3 days Richard doesn't have to work+ great weather+an entire island to explore= 1 adventure packed weekend!
Richard works Friday nights. BUT my friend Mariana's husband had to work too so we decided to go see what was exciting in Waikiki. We tried to get into a CD release for a local reggae artist but the line was out the door and not moving. We heard about a Latin dance night (she is Latino) with free live music at another place so we wandered our way down there. Waikiki is a great place to go with friends, because there are so many things going on that all you have to do is park once and wander around til you find something everyone likes. We got there early and while we were waiting, we ended up talking to the band that just had finished playing. They are the The Hot Club of Hulaville http://www.hotclubofhulaville.com Their violin player gave us CD's for his other band http://www.duanepadilla.com. It was pretty cool. Turns out that the Latin Night was neither live nor free so we didn't end up staying. But we might go back so we can see the other guys play during the dinner hour. We got some food later on down one of the many streets and got to check out the 'Iolani Palace and a bunch of the other cool old buildings in down town. It was a lot of fun. We'll have to go back when they are open. Its nice to have someone to explore with :)
We sold our all our snowboard gear before we left Utah, and saved the money to get new toys here. We had enough to buy both of us full high quality snorkel sets: Glass lenses, monoform rubber flippers, and snorkels that try not to drown you lol.
PLUS we still had enough left over to get me a pair of Vibram 5 fingers! There is a great shop here called Almost Barefoot. They only sell Vibram FiveFingers and wheat grass! The super helpful staff helped guide me to the perfect pair:
They are TrekSports. They were originally designed with trail runners in mind and work perfectly on Hawaii's muddy root bound trails! I wore them on the mile walk back to the car.(We've found in Honolulu its best to just park wherever it is free and walk to everything.) They feel wonderful! Richard has a Jamba Juice gift card so we got us some to keep us hydrated on our walk. It tastes even better here!
We had just enough time to drive over to the west side and get a quick dive in. We need a fish book soo bad! Here was view as we were leaving:
We had a coupon to the WORLD's LARGEST MAZE at the Dole Planation. The drive up there was soo beautiful! The maze was closed for the day :( So instead we went and toured their amazing gardens! They were mind blowing! It was kinda funny, too. Some of the plants, such as the Plumerias, were dormant because it is technically winter here! I took soooo many pictures here are some of my favorites but I'll probably make a link to the whole bunch.
Love the green under bark!
Sadly my this picture doesn't show the beautiful purple color of those waterlilies
Can you find the lizard?
This is a younger one about 3 plants over.
The fist leaves of spring for the plumeria!
We also took a train tour of the fields and watched a demonstration on how to pick the perfect pineapple, how to grow your own plant from the stem, and how to cut/serve it!
To finish it off we had a cone of the the MOST AMAZING PINEAPPLE ICE CREAM EVER! I'm salivating just thinking about it!
We found the Hale'iwa Art Gallery. They have such a great collection with some very affordable prints! I'm going to go back and get Richard a great turtle painting by Bailey Leung. (couldn't find it anywhere online so you'll just have to wait 'til I can take a picture). They had a truly amazing set of silk embroidery art work. I originally thought they were amazing paintings until one of the employee's showed us the ever so tiny threads! Couldn't find one good picture to show you but here is something kind of close:
For dinner we stopped at Maui Mikes Fire-Roasted Chicken. Remember that post last June about the great 'Hawaiian Chicken' apparently that was a knock off Maui Mikes. The real thing is even more out of this world! YUM YUM YUM! We split their half chicken meal and even with a drink it was still only $8.30! That and the place had a wonderful laid back atmosphere. Instead of giving you a number they give you a playing card, so they call out things like 9 of diamonds! 3 of Spades! It was so good we took one home to eat later :)
We were going to go tour Clint's side of the island but his wife ended up in the ER early that morning (she's was released and feeling a little better last thing I heard). So we said we'd come over some other time. We decided to go down to the South End of the island to Hanauma Bay. It's protected so all of the fish their are really friendly! We saw some extremely colorful and exotic ones, and so many were over the top BIG! The bay is really shallow so I did the entire trip floaty free! I'm a pretty lousy swimmer so this is a big deal lol!
Locals get in free so once we get our licences here we'll be regulars. I love the south side of the island the water is the most spectacular color! The road reminded me of the Lassen Park Hwy in curvyness and horrifying drop-offs! But the views were truly awe inspiring!
I love to make lists of my favorite things! And I never like to just choose 1 favorite thing. I remember some of the kids at the day care where I used to work we amazed that I had two favorite colors. "You can have more than one favorite color!?" "Yes! you can have as many favorites as you want!" :D "Oh!...Well then I love the whole rainbow!!"
So to celebrate 1 full week in Hawaii, I am doing:
First Week Favorites!
There are no boring tree's on Oahu:
It wouldn't be fair really to call any tree "boring" but I am of the opinion that the tree's here just are a little more exciting than the rest.
The Banyan: Wow I have really big, heavy limbs...I know what I'll do! I'll grow extra roots and trunks to support them!
Norfolk Pine: Oh Hi! I'm just a pine tree who came on vacation and never left:
(insert pic here soon)
So many unkowns: I haven't been shaped by crazy winds or intense snow loads.. I just grow this way for fun.
The birds are fun and exotic:
We are living right in the middle of a busy city and yet there are always cool bird calls from first thing in the morning to late in the evening:
Oddly enough I haven't seen any seagulls!
These are always in the grass they act a lot like American Robins
Zebra Dove, and Spotted Doves:
WAY cuter in real life!
These are everywhere and they are not afraid of you at all! They look so sweet and are always cooing. I just want to pick them up and kiss them on the head soo bad!
Ask Richard for more details on these. They walk really funny, he was explaining it has something to do with keeping their head still while their legs move.
And SOO many more: I need a bird book really bad. I just looked the ones above up, Until now I've been calling them things like 'Cute little dove thingy' 'those robin birds' 'chickadee type' 'the black stellar's jay' etc There are so many here. I just was reading an avid birder's blog and they have identified and photographed over 180 species!
The rain here makes me happy!
Rain usually bums me out. Exceptions to this rule are: Awesome thunderstorms, and Hawaii rain. I love it when it rains here. I have only gotten light rains so far but they are so refreshing and nice! You know that right after in rains smell? Mix it with tropical flowers and refreshing change in the temperature and WOW! Last weekend when we were hiking right about the same time it would get uncomfortably hot it would do a light misty rain even though the sun was still shining on us! AMAZING!
So I started typing out a detailed log of our journey over here. Its ridiculously long (I'm only up to the ninth) and a lot of it is kinda a downer because of all the stress and things that went wrong. So I'm taking a break to make a happy and fun section called highlights and FAQ
Have you found a place to live:
YES! Right now we are living in a little furnished apt/hotel in Aiea. About 8 mins east of Richard's Work
Starting March 1st we will be in our very own 1 bedroom Apartment in Waipahu north of the freeway in a neighborhood called Village Park. It is kind of pricey but it is perfect for us. Its in a very nice part of town in a gated community, very quiet, has a washer and dryer, and a little backyard/patio with grass :) Here's the outside:
Has Richard started work?
YES! Tonight is his first night. We have met several of the guys on his crew and they all seem like good people.
Has Abby found a job?
Not yet. I'm still trying to figure out if I can swing the free lance drafting job. If it doesnt work out. I'll start job hunting after we move into the apt.
What are your schedules?
Richard has Saturday Sunday off. He starts work at 5pm. We are going to try to go to bed soon after he gets home (around 2 or 3am) and be awake by noon or so the next day. Also We are 3 hours behind UT/AZ right now. 2 hours behind CA and 4 hours behind St Louis. So calling Richard between 12pm-4pm is good and calling me between 12pm-2am is good :)
Do you have a mailing address?
We are getting a PO box tomorrow. Call or text for the address.
Are you Sun Burnt?
YES! :( I almost got to answer this one no! We have been doing sooo good about getting sunscreen on and breaking up our time in the sun. We both had gotten a bit of color but no burns. Then today, after Richard left for work (he went in at 3 today for orientation), I walked to Safeway ( 1.1 miles each way. yea! good job me!) so we could have some food. I forgot to put on sunscreen so my arms, calves, feet, and even my toes are burnt :(
Are you loving it?
YES!! SOOO MUCH!! The weather has been awesome! We've had a ton of fun already. We have met some very nice and friendly people and are excited to do more and more!
Ok so here are the highlights from our 1st weekend here:
Friday we put a deposit on that great apartment and went swimming at the famous Waikiki beach!
Saturday was a great day! We checked in to a really nice hotel (our reservation at the other one had run out and they were full for the night). We got to go swimming in the Ocean! Richard's Work had a party and we got this awesome free food!
Sunday we got a WAY better breakfast at our nice new hotel then went on a drive by accident to the windward side of the island. We ate at a great local seafood shop called the Fresh Catch,
Then stopped at Hieea State Park (we'll have to go back with snorkel gear it has Oahu's barrier reef!)
There are feral chickens EVERYWHERE! and they really do cross the road just to get to the other side!
Then we went to hike the Aiea loop trail. We had to turn back after a little ways because I don't have proper foot wear yet. I need a new pair of sandal shoes soo bad! We still had a great time on the tiny part of the trail we did hike.
Then we went swimming in the ocean again! Its sooo salty at Waikiki because there are no major rivers or streams adding fresh water nearby. We walked around and window shopped in all the neat places along the waterfront and tried to stay up as late as possible to get Richard on the night shift schedule again.
Today we got to go out to lunch with Clint (a buddy of Eli's and mine from CA) and his wife and baby! It was super fun to catch up. He's been here for several years and knows where all of the best hikes, waterfalls, and beaches are! We're excited to hang out again soon.
Things finally fell into place today!!Pretty much up until today everything was a big ball of frustration, confusion, stress and excitement. But now it all finally fell into place :) We will be staying at a hotel 1 more night. Then we will move into a temporary furnished place 'til March 1st when.. da da Da DA!!! We move into our cute little apt/home. So to celebrate we did a drive to the windward side, a lunch at a great little local fish place, a hike, and a swim in the ocean. I have a ton to write about but I'm pretty worn out so for tonight we'll just do a few preview pictures: