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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Last Day and Heading Home!

Tuesday was our last day to enjoy Hawaii and we started the morning with breakfast and hearing Mr. and Mrs. Tuohy speak. I was the most excited for that day because it was a day of just the two of us together, exploring Hawaii on our own!

I made Zach take a picture in front of the elevator so I'd remember to blog about it. Omg. Most annoying elevator EVER! You type in your floor outside the elevator then it tells you which elevator you'll be riding on. It wouldn't have been that bad except that they decided to work on TWO of the four elevators while we were there so they weren't in service! They opened up the service elevators for us to use but there were still a lot of elevator issues. We were actually glad we were on the top floor because it meant that by the time the elevator reached us it was empty. All the floors below us would get stuck because the elevator would come to pick them up and it'd be too full already. On check out day Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte waited 50 minutes for an elevator!
After the Prayer Breakfast we had two goals for the day: find Kye's "prize" and eat at Dukes. I wanted to go to the International Marketplace because I remember having a lot of fun shopping there last time I visited and Zach and I both love little booths where you can haggle. Had I not been so pregnant, we totally could have walked there (the Hilton is in an AWESOME location!!!) but instead tried out the city bus system. Pretty much every place we visit we take some type of public transportation. It's kinda become our thing I think ;) The annoying part of their bus system was that you had to have exact change. It was $2.50 each so I needed $5 and, of course, only had a $10. Luckily someone on the bus had change!!!

Right when we got dropped off a random guy approached us. He was very stressed out acting and seemed to be on the verge of tears. He told us some extremely long story about his car being stuck somewhere and keys being left somewhere else and blah blah blah. He also mentioned that he is married to a man and hates Bush. All flags were going off for us to turn and walk away from him. But we had just heard that lesson from the Tuohy's! How could we just walk away (even though his story was SO shady) after hearing that? He said he needed $16.10. Of COURSE all I had was a $20. I was pretty nervous b/c I had the cash and couldn't really ask Zach if it was okay to give it to him or not. So I gave it to him! Thankfully Zach agreed with me on that choice...he said he felt like it was God testing us for SURE. How ironic is that????

We had a great time strolling through all the little booths and browsing for gifts for both Kye and Mom (I like to get whoever babysits Kye a little thank you gift). We ended up getting an awesome turquoise necklace and earrings set for Mom and a wooden helicopter for Kye (which, I knew, would get broken in like 5 minutes...and it did).
Next we walked over to eat lunch at Duke's! Duke's was mine and Dad's favorite place to eat in Waikiki and I really wanted Zach to experience it. Duke is Hawaii's most famous citizen and was a gold medal Olympian . He represented the US in the Olympics for 20 years winning many medals for his swimming. He was in 28 films but was known mostly for his charm. As he grew older he became Hawaii's official Ambassador of Aloha.
Here is Duke's Creed: "In Hawaii we greet friends, loved ones or strangers with Aloha, which means with love. Aloha is the key word in the universal spirit of real hospitably, which makes Hawaii renowned as the world's center of understanding and fellowship. Try meeting or leaving people with Aloha. You'll be surprised by their reaction. I believe it and it is my creed." ~Duke Pada Kahanamoku
We both ordered the same thing, cheeseburgers and OMG so so good!!!!
We enjoyed our relaxing lunch by the ocean then headed out to get back to the room. On the way we passed the International Market Place...umm weren't we just there earlier? Nope! I KNEW when we were shopping that something didn't feel right. But it's been 10 years since I last visited the area and thought we were in the right place. Oh well, we weren't!!! I still wanted to get some pics in front of it and we WILL go back to the legit place next time!

SUCH a beautiful tree! I LOVE how they keep nature as a part of things there.

We still checked out some of the marketplace and bought each of us this shirt...isn't it awesome???
riding the bus back to the hotel!

That night was the farewell Aflac dinner and it was a night I had been looking forward to for awhile. Sheryl Crow was putting on a free concert for us! I love her!!! I feel like all of you probably know me well enough to know that I wouldn't miss that! I am ALL about life experiences and especially free ones ;) Plus I LOVE concerts and Zach hates them so I never get to go to any. I was really excited about seeing her live, but I was simply too worn out. It was early afternoon when we got back to the room and I just physically couldn't go. Plus we'd be back late and we had to pack and my feet were hurting so bad. I was DONE. Thankfully Zach was on board for skipping the dinner too and we decided to spend the afternoon in the bed watching...yup, The Office (we're now on Season 6!). It was WONDERFUL!!!!!
On our way back to the room we had stopped and gotten an ice cream treat so we sat on the porch and enjoyed the view before cuddling up with our "Office" time. Wasn't the view so pretty (Zach loves the panoramic feature on my camera, you can click on it to see it bigger)?




We got an early dinner, Zach ran down and found us some chicken fingers from a random take out place on property, and we packed up and went to bed EARLY. I think we watched like 5 or 6 episodes of The Office too ;) I LOVE that tradition together! We wouldn't have even gotten back from the dinner until after 11 and we were both zonked out by 9. So we made the right choice!

The next morning was departure day. We went down for the free breakfast and ate as much as our stomachs could possibly handle. Can you tell I was thirsty????? And that I'm a carb lover?
Our flight left at 12:45 pm Hawaii time (so 6:45 pm GA time). By the time we went through the baggage check and everything we had to hurry to make the flight and barely had time to grab something to eat (we ended up having to eat it on the plane!). I don't like being rushed, especially when I had SUCH a long flight ahead of me! But I survived it and the stromboli thing I got was super yummy ;)

one last little Hawaiian reminder before boarding the plane!
We had a six hour flight to LA. Zach had a bulkhead seat and I had an end seat several rows behind him. It did work out well that we were able to move his seat up there because he originally had a middle seat. Can you imagine him being stuck in the middle being 6'5"??? Since we moved his seat I ended up having an empty seat next to me which was nice! I did not sleep ONE minute on that flight. Instead I watched Bad Teacher (pretty funny) and The Tree of Life (um Katie...we talked about how this was supposed to be good when we went to Vegas...have you seen it yet? B/c omg SOOOO strange!!!). I got up and walked every 45 min or so and asked the flight attendants for water so often that I'm sure they were sick of me.

During our lay over in LA we hung out with Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte (who had first class seats, lucky!) and some other Aflac friends of ours. We also ate pizza from California Pizza Kitchen and had frostys from McDonald's. We boarded the flight for Atlanta at 11:55 pm California time which is 8:55 pm Hawaii time and 2:55 am Georgia time. On the flight to Atlanta I had an end seat and Zach had an end seat and they were diagonal from each other. I was SO thankful that he was able to sleep...but I was miserable. I tried to sleep and maybe got an hour in. If that. I read a lot of magazines and watched some tv shows and stuff on the tv. We got into Atlanta at 9:35 am Georgia time...3:45 am Hawaii time. Then our flight was delayed to Valdosta but thankfully they were able to make up the time! We got home at 10:45 am and it was AWESOME to be back!

Mom brought Kye up to the airport and I don't think I've ever seen him so excited. He came RUNNING to us and kept dancing around like crazy. Everyone there couldn't stop watching him. I have to say, it was probably the best part of the whole trip for me!

I love, LOVE, LOVE Hawaii and, as always, appreciate Aflac SO much for sending us on such a wonderful vacation. However, I have three things that made the trip less than perfect for me, all of which taught us some valuable lessons for future vacationing!

1. The time change. I do NOT recommend going that far away unless you can stay longer than we did (we were there for 5 nights...you MUST stay longer!!!). I'm thankful we are staying 7 nights in Italy as Italy is the same time change difference (just in the opposite direction). I don't remember the time difference affecting me so badly when I visited before - but it was rough and it was even rough on Zach so I know it's not a pregnancy thing.

2. Traveling so late in pregnancy. We learned a lesson! When we decided to conceive Blitzen we figured it'd be better to be mega pregnant when going to Hawaii than be leaving a newborn and having to pump like crazy like I did for Paris. And I have to say, we were right. It was MUCH better to be pregnant rather than be pumping!!! However, it was still too late in my pregnancy. Next pregnancy we need to plan it so I'm under 8 months when we travel long distances!!!!!

3. Not having quality "us" time. I get along wonderfully with my in-laws and I'm thankful for the relationship we share! This was our first Aflac trip where we all were on it together...and they will be on ALL the trips next year (Toronto, Alaska and Vegas). To me, I justify leaving my child (and soon-to-be leaving my children) like we do on trips because it's quality time for my husband and I. My relationship with Zach is THE most important relationship in my LIFE. More important than the one I have with my children and our traveling allows us to focus on that relationship and keep it strong. I LOVE our trips together! I miss Kye like crazy and feel guilt leaving him, but I know it's what's best for my MARRIAGE and that is also what is best for our children and family. On this trip I feel like we didn't get that quality together time because we spent so much time with his parents. It's a tricky situation b/c I feel bad not including them ya know? I mean it's kinda rude to all be at the same place and not do things together!!! I'm hoping we can figure out some type of balance or something before Toronto in April!!! It made me feel good that Zach agreed with me on this and I know Mrs. Charlotte and Mr. Rusty would TOTALLY understand but I still would feel bad saying it to them! We'll probably have to before Toronto but we'll pray on it and hope the right words come to us on how to handle it!

I'm SO glad Zach got to experience Hawaii and I'm even MORE glad that we get to go back for our anniversary trip in a couple of years! We did several things that are great to have "marked off" our list and I'm excited about all the things we still get to experience there...Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, surf lessons, dolphin swim, etc etc etc. I can't WAIT to go back again!

Aloha!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like such a great trip! I'm not at all sales oriented, so I know I would be a total failure with something like aflac, but how awesome that your hubby does so well and y'all get to enjoy great vacations!
    I think it's great that you do have that time alone, for your marriage. Many people (maybe even myself included) wouldn't be able to do it...but that's partly because I don't think either of my parents would be comfortable with my kiddos for that long of a time. The longest we've ever done is just an overnight trip. Be thankful for that blessing!

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