I'm home. I slept in my own bed last night (although the bed in the condo I stayed was actually quite good). It was a lovely, if often sweaty, trip.
I started out at the airport determined to enjoy the 1st class experience to the fullest. I found out where the lounge was, then had a nice cup of coffee and snack, while I waited away from the common crowd. And I'm glad that I did. No wonder I'm always stressed before a trip - the waiting area was crowded and full of anxious people.
I got on the plane and had my window seat and was served juice. The flight was a joy. There was space. My row-mate was in a good mood. The food was good. They gave us a digital entertainment thing to keep us busy. I even got a nap in.
I had such plans for when I got in on Friday. But things always seem to take 8 times longer than you anticipate. By the time I got up north and got the key to the condo and settled in, I was famished. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and have lunch from a shrimp shack. OMG was it good and did it make me sick.
An aside: the prilosec is helping a lot, but I still feel sick and discomfort sometimes...I have a follow-up with the GI MD today.
Instead of meeting my parents for dinner, I stayed at the condo and had a quiet evening in. It was a lovely place, right on the Turtle Bay Resort Golf Course. I had a screened in lanai with chairs where I ate my breakfast and just hung out a lot. Lot's of fans, a flat screen television with cable, a full kitchen. Oh, and I was upgraded to a 1 bedroom at no charge. I'm guessing it was a slow week.
On Friday morning, I took a drive out to the middle of the island to visit the Kukaniloko Birthstones. I'll have pictures to share of this and many other things. The stones are where many of the ali'i (the ruling class) women would go to have their babies. It was believed that if a baby was born there, they would be endowed with great power.
I can see why they wanted to be there. It has a lovely view and putting my hand on the rocks and closing my eyes, I felt very grounded and connected. It was cool.
On the way back to the condo, I stopped at a local Saturday market. There were crafts, food vendors, and fruit and veggie sellers. I bought a lovely necklace to go with my dress for the wedding.
And on to the wedding. It was in a small church on the windward side of the island. I swear, they practically made the couple contract to have children (it was a Catholic mass). I liked the priest, though. He had a great sense of humor.
There were mix-ups in the time of the ceremony, so there was a lot of time between that and the reception. I brought my parents to my condo and we hung out. My dad got a mid-day nap and my mom and I caught up. I got to hear more details of their adventures.
The reception was low-key and lovely. Turtle Bay Resort is definitely a hotel, but the food was far better quality than most hotels. As I mentioned before, I sort of played cultural interpretor with the first course - sashimi with wasabi and pickled ginger. Most of the people at my table didn't eat it. I didn't think I'd be up to it, but I felt a little bad that no one else was. It was really nummy.
I sat next to my middle cousin's beau during the reception and grilled him about when he and G are getting married. He said that he's ready, but she wants to get done with school and everything. They've been dating since they were in HS and have been together 6 years. It's pretty amazing.
We had a fairly early night, as my parents were having to drive back to Waikiki that night. My dad was pretty wiped out by the whole day.
I drove down to visit them the next morning. They snuck me in for their free breakfast and we joined the other guests in the pool area for breakfast. They had a singer and a hula dancer to entertain us...the people watching was great. I ended up having a donut, which made me nauseous later (lovely).
My dad was wanting a quiet day, so mom and I went off to see Iolani Palace together. It was a long tour and our tour guide was very strict. My mother had to take a time out for her asthma...her allergies were really bad on the trip. Still, the whole thing was fascinating and the palace was beautiful.
We were both hungry and tired, so we caught a cab to Ala Moana shopping center where I posted from before. We didn't do much shopping, but did go into Hilo Hattie's to purchase lovely Hawaiian themed stuff. I got a beautiful muumuu for SS' ho'ike next month.
We headed back to the hotel where, in a sort of surreal experience, we all took a nap on my parents' king sized bed. We had dinner that night at Lulu's Grill which was close by and had pretty good food.
Driving back that night was a little scary, but I made it safely...and in time to watch some Animal Planet before going to bed.
I got up on Monday and had breakfast, then went back to bed for a nap. :) I didn't leave the condo until noon, which was just fine with me. I went into Haleiwa for lunch and some exploring of the shops. I got to the Surf Museum which was really cool and had me wishing HippyChick were there to share it with me. I had a treat of shaved ice (though not Matsumoto's).
I headed to the Dole plantation where I found another lovely necklace to buy, then took the train ride and learned more about the plantation. It was interesting, but all very touristy. I went in and bought some cut-up pineapple for a treat for the evening.
I headed up the Turtle Bay Resort for dinner. They really do have good chefs there, then after dinner, I went out to the beach and waded in the water and watched the sun setting. Then it was back to the condo to watch more Animal Planet and pack up to go.
On Tuesday morning, I headed back down to have breakfast with my parents. I took them away from the free (but not very impressive) breakfast and out for a sit down with exotic things like coconut pancakes and eggs with Portugese sausage. It was a good breakfast and I was glad to have the time with them before I flew. My dad did go into a tirade, again, about his political leanings. I gently reminded him that I was really not going to change my views, but he could rant to me anytime he wanted (my sister always just stops the rant).
I am really struck by how slow and tired my father is. He really isn't spry. My mom talked about getting him to start walking with her. I think the experience of walking that mile and a half in the desert was a bit of a wake-up call to her. It's also a reminder to me that I want to stay fit into my older years.
The flight back was the same lovely experience as the flight there. Then I was soon back at my home. I'm in my pajamas. My vacation hold mail was just delivered. I have an appointment this afternoon and I need to do some grocery shopping, but really there are very few things that I have to worry about in the next several days. This is a lovely vacation.