of time and we had to check out of our hotel and go into another one (long story but basically I'd booked our first 3 nights through Expedia then when I changed the itinery slightly I wanted one more night and they didn't have a vacancy so I had to choose another hotel!)

Amazingly when we got into the heart of Waikiki the rain finally stopped. We hadn't figured out where we were going to park the car (hotel probably) but when we picked up our luggage from hotel 1 (Aqua Waikiki Wave) there just happened to be a parking garage next door - for $10 Bargain! (I knew it was around $15-20/night at most hotels) so we used them. Then wheeled our luggage down the road to hotel no. 2 (Aqua Bamboo) which was not far away.

Even more amazing, as soon as we arrived there the rain poured down again...

We checked in and were very fortunate to have a 1 bedroom room! Cool! I've never even stayed in a 1 bedroom suite before. This room only cost us US$98 too! (+tax).

There was a couch with tv, and in the bedroom another huge flat panel tv mounted on the wall, ad a separate kitchen. Unfortunately we had no time to use anything, we were just there to sleep!

This is the view out one of the 3 windows. I'm not sure what the streaky things are - maybe rain drops on the window.

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#27 displayname

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 05:25 PM

Sat 10 March

We had a free breakfast at the hotel, then went down the road to pick up our car and drive to the airport. Thank God I had asked for clear instructions at the car hire place the day before. It was extremely confusing but we got there in the end. They didn't have a place at the airport (but were still nearby) so we needed to catch a shuttle back to the airport.

We flew Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu to Kona on the Big Island. The night before I had checked in online (using the hotel's free internet) but there was no printer to print out our tickets and I was too tired to figure out where/how to print it ..

When we got to the airport, it was all done by computer! OMG shock horror! No horrendously long queues, just heaps of touch screen monitors. I entered in our details and there they were. There were staff around to print out the luggage labels and weigh your luggage and stick them on for you.

Then we went to line up for the x-ray machine/metal detector. Honolulu airport is tiny compared to Sydney's (and dare I say it - looks kinda 70's-ish and is in need of a modern renovation!) so they were both very close by. I saw a table filled with various 'examples' of things you could not bring on - anything liquid, gel or cream consistency. No water bottles, no yoghurt, no suncreen, facial lotions, toothpastes, etc etc. Also the usual no knives, guns, weapons, aerosols (well apart from medicines) etc.

If you had to bring on liquids/lotions you have to put them in a sandwich sized zip lock bag and have it x-rayed separately. I did this, but realised when we go to the hotel I had other ones lurking about in my bag - oops! Also you had to take off your shoes and put them on the conveyor belt directly - even hubby with his plain rubber thongs. You also had to walk through the metal detector with your own passport and boarding pass.

Oh wait, the boarding pass! We got to the head of the queue and I showed the guy the slip of paper the machine printed out. He said no that's the receipt, you need to go to counter __ to get a reprint of the boarding passes (you know - 'cause we hadn't printed them off at 'home'). So hubby went to get them while I hung around that area. I waited what seemed like an eternity then went to find him, I was looking for him for ages then saw him in the queue, turns out he was looking for me! ARGH!

After the lengthy security checks (which the Americans seem to take as second nature) we went inside and waited around. I went to a newsstand and browsed through gossip mags, women's fashion mags, wedding mags, I was so good I didn't buy any. Then I went to Starbucks and bought myself a "cheese danish" interested to find out what that was all about. Unfortunately it was actually cheesecake! Not something I felt like eating so early on in the day. It was really sickly sweet and not worth the $3+ !

The flight was delayed slightly was but pretty much as soon as it landed it was ready for us to board. It would only take 40 mins, nothing compared to 10 hours!!

Sign at a food court at the airport (where I was that close to buying a Burger King burger)

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Bye bye Waikiki/Oahu...

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... Hello Kona, Big Island!

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The 'airport' haha.. it's just a few little 'huts' and is all open air.

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pinksweetie21 This is for you! One of many HK things I saw. She is really big over there given the Japanese connection and MANY Japanese tourists. There are a lot of Hawaii-only HK items smile.gif

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#28 displayname

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 05:56 PM

We weren't quite sure how to get to our resort because we hadn't booked a hire car. Our only option was a taxi. Being budget conscious (approx) US$38-40 seemed like a lot of money to us so hubby had the brainwave of finding someone to share with. We found another young couple who were staying at the Sheraton about 2km from us. They were waiting ages for their luggage, turns out the airline lost of their pieces! but they decided to go and told them to send the luggage to their hotel.

We chatted like old friends the whole way there, about half an hour. It was awesome. They were around the same age as us, and the guy was American (originally from Connecticut) and the girl was from Turkey. They had met on a plane and been married 2 years and both moved to Hawaii. They had been working really hard lately and wanted a relaxing holiday. The guy had booked all these massages and pampering packs for the two of them - bliss! smile.gif

We had so much in common it wasn't funny. The girl was interested in wedding magazines and scrapbooking like me, and the guy was interested in surfing and water sports like hubby.

We shared amazing proposal stories and when we arrived at our hotel hubby and I almost didn't want to get out! We wanted to talk forever... oh well. sad.gif

We got out and we had a discount of 20% so it was 'only' $28.

We went to the counter and checked in but were told we couldn't go to our room till 4pm. OK... we had over 3 hours to kill. We walked around the hotel grounds for a while (I was amazed at how much space there was compared to cramped expensive Waikiki). Our hotel grounds were HUGE. There was not one but a handful of tennis courts.

We just happened to see a dance performance (hula?) so we sat and watched that for a while...

Then we decided to go to the local shopping center. Apparently it was 'down the road', we started walking and it was all uphill and sunny and I gave up after a short while. I didn't see ANYONE walking around. It was a really isolated place and everyone drove. I didn't see any buses either. Hubby persisted but I said, OK, but I'm going back to the hotel. I hung around the driveway entrance waiting for him to come back any minute but he didn't.

Coincidently I saw a couple leaving the premises and I asked them if they knew where the shopping centre was. Not only did they know where it was, they were going there and I could follow them - great!!

They were from Alaska and were middle-aged and seemed extremely fit as they were interested in hiking and stuff. We eventually found hubby and he had gone about 3/4 of the way and was on his way back.

Someone told us it was "1/4 of a mile" and the couple told me it was "1/2 a mile". When I got there I was thinking "Are you kidding me? It felt like 1 mile!" It was all uphill too. But we eventually made it.

We went to the first big store we saw - a health food store. We're both pretty healthy eaters and were shocked by the amount of fat, sugar, salt, etc in the food we had eaten so it was refreshing to see such a huge health food store (like Macro in Sydney). It didn't just sell food either - it sold all sorts of stuff!

But the only thing we bought were some drinks. The layout of the shopping center was awkward and it was all outdoors and spread out. We were starving and went to a Japanese restaurant but were told they wouldn't be open till 5. We ummed and erred about where to eat...

then we wandered into a massive massive supermarket! There was a fresh food section with pre-packed meals. Jackpot! We got a sushi box, and a tortilla wrap. Yummo. Quick, cheap and delicious. We also bought some instant noodles for late and some snacks, and bagels for brekkie the next day.

Our resort

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The free show

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The free shuttle bus (yes, free!). Unfortunately it doesn't cover a huge area and doesn't come that often.

After all that shopping we now bought I looked at the timetable and we only had to wait about 20mins to get the shuttle... yeah sure it would've taken us less than that to walk back but I didn't want to with all that stuff we had to carry.

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Afterall, I have to save my energy for location photo taking! wink.gif

Hotel grounds

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Hubby went straight back to the room to do his fave holiday past time (watching tv!) and I went to do mine (photography!)

I went exploring and found me a bride!!

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I loved the BM fans. I couldn't take a proper photo with them waving them around and when she put it down on the table I quickly took the photo then walked away before they thought I was stalking them wink.gif laugh.gif

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They were setting up the wedding (where the hula show as previously held) and we had a bird's eye view from our balcony!!

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And at night.

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I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening on the balcony watching the 'progress' of the wedding reception. LOL. Clearly I'm still in wedding mode! laugh.gif

The snacks we bought, which were all pretty healthy (except Reese's which I love! and they are so cheap here).

We fell in love with Love's Bagels (haha) and ending up buying about 3-4 packs of them on our trip!! We even tried another brand but didn't like it as much.

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#29 displayname

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 07:20 PM

Sun 11 March

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Snorkelling in Kahaluu Beach Park. Yes I look silly!

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They hired these cool boogie boards with viewing holes.

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Is this a two-tailed no-headed fish? Nah, I've just taken the photo at a funny angle

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Snorkelling is the coolest thing ever!! Snorkelling with an underwater camera is even more fun smile.gif

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The adorable turtles! I fell in wub.gif with them. They are actually very camouflaged amongst the rocks and hard to see and they just kinda walk into you!! The lick the algae off the rocks.

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I'm quite proud of my turtle photos as I had to put the camera underwater, yet because it ws so so shallow I couldn't see what I was taking it off and just had to aim and hope I was tilting it at the right angle.

Actually it was hard to take photos full stop! The underwater case made my camera huge, so huge it was hard for my small hands to hold and you have to press really hard and cos you're moving and they're moving it's hard to get non-blurry shots. and you can't even see the LCD screen as the sunlight causes glare over the whole area so you have to kinda just aim and hope for the best. And I couldn't look through the viewfinder either as the lens ring outside obscures a lot of the view... still, I'm happy with my shots smile.gif

View from above, with lots of glare from the sun on the water

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The underwater shots worked out heaps better.

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We went back to our hotel room, ate our instant noodles then fell asleep. You have so much fun you don't realise how tiring it actually is!!

Then we got up to watch the beautiful sunset.

Our room is 2nd from the top, 3rd or 4th from the left.

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Lots of people enjoying the beautiful sunset.

We got one of the 2 hammocks and enjoyed the dusk light.. just wonderful smile.gif

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We went to the terrace bar to have dinner (since we were basically stranded at our hotel now! and it was dark and nowhere else to walk to to have dinner) and happened to stumble across yet another free hula show.

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All the island newbies even had a hula lesson! It was heaps of fun, if not embarrassing. No pics though..

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Actually we had dinner on the Terrace the night before, we had dinner at the Verandah restaurant... we celebrated our 1 month anniversary smile.gif

"Tortoise" I can see your reading this laugh.gif laugh.gif

#30 MrsJo

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 07:23 PM

Wow! You have taken the concept of a long post to a whole new level, lol. Good on you! Great pics and story. Fantastic!

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