Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2nd Day of Our Vacation - and our 40th Wedding Anniversary - 12-17-15

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

We are on the island of Oahu.  Each island has another name.  Oahu is called The Gathering Place because about three-quarters of Hawaii's people live on this island.  Hawaii is the 50th State of the USA and is in a collection of eight islands; Hawai'i, Maui, Lana'i, Moloka'i, Koho'olawe, O'ahu, Kaua'i and Ni'ihau.

Today is our 40th Wedding Anniversary and the main reason we are here. It is our fifth trip to the islands, the first being 30 years ago, and ever since we have always had a great fondness for Hawaii.  Has it really been 40 years since we got married?  It seems to have flown by.  I woke up at 2.00 a.m. according to the bedside clock in our hotel room.

Our son called early to wish us a happy anniversary.  Lovely talking to him, especially knowing that there is so much distance between us, and it is like he is in the next room.  We told him what we had been doing so far, which wasn't much, this only being the second day and early morning.  After our conversation we hung up and talked about what our son and daughter-in-law had been doing, and what a blessing they were.  They were going to see the new Star Wars movie tonight. Our son promised he would take me to see it on our return.  

While I was still waking up Gregg popped downstairs.  They have a Starbucks in the hotel. They open at 5.00 a.m. and closed at 1.00 p.m.  There is always a long line.  People love their coffee and Gregg was able to get his coca-cola.  

 He had been chatting to his sister in Kauai via text.  She and her family arrived a few days ago.  We will be seeing them soon as we fly over to attend a mutual friend's wedding.  This friend is like family and we have known her since she was a young girl, the best friend of my sister-in-law, and one of the sweetest people I know.  We are so happy for her and very excited about attending her wedding.

8.32 p.m. we had a busy day.  First stop was the post office as I wanted to mail a birthday card to my brother-in-law in Germany.  Isn't this a neat card?  

I would love an old car like that.  His birthday has come and gone, so feel I can show you it.  Not sure who the artist is and will try to find out so that I can give the credit she/he deserve for this lovely artwork.

I also needed to get some Christmas cards out.  I left it late and they will probably arrive late but I wanted everyone to get a stamp from Hawaii.  I always enjoy getting a card after the event, and hopefully family and friends will too.

We went for a drive and saw quite a lot of the island.  We stopped at many places overlooking the ocean.  Gorgeous views!  

There is a lot of volcanic rock with the sand.  Hawaii was formed when a molten 'hot spot' weakened the Earth's crust until it broke open and molten lava started oozing out.  

That one hot spot stays in the same place as the Pacific Tectonic Plate moves slowly northeast towards Japan, and has created all of the Hawaiian Islands.

Oahu was formed between 2.7 to 3.4 million years ago.

It is illegal to remove volcanic rock from any of the Hawaiian Islands.  And if you are superstitious Madam Pele will be really mad at you and give you bad luck.  Madam Pele is the Goddess of all volcanoes and probably the most well-known of the Hawaiian demigods.  She creates and destroys with fire.  You can read about her here.  

There is even a place where you can send the lava rock back. 

We found ourselves at the North Shore where a surfing tournament has been going on for a few days, with still more to go.  It was called the Billabong Pipe Masters and ran from December 8th to the 20th.  Great video of the action here.

After dealing with all the traffic and seeing the crowds, we did not even attempt to go, even if we could have found a parking spot.  Maybe 30 years ago!  There seemed to be a gazillion people who had parked their cars on both side of the road, and it felt like forever to get through.  We crawled along for over an hour, which we didn't mind really because there were interesting sights to keep our attention, and this pretty wall took mine.

We had skipped breakfast again and waited until we were good and hungry. We stopped at Haleiwa Joe's and if you go here it will take you to their Facebook page.  

We had a delicious meal starting off with an appetizer of Edamame in a Spicy Thai Sauce.  They were still in their pods and I had no idea how to eat them, remembering how I used to help shell the peas from my Dad's garden when I was little. I didn't think we could eat the whole shell here either but why would they use that delicious sauce? 

So I asked our friendly waitress.  She was happy to explain that we had to put the pod between our teeth, draw down and squeeze out the Edamame.  That way you also got the whole flavor of the sauce.  It was definitely a fun food and one that was enjoyed, as we did the coconut shrimp....

and the Fish Tacos, which Gregg and I shared. 

I ordered a Mai-Tai and it came in a cute glass.  I was hot as it was humid, and the cool drink was very welcome along with the large glass of water that came with our meal.

There was a layer in the bottom that contained  sand, a sea shell, a tiny plastic palm tree, but no lava rock.  Did you hear that Madam Pele?  Kitschy but fun and I was happy I got to keep the glass.

We enjoyed the place so much we are going to try and get there again before we leave.  

On our way back we passed by the Dole Pineapple Plantation, intending to go to the Hibiscus Garden but realized it was part of the tour, along with the tram ride.  We didn't want to do the tram ride again and figured we would see Hibiscus growing in other areas on our travels (like the one above), and we fully intend to go to other botanical gardens.  

There were two ladies selling pearls and I was curious as I looked at the oyster shells soaking in the water.  You had to choose a shell to find your pearl, and I gazed at Gregg and he said go for it.  The lady told me to look for the ugliest oyster as they had the better pearls?  When I picked my oyster, the pearl that came out of it was a really pretty pink one.  Before opening the shell I had to tap it with the wooden tongs three times and say "Aloha".  

These two ladies were very cheerful.  They had us smiling with their warm and friendly nature and good sense of humor.  Gregg bought me a chain necklace and the pendant setting for the pearl, which matched perfectly, a perfect anniversary gift.  I had to hold off until the next day to wear it, for the setting to strengthen and set up.  This will be a lovely memory to last for a lifetime, and I told him how much I loved it.  

I asked the ladies if I could take their photo and they insisted I join them.  I sold five pearls during the time Gregg took the photos, and yes I am joking but I think I would love that job, though I would probably spend all my wages tapping on all the clam shells saying "Aloha!".  

One interesting thing I learned was that it is illegal to fish for pearls in Hawaii.  If you are caught you could be arrested and the penalties are stiff.  These pearls came from other places in Polynesia and elsewhere.   I also went into the the gift shop and bought some pretty Plumeria blossom clips for the hair .  It was a great gift shop.  I could have stayed there all afternoon.

It has been rainy today, a soft rain, but also a lot of sunshine, with the most beautiful double rainbows.   Unfortunately I didn't get a photo but.... 

on our way back to the hotel we got caught up in traffic and I got my daily doggy fix.  It was hot and I am sure these two pooches were happy to be sticking their head out the window.  I got a good shot of this one before they disappeared down one of the exits.

We rested for an hour at the hotel and again walked down to our snack place.  We each had another loco moco.  At one of the tables we met a lady called Mary.  She was in her 80s and she highly recommended the teriyaki chicken and the papaya, saying that the papaya was the sweetest she had ever tasted (she was right as I found out later).  I told her I would try it the next time.  We learned she was from Virginia Beach, which we visit frequently during the year.  She told me that her husband had passed away a year ago.  He had been in the navy and they were stationed in Hawaii in the late 40s.  They had come back many times since.  This year she decided to go ahead and make the journey on her own.  She was a lovely lady and had taught 1st Grade until her retirement.  Hopefully we will see her again before we leave.

We eventually left Mary after a nice conversation, and went down to the Barefoot Bar next to the beach.  We heard sounds of the hotel's Lua but did not envy those people with tickets, as it was all outdoors and it had been raining off and on.  Gregg ordered us both Mai Tai's.  

People are very friendly here.  I remember this from the other times we have been to Hawaii. 

There wasn't as brilliant a sunset as the night before because of the more inclement weather, but it was still very pretty. 

We walked towards the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort (you can find a timeline of the place here). 

It was dark and all the torches were lit along the beach.  

I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the shops inside the complex.  

A close-up of the above window on the left.


We didn't go inside any but enjoyed window browsing and .....

just as I lollygag when I take my photos, I lollygag just as much when window shopping.  

I was a lot slower than Gregg walking past those windows and fortunately I don't do this but rarely, and on holidays.  The shoes were collectible figurines, a little larger than miniatures but not by much.

By the time I caught up with Gregg he was looking at the sculptures, and just as I was lining up this shot and ready to snap the button, these two small children decided to get in on my shot.  Their mommy called them away and smiled at me as I smiled back.  Mothers know all about these things don't they?

I loved these hula sculptures.  

We have to climb these steps up to the hotel every day and they were most definitely a good way to get exercise. 

After being in our room a little while when I was glued to the bed like a limpet on a rock, Gregg went solo and popped down to the small shop on the hotel's bottom floor.  We have a fridge in our room and he bought orange juice for the morning and a few snacks that we didn't have to refrigerate.  

Our second day over in Hawaii, and it has truly been a wonderful 40th Wedding Anniversary.

If you missed Part 1 you can find it here.

I am linking with the following memes, with my thanks to our hosts.  Please visit other participants by clicking on each name.  

Good Fences
SkyWatch Friday
Saturday's Critters
Camera Critters
Wednesday Wit and Wisdom


  1. It sounds completely and utterly delightful.
    Which is wonderful.

  2. Lindo gostei de ver estas belas fotografias, uma bela reportagem.
    Um abraço e continuação de uma boa semana.

  3. This is like my taking a trip to Hawaii without the expense, Denise, as you are posting about what you and Gregg have seen and done. Thanks too for the Christmas greeting sent from Hawaii which arrived before the holiday and was on display in our place! And, how lucky that you got a pink pearl and a lovely anniversary gift.

  4. It sounds like a wonderful second day, and relaxing too.

  5. so many stunning photos and i love those shoe displays. a wonderful trip, all that fun and beauty plus family visits. happy 40th anniversary. the birthday card would be nice framed and on the wall. love it...

  6. A wonderful post, Denise. I enjoyed your day's activities almost as much as I think you did! I'm probably the only person in the US who has never been to Hawaii!

  7. What an idyllic setting for any occasion, Denise! Absolutely gorgeous! :)

  8. Beautiful landscapes... I would love to see Hawaii for myself someday.

  9. So much to see and experience!

  10. O que nos faz amigos é essa capacidade de sermos muitos, mesmo quando somos dois.
    Pe. Fábio de Melo
    Obrigada querida por compartilhar comigo 3 anos do Algodão Tão Doce!!!
    Um doce abraço, Marie.

  11. WOW ! wonderful photos , looks and sounds like you are both having a great time . Happy Anniversary , I love your new blog to . I would like to see and be in Hawaii one day . Thanks for sharing with us , Have a good day !

  12. Are you TRYING to make me homesick?! Even my post office looked wonderful in your photos. Glad you had such a good time

  13. What a great day in Hawaii-nei! Tomorrow, David and I will drive to the north shore and experience those fish tacos and coconut shrimp at Haleiwa Joe's. Hope the traffic is better for us.

  14. Sounds like a wonderful day! I enjoy hearing about your trip...

  15. The correct spelling is EDAMAME. Soybeans.

  16. Great series, love the variety of pics. :)
    Happy new year to you and yours!

  17. Very wonderful report. And lovely photos. As William say, I also would love to see Hawaii for myself someday.

  18. Thank you for all the lovely comments. I am happy that you are enjoying my journal so far. No Cloudia, I promise I am not trying to make you homesick but I think it is amazing I visited your local post office. Gigihawaii, thanks for catching my misspelling of Edamame. I have corrected it. I actually knew the proper spelling but obviously my brain had a hiccup :) always a surprise to me when after editing a post, I still don't catch a mistake and always appreciate someone helping me out.

  19. Wow you packed a lot into your second day. I love the coastal pictures and the food looked delicious and the pics made my mouth water.

  20. Many congratulations to you both on such a wonderful anniversary, Denise!
    Your photos are fabulous and now I need to plan a trip to Hawaii! There seems to be enough to please everyone and the people are so friendly!
    Have a wonderful week!

  21. Happy Anniversary Denise! Looks like you had a GREAT Day!!!

  22. oooooh goodness, where to start, what will i remember. first off, i am really enjoying the journal, so much work but so worth it. LOVE the beach/sand image, the hubs and i do that. gorgeous landscapes and pictures...nice food, nice ezliven' and i even like that shoe display. but i am not a fan of shoes!!!!

  23. Looks magical indeed, what wonderful photos. Warm greetings!

  24. love the beach scenes - and good looking food! happy belated anniversary, and thanks for the fine rock wall, too!

  25. So many lovely, interesting scenes. Adore the rocky shorelines.

  26. Happy New Year! What a way to celebrate your 40th Anniversary. It looks like you are both enjoying the trip very much. We spent our 24th Wedding Anniversary on Maui. Those memories will never be forgotten.
    JM, Illinois

  27. Happy anniversary, and thanks for for the tour of Hawaii! It brings back good memories, including seeing the Pipe Masters and the big North Shore waves in the winter!

  28. Wow what a fabulous anniversary trip. I so enjoyed sharing through your photos.

  29. Denise
    What a truly lovely post, and your photo's are just lovely to look at and enjoy.
    You have some amazing scenes, and the colours are so good to.
    I think it is so good the way you have made your journal, a very special visit, with some lovely memories to cherish.

    All the best Jan

  30. Beautiful pictures! What a wonderful anniversary trip.

  31. I am so jealous!!!! Happy Anniversary you two! LOVE your photos! I am hoping we can go in a couple of years. I don't want to wait till our 50th anniv. (we are coming up in May on 47) but would like to try for 49. I know you are enjoying every minute!

  32. Happy Anniversary! My hubby and I will celebrate #40 this coming August! I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. Your photos are absolutely stunning. No doubt, memories made that you will always cherish!

  33. What a wonderful day you had – the food and drinks look so tasty. Your pictures of the beach are splendid – Hawaii is a paradise. Happy anniversary!

  34. happy Anniversary and what a delightful post with so much in it. You obviously had a wonderful time and the food looks delicious

  35. I miss Hawaii. It's been 11 years since I've been there; longest stretch ever. Thanks for bringing back fond memories, and I'm glad you had such a wonderful anniversary!

  36. Happy Anniversary! Fabulous shots - what a great holiday.

  37. Happy Anniversary !
    Your celebrationjourney looks great.

    Wish you a nice weekend.

  38. Looks like you had a wonderful time !!! and I wish you many more anniversaries !

  39. Happy anniversary! I enjoyed your photos, what a great place to spend time!

  40. Hello, Denise! Happy 40th Anniversary to you and your hubby! Hawaii is one of my favorite places to visit. Lovely collection of photos! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  41. Happy anniversary! What a super way to celebrate! Gerat memories!

  42. Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful time in a beautiful place :-)

  43. Happy Anniversary ~ what a fun and adventuresome time you had in Hawaii ~ I loved Hawaii ~ especially Kona ~ Wonderful photography of Hawaii ~ thanks!

    Wishing you a Happy Weekend ~ ^_^

  44. What a great mix of shots from your anniversary trip. Congratulations on 40 years of marriage. This June would have been my 35th anniversary. Since Bill and I have been back to being close friends for a long time, although divorced, I still have happy thoughts on our anniversary.

  45. Thanks for taking me along Statuary lovely and those fun pups taking all in

  46. Thank you for visiting friends. Life is slowly returning to normal and I think I have been able to visit you all. It has been very enjoyable.

  47. Denise, what a lovely way to celebrate 40 years. Such beautiful photos. Congratulations.

  48. Hello Denise!:) That's how to spend an annerversary,..many belated congratulations. Hubby and I just had our 57th in December. Thank you for a wonderful post full of interesting things about Hawaii.

  49. So much fun....I am hoping to make a similar trip to HI on our 20th.


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