Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hawaii - Day #9

On Day #9, we woke up at 6am, packed up the tent (7 days of camping!) and flew to the Big Island (the actual island named "Hawaii").

We visted some businesses, and did some sight-seeing. Some of the names in Hawaii make me laugh...

And other signs keep me smiling...
Cool tree in Hilo
The PeePee Falls, I think...
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Hawaii - Day #8 - The Road to Hana

On Day #8 we drove the Road to Hana, clearly the best thing you could do in Maui. If you've come to Maui and haven't driven the Road to're a fool!

A cool looking chapel somewhere along the road...
The road is full of small 1-way bridges built into the mountain side...
We stopped at a black-pebble/sand beach with lava tubes, etc.

Instead of driving the 3-hour "Road to Hana" back the same way we came (which is the normal route), Jared (OF COURSE) wanted to continued driving around the entire East side of Maui on a less-traveled road. It was rough at times, but offered a beautiful, untouched view of Maui.
His favorite view of Maui!

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Hawaii - Day # 7?

On some other day in Hawaii (probably Day #7?) we probably drove around and visted more businesses. We also probably saw some more beaches (no swimming...but wading is always long as you don't get unexpectedly soaked...)'s hard to keep the days straight...

Then, we drove to the highest point in Maui (10,000+ feet)...basically a was a beautiful drive.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hawaii - Day #6

We drove up West Maui, and visited Lahaina's Front Street. There, we found a gift for Ella that we couldn't resist. This man does Korean "Leather Brush Art," and made this picture (with Ella's name) right in front of us within minutes. Look closely...there is a whale, dolphin, hula dancer, and turtle! So cute!

After walking the front street several times, we were pooped. We drove further up West Maui, and found a swim-able beach (a lot of the beaches are really rough this time of year--not very good for swimming). We played in the ocean for about 2 hours. It was GREAT! I can't remember the last time I was just able to play in the ocean without kids...hmm...6 years ago...I remember now...WOW.

Can you believe that it took us until Day #6 to actually get to SWIM in Hawaii? We are definitely working tourists...
After swimming, we drove back to Front Street, and were surprised that it was packed and lively! Since we hadn't been able to speak to any owners earlier, we popped our heads back in and met a few. We got a confirmed order (that demanded exclusivity, of course) and walked out successful! Wohoo!

We went back to our campsite, did laundry, and watched "27 Dresses" in the car (it was from a Redbox-type Hawaiin Rental box), which I was very excited to finally see. It was only after it started that Jared informed me that we HAD seen it. While it seemed vaguely familiar, it was still all new to me. I really have NO memory for movies. Seriously...we've rented and seen this movie before, and I had no idea what was going to happen next in each scene. Pathetic.

Fell asleep exhausted, and showered the next morning in the open-air cool showers. Thank goodness it's not Alaska glacier-fed water, because it was still cold enough for my taste...

This is our campsite at Camp Olowalu. It's $20 a night for the two of us, and it is set right on the beach among a mess of branches and trees. It's a pretty wild camp site, but very very quiet and yet full of people. It's so dang hot's hard to sleep inside a tent...oh well!
Day #7 begins...wish us luck!
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Hawaii - Day #5

Woke up on Thursday morning, put on the swimsuits, and drove out of camp to go find a swimming place. Stopped at the office on the way out to pick up on their free Wifi, check emails, and decided to book a flight leaving the next day for Maui. Booked the flight for an unbelievable deal, and then proceeded to book a car rental. It was at that point that I realized I had booked a flight for THAT DAY. Yup--leaving in 2 hours. And we were 1 1/2 hours away from the airport. OOPS. A CLASSIC Alisa moment.

So, we rushed back to our tent site, packed our tent and bags as quickly as possible, and dashed to the airport. We returned our car (paying the excess fee to have them fill up the car because we couldn't do it in time), and ran up to the checkout counter. Too late. Darn. So, we called the reservations place (saved us the $50 fee they charge you at the desk) to change the flight for an upcoming one. Had to pay $30 more each for the more expensive ticket (I told you we got a good deal!), and overall, the experience cost us an extra $90. Oh well.

We were booted out of Oahu fast, and we weren't that disappointed. We were happy to fly into Maui, pick up a new car rental, and track down our impossible-to-find campsite (only because we got bad directions from the camp manger who wouldn't answer her phone). Found the site--quite pleased with it! And now...Day #6 is a work day. Here we go!!

Hawaii - Day #4

On Day #4 we again woke up to the Roosters, and then drove up to the North Shore and found a few interesting shops...talked to an owner...didn't have a lot of luck. It's amazing the excuses business owners will give you about why they don't think a product will sell...but for goodness sakes...we had a comparable business...and the watches sold DESPITE all of those reasons! Believe me--we came up with all of those reasons originally, too...but they sold like crazy! Oh well...what do you do?

We enjoyed some Shave Ice at the North Shore

We watched some surfers on some very large waves

We visited the BYU Hawaii campus.

And then we went to the temple. It is closed and not due to reopen until next year. But we got some photos...

Next was the Polynesian Cultural Center. It cost a boat-load to get in, but I guess it was worth it. After all, where else are you going to see a place like this?

Their grounds are divided into different Polynesian "Villages," and you can go to the different villages throughout the day for a cultural experience particular to that island, etc. We got there a bit late, so we only did a few got a lesson on how to crack open a coconut, hula dance, and climb a palm tree.

The Somoa guy was HYSTERICAL:

Then, we enjoyed the big evening show, which was like seeing just the best parts of "The Living Legends" BYU performing group (the Polynesian dances are always the best, in my opinion!). Maybe I'll post a video later...I'm running Jared's patience thin (sitting outside of Barnes & Noble's WiFi spot, in the car, to blog)!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hawaii - Day #3

We finally drove out of Honolulu, and we were relieved. Yuck...who really enjoys living in cities?

The drive up and around the Southeastern tip of Oahu, and then up the Eastern cost was beautiful.

We stopped at a beautiful beach along the way, and were astonished how soft and squishy the sand was. Why do your feet sink in the WET sand here, unlike the Pacific Northwest coast? Hmm...a mystery...

As we were wading in the water, a huge wave came up on us without warning. Oops!
We spent the night at a nice campground just north of the Polynesian Cultural Center (and BYU Hawaii and the LDS Temple). We discovered once we got here that camping in Oahu isn't highly recommended, and can be rather unsafe. However, this particular campground comes highly recommended by all, so we were relieved to finally get here!

One surprise, however, is that this campground is overrun with MORE cats. At one turn of the road, there were over a DOZEN cats staring at our headlights in the path. Weird. They are EVERYWHERE!

Also surprising was in the morning when we heard roosters singing "Cock-a-doodle-doo" nonstop. I tried to count seconds between their roosts (?), and it was less than 5 seconds from one to the next. I stuck my head out of the tent, and could see almost 10 roosters roaming around.


P.S. Saw the star of the TV sitcom "Glee" in Waikiki the other day. Jared and I both looked at each other and said, "Did you see that guy just walk by? That HAD to be him...or else his twin?!" We enjoy Glee...although it is quite inappropriate for the age group it is intended for...
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hawaii - Day #2

Well, this photo is actually from the flight into Honolulu...

International Market at Waikiki with a cool tree...
Waikiki Beach that we didn't enjoy...
It's 9pm, and we just checked into a hotel for the night. Earlier today, we visited 8 Shopping Centers, and we've completed the Waikiki Shopping street which seemed endless. My feet are thanking me for that.

We have our first watch order in Hawaii submitted (wohoo--success!), and several potential stores, we hope (still need to reach the owner/buyer)...

We can't wait to finish Honolulu. We do NOT like cities! Yuck!

We're hoping to camp for the next few nights. We shall see...

On a different note, it rained on and off today. Cloudy skies made us happy, and the cool rain kept us from passing out on the sidewalks. I think we're probably the only tourists in Hawaii that are excited to see it overcast and rainy!


1am (why am I still awake?): My voice is gone. I carried a nasty cold (from Maiya) with me on the plane, and it is getting progressively worse. I hope I still have a voice tomorrow...otherwise tomorrow might be a forced vacation!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hawaii - Day #1

Flew into Honolulu on a fantastic plane. Each seat had an individual TV console with New Release movies, TV, and even music options. Plugged in my uncomfortable iPod ear pods, and watched 2 1/2 movies (does anyone find those pods comfortable? They kill my ears). Jared watched movies he's been wanting to see (but I don't want to)...Transformers and Terminator. I watched 4 Christmases, 1/2 of 300 Days of Summer, and really loved "My Sister's Keeper." I tried to hide the fact that I was crying over that movie on the plane...

Upon landing, my stomach lost it without any warning. I was frantically wondering where the barf bag was, but was convinced that if I began to look for it, I would DEFINITELY lose it. Tried to focus on the movie instead. Survived...just barely.

Landed, picked up luggage, and took a shuttle bus to "Budget" to pick up our car. Jared waited in line, and I paced and paced, trying to get rid of the motion sickness. When Jared finally got to the front of the line, I handed him the confirmation page, which he handed to the agent. She handed it was for ALAMO.

On to a shuttle bus for a great car for an unbeatable price, and searched out food. Jared ate, and I worriedly ate a bit.

Next, went searching for camping up on the mountain top (the closest National Park). Arrived at said-camping park, but discovered that camping isn't allowed (we didn't have a permit, anyways...which you have to do in advance at a designated office)...but we saw about 20 stray cats running through the small park. And a wild hog. New park name is the "Ditch-your-cat park."

Went looking for a place to sleep, but before we made it down the mountain, I made Jared pull over at a gas station so I could puke my brains out. Luckily he pulled to the side of the station, instead of the parking lot. Puked in private after 3 hours of misery. Felt much better.

Continued on hunt to downtown Waikiki. Completely overwhelmed with endless shops, and more endless shops, and more endless shops. Did I bring enough business cards?

Found a cheap hotel, but pulled in and discovered they have a $15.70 parking fee (gratuity not included). WHAT?! Pulled out. Found a hostel with only $5 parking fee. Checked in, and crashed by 7:30 while Jared researched Hawaii on the computer for several hours.

Woke up at 5am, rearing to go. Decided to let Jared keep sleeping. Woke up again at 7am...showered in a cool shower (a relief from the heat and humidity)...and ready for a great day!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


We have been "on the road" for a month, already. The girls have been good sports, for the most part. This is the best part of the day, however:
Maiya broke into my makeup bag...
This is how we travel in to is so much easier to control the temperature in a room when we use our reliable and predicatable heater, instead of the hotel's system....
Swimming at our hotel in West Yellowstone....
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Well, we're off to Hawaii for 2 weeks (without the kids--thanks to my sister and Mom in Utah!) for a working vacation, so it seems our fortunes are already coming true!
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