Thursday, August 17, 2017

2017-06-19 - Monday - Deer lounge

Monday night Stephanie and I pulled into the driveway and I noticed two large does resting in the back yard, ears up like satellite dishes. They looked at us, but didn't bother getting up; too much trouble I guess. We walked past them and into the house.

When I told Karen about them she went out with her phone to try to capture more photos and they were standing by the fence, grazing. She flashed a couple of photos (that didn't come out) and they stopped grazing long enough to look up at her and went right back to eating grass as if we weren't there.

They are getting way too used to people.

Original photo

Lightened to see more.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2017-06-18 - Sunday - Art from Poland

Stephanie and Brett wanted a "thumbprint tree" for the guest book at their wedding reception so I found one on Etsy that would be custom made --in Poland. It was a great deal, with lots of options to customize it, and the shipping was only about $15. It even came with three color choices of thumb ink pads.

It arrived and looked great. The print is actually on canvas stretched over a wooden frame. Unfortunately I did not remember to snap a photo of the finished tree, but here's the shop so you can check it out yourself. StudioGoldArte.


Monday, August 7, 2017

2017-06-17 - Saturday - Leaving Hawaii

Before leaving for the airport we took a stroll around the man-made lagoon at the hotel and visited the marina.

The lagoon was filled with calm salt water and would be great for families with small children.

The marina was large and full of very impressive boats.

While walking along the edge of the marina I saw a puffer fish. Not just any puffer fish; this one was over a foot long. I'd never seen one that large and quickly grabbed a video of it foraging.

Soon it was off to the airport to start our mind-numbing journey home. We left Honolulu at 5 pm on Saturday, arrived in Minneapolis at 5 am on Sunday, and then in Charlotte at 12 pm Sunday. We didn't get any sleep on the plane and crashed for a while when we got home.

The lagoon.

The marina.

I think it's odd that when I zoom in the audio also appears to "zoom in".


Sunday, August 6, 2017

2017-06-16 - Friday - Pearl Harbor

Friday we took a bus tour to Pearl Harbor. It was a very moving experience, especially the USS Arizona memorial.

The U.S. Parks service only sells 1300 tickets per day for the USS Arizona memorial so you have to line up early. Our bus picked us up at 5:00 am and our driver, Tiho, who is from Bulgaria, stopped by a Leonard's, a Portuguese bakery and picked up some malasadas. While we were standing in line at around 6:00 am, he handed out the still-warm malasadas, saying, "Do you see all these other people standing here in line? They don't have donuts --but you do!". He was definitely a character.

The anchor.

Our ticket for the 7:45 tour.

On the boat to the USS Arizona memorial,
passing a docked aircraft carrier.

Pulling up to the memorial.

Gun turret number 3.

The wall of names of those lost on the Arizona.

From the deck of the memorial we could see the USS Missouri,
where the treaty was signed that ended the war with Japan.
We were able to see the ships that represented
the beginning and ending of the war at one time.

After Pearl Harbor, Tiho took us to several areas around Honolulu, including seeing the rain forest in one of the many reserves including a nice view of Honolulu.

We visited Aliiolani Hale where we saw the statue of King Kamehameha that seemed to be a staple of 60's television shows.

We stopped by the docks and fed the tropical fish. These are fish I'd only seen in aquariums before that day and here they were being hand-fed in the wild.

Back at the hotel we attended the Brian Wilson concert on the green. It was good, but without the rest of the original members and their harmonies it sounded more like a Beach Boys tribute band. If you'd like to see an amazing visualization of the Beach Boys harmonies, check this out.

Later still, we were off to the Ocean House for a great meal right next to the surf at Waikiki. Oh, and another Coconut Hiwa Porter.


Monday, July 10, 2017

2017-06-15 - Thursday - Heading north

Thursday we took a ride north to check out some of the sights.

We went to Diamond Head, but the parking lot was full and people were walking about a half a mile from another parking lot at the bottom. That walk was before the hike up the hill so we decided to skip it and keep moving.

We stopped at the Koko Head scenic lookout to, well... look out.

These people were fishing and getting very wet.

The crater.

We were here.

Back in the car and off to Turtle Bay Resort. We had lunch right on the beach and watched a guy surfing with his dog.

Later we were scheduled for a sunset cruise around Honolulu. We had heavy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. I had another coconut porter.


Diamond Head.

Closer view of Diamond Head.

The only rainbow we saw.

It was a wide one.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

2017-06-14 - Wednesday - More Honolulu

On Wednesday we walked to the Shore Bird Restaurant for lunch. I had the Hawaiian Loco Moco. From the menu: "An island favorite! Angus all beef patty on steamed white rice, topped with brown gravy, a fried egg, and crispy fried onions". After seeing it on several menus I decided to give it a try. It was good and even better with a Kona Longboard beer.

I did some work in the room while Karen attended her conference.

Wednesday evening we went to d.k Steak House and had some great dry aged steaks... and another coconut porter.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

2017-06-13 - Tuesday - Honolulu

Tuesday we flew to Honolulu. It reminds me of Atlanta with palm trees. Lots of traffic and lots of tourists.

We stayed at a huge hotel that is part of a famous chain. It consists of 7 towers and a whole village.

We arrived at 10:30 am and were asked if we wanted an upgrade to a king bed instead of a full so we said, "Sure." Unfortunately it took us 7 hours to get our room. Check-in was supposed to be at 3:00 pm, but that time came and went. We had to hang around the lobby and various lounges. Most places like lobbies and even the airport are "open air" so we were sitting in 80+ degree weather while waiting.

Finally, at about 4:00 pm we asked the "manager on duty" what our status was and he said that they could not get the previous guests to leave the room. I said, "So you mean to tell me that there are 3400 rooms in this hotel, but only 4 king size beds?"

He offered us coupons for free ice cream.

We checked back at 5:00 pm and nothing had changed.

At 5:30 pm we were told they were going to give us another room since they couldn't get our room ready in time. Maybe Keith Richards was staying there.

When we finally got our room it was a corner unit in the Rainbow Tower with 2 balconies --one looking out over Waikiki Beach and the other looking at the other towers.

While it took us 7 hours to get our room, Karen's 2 associates showed up and both got upgraded to a king size bed, and were in their room in the Rainbow Tower within 15 minutes of arriving. Go figure.

The rest of our stay was good after securing a room.

That evening we went to The Yard House where I had another coconut porter and this:

spicy candied bacon, white american cheese, arugula, blueberry ketchup, fries.

Yes, blueberry ketchup. I always work on trying new things. It was good, but not a favorite. It was either that or the Vampire Tacos.

Waikiki Beach.

Two balconies.

Pigeons everywhere.