Sunday, March 20, 2011

you had me at aloha

Time and life have just been flying by lately, what is going on? Days go by so fast that sometimes my head is spinning! But I'm back to (finally) blog some more about our Hawaiian journey a few months back, the middle third of our trip ... in Honolulu on the island of Oahu.

But first I want to send my thoughts and prayers to the people (and animals!) of Japan ... the suffering caused by the triple tragedies of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear threat is unimaginable!! I was able to reach my friend Kyoko, in Tokyo, shortly after the earthquake, and she and her family are thankfully safe. But she tells me of the ongoing trauma there, including numerous daily aftershocks, and the emotional impact that the disaster is having on the residents of her country. Please know that so many of us around the world are sending our best to you, Japan!

Now to somehow transition to thoughts of paradise....

We began our visit to Hawaii on Maui (my February 3 post), then headed to Oahu for Sal to present his research at Pacifichem 2010 in Honolulu. It's a huge conference attended by about 12,000 chemists (!!!) from all over the Pacific Rim ... Japan, China, Korea, Fiji, Thailand, and many other countries ... it was very exciting and professionally rewarding for him!

And, with the conference being held in paradise, we of course got to enjoy the Land of Aloha all the while. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village ... it is indeed a "village", complete with restaurants & shops (like the adorable Blue Ginger boutique, where I loved browsing):

It's almost a little city within Honolulu, and is very "flip-flop-friendly" being right on a beautiful stretch of Waikiki Beach. Our room was way up on the 27th floor of the Rainbow Tower, with a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean and the Diamond Head volcano from our balcony:

Knowing that I'm in love with wearing leis while in Hawaii, Sal surprised me with a "lei-a-day" delivery to our room while we were in Honolulu! How sweet is that??? OMG, it was such a TREAT !!! Each morning, another of Sal's gorgeous "flower hugs" arrived, wrapped in a matching ribbon. I was such a HAPPY girl !!!!! And oh the scents ... fragrant plumeria, orchids, tuberose ... I wish my blog had a scratch-n-sniff option, LOL !!! No need for perfume when you're wearing a lei, that's for sure !! The final lei was red, green, and white since it was so close to Christmas Day. Thank you, sweetheart, for this extra special memory! I love you!

We didn't really go far from the resort, just did some walking around the city when Sal wasn't busy attending conference sessions. We've been to Oahu before, and on past visits we drove all around the island, enjoyed its stunning coastlines, visited the somber Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, and saw the famous giant waves on the North Shore. So this time, we just enjoyed the beach and the resort amenities, relaxing. I found it comical to sometimes see chemists heading to the beach instead of toward the conference center ... I could tell because they were using their Pacifichem tote as a beach bag, LOL! ;-)

I had some fun with resort activities, like a lei-making class, where I learned to make a traditional lei, plus a gorgeous flower and fern wristlet (called a haku lei).

We made sure to enjoy breakfast at our favorite beachside restaurant in Honolulu, the Hau Tree Lanai. It's nestled beneath its namesake tree, and is literally at the edge of the sand. It's a special place for us ... it was the first place we dined the night we arrived in Hawaii for the first time back in 1998, and it was magical !! This time, I had coconut-mango pancakes (yum!) and (very fresh) pineapple, of course!

I didn't blog much while in Hawaii, in part because I wasn't feeling my best, fighting a cough the whole time, such a shame! This became my constant companion throughout Hawaii.....
So, as a coping mechanism (wink, wink), I booked an appointment at the Spa Halekulani just down the beach from our hotel. They had something on their treatment menu that seemed tailor-made for someone in my condition, Polynesian Steam Therapy ... a massage of the upper back/respiratory area that was accompanied by light steam to fight congestion. Ahhh...finally, some relief! Perfect Polynesian pampering in paradise! I remember feeling SO much better afterwards ... and walked back to our hotel along the beach under the Waikiki sun. But I cringed as I walked past the surfing lessons that I had planned to sign-up for, but was just too weak.....oh well, next time!

Another really fun thing about our resort was that they had LOTS of talented, live Hawaiian entertainment ... especially at night in the bars, but during the day, since it was the holiday season, they had kids from local schools putting on shows in the beautiful open-air lobby. I just had to share a clip (38 seconds) with you:

I absolutely love hula, it's one of my favorite types of dance to watch. Such an expressive and beautiful part of the Hawaiian culture! We enjoyed more hula during an evening show at the resort ... and Sal indulged me (again) by wearing our matching aloha wear for our evening out!

I'll be back soon to share the final leg of our Hawaiian journey, the Big Island of Hawaii.

Thanks for stopping by!


Momofboys said...

looks like you had a wonderful time regardless of your cough =( at least you could take advantage of that wonderful massage that helped you feel better!! can't wait to see some more pics!

e_susan94 said...

Breathtaking flowers Sal requested fir you to have each day to the girgeous views and the mouth watering ciconut mango pancakes! Now for the pancakes I need to google that recipe!!:). So glad you got to make a trip out of Sal's conf trip and at a paradise island!