89 Replies Latest reply: Dec 18, 2013 3:23 AM by kharada46 RSS

The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative

erc Platinum
Currently Being Moderated
Well, as many of you know, I dragged the ERC gaggle out to the land of kharada and merb, Oahu. As meticulous a planner as Lakersfan (although I throw my lists away), I mapped out this trip long in advance booking a non-stop from IAD to HNL in February with IAHFLYR's fave, United. True to form, in April, United cancelled my flight without notice. But I, the overfed, long haired, leaping gnome that I am, caught them in the act since I've been trained to guard my aisle seats like the crown jewels. I charted Chicago weather and decided to fly thru Chicago to fly with my daughter, bypassing the west coast routes, but alas, I overlooked Dulles. Ice storm on  Sunday cancelled all types of flights, but thank goodness, I was flying Tuesday and the forecast (good until it isn't) called for fair weather on Tuesday, until Monday morning came along at which time an early morning ice/snow storm was now predicted. Wanting to avoid the infamous DC traffic in the snow hysteria, I booked the SpringHill Dulles, since the Dulles Marriott was full, which didn't upset me because depending on what room you're assigned, you can easily have a five-seven minute walk just to the lobby (and I was traveling with Mom, certainly, no Usain Bolt).
Well guess what? This was the time the forecasters nailed it down to the minute. Snow predicted at Dulles at 6am and sure enough, like clockwork, down it came, globs of it. Out to the tarmac we went and we sat and then we de-iced. Pilots normally sandbag their delay predictions so when a forecasted 30 minute delay is only 20, everyone is relieved, but this time the 20 minute delay went 40 and my 75 minute cushion for the ORD connection was painfully being eaten up. If we missed that connection, not only would we end up with 4 separate middle seats near the toilets, but we would arrive 8 hours after my Chicago daughter; not counting what it would cost me in dollars for what my starving artist, con man daughter, might attempt to weasel out of me.
The pilot made up some time during the flight, but we landed and exited 10 minutes after the HNL flight was scheduled to depart and  still had to go from concourse C to B. Knowing that it looked bad, but knowing that "it's not over, till it's over" a zen like feeling came over me, which I swear is a result from interacting with all of you road warrior Insiders. I calmly, but hastily, guided our band of gypsies with carry on bags (where's ssindc when you need him?) and facing a broken moving walkway, fully expected to book the dreaded flight to SFO and its lengthy layover, when lo and behold, the plane hadn't yet departed due to a maintenance issue with the wi-fi entertainment system. Talk about your cosmic irony, a technological Neanderthal saved by a high tech glitch.
Faced with what would have been a 21 hour travel day through the nine circles of travel hell, I was flushed with an enthusiastic eagerness about my upcoming 9 hour flight. As we often discuss right here on Insiders, it's all relative. Aloha from Oahu.

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  • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
    californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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    It is good that it worked in your favor.  We all know how horrible it is to misconnect.

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    • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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      californian,

       

      Well put!

       

      Have a great trip erc!

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    • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
      erc Platinum
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      cal and jerrycoin

       

      Yes, it was a squeaker, but it ended up fine. For whatever reason (I guess they thought their bags wouldn't make it) my mother and daughter decided to carry on (my wife checked the 'family' bag). We looked like the folks trying to catch the last helicopter out of Saigon hustling through the terminal, I believe my shoulders are now permanently drooped.

      The good news - it's great weather and we're now in full relax mode.

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      • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
        madmax Gold 7 Reviews
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        awesome erc. Have a great time and thankful all worked out for you. But somehow I think all works out for you no matter what happens. Your attitude is amazing! Enjoy that tropical weather.

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      • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
        jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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        erc,

         

        Watch out for the places that KH wants to dine?

         

        "The BK Lounge"?

         

        Don't do it!

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        • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
          kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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          jerrycoin,

           

          LOL, I don't think so!  I've had negative experiences at the local BKs, though all were in Pearl City!  I'm sure erc won't really visit my hometown! 

           

          Culinarily speaking, visitors to Hawaii should treat our cuisine the same way you'd treat a cuisine in a foreign country!  Eat what the locals eat, and ignore the chain restaurants!  In most cases, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised...

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  • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
    razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
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    Hope you and your family have a wonderful trip.  Are you going to meet up with our Insiders who live on Oahu?

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    • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
      erc Platinum
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      Thanks, yes this Saturday we dine with the Insiders Couple of the Year, the kharada46's; photos to follow. I'll have to be careful what I consume, because with Mr. Hawaii there, it will all be catalogued

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  • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
    bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
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    Nice tale. I like the obscure homage to Eric Burdon and War. You always seem to sneak in some music reference, but this might be the most subtle.

     

    I hope a few other Insiders noticed and smiled at it as well. Excellent touch!

     

    Enjoy paradise.

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    • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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      bejaycob,

       

      Speaking of "Getting out of this place"!

       

      Would you please talk to my wife about, "There is a place,XXXX"!  Nancycoin was asking about in front of the Grand Flora.  Did not go in, nor I'm sure did KH, but?

       

      IMG_3498.jpg

      This was an extremely "Hot Spot" with discounts if you were NOT staying at a Marriott!

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  • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
    kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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    erc,

     

    That's some story!  I'm glad you made it here on-time and that everything worked out in your favor! 

     

    By the way, you won't have to worry too much about me cataloguing!  Unfortunately the electronics in my lens failed when we were in Paris, so I've been having to manually focus most of my photos, which takes much too long for my liking.  I'm still thinking about it, but I may just have to come with just a point-and-shoot or my iPhone haha! 

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    • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
      kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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      On another note erc, I've got my fingers crossed, however, weather reports are saying there is a possibility of thunderstorms beginning on Sunday

       

      Hopefully the weather will hold out while you're here!  If not, you'll have to consider a move to the MVC Ko Olina or JW Marriott Ihilani, where it's almost always sunny!   

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      • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
        erc Platinum
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        So far so good, racking up some very nice weather. Here's our evening at Duke's.

        IMAG21v4.jpg

         

        And here's an item more photographed in Insiders than Mr. Marriott himself, Hula Pie.

        IMG_171x7.jpg

        See you Saturday. PS - I used to be a svelte, good looking guy before this week's calories .

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        • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
          kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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          LOL!  Well erc, I'm glad you're having a grand time!  When are you going to Alan Wong's?  I'd love to give you my recommendations before you pay your visit

           

          For more ice cream indulgence, I'd highly recommend you head over to Bubbie's Ice Cream near the University of Hawaii if you're able to.  They have their own ice cream pies & cakes and other specialties with outrageous names such as "Keep it Up All Night" and "Functioning Prostate"

           

          Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts - Honolulu, HI

           

          By the way, if you need any help, feel free to contact me... you have my info!  I'll get back to you as soon as possible, but can't make any promises while I'm at work

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          • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
            erc Platinum
            Currently Being Moderated

            Alan Wong's got bumped to make way for a North Shore and waterfalls swim all day tour tomorrow, so you can give me the scoop on Saturday (if I survive the Banzai Pipeline). Today is a drive around the southeastern portion of the island, I'll say hello to the good folks of Kailua, jot the First Family a few notes about any new dessert hangouts, Lookout for a Pali (a Slawson Cutoff reference for those of us old enough to be your parents )  and then put our game faces on and close out with a Pearl Harbor visit.

             

            Broke off from the pack yesterday with a pleasant walk in Waikiki while the ladies hit the beach and had my first sushi lunch on the go on the island at what I believe you locals call, The Food Pantry. I know, I know, perhaps a notch below Nobu, but wait until you have children (of all ages) who can devour cash flow quicker than you can down a spicy tuna tataki roll and you'll understand and besides, it was still deeelicious.

             

            Ok, like you islanders like to say, hasta luego.

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            • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
              jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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              erc,

               

              Looks like a fabulous trip so far!

               

              Keep the "Cards and Letters coming"!

               

              You are missing some very cold weather here on the mainland!

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            • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
              iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
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              I expect to see pictures of you hiking Diamond Head as well, stop the sissy walks in Waikiki and sunbathing under the waterfalls, climb that hill.

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              • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                erc Platinum
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                Ok, ok let the chops busting began. You know you're an effective rabble rouser when some of the forum's nicest guys like kharada and bejacobs join in (by liking) like a pack of hungry wolves wanting blood!

                 

                I'm pacing Granny (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it ) like a bullpen reliever that's thrown four games in a row, so we specifically saved Diamondhead for a fresh start, all by itself. Yesterday was our drive around day and we caught some terrific sights, (pictures will eventually follow, but I'm up before the paperboy, all of my photo editors are snoozing). We got out and walked all around Maunalua Bay, caught several spouts of the Halona Blowhole, and somewhat leisurely stopped all along the coast at the various scenic views and lookouts. I say, somewhat leisurely, because while the girls enjoyed the view, I used the lookout, to look out - for those heat seeking tour buses, four or five of them chocked full of plastic lei wearing, elbow positioning, backpack carrying visitors tracking me (and all of my first round draft pick spots) like hyenas after a baby gazelle! Mission accomplished - no not quite a major hike, but at least a notch above Waikiki sissy walks.

                 

                We continued on up to Kailua informing the locals that my neighbor from the hood would be stopping by next week and then onto Pali Lookout and then a very special visit to Pearl Harbor and the Naval Base. We topped off the day (a pretty lengthy one, so we were all a bit satisfactorily tired) at Gordon Biersch at the Aloha Tower Market in downtown Honolulu where true to form, I used my 20% bonus gift card, leading my daughter to remark, "Dad, I think you've now done a dinner deal in all fifty states".   Why, I oughtta..... (if I wasn't so tired, I'd have cut off her dessert privileges).

                 

                Like I wrote, photos will be coming later in the trip, besides I'm holding back to see what Hawaii's own TMZ man shoots at the dinner (now that you've revved him up), I might have to drag out some of his high school band photos in self defense . Off to the waves and waterfalls, aloha.

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                • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                  iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
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                  I'll take that as a huge compliment from a fellow rabble rouser, thank you!!!  And you are up before the news has even become news in HNL, forget the paperboy. 

                   

                  Sounds like you're having a blast as would be expected, keep pacing Granny and remind your daughter of just who her Dad is and dinner deals are not simply restricted to "50 states"  

                   

                  Enjoy all and remember, kharada46 is not typical of that age group so keep an eye on your high school pictures as well. 

                   

                  Aloha

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                  • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                    erc Platinum
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                    We might need to call Anadyr, he's got photos of stuff we didn't even do!

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                    • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                      Most are not visible until completion of a lifestyle polygraph, which I can have scheduled, if you'd like.

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                      • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                        erc Platinum
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        Look at that folks, the man is battling bronchitis, hanging holiday lights, snapping sunrise and sunset photos and yet still able to respond to a reference buried deep in the bowels of Insiders. I'm telling ya, be careful folks, he's got people!

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                        • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                          Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                          I may have my people call your people but my sat phone is at NSA at the moment for a new SIM card.

                           

                          Anadyr

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                  • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                    kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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                    IAHFLYR,

                     

                    Right you are! 

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                • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                  bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
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                  With all the discussion about Hawaii going on, I thought a poll might be in order.

                   

                  http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/polls/1296

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                  • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                    kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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                    bejacob,

                     

                    Don't really know how to respond to your poll!  I'm biased because I live on Oahu, but I do love Maui too... though it's been over a decade since my last visit! 

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                    • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                      bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
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                      It is hard to choose just one.

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                      • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                        kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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                        It really is, though I'll say Oahu.  Beside being my home, it's where everything is.  There's so much to do here, you should never get board... and there's something for everyone!  From rain forests to luxury shopping malls, we've got it all! 

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                • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                  kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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                  LOL!  Really?  Good luck in getting those high school pictures!  Unless you have Jerry & Mary helping... I believe those are the only 2 Insiders I've found on Facebook thus far...

                   

                  I haven't decided whether or not I'll bring my camera yet.  We'll see.  As I look out the window at work, I'm hoping the weather holds up!  Looks very grey outside... But yup, those tourists are everywhere! 

                   

                  Speaking of tourist hotspots, if you like the International Marketplace, you better check it out before you leave!  The Marketplace will be closed and torn down at the end of the month! 

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                  • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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                    kh,

                     

                    Thanks for the information on The International Marketplace!

                     

                    Used to do "Coin shows there", would stay at the nice Ren., walk thru the mall, and have a great time at the marketplace!

                     

                    Had a lot of good dinners at "Spats" (Hyatt}, but have not been back for a few years.  Honolulu was my favorite place in all of Hawaii!

                     

                    Just my take!

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                    • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                      kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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                      jerrycoin,

                       

                      Really?  I would love to see the "Coin Show" in Honolulu! 

                       

                      Unfortunately, the International Marketplace is the last casualty on this list.  Renaissance Ilikai had a long fall from fame and is still falling.  The Hyatt decided to revamp all of it's dining options and now has two signature restaurants called Japengo & Shor. 

                       

                      But to pay tribute to the International Marketplace and preview the future, the Honolulu Magazine put together this article: 

                      The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Waikiki's International Marketplace - Honolulu Magazine - December 2013 - Hawaii

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                      • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                        californian Platinum 37 Reviews
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        Wow!  I used to really like walking through and would spend money there.  Lately, it was more of a walk through.  Things keep changing and as they do it becomes more expensive.

                         

                        jerrycoin I ate at Spats too.  I enjoyed the food there.

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                      • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                        bpelican Platinum 57 Reviews
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                        The International Marketplace is no more?  I spent many nights there while stationed at Schofield.  There was a guitar player who played at a lounge on the left side of the entrance.  His name was Adomano or something like that.  Spent many hours there. 

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                        • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                          Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                          I was TDY at both Hickam and at CINCPAC HQ, and loved the rec center at Bellows Beach--hopefully it is still there.

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                          • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                            bpelican Platinum 57 Reviews
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                            Haven't been to Oahu in many years so have lost touch.  Was stationed at Schofield in the late 50s with the 25th Div.  They actually left the holes in the sides of the barracks that the Japanese strafed on their way to Pearl. 

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                            • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                              Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                              Amazing, and Pearl Harbor is still a place that should be on everyone's bucket list.

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                              • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                                bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
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                                It was on my list last time I visited. Agreed, everyone should go.

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                      • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                        bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
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                        I am saddened to hear of the impending demise of the International Marketplace. At least the tree (which was the best part last time I visited) will remain.

                         

                        I remember visiting in the 70s, 90s, and again in 2004. Always fun to walk through. Never bought much, though.

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                  • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                    erc Platinum
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    Today was another great time in Hawaii. We had an action packed day heading up to the North shore, stopping along the way at Waimea Falls, swinging through the town of Haleiwa, dropping by a bale of sea turtles  and closing out with an early dinner in Waikiki and fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

                    IMG_17631.jpg
                    While Dad was shooting the curl at the Bonzai Pipeline, wimpy daughter #2 was playing at the Waimea jump rock. **

                    **or perhaps Dad was curling beers at the Bonzai Brewpub, he often gets his facts confused!

                    Tomorrow has been labeled Royalty Day. We start off with a bicycle ride through historic Honolulu stopping at the Iolani Palace and cruising by the King Kamehameha statue, a hulu demonstration, and then dinner with the man who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop, King Kharada himself.  Stay tuned sports fans.

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                    • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                      kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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                      erc,

                       

                      Sounds like an amazing day!  Be prepared to share all of your adventures when we meet tomorrow!  Hopefully your lookout skills will be sharp tomorrow as you'll be heading into the heart of the battle zone!  Where you watching hula at? 

                       

                      At any rate, we look forward to seeing you and the family tomorrow! 

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                      • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                        erc Platinum
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                        Had a great day driving around listening to Jake Shimbukuro and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole tunes (we really did, but I also wanted to use most, if not all of the letters of the Hawaiian alphabet). Went by the Schofield Barracks and gave a tip of the hat to bpelican for his service to our country and drove by the Dole maze and thought of you. I had a terrific coconut peanut butter and banana sandwich in  Haleiwa.  We were told that they have hula demonstrations in the afternoon at the Ala Moana Center, so we're going to swing by there and check it out.

                         

                        The gang is all pumped up about dinner with you guys tonight. You can bring any photographic weapons you want tonight, just no videography, I need plausible deniability that "I really didn't eat all of that". You're just going to have to tell Mrs. Kharada, "don't worry honey, they aren't moving here and they'll be gone soon, just look at it as community service".  See you tonight, I'll be the guy at the host stand saying "hey, are you kharada, how about you, did you just get married and come back from an European honeymoon". Don't be late, or I may be asked to leave .

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                        • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                          bpelican Platinum 57 Reviews
                          Currently Being Moderated

                          Thanks for remembering the old pelican.  Have a great trip in paradise!  I'll be following you vicariously.

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                    • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
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                      erc in a hula costume, do we really want to have pictures of that?

                       

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                      • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                        erc Platinum
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        Whooh, that was really close. I thought someone had sent you a photo of our dress rehearsal, but then I saw the guys toes, mine were painted in a manly steel blue.  We'll be thinking of you during the ami oniu portion of the show.

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                        • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                          bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
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                          Remember, no plastic leis. (15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's). I'd say the same goes for plastic grass skirts.

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                          • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                            erc Platinum
                            Currently Being Moderated

                            It's funny you should mention that - plastic grass skirts. My daughter is specifically looking for one for a little cousin of hers (4 years old) and can only find straw ones with coconuts. The folks at all of the shops told her to go to Wal-Mart. Heck, we might as well order it from Amazon from my La-Z-Boy!

                             

                            We just took a bike tour from a local who updated us on a lot of the commercial/residential development, and true enough the place is hopping (as it relates to the IM going down). There's a new Ritz going up down the street from where we are staying and a second residential tower is being added to the already large Ala Moana Center - money is chasing deals and it's apparently creating its own momentum.

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                            • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                              Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                              I only wear my grass skirt with cocoanuts ERC.

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                              • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                                erc Platinum
                                Currently Being Moderated

                                That's because you're "My Little Honeybun". 

                                 

                                Ok, enough tomfoolery, I've got to go brush my teeth in preparation for my date with kharada .

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                                • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                                  jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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                                  Have fun!

                                   

                                  He's a traveller so watch those "Roman Hands and Russian Fingers"!

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                              • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                                bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
                                Currently Being Moderated

                                Is there any other way to wear a grass skirt?

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                                • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                                  Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                                  the only way--at least the guide told me that!

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              • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                erc Platinum
                Currently Being Moderated

                Upper Body - Outrigger  Maunalua Bay

                20131216_122534.jpeg


                Lower Body - Diamond Head Hike


                20131216_145902.jpg



                Full Body - Kona Big Wave - Balcony

                20131216_163853.jpg

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                • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
                  kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  Gotta love that bi-polar island weather!  Intense thunderstorms one day, clear the way for a BEAUTIFUL & SUNNY dat the next day!  Great pictures! 

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            • Re: The Joy of Travel - It's All Relative
              kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              Sounds like a great plan!  Just stay out of the water on the North Shore!  Sounds like the waves are getting dangerously big!  And hang on to any hats or loose clothing at the Pali Lookout.  Though there may not be much wind by the time you visit... trade winds are dying off yet again today! 

               

              Haha, you know... I've never been to Nobu.  Not here or anywhere else in the world!  I did go to Morimoto's once and got to meet him!  Great experience... but there are many around town.  But, if I'm thinking correctly, Food Pantry may be owned by Foodland?  At any rate, one of my favorite places to get poke is Foodland, specifically the Hawaiian Style poke.  Pai'na has great poke bowls too and is conveniently located at Ward Warehouse shopping center and in Koko Marina shopping center.

               

              At any rate, I expect to see pictures either on Saturday or on MRI, detailing your adventures! 

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