Still, it was AWESOME!
I will list things that were fabulous about the trip in random order:
- Hawaii is a really beautiful place. It rains but for the time we were there it was gentle rain and it ended quickly. Even overcast days in Hawaii are more beautiful than I could have imagined.
- The Pali Lookout was really neat! A friend (Hi Katie!) recommended that we go up there and it was worth the quick jaunt. There's not much to do, but it's a way-high lookout on the mountain and the winds are so strong I thought I was going to lose my clothing. Seriously! It's on a pass through the mountains and you get a panoramic view of the windward (East) side of the island of Oahu.
- I love swimming in salt water. The added bouyancy is fun and it's amazing to think about how vast the water is while you're in it. I was floating on my back in the ocean, looking over to Diamond Head . . . and really, isn't that amazing?
- I had wanted to visit fancy restaurants and eat a ton of sushi but I realized while there that it was just as much fun to just hang loose and do whatever. We had lunch from the beachside vendor one day and it was delish, food court another day, also delish. And seriously, the prices in HI are so high that it was still more than we usually spend on lunch.
- I got a new instrument! A real ukelele is now here in my house and I LOVE it! I haven't told many people about this yet but you can rest assured I'll be practicing all of my Christmas Carols for the season! It's a real beauty!
- Even a 14-hour day of travel through airports and planes is enjoyable when you're with someone who is easy to be with. I even got sick on the plane on the way over and didn't feel stressed about it. Figure that out! I think my sickness was from something I had eaten and not from the motion, but who really knows.
- The wedding on Magic Island beach, Diamond Head in the distance, sunset following, was really lovely. I wish Kate and Annette all kinds of wonderful happiness and I'm really grateful that they were so gracious and welcoming to me, the newbie in the group. We were the only people at the wedding who don't live in Alaska. . . except the officates.
- Pearl Harbor and the memorials there were really moving. I am so very glad we visited them. We were even there on Veteran's Day, which seemed perfect.
- The Polynesian Cultural Center is fun but I probably don't ever need to go back. It's very tourist-oriented and upon reflection I feel like they were constantly asking for us to spend more money. Even the bus drivers there and back made pleas for tips. Still, I did learn some things about island life and about Polynesia in particular. Interesting but over-schilled.
- I packed too many different outfits. I wish I had purchased more stuff at the swap meet we went to on Saturday and I wish I was made of money so I could go back every year . . . or maybe even live there.
- My next travel goal is to visit a different tropical island. I'm hooked!