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Oahu Adventure: Day 2

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Tom and I aren’t adjusting to jet lag very well, both keeping strange hours. And the kids are going to bed late. We do better going around the world for some reason. 

Three of us were up at a decent time this day. Alex slept and slept and slept. He needed it! We were all eating when he finally came rolling out of bed. He was so out of it and didn’t want to eat or even talk to anyone. 

As Americans living in Australia we are sometimes out of touch with American holidays. Tom booked this trip and neither of us realised it was Memorial Day weekend. Fail. It is busy everywhere. 

We went into Honolulu to have a walk and see a few of the sights. We walked around the ‘Iolani Palace but found it to be quite expensive to go in and not very interesting for the kids so we didn’t go inside.

From Wikipedia: “The ʻIolani Palace was the royal residence of the Kalākaua Dynasty, which included King David Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani. It is located in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. It is now a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Kamehameha III, IV, V, and Lunalilo had their official royal residences in this location as well. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the building was used as the capitol building for the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and State of Hawaiʻi until 1969. The palace was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1978.”

We also wandered around the grounds of the Kawaiaha’o Church, also known as The Stone Church. It is referred to as the Westminster Abbey of Hawai’i as it was the site of royal coronations, funerals and christenings. The churches an interesting story. It was built between 1936 and 1942. Some 14,000 thousand-pound slabs of coral reef were hand-chiseled down 3-6 meters and brought up to build the church.

These landmarks are in the Capitol district of Honolulu which also has the State Capitol as well as senate and house buildings. Banyan trees, prevalent on the islands, dot this district as well. I would also like to note the abundance of homeless people in the area. The state library and archives building was lined with homeless people lying all around it.

By now our tummies were growling so we made a quick stop at Subway and then returned to Waikiki. Because of the Memorial Day holiday, Waikiki was heaving with people and cars. The kids asked to go to the aquarium but there wasn’t a parking space anywhere. We returned to our hotel room for a break after all of that walking with hopes of visiting the aquarium another day. The kids had been asking about the hotel pool so we took them up for an hour swim and soak in the hot tub. It was dead quiet up there and we had it to ourselves for most of the time. Back to the room again for a rest since we still had several things to accomplish.

Kuhlo Beach, just in front of our hotel, was our next stop. Tom and I opted out of another swim but the kids had about 40 minutes of running around and wave jumping before we got changed for dinner. Tom and I had both read reviews about Eggs n Things restaurant which is just in front of our hotel so we went for it. Bad idea. Tom ordered Eggs Benedict, I had a Portuguese sausage omelet with a pancake, Sofia had banana pancakes with whipped cream bigger than her head and Alex ate waffles. The kids seemed to enjoy their food alright. Tom and I were sorely disappointed. I have nothing nice to say about the omelet. The pancake was ok only because I got the chance to try Guava syrup and coconut syrup along side the usual maple. Back upstairs. We had planned to go to a hula show on the beach at sundown but the kids were worn out. But, we had a crazy idea for later: Target. I won’t even discuss what we ended up spending. I miss having a proper Target so much. It was 11:30 by the time the kids got to bed.

Tomorrow morning we check out and head north to the Windward side and visits to the north shore. Goodnight.

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Oahu Adventure: Day 1 Again

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Because we crossed the International Date Line on the way over we got to have another 22 May (Left Sydney at 9pm on the 22nd and arrived in Hawaii at 11am on the 22nd). 

Tom travelled here last year so he was familiar with the airport, car rental, etc. Instead of waiting ages for the Avis shuttle to pick us up we spent five minutes walking down to the end of the terminal and crossing the street to get to the rental area. We got a behemoth of a vehicle, a Ford Explorer. Off to find our hotel for the first two nights, the Aston Waikiki Beach Tower. Because our room wasn’t going to be ready for a couple of hours we upgraded to a room on the 29th floor instead of our 7th floor room. Worth it! 

Everyone felt tired, out of sorts and hungry. We got ourselves settled in and then went to find some late lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise. None of us had a cheeseburger. Tom and I shared fish tacos and coconut prawns. The kids had macaroni and cheese. I also had a piña colada and we shared a mojito. Yum.

Back at the room Alex fell asleep on the sofa so we went and had a nap. Sofia said she wasn’t tired and watched iPad shows while Tom snoozed off and on. After our siesta we needed to go out for food again. Our hotel has a McDonalds right outside the front so we took,the easy option with the kids since they were still quite out of sorts (or completely foul, something like that). Next stop was the local ABC shop for yogurt, juice, smoothies and apples for breakfast. 

Thinking back to last night it is all a haze. No idea where all the time went. Sofia went to bed ok at 10pm but Alex didn’t fall asleep until closer to midnight. (Naps aren’t always a good thing). 

It is Memorial Day weekend in a very touristy area and it shows! Excited to be heading up the Windward (East) coast on Sunday for a week in a beach house. Photos and more later!

Oahu Adventure: Day 1 

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Tom is meeting his friend in Los Angeles this week for two U2 shows. We decided to turn this into a family holiday  in Hawaii where Tom will nip over to LA for a few days in the middle.

Tom left on his flight early Friday morning. He flew Sydney-Los Angeles-Honolulu on United and I flew with the kids Sydney-Honolulu on Hawaiian. Our flights were scheduled to come in within 15 minutes of each other in Honolulu.

I picked up the kids from school Friday afternoon and we went to do a few last-minute errands at the local shopping centre. Back at home we finished up packing and called for a taxi just after 6pm. I thought this would mean an early arrival at the airport and perhaps avoiding some of the queues. I was wrong. We were at the back of the queue with two and a half hours to go before departure. No hope to purchase an upgrade to Business Class. No worries. Taking two excited, tired kids seemed daunting, but I was optimistic that an overnight flight leaving way past bedtime would mean sleep. Ha. Think again.

As we settled into our three middle seats on the Hawaiian A330 the kids appeared ready for bed. They made an attempt at the in-flight entertainment but soon were off to sleep. Ah, peace and quiet. I tried to enjoy my economy meal of green beans, rice and mystery meat in mystery sauce with a side salad of something resembling lettuce, cucumber and tomato.  Mediocre at best. Positivity, we are off to Hawaii.

Stupidly I forgot to get Sofia motion sickness tablets. She is always sick when we start to descend. And poor Alex, he’s the king of airplane nose bleeds. With tissues at the ready I dozed off for a good hour or two before Alex decided he was up for the night. Followed closely by Sofia who was also up for the night. Meanwhile, my ongoing issues with coccyx/tailbone pain has reared its ugly head again and I am in so much pain it hurts to even shift in my seat. The person in front of me has also settled in for a sleep with a fully- reclined seat leaving me about six inches of space. I could barely squeeze my backpack out from under the seat.

After a weak attempt at making sure the kids were good and bored I relented and handed over the iPads wondering how we would cope the rest of the flight and into the day. Surely they would fall back asleep for an hour or two? Never underestimate a child’s resilience to stay awake when they want to. Then the fun began!

I won’t go into detail but let’s just say Sofia did get sick. Twice. And Alex had a few nose bleeds. And I was exhausted with severe tailbone pain.

Our flight landed on time. We had to deplane and wait in a holding area because the customs/immigration hall was not able to accommodate another flight. Good fun. This was a total of about 30 minutes delay. Because we were in the last few rows of the plane I assumed we would be last through immigration. This delay worked in my favour during this hold. Luckily my kids like to walk fast because I made them bust it down to immigration once they let us out and there were very few people ahead of us. Yay! We picked up luggage, zipped through customs and there was Tom waiting on the other side! Let’s go find the car and start this adventure.

Around the World

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Thursday morning we depart on a round the world trip with the kids. On the itinerary: Depart Sydney for Singapore; Bodø, Norway; Lofoten Islands (Moskenes to Tromsø), Norway; Longyearbyen (Svalbard/Spitsbergen), Norway; Hamburg, Germany; Charlotte, North Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Grand Forks, North Dakota; and San Francisco, California.

Come along and see what we are up to…

Here is what our organized chaos looks like right now. Not anywhere near organized, but moving in the right direction. I am coming down with some terrible sickness and I am struggling with clear thinking!

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