Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hawaii: Wednesday--Birds, Breakfast, Beach, Bus, & Burgers

Our stay in Hawaii began with a beautiful, sunshiney morning. Everyone had a good night's sleep and was raring to go. The kids started out with one of Auntie Sarah's muffins (the double chocolates went fast!) and were introduced to our local feathered friends.The "birds with the black mohawk" as Banana Boy called them, were intriguing. We also had pigeons, little "wrinkled" doves, Brazilian cardinals (stowaways from.... Brazil!) and sparrows. Here is a lovely action shot.

As part of our lei greeting/free shuttle to the hotel, we also got a free breakfast and Hawaii orientation (and sales pitch for tours, thank you). The breakfast was very nice--juice, coffee, eggs, sausage, english muffin, banana mini-muffin, pineapple. They met us at the door, put flowers in our hair and adorned us with leis (which we had to give back). The photo lady (bossy, but definitely knew her stuff!) arranged us all and they snapped a picture which we could later buy for $18 (we didn't). As part of the orientation, we got to see a little hula/ukelele demonstration and hear some tips for visiting Hawaii (see more than just Waikiki, wear sunscreen, buy our tours) The free breakfast made it worth going.
After the breakfast (from which we snuck out in shifts during the tour talk), we headed to the beach.

Yay! The ocean!
It's all Rose Bud wanted to do. She loves the ocean and was so happy to now be able to claim that she has swum in both the Pacific AND the Atlantic.

Diamond Head and Nonny from Waikiki Beach

We swam and jumped in the waves for about an hour (no pics, camera batteries dead), then headed back to the hotel for more muffins and a nap. Well, Nonny and Banana Boy napped. The girls and I went down to the pool.

The original plan for today had been for us to go to Pearl Harbor and from there, Auntie Sarah was going to pick us up for a BBQ at her house nearby. Now that plans had changed, we decided to take the bus. Mr. GT got online and found bus info for..... TheBus , as it's called. The City B Express stopped practically outside our hotel door, so that was easy. The transfer was easy.

Then we looked at our notes and saw that Auntie Sarah had told us to get off at her stop. Only, we had no idea where her stop was. We asked the bus driver and he told us to remind him again in a half hour. Ashley, this lovely new high school graduate (it was her last day of school) tried to help us out and shared all sorts of Hawaiian lore with us. We learned about poi, going to school in Hawaii, her family (she comes from a long line of bus drivers), where to buy awesome soft-serve and more. She was very chatty.

I reminded the bus driver, but he wasn't ready for us. Ashley (pronounced AHsh lee) had to get off shortly before we did. Finally , we neared what the bus driver thought must be our stop. By now, we had the whole bus trying to solve our dilemma. Everyone was rooting for us!!!


Turns out, the confusion was that I said our stop was a street on which the bus drove more than a mile, hence no one knew exactly where to let us off. We eventually realized that it was the NEXT note on our page which was our real stop and just in time, we were there. We walked a few blocks to Auntie Sarah's house. Look at her great view of Pearl Harbor!

Nonny with almost all of her grandchildren (Sunshine is missing, of course)

It was good to reunite with family we haven't seen in nearly two years. Rose Bud had fun reconnecting with her cousins and exchanging cell phone numbers.

The little kids went outside and promptly began to clean up Auntie Sarah's yard. What fun to sweep up all the flower petals with homemade palm brooms!!!

Robert grilled hamburgers, we all visited and Sharon and Julie's boyfriends arrived for dinner. JoJo (goes with Sharon) and Bear (belongs to Julie) were both super nice, polite and friendly young men. We all fell in love with them. JoJo brought his guitar and the kids all played and sang for us.
By 7:30, the kids (and adults) were drooping, so Sarah and Robert drove us back to our hotel in two vehicles (there being 7 of us and two of them) and once again we crashed into bed for a solid night's sleep.
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