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Empress' Hawaiian Honeymoon


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#46 displayname

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 09:26 AM

The buffet dinner with lots of 'exotic' Hawaiian dishes including Kalua pork (suckling pig) and poi (taro - the one in the bowl).

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faza - noooo you have to go for more than one day!! Seriously , flying there and back takes almost a whole day.. well you know what I mean, with check in, waiting around, etc. smile.gif

We were there for 4 days and everyone was telling us we needed at least a week. We didn't even go to the volcano or mountain sad.gif

Speaking of which i should backtrack a bit and say that my ONLY reason for going to the Big Island was to see the volcano (re my yr 9 geography teacher's slides). However, I was still not over my damn asthmatic cough and read in various places you shouldn't go if you have asthma and I didn't want to risk it getting worse - the last thing i wanted to do was to have an asthma attack on my honeymoon in the middle of nowhere! right?

Then, that morning when we had the 'orientation' the lady also mentioned you shouldn't go if you have asthma (due to the strong fumes), and that you also can't go to the top of Mauna Kea, the 13,800 ft high mountain (higher than Everest) which has one of the world's best observatories on top. Asthma sufferers and kids have to stay at the 9000ft only.

Then, when we were in our hotel room I had a big baby cry to hubby. It totally SUX having stupid lungs. I can't scuba dive (which is why I love snorkelling so much, it's the only chance I'd ever get to see fish underwater), I can't go to volcanos, I can't go to world-class observatories on high mountains - sux sux sux!! sad.gif He tried to calm me down but still didn't really understand it, but I think he did slowly come to realise what a shit this horrible disease is.

Anyhoo, back to the luau.. it was not a typical luau (apart from the food and the sunset start). It was more of a theatrical production called "Kamaha`o “The Wondrous Myths of Hawaii"

It was really great, and they explained a lot about Hawaiian history, culture and those superstitious beliefs (Like I read in Lonely Planet if you take volcanic rocks from the volcano you'll be cursed and there are stories of people spending $50 on postage to send it back there ,as they had back luck and stuff).. etc etc..

Despite not spending an extra $15 for preferential seating we got really really good seats up the front and saw everything closely.

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It was hard to take good photos as I didn't have a tripod but I tried smile.gif

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That girl was amazing! The hoop was suspended about 2-3m from the ground and spinning and she was doing all these gymnasticky movements.. it was like something out of Cirque du Soleil smile.gif

The "Snow queen"

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After the show finished we'd planned to take a taxi back, but actually could make the last shuttle bus of the night - yay! So we took that back (gotta love freebies wink.gif )

--

13 March

There were free lei-making lessons at our hotel which I really wanted to do, but couldn't, as we decided to hire a car and drive around to some of the spots mentioned in the orientation.

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We drove 30-45mins south to
Pu'uhonua O Honaunau (Place of refuge)
. It is an ancient burial ground (so HEAPS of history) and a place of worship. Since we weren't going to any museums and stuff I thought it would be good to find out a bit more about the history and culture.

I thought it'd be a really quiet place but when we got there there were STACKS of tourists, including a school excursion.

An ancient chess-like game

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It was also a pretty and scenic spot with snorkelling next door at "Two step" or "One step" as some call it. (due to the 'step' at the edge that then suddenly goes into deep water)

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#47 displayname

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 10:00 AM

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An ancient hut with canoe inside

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Driving along the main road (it is easy to drive, there is only ONE main road that goes around the outside of the island) I was mesmorised and fascinated by these "coral graffiti" where people bring white coral rocks and write words onto the large black lava rocks.

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Given we were travelling at 80km/hr or so it was hard to get a decent non-blurry photo but I think this one's pretty good smile.gif there were marry proposals (saw 2-3 of these), declarations of love, things about the navy/scouts/military etc.. lots of interesting things.. it was like this all over the non-inhabitable parts of the island.

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marriage proposals.. not marry!

We stopped by a big King Kamehameha statue

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And drove all the way to Polulu lookout (3 hours from Honaunau!)

These is a guy on the side of the road making traditional baskets.. unlike other places I've been to, he was obviously wanting to sell them to tourists but didn't even say anything or harrass people (unlike they do in 'poor' places)

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They really love safety signs, they are EVERYWHERE

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The view is breathtaking. Unfortunately it was a tad too foggy to see much but I guess that gave it that magical mystical appearance smile.gif

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We then took a different road back, a supposed shortcut. Little did we know we'd be driving up a mountain! Luckily we had a Jeep. Nah.. it was an easy drive but we watched the elevation steadily climb.. to around 4000ft! (1200m).

It was like we were driving INTO the clouds. At one point we couldn't see a single thing, not even the car in front of us, which was scary. The Expedia lady said that you experience 7 climatic zones along that road, but we 'only' found about 4.

We both agreed that it sort of looked like New Zealand!! Then we came across an area with patches of cactus.. cactii? Was I dreaming? It was all so eerie, mystical and strange..lots of fog and cactii everywhere! I thought they only grew in dry desert regions and this was hardly a dry area!!

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#48 faza

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 10:24 AM

Keep going please!!!! More, more more!!!!
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#49 displayname

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:35 AM

Oh I should mention we also saw whales! OK I saw it through my video camera with 200x zoom and they were still tiny but hey.. we were on the main road. We saw some people had stopped their cars on the side of the road looking out with binoculars.. and hubby and I both looked at each other and go "Whales!" and slam on the brakes hehe.

OK so after this mountain-high foggy cactus road, we ended up back onto the main road.. and went to Hapuna Beach, often voted best beach in Hawaii or even the whole of USA.

But it was very grey and getting dark so it didn't seem that spectacular but the sandy part was pretty huge, and flat.

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We then went to look for Anaememahehooa Bay.. OK.. it's a tricky word to spell and pronounce .. it's actually called Anaeho'omalu Bay or A Bay for short (much easier!) We had to drive into the ultra exclusive Waikoloa area, where the resorts are probably the most expensive on the island, and there is a shopping centre full of LV etc (for the Jap toursists!). We wanted to go into Hilton to have a look around. The Expedia lady said it is like "Disneyland". I read in LP it's so big there is a monorail to take you around the place. Great for the kid or kid at heart. Unfortunately you can't go in unless you are a guest or a visitor of a guest sad.gif

OK .. well we couldn't find this place! We only saw roads and buildings no coast. But then we saw a path and followed it and found the beach! But it didn't seem like a great snorkelling area as the guides all said. In fact I was sure we were in the wrong place!

Two men came walking by (which was kinda lucky as it was a very quiet area with nobody around) and I asked them where it was, and they said it was "100 yards" away which didn't sound far. So we walked and walked.. and it was much further.. so we never made it there sad.gif Also it was getting quite dark so we had to head back.

Whilst at this strange beach with no sand and heaps of coral rocks sand volcanic rocks we decided to do the graffit - jackpot! easy! No stopping on highways and climbing and doing dangerous stuff. The beach and rocks were right there.

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This is what we made (sorry, initials scrubbed out for privacy reasons)

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Could that be A'Bay? All the way over there??

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#50 displayname

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:13 PM

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Walking back

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We got stuck in traffic on the way back (now dark and peak hour) and decided to kill some time by going to K-Mart. This wasn't just any K-Mart but a BIG K-Mart laugh.gif

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We didn't buy much - just some postcards (I'm a postcard addict) and souvenirs and a drink (our fave - Vitamin Water!) On our trip I think we tried almost every flavour smile.gif and also Fruit Water.

OK then we high-tailed it to the main part of town Kailua-Kona. We had seen the ad on tv the night before and I had also read and heard about it a lot - we had to go to the "Bubba Gump" restaurant - hahaha. If you love Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, you'll love this place. It's gimmicky but has cool knick knacks and memorabilia around the place. All the dishes are named for lines in the movie.

Menu outside the restaurant

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Logo on the table

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The ping-pong paddle drinks menu, normal menu, and our dish which we shared. We got smart on our trip as we both don't have huge appetites and found that sharing 1 dish was more than adequate!! We even still had some prawns left over. There were 4 kinds of prawns - fresh, battered, coconut, and something else and 4 diff dipping sauces.

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Oh it also had a whole stack of fries, and coleslaw.

Went to one more store then went home. More HK stuff!

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#51 mrsm00kz

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:34 PM

OMG i LOVE Bubba Gump!!!

We went there twice in 2 days... yum yum yum!
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#52 faza

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:36 PM

So hold on, is Bubba Gump on the Big Island or are you back in Waikiki now??? I'm confused!
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#53 displayname

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:51 PM

Yeah Bubba is yum! (plus I'm just fascinated with that gimmicky stuff - haha)

Faza - it's at both. In Kona (Big island) and Ala Moana shopping Center (Oahu). In fact we saw it there, we could've had dinner there but decided to try something new smile.gif It's on the top floor of the shopping centre (pretty much all the buses in Waikiki take you to the mall and it's not far).

#54 lil chicken

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 01:04 PM

OMG... I've only just caught on.... Empress I thought your post was for 'all your lost fans' and I'm thinking...wow that is confidence! he he !! laugh.gif laugh.gif... now I get it!!! sorry, am cracking myself up here at the thought!
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#55 displayname

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 01:15 PM

hahahah erm.. I'm confused.. lost fans.. as in fans to fan yourself with? laugh.gif now I'm cracking up!

#56 *Willow*

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 02:07 PM

I'm loving this thread! Fantastic pics! More more more smile.gif

#57 ~Camilla~

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 02:35 PM

This is great empress, its a whole story !
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Camilla & Adam - 14 April 2007

#58 displayname

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:11 PM

Hahaha don't think it's ended!!

I'm back biggrin.gif


14 March

Our last day on the Big Island, boohoo. We went to the beach next door one more time (just to have a look around, no time for snorkeling) and were amazed to find it was empty! OK so it was really early (like 7:30-8) but still.. I wanted to say goodbye to the turtles but they weren't there. sad.gif We saw people sweeping sand out of the carpark and thought it was a daily routine. What had happened though was that HUGE waves had washed ashore the night before and later on they were actually going to close the beach for the whole day as the waves were still big and it would be too dangerous for people (they are BIG on safety remember!)

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It looks so peaceful and calm in this photo

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those rocks on the left side of the photo were tossed there by the waves!!

saying goodbye to our glorious view one more time

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On the plane back to Oahu..

View from the plane

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Black lava stuff

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I couldn't get us direct flight back to Honolulu so we had to stop in Kahului, Maui first. The weather was TERRIBLE - grey, gloomy and looked like flooding had occured.

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After we landed in Honolulu we caught the shuttle back to our hotel, the Hilton which I had really been looking forward too - since our other hotels were pretty ordinary.

The bus lost our luggage! Or rather, the person who got off before us stupidly took ours so we had to wait around for an hour to get it back, that was no fun sad.gif rolleyes.gif

After we did, we checked in (long queues) and this is our room. Not really that impressive for the amount we paid! And no separate shower either. The bathroom was tiny.

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OK, time to explore the HUGE grounds

The chapel, that was only built recently

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Chinesey looking building (small shops inside)

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er.. I mean this one!

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sorry photobucket stuffed up - this one!

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Japanese restaurant inside

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what the heck is photobucket doing? ARGH

this!

http://i6.photobucke.../IMG_5626_2.jpg

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cute hello kitty boogie boards

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more HK stuff

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Beach out the front - what a glorious sunset!

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That night

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Dinner at Tony Roma's - babyback ribs - yum!

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The next morning - pretty nice view (apart from the construction work!)

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If you look closely you can see a rainbow above the crane laugh.gif

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penguins swimming about in the hotel grounds!

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and ducks!

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and turtles!

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Hubby said he couldn't come to Waikiki and not go surfing!! hehe

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Not long after we got to the beach it poured! Everyon ran to duck for cover. Luckily I was already standing under a big shade umbrella thing. But it only lasted about 10 mins then it was beautifully sunny again smile.gif

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Our fun didn't last long, we had to change hotels yet again!

We moved our butts and caught a taxi 5 sec down the road to the Ala Moana hotel. We had a city/mountain view

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We then had to go back to hotel #2 to pick up my big suitcase which I left before we flew to the Big Island. thinking it would be easier to leave it behind.. but it was more trouble cos now we had to go back to Waikiki to get it! But I desperately needed more clothes, and needed my memory card reader to upload pics onto hubby's computer to reuse my memory card.

The rest of the day consisted of eating at the food court at the shopping centre and more sleeping.

16 March

Our very last day! We had left it till the last minute. Every local we had spoken to said it was a 'must see' and 'must do'. Given my love of aqua water and snorkeling, for me it was a 'must see/do' too! So off we went. I had already previously scoured the brochures and went through all the ads that interested me and ripped them out so I had a handful of ads for this snorkeling service in a small plastic bag and pulled them out and called one.... no vacancies, OK call another.. yep, cool. It included return transport and snorkel hire.

The guy driving had moved there 15 years ago from HK saying he hated it there as people were just obsessed with making money, stressed out to the max and not really enjoying life.. he says he loves Hawaii and loves the relaxed lifestyle. It was so great to talk to him, he was really friendly (even if his strong HK accent was hard to understand!)

Stunning, beautiful, gorgeous, Hanauma Bay. It's a preserved marine park. You have to pay $5 per person entry fee and watch a 9 film about the history of how it formed (volcanic eruption) and what not to do - feed the fish, smoke, litter, touch the animals and coral, etc etc. They want to keep it as pristine as possible (yet still let people enjoy it) so it is closed on Tuesdays and when the carpark is full (usually by mid morning) they don't let anyone else in. The carpark was full when we got there but since we were on a 'tour' we just got dropped off.

The queue was long, and it was HOT. Thanks to my nifty sun umbrella we kept cool though.

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The 'experience' and place was very similar to the Pearl Harbour one - movie, museum, gift shop.

here is something from the museum

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Us!

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Fish

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A large, weird looking fish

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the stuffed spinach and brocolli pizza I had at the food court

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#59 Busterella

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:12 PM

Hey Empy, I have been to Hanauma Bay twice. I love it there. There was an Elvis Presley movie filmed there, can't remember which one.

'just hang lose, just have fun
sipping on a drink lying in the sun
don't try to hide it
it ain't no use, cause when your in
hawaii you should just hang lose'

I learnt that song while there and it still sticks in my head.
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#60 displayname

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:33 PM

it looks tiny but it was massive! and had bolognaise dipping sauce- never seen anything like it here - it was cheap AND yum!! biggrin.gif



Thanks for that tidbit Busterella - very interesting! and you have a good memory hehe smile.gif

The morning of the 16th - view out our window - yet another rainbow!! that's 2 rainbows in a row.

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I don't think I've ever seen such a huge rainbow before!

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It ends abruptly though - hey! Where's my leprachaun and pot of gold? laugh.gif

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After snorkelling we slept again then went shopping! Luckily they close at 10.

That morning I had decided to do either a whole day of shopping in Ala Moana or snorkelling but not both but I couldn't give up either sad.gif so had to do both!

HK galore

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Build a bear workshop

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Stitch!

We'd come to Hawaii to find him.. hadn't seen him around, then found HEAPS of him!!

Hubby got me a furry Stitch toy (the one in the centre top). We love him smile.gif

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It's a Hawaii-only edition too with the Lei and hula skirt smile.gif

For our last night we got dressed up.. and had dinner on the top floor. Since it was Friday night it was 'happening' . There was also a club there (with lots of security guards) and the music was pumping. It was such a fun, happy party atmosphere - so perfect for our last night smile.gif

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We had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen (a bit like Sydney's GPK). It was our cheapest dinner ever!

Stitch decided he wanted some of my pizza smile.gif

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17 March

time to go home! (sob sob sob)

Here is our shiny silver plane

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What the video units look like

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