Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Honolulu, Hawaii trip March 2012

So where did I leave off? Oh yes, we checked in at Narita airport, were sitting near our gate. Our flight would leave around 7pm-ish. We were there around 5pm-ish. So we had a 2 hour or so wait near the gate, but happy at least we made it. The boys ate their snack, I had that veggie 6 inch sandwich. And we waited the few hours (I didn't eat breakfast that morning and the obento for us parents was mainly fish, so it's fair to say this 6 inch veggie and cheese sandwich was the only thing I really ate all day). People watching near the gate is always interesting and speeds up waiting. We were called and given our boarding passes right away. I think we had our tickets by 5:30pm. We boarded the flight around 6:30pm. The seats are fold down to bed types. So we sat 2 by two but on the same row, I sat with Noah. Since he still needs help with cutting the meat during the meal and I still will walk him to the bathroom and stand near. Noboru and Branden sat together and basically, Noah was to my left and Branden was to my right. Except Noah had the window and Branden and Noboru were in the middle, we were separated by the space of an aisle. We were given our menus and the attendants came around and took our orders from the choices with pen and paper. I picked the baked chicken. It was a 5 course meal. And we had hot fudge sundaes with whipped cream and nuts for dessert. You could also pick strawberry sundae and I had strawberry on the flight back. After our desserts, many fell asleep. I watched a few movies on our personal on demand screens on our seats. While laying down. I think I slept for a few hours after the 2 movies I watched because next thing the attendant was asking me, if I wanted breakfast and with pad and pen she was taking orders from the menu choices. I had a quiche, and also a fruit plate, yogurt etc. Before landing. Delta first class seats and service rock! When we arrived in Honolulu it was like 7am-ish and March 15th (second March 15th for us, lol) We quickly got our rental car. A bright candy apple red VW Jetta (I used to drive a Jetta in uni and Noboru told the kids about that, lol, it was also red, how funny). It was way too early to check into the hotel, so we went to Target since it was still so early in the morning, by now it was about 8:45am-ish (the line of immigration, getting the empty luggage, shuttle to the rental car place, getting said rental car). So that was our first stop in Honolulu. An excellent way to kill time.....spending it at Target. We got a massive amount of things from Target. Mostly for Branden. But we all got something from there, we also picked up some Easter goodies from there as well.
You all know how amazing Target is, especially if you haven't gotten to shop in there for a while, right? Well we left Target 2 full hours later. By now it was about lunch time. And so we went to our family favorite and where we used to go to all the time when we lived here...Bob's BBQ.
Tasted every bit as good as we remember. Again not a fancy shmancy place, but delicious place. We were all more then stuffed by now and so we headed to the hotel.
Getting closer to the Waikiki area. But not quite......
We considered going to the Saint Patrick's Day festival but we hit the beach that day instead.
The trolley and the Ala Moana mall is at the left, we turned left because we stayed at the same place as last time, the Delta crew hotel. The Ala Moana hotel.
And going round the mall, to the hotel entrance as we passed Nordies.
The lady at check in, gave us an upgrade. We had booked a room on the upper floors facing the same direction as last time. However this time, she gave us an offer. She said this "you can have the room you booked....or, you can have this upgraded room, it's bigger, has a separate eating room, living room and 2 balcony's/lanai's. 2 flat screen TV's versus 1. But it's on the 6th floor, go check it out....if you like it, you can have it for the same cost, if not come back down and I'll give you the original room you booked" Hmm, we both looked at each other, and we said, we'll go and see at least" , in the elevator both Noboru and I said, yeah we probably won't like it. So we get to the room and there's 2 huge double doors to get in and also an extra door to get in, in the hallway not pictured. This room was perfect and so we kept it. The room she gave us, Noboru checked the first evening we were here on his laptop and it goes for $309 US a night for anybody else. But since Noboru gets his airline discount and gets all those cool airline perks like that, our room cost us only $80 US a night. And even cheaper for us still, since Noboru gets his pay check in yen, and considering the exchange rate.
Behind those 2 big double doors in the living room. Couch, chairs, and table and chairs also for eating. The couch folded out to a bed and the boys wanted to sleep there for the entire trip. The maid came down and made the bed for us with fresh linens etc the first night.
Nice sized flat screen TV made eating our meals here a nice atmosphere. Along with the chitter chatter from us all also.
Dish washer, stove, sink, fridge, microwave/convection oven. Utensils etc. All new and modern.
The hall. And our bedroom.
Second fridge and microwave. Closer to Noboru's and my room.
King size bed.
Our flat screen TV. This is such a nice hotel and the rooms were amazing as usual. When we go back to Hawaii this Summer, for 10 nights or so, we'll probably be staying here again.
The view from our side of the lanai.
You can see the water a bit on the left, the boys had more view of the park and water and we had a view of Macy's, which was fun and convenient. If we wanted to do any mall shopping at all. Which of course we did.
Our bathroom was gorgeous and I think you can see the nice picture on the wall through he reflection of the mirror. Anyway, we quickly changed into our shorts and Summery clothes. I threw on my new post card Gap LA tee, black ON perfect shorts and a Summery Gap black cardi 3/4 length sleeve and black flip flops. Freshened my makeup and to the mall we walked. A 1 minute walk from the little bridge. We were not in the Ala Moana shopping mall but 2 minutes before we heard someone say.....Noboru! @_@ we all looked and turned our heads. Noboru's coworker. Also staying at the crew hotel, lol. And just enjoying his laid back days there. We chatted for a minuet or so, and we waved good bye and thought to ourselves wow how weird. You go on vacation thinking you'll be like unknown, nobody really knowing who we are. And go figure. So, we slowly strolled the mall. We all had a full day so far with Target, the whole flight, the lunch. we were full still from Bob's and just strolling window shopping. though we did buy a few things. After Sephora, and Abercrombie Kids. We decided to hit Old Navy (Gaps lower cost but equally cool sister company)....Noboru bought me a pair of jeans and we bought Noah a pair of navy blue hibiscus flippes for shogakko upcoming swimming this Summer. Yep, I do think ahead. While we're in the states, it's my one big chance. : ) That's all we bought those 2 things. There were things I was looking for but they either didn't have the right size or that type of thing I wanted the same flip flops for Branden but they didn't have his size). So now we are exiting the Old Navy and debating going to get icecream in the basement of Sears (best coconut icecream besides Tokyo Disney Sea) or should we ride the escalator upstairs and make our way to DQ downstairs elsewhere though.... and have some icecream there? Anyway while we were deciding, a Japanese woman on the escalator says....Our last name and says "san" at the end. @_@ Us four all turn our heads. She also works for Delta. And yes she's also staying at the crew hotel. She bowed and nice to meet you-ed to me. And I did the same. The 4 of us were all sort of like this @_@ But trying hard to just smile and not look too surprised. She said, she is on vacation with her sister and her sister's already in Old Navy. So we waved her a good bye and Noboru also mentioned that the other guy is also here. She was surprised. We went and got some coconut icecream. And then hit the escalator upstairs. Noboru said, she is one of 3 ladies who is the schedule maker. And whatnot. We then joked and said, wow who else will we run into while here.
The boys got a double serving of coconut and Noboru and I also shared a single serving of the same icecream.
More strolling. We wanted to make the rest of the days beach days so we ended up hitting Walmart after this. We drove to Walmart though even though it's like a 2 minute walk from the mall, but we wanted to get heavy things and didn't want to lug them all down the street. So, there we were strolling inside Walmart. And would you believe we ran into that woman twice at Walmart also. @_@ First she ran into just me. And she told me in Japanese. We meet again and smiled. I said, I know right! ; ) And I strolled by with my cart. I then ran into Noboru and said that lady about 5 years older then us, I just ran into her again, he laughed. So, now I am in the aisle with spices. And boom she also came into the same aisle looking for Taco Bell taco seasoning she said. @_@ What are you getting she asks? Buffalo Wing seasoning, I said. I smiled nice to meet you'ed her sister. And I left. She was buying nothing but food stuff to take back to Japan which was funny because we were doing the same. Glad to know I'm not the only one.
First night back to the room. We 3 wanted shrimp. And Noah wanted his most favorite thing in the world, the thing he even wanted for his birthday meal last July. ; ) Taco Bell.
Noah ate 3 taco's and had a drink. Noboru tried that new Doritos shell taco supreme.
From Andy's shrimp. This shrimp is so good. Andy's Kahuku shrimp, that's in Honolulu now.
We bought drinks from Walmart. Good thing we didn't walk. ; ) we were in Honolulu, for 4 nights 5 days. From the entire March 15 and we left Honolulu the 19th to Osaka.
Noboru eating his Dorito taco first before eating his spicy garlic shrimp. Branden enjoying his spicy garlic shrimp.
Me enjoying my spicy garlic shrimp.
Noah eating his tacos. I had both the boys shower, while the lady came and brought fresh bedding and made their bed. The boys got their jammies on and watched a bit of TV before bed. I showered and then came in to kiss both the boys good night.....meanwhile I went to my bed and watched TV while Noboru was showering. Honestly we were all really exhausted. From the whole shaon kai set up. The fun but emotional graduation. The flight. The full first day in Hawaii. I was happy to be laying down clean in this bed flipping the channels thinking wow....we made it, just sort of taking it all in. When Noboru came into bed he told just completed one of your biggest and hardest jobs for being a mom in Japan. Being a yochien mom is a very busy job and you just finished with it all. Well done. I said, I know, right? : ) Now it's my time to enjoy a little. More free time. We must have all been exhausted because we were out like a light.
Friday March 16th we woke up. And we went to the DFS right away first thing. Why? Because Noboru was going to buy me, my birthday present. He really is an amazing husband.
Hi boys. Noboru looking for a discount coupon for Hanauma Bay.
Hi Noboru. : )
Aha, Coach, we found you!
And into the rental car we went.
Get in the car kiddo.
Noah entering our rental car. We stopped and had some lunch. Before heading to the hotel to grab our swimsuits, drinks and towels and spent the afternoon at Hanauma Bay.

A lot of our pictures from our vacation I'm not sharing this time on my blog. So none of our family beach pictures will be shared at all this time. I'm sorry but I have shared nearly every vacation since 2005 since I started this blog and it could be, the exhaustion from the shaon kai stuff, the graduation planning, or I don't know what. But we just wanted to keep a lot of this trip this time to ourselves this time. I'll share the next trip in a few weeks. But it felt kind of relaxing and freeing keeping our trip for the most part this time...just for us. I know most of you more then understand. : ) So thanks. : ) Anyway where was I..... we enjoyed Hanauma Bay a bunch. By the time we got there a lot of the early morning folks were leaving. It was a great way for us to take a load off. relax and enjoy as a family. We took a ton of photos. And also video taped it so made some fun home family videos as well. We went back to the hotel. Showered up and then we went to the movies to watch the new Dr. Seuss movie...The Lorax.
This was an amazing movie.
We were all given free book markers. I think they were half Lorax and half Mazda advertizement...but regradless, the boys loved em' and they are both using theirs now. I am also using mine.
The movie started at 7pm, but we were the first family to enter the movie for our time schedule.
Large popcorn and a large drink. Free refills on the popcorn.
After the movie was done we brought back some delicious cheap dinner. Panda Express. Yumm.
It was delicious.
March 17th, we went to our family favorite, Kailua beach. We once again, brought Subway sandwiches and chips and drinks again same as last time. We enjoyed our day there a lot. Took a ton of pics. Enjoyed a lot of family time and got some MUCH needed rest and relaxation. Made a few silly goofy boogie boarding movies. March 17th evening we strolled Waikiki and had a very nice sit down dinner. ; )
March 18th, was our last full day so we took a drive to the North Shore. Took lots of pics. Had Giovanni's shrimp at the shrimp truck. Was delicious but oh what a long wait! But worth it. We had a nice amazing full day. And had a nice dinner later that night. we did stroll the Ala Moana mall one last time since it was just a 1 minute walk away. Got packed. Our clothes laid out for the next day. And then, March 19th we took the rental car back around 10:30am. Our flight was at 1pm or so. They then drove us to the airport via the shuttle. And we checked in early, went through the TSA lines etc. And just sat near our gate. For the next leg of our joruney. The flight to KIX.

Being in Honolulu for those short 5 days, 4 nights. Was honestly the best thing for us. I got to recharge myself, boy did I need it. I felt so refreshed coming back to Japan. I felt excited to see my in-laws. Felt excited to be in Osaka. Yeah, being in Honolulu was an amazing thing, I'm so happy we went right after Noah's graduation. It was good for us all being there. And I can't wait to go back this Summer. And for a much longer amount of time. Until next time. : )