Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

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This Ain’t No 3-Hour Tour

August 28, 2011

Friday, June 24th – 2:56am

Flight home had two connections. First two legs were fairly smooth. Flew through the night from San Francisco to Newark where we were to jump on a flight home. Sounds easy. The third leg of the trip was a little over an hour and we’d be home by 9:30am yesterday. NOT!

When we arrived they told us our flight was delayed by an hour. We think this actually works out great because now we have a chance to catch our breath. So instead of getting on at 6:45am we will be catching our flight at 7:45am. Not too bad. Flights get delayed another hour. Then forty-five minutes later it’s cancelled altogether. Rebooked for 3:10pm. Cancelled again. Rebooked for 8:20pm. 8:20pm is delayed to 10:30pm.

We finally board the last flight leaving Newark for the day at 11:05pm. 18 hours we’ve been in Newark airport. Haven’t properly slept in 38 hours. A trip that should be about ten to twelve hours had taken us 36 hours in total. Completely exhausted but happy to be home…. Do miss the beach, though.

Mahalo Hawaii

Nowhere Girl

PS Don’t ever fly Continental

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Aloha – Day #10

August 27, 2011

Tuesday, June 21

The meaning of Aloha is both hello and good-bye – among many other things like love etc. And after tonight we will be saying “Aloha” to paradise and hello to the real world. Although, I must admit I won’t miss hearing what sounds like Times Square outside my window, I will miss the most perfect weather. Heat from the sun mixed with a cool breeze.

Tonight is Luau night – our last night in O’Ahu. We’ll be wearing fresh flower leis and will be bedazzled by the Vegas-style Hula show the hotel puts on with tonnes of food. Looking froward to it.

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To recap, yesterday was hangover day. Not for me but for my travel buddy. On the previous night, we decided to take it easy and go down to the Tapas bar where they have live music every night. And it all started with ordering a Blue Hawaii drink. (Mine was a virgin, of course. Learned my lesson.) From there we ended up at an Irish bar called Kelly’s just off the main strip. And that’s where the drinks kept flowing – for her. I was busy checking out the kick-ass cover band playing come of the greatest Old School Rock. I don’t even know what they called themselves but I loved the fact that they had a girl on bass. The place was rockin’.

One thing I found funny is that there was no smoking indoors anywhere on the island – as is the case with most places in North America. But the locals all warn you that if you can’t handle a smokey bar that you shouldn’t go to Kelly’s. There’s even a “No Smoking” sign right on the front door. But smoke they do there. And guess what the fine is? Fifty dollars! Fifty bucks! Back home it’s $5000! They are funny, the Hawaiians. It’s all about “Hangin’ Loose”. Taking it easy.

So I plan on hangin’ loose for the rest of today before the Luau. It’s been lightly raining on and off all morning so I’m keeping my charred skin out of the sun today. It’s my friend’s birthday today so we’ll be going for some fabulous sushi at Todai’s across the street!

Aloha

Nowhere Girl

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Aloha – Day #8

August 27, 2011

Hanauma Bay

Sunday, June 19th

Today is Father’s Day. Spent it in Hanauma Bay where the water is so clear you can see the fish without even needing to snorkel. Although we got some gear, I was too chicken to keep my face in the water for very long. I made a few attempts and actually saw a blue fish. That was cool but mentally it psyched me out too much to keep putting my head under. Maybe one day. But at least I tried. The Bay is a beautiful teal colour and has been kept as a fish preserve. It’s a beautiful beach but was too windy to really enjoy a beach day.

When we got back to Waikiki at 5:30pm, I called my dad but just got the machine. Figured as it’s actually 11:30pm back home. So, that half-second call cost me $15. Crazy.

Yesterday was another full beach day where I proceeded to toast myself like a lobster so I didn’t spend too much time in the sun today. I don;t want to over do it. My pink toe nails seem to glow against my darkened skin. Pretty cool.

Tomorrow we are going on an excursion back up to the North Shore on The Surf Bus. It’s a full day trip up to the North side of the island where we are top frolic in the sun some more and see a few local sights. It’s a bit more laid back than some of the snapshot spots of previous excursions. And it includes lunch!

So two things I’ve grown to love in Hawaii is the food and the weather. By far, the best:)

Full-on snorkelling in Hanauma Bay. That's NOT me!

Aloha

Nowhere Girl

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Aloha – Day #6

August 26, 2011

Friday, June 17th

8pm. We’ve just experienced the most beautiful fireworks right from our balcony. On our resort, every Friday, they put on a fabulous hula show with a firework spectacular on the beach. A-mazing! Gorgeous sight! Hawaii is getting better and better with each day.

Today was a full day of exploring the island. We hopped on a tour that took us just about full circle around the island of O’Ahu. We drove by Pearl Harbour where we were given a brief recount of the December 7th, 1941 attack. “A day that would live in infamy.”

On our way to the North Shore, we stopped at the Dole plantation where we saw real pineapple bushes and had Dole, which is non-dairy pineapple ice cream. So good. Oh, and I should preface this adventure by saying that we (I, by association) were the delinquents on this leg as my travel partner was always doing some last minute  second shopping, while the rest of the bus passengers, along with our guide waited. Every time I would ditch her to get back to the bus on time, I’d feel a flash of red as I inched closer to the vehicle, seeing that all those eyes were pressed against the windows as if willing me to move faster. This is where we learned the term “wiki, wiki” which means “hurry up!” I found myself sinking into my seat as questioning eyes were probing the back of my head wondering where the last straggler was. Yep. So fun. (Insert sarcasm here)

Next, we near the Northern tip of the island at Sunset Beach where the view was

Sunset Beach

spectacular and we could see many of the locals sunbathing, fishing and a small few trying to surf. No real waves out today, though.

After a few photos, we rounded the northern tip of the island to stop in at the Polynesian Cultural Centre. Here, we had a fabulous lunch buffet and were treated to some fabulous shows from natives of Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga and Hawaii. Some of the locals find the Centre not to be authentic and too commercial but for someone like myself who knew nothing, I felt that at least I learned something.

We learned how to make smoke from two sticks and fire from a coconut, along with its milk. Sounds strange but they did it. Next we had a percussion lesson with bamboo sticks. THAT was really cool. We were taught different rhythms to bang out as they sang and a guitar player strummed along. We were a band! Loved that!

 

Continuing south, we stopped at Waikane where we took a peek at the Macadamian plantation. Here they served free Macadamian-flavouredcoffee and free nut samples while selling you over-priced tourist baubles in the gift shop.

Byodo-In Temple, O'Ahu - Hawaii

Second last stop was the Byodo-In Temple, a magnificent structure which is a replica of a Kyoto  temple in China. We even got to ring the gong. Here I found a beautiful book on the teaching of Buddha – at the gift shop, of course.

Final stop was the Pali Lookout, where we drove up into the rainforest to see the most magnificent view. They say it was here that the last battle was ever fought before all the Hawaiian islands were united. So much culture. So much history.

Pali Lookout

Once back in Waikiki, we bee-lined it across the street from our hotel to have THE best sushi on the planet. $30. All you can eat. Stupendous! So fresh and flavourful and so much variety. Weary from our full-day adventure, we stumbled over there and proceeded to stuff ourselves silly only to roll ourselves out of there about an hour later. Almost perfect ending to our day. I say almost because within half hour of arriving back to our room we were racing each other to the only bathroom we had. It was something directly out of the food-poisoning scene in the movie, BRIDESMAIDS when the girls are all blasting from all orifices. Good times…….

Let me clarify that we were not sick. We just ate too much. The sushi was still amazing and if you are ever in Waikiki, goes to Todai’s. Simply the best – but stay close to the rest room in case you over do it.

As for yesterday, it was a full beach day with a paddle surf lesson. My travel buddy doing the lesson and me standing in as photographer. We befriended the instructor, Kau (pronounced Kuh-oo) who is a local and we were lucky enough to have him guide us to some neat places like Ono for some traditional Hawaiian lunch. Then at night we went to a place called Tikki’s where a few of his friends were playing gig. Right up my alley. What’s popular here is Hawaiian Reggae. Got to chatting with one of Kau’sfriends, Matt who is also a songwriter and quite the comedian, I might add. It was a great night. We all hung out in a big group like a family.

Typical Hawaiian Plate Lunch

That’s the thing about Hawaiian’s. They treat you like family. It’s all about sharing good times, good food and good health. Beautiful.

Tomorrow? Another beach day. After our Time-Share meeting at 8am that is. Here is where we will collect our free Luau tickets for Tuesday. Looking forward to it.

Sun, sun, sun tomorrow.

Aloha

Nowhere Girl

 

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Aloha Day #3 (Fully Loaded)

August 24, 2011

Tuesday, June 14th

10:06am – Hurting. Everything hurts. My eyes, my head, my hair, my hips, my quads. The list goes on. I am officially hung over. And for those of you that know me, you should be aghast. For those of you that don’t; know this. I don’t drink. At all. Just never acquired the taste for it. So this experience is extremely foreign to me. I still don’t really understand why people would do this to themselves voluntarily.

I know what you’re thinking. Aren’t you a musician? You’re in bars all the time and must be surrounded by this stuff in the Rock ‘n Roll scene. Well, yes but I never partake. I just don’t like the taste. True story.

So after a Rum and Coke and two Mai Tai ‘s, I was properly bombed. Those deliciously, flavourful beverages are served in a giant Brandy glasses which might as well be a fish bowl, they are so big, topped with a pineapple and lime. They are so sweet, you don’t even realize you are loaded until you are loaded. Then its too late. It’s unreal. I felt like my eye balls were floating around inside my head. Although, I was extremely giggly and relaxed, I still don’t feel it was worth the price you pay the next day. My travel buddy says to live it up! “We’re in Hawaii, after all!” What I say is I’d like to keep living in a world where the room doesn’t spin.

So as I sit here holding my head in my hands and detesting the sight of a Brandy glass, I’ve decided I’m don

e with anymore booze for the rest of the trip. Back to ginger ales or cranberry juices for me. Now if only I could keep some breakfast down. That would be a victory for me……..

Nowhere Girl

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The Return

August 24, 2011

Wow! The summer has just slipped away from me! And now we’re slowing inching toward its end. Bummer. You always know that when the CNE sets up in town, it’s the beginning of the end. Sure it’s one of this cities’ greatest loves and creates the best memories of childhood but it also marks the end of warm weather as we know it and the ever impending entry of Fall which seems to turn too quickly into Winter.

I’ve been extremely negligent in writing the past few months. Since getting back from Hawaii, I’ve pretty much hit the ground running. From or to what, I’m not quite sure; as this EP seems to be the longest musical project in the history of putting out silly EPs. That’s what I feel like it is now. Silly. It’s taken far longer than it should have to get it out. Perhaps we were just too picky on getting things to sound just right. Good old ego getting in the way.
Whatever the case, I am hopeful that we will be releasing it in the next few weeks and getting some shows back on the road! Yeah!

In the meantime, I’ll post the rest of our Hawaii entries and keep you up to date on the Summer trip to Paradise.

Hope you enjoy!

NG

(Please see next blog entry.)

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Aloha – Day #2

July 3, 2011

Waikiki - view to the right of our balcony

Monday, June 13

4:56am – Hawaii Time. Wide awake. Feel like I’ve slept for days. It’s really 10:56am back home. Going back to sleep.

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5:50am. We are both awake. The sounds of a typical metropolis are filtering in through our balcony doors. (We slept with them open thinking we’d get the nice ocean sound. Not.) Waikiki is a suburb or district of Honolulu and it’s a city like any other. So we have not escaped the sights and sounds of city life, we are realizing. The weather channel has informed us that we should expect some rain and thunderstorms over the next forty-eight hours. So we are planning our discovery of the island based on a few of the indoor sights like Bishop Museum and perhaps China Town. The sun looks like it’s gently trying to make an appearance.

Ocean View to the right of our baclony