Saturday, October 25, 2008

Spending Time on Waikiki

*I'm sure you wondered what ever happened to my Hawaii posts. They are still sitting in draft form, but now that the weather is cold, it's time to start finishing them! The first part of our trip was spent in Waikiki. We've been there before, back when we were just the two of us. It was interesting coming back with kids. We were forced to look at everything a bit differently. Where once we walked around searching for fun shops and stayed up way too late, this time found us watching road construction, making time for naps, and avoiding most of the nicer restaurants in search of something we could all enjoy together. It was fun, but I'm glad we were only here for a few nights. The Big Island and elsewhere in Oahu turned out to be a lot more kid-friendly. Waikiki is definitely the tourist capital of Hawaii. Everything downtown is still open late into the night, and you can easily walk to all of it from your hotel. If you are going to come to Hawaii and only want to spend time at the beach and shopping, find a nice hotel here and don't rent a car. There's an airport shuttle you can catch that costs $15 round trip. Our two boys were considered lap children, so we didn't have to pay for them. I'm not sure what the age cutoff is, though. There was another family on the bus with us that didn't have to pay for their daughter who looked about six, so it's obviously pretty generous. We had to get creative when finding things to do. We did go back and visit the International Marketplace. I remember having a better impression of it the first time I stumbled upon it. This time, it seemed to be filled less with interesting and unusual trinkets as a plethora of Hawaiian shirt stores and find-a-pearl-in-the-oyster places. I told Oliver before he left that he was not, under any conditions, to allow me to buy a Hawaiian shirt or, even worse, a dress. When we went to Mexico on our honeymoon, I'd talked him into letting me buy this poncho with some vaguely Aztec markings on it. It looked pretty cool while we were there and back on the cruise boat, but once we returned home, it hung in the coat closet for five years. I finally pulled it out and threw it into the charity box a few weeks ago. Yeah, that was 24 bucks wasted. I wasn't about to make the same mistake twice. What looks good in Hawaii must stay in Hawaii. Trust me on that. So, we left without buying anything. We didn't even eat lunch there, as the food all looked downright nasty. Instead, we found ourselves at a burger joint along the main road. The burgers were good, if a bit strange, but the dinner company, not so great. Apparently, Oahu has a bit of a bird problem. They were literally swarming around us. Wyatt imitated the waiter and began throwing his ice at them, while we swatted at them with our feet. All of this was for naught; they just kept coming back. Near the end of our meal, Oliver and Wyatt got up to go use the bathroom, and they actually jumped right on our table and started stealing food. I actually needed Oliver's help to get them off it. Here's a picture I took right after that. Notice they are still sitting on Wyatt's chair? Those were some brazen birds. We had a more pleasant meal at Kobe's Steakhouse later that night. This was tops on my list of things to do while we were here. Oliver never ate here because his boat had already left Hawaii when my friend and I discovered it. You sit around a grill, and the chefs come out and grill your meal in front of you. They are showmen, and it's really fun to watch (and very tasty to eat!). Our boys, though, were hit pretty hard with jet lag. Oscar was asleep before we ordered, and Wyatt fell asleep halfway through the meal on my lap. I suppose we had us a bit of a date after that. We did have to schlep them back to the hotel, though. That part wasn't so fun. Here are a couple more pictures from our time in Waikiki:

A fountain we ran across while wandering around after sunset Wyatt says hello to the penguins we found while walking through the Marriot compound. That place was amazing; almost an entire experience in and of itself. Not only did we find penguins amongst the shops and restaurants, but sea turtles, too.
And, finally, where else in the U.S. can you find fire dancers at your local mall?

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