Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Lost: The Honeymoon
In July 2005 we got married in Las Vegas, then skipped out of town and flew directly to Hawaii for a two-week stay on the islands of Oahu and Kauai. I even bought a tacky Hawaiian shirt in honor of the occasion. :-)
In Oahu, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency at Waikiki Beach. Very touristy, but this was our first time to Hawaii, so we didn't really know anywhere else to stay. I'm the one who researches, arranges, and books our trips, though, so I at least made sure we stayed someplace nice! This was just one of the views from our balcony, facing north towards Diamond Head volcano (not pictured).
We spent six nights here, just going to the beach and visiting various cool places around the island, which houses around 70% of Hawaii's total population. We visited the Dole Plantation (mmm . . . Pineapple!) and got to see the tropical settings where many movies and tv shows were/are filmed, such as Karate Kid II (one of my favorite movies) and the tv show, Lost. Along the way I ate a TON of fresh fruit and fish. As I'm not a big fan of seafood, the latter goes to show how good the food was here.
I also got introduced to something yummy and utterly Hawaiian called Spam musubi. If anyone is familiar with Japanese musubi, well this is it--but with Spam added! It's basically a brick of sticky rice with a slab of spam on top, wrapped up in nori (seaweed). Spam musubi and a cup of fresh-cut pineapple was pretty much my daytime diet the entire two weeks in Hawaii. Very, very good!
We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center near the North Shore where we got to experience the many diverse cultures that make up the south Pacific. Most of the shows were put on by students from the local affiliate of Brigham Young University, culled from the many islands of the Pacific. I've never seen so much colorful dancing in all my life. Here, at one such show brimming with both Japanese and Korean tourists in the audience, this little ragamuffin came walking out of the seats to stand beside me for whatever reason. She kept making googly faces at me and smiling. I think she was trying to get a better look at the stage. Don't know where her parents were, but me and Lisa seriously contemplated a bit of kiddie stealing here! (ha, ha) I took this photo literally 2 seconds before she lifted up her shirt and flashed everyone. Phew! A lag of my finger, and I would have spent the rest of our honeymoon in a Fed prison for child porn--yikes!
I took this picture from the deck of our dinner cruise around Honolulu. The pair of identical towers in the center is the Hyatt Regency. Our room was in the left-hand tower, near the very top. I didn't even realize we had sailed as far north as our hotel. I just took this picture because of the yacht and only paid attention to the background scenery later. I'm proud of this photo. I call it the "postcard" shot. Doesn't it look like one?
The following week we hopped an inter-island prop plane to fly "next door" to Kauai island. This is the most tropical and wettest of the Hawaiian islands, and it sure did rain a lot. But only at specific times of the day. Most of the days were sun-filled and perfect. Here we are at dinner in a very nice restaurant near our hotel at Poipu Beach (south shore).
Driving around Kauai was much easier than Oahu, although both places get extremely crowded during rush hours. We found Kauai to be less diverse than Oahu, though. Most of the residents there are Caucasian, and there are a lot of expensive condos and time-shares here. Hmm, I wonder if there is a correlation? ;-) I felt way more at home among the mostly Asian population of Honolulu, where I seemed to have been mistaken for a local Hawaiian many times. Even the valet attendant at the airport told me to enjoy my vacation when we were leaving to go back to NYC, thinking I was a native resident. Heh, heh.
This was the view from our hotel balcony in Kauai. Again we stayed at the Hyatt. I swear, I must get a membership with them or something. We somehow always end up staying at the Hyatt during our trips, although I don't intentionally choose them when I'm booking our stay. Weird.
Kauai was laid back and a bit dull. But after the whirlwind that was our Vegas wedding, and our one week stay in the bustling tourist trap of Honolulu, it was a welcomed change of pace. Still, Lisa and I loved Honolulu a lot. We're seriously thinking of moving there, since they have a high demand for nurses and pay well. I have no idea what I would do for a living there, though, so that's a problem. And although I prefer more wintry climates to warm ones (Vermont is perfect!), Hawaii is one of the few exceptions I'll consider. I mean, who wouldn't? Yeah, the cost of living is extreme. But so is NYC. So we're used to it.
Hmm, who knows?
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