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Hawaii 2003

Author: EastCoastTropics
Date of Trip: August 2003

Volcano Winery www.volcanowinery.com A lot of free taste samples and because it's alcohol, none to sell on the premises. Too bad I can't have any shipped to me on the east coast. Their Macadamia Nut Honey Wine was warm and slightly sweet. Their customer service has a bit to be desired though. After the guy manning the booth found out I was from MA, he basically ignored me! *L*

Meadow Gold Dairies www.lanimoo.com Ono, ono flavors of yogurt! *L* My favorite two flavors I kept sampling was the Orange and the Papaya! So fresh and tropical tasting. Wish I could get this brand on the east coast!

Sweet Aloha Chocolates www.sweetalohachocolates.com Ono chocolate in various shapes with custom wrappers and labels. They even had surfboards in white chocolate! *L*

Honey Girl Water Wear www.honeygirlwaterwear.com Cute, local brand surfing and beachwear, especially the little girls' bikinis with matching board shorts.

Creative Native Crafts http://www.creativenativecrafts.com Carries Hawaiian-themed scrapbook and craft products. I was most impressed with their Origami kits that have papers with Hawaiian designs!

I bought several light switch covers and matching coasters from Sunset Beach Traders (http://www.sunsetbeachtraders.com/). I wanted either a Tapa or Lauhala pattern. They only had the Tapa pattern available. It has shades of brown and beige with Hawaiian petroglyphs in black and would go great in my new kitchen! We stopped in at Zippys for only a quick snack after the festival since we were all full from snacking on all the samples! *L* While at Zippy's my husband called to tell me that my new kitchen may not be done byt the time I get home. They mis-measured the counter and ended up having to move the entire sliding door over two inches to accommodate the longer counter....hmmmm.... *sigh*

Later in the evening my parents had my grandparents, brother, sister, uncles, aunts and cousins come over for a dinner gathering. Again, so much ono food!! Lau lau, lomi salmon, rice, limu poke, sashimi, sushi, kimchi, malasadas, potatoes, bbq steak, pies, various salads and too much more to list here! I even taught my cousin Auli'i how to crochet a yarn hair scrunchie. We all talked, laughed, looked through photos, while the kids played pocket billiards and sang karaoke. It was so much fun and everyone had a great time!

....still working on my mom's crochet lei...hope I can get it done before I leave Hawaii! More later!

August 18, 2003:

My sister Donna picked us up and we spent a few hours in Waikiki. We parked her car the Honolulu Zoo and walked down Kalakaua Avenue. Our first stop was the ABC Store, which, by the way, is plentiful in Waikiki! There is an ABC store practically on every block and we lost count after we passed the 7th ABC store! *L* We stopped in on some of the high-end designer shops along the avenue and visited the shops in the International Marketplace as well. The marketplace reminded me of the flea market at the Aloha Stadium. Almost every other shop/stand is selling the same items! The difference is the price of the items! ;) We also visited my cousin who works at the hot dog stand in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Plaza. He treated us to hot dogs and shaved ice. Afterwards, we spent some time on the beach. It was crowded but we did manage to find a shady spot under a couple of coconut trees. The water was extremely warm and full of swimmers, boogie boarders and surfers....locals and toursts alike. The view of the Waikiki shoreline was stunning! What a difference compared to the Sunset Beach shoreline! Of course, I got photos! *S*

I had a great time but wished that we had dropped the kids off at the mall or something. Would've been nice just to spend some time with my sister over coffee without five teenage girls hanging on our conversation or demanding our attention. I know better for the next visit! *S* More later!

August 21, 2003:

Back home! We left Hawaii at 6:30pm on the 19th. I turned the Chevy Trail Blazer back into Enterprise Rent A Car that day. We started out with 40 miles and when I turned the SUV in, it had 1,010 miles on it! I did 970 miles of driving within two weeks! I made the SUV rental reservation online through Travelocity.com, with unlimited mileage, and paid $523 (includes state tax). I paid a total of $200 for gas for two weeks, just as I estimated I would prior to our trip. When we got to Hawaii the (cheapest) gas prices were at $1.94/gallon for regular unleaded. When we left, it was at $1.98/gallon for regular unleaded.

At the airport security check out we all had to take our shoes off and both my daughters and one of their friends had to be hand scanned because they kept setting off the alarms. The flight was uneventful and I was somewhat sad that I was leaving such a beautiful place. Funny, how more precious and beautiful Hawaii has become to me since I've grown and moved away.

While in Hawaii we stayed at my parent's home, the home I grew up in. The home is located in Pacific Palisades which is the heights of Pearl City and overlooks lower Pearl City and Pearl Harbor. I had the coolest room in the house. The room faced the mountain trade winds and nights were comfortable to sleep. It was wonderful to experience the familiar cool nights again. And we're very fortunate to still have ohana there who we can stay with and not have to worry about hotel costs.

The girls and I ate a lot of the local island foods! I'm currently on the Atkins Diet and the first week I was there I lost two more pounds. After that I didn't lose any more weight but didn't gain any weight either. I'm happy that I was able to maintain my weight and I think it was because of all the running around and swimming I did! We ate a lot of foods that are common in Hawaii. My daughter's and their friends experienced local foods like Poi, Lau Lau, Lomi Salmon, Limu Poke, Tako Poke, Sushi and Sashimi, as well as favorite island pupus and snacks for the very first time. They were open-minded about trying these for the first time! *L*

The weather was beautiful everyday we were in Hawaii. It rained everyday but not for long..."liquid sunshine" as it's commonly referred to. *S* The island showers were short, just as I remembered while growing up, but that's what kept the island so "green."

The water is something that I will never forget! It was so good to swim again in ocean water so warm! I took many photos of the local beaches and will always treasure the clearness, color and warmth of the Pacific Ocean! I will miss the "casual-ness" and laid-back attitude of the islands. I've found that it's not uncommon for folks to wear board shorts, surfing brand T-shirts, and rubber slippers on a daily basis.

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