Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Day Ten in Hawaii

Our last day in Hawaii. Part of us wanting to stay in the Aloha State for ever while another side of us wanted to be home! We choose to carry our luggage out and not take part in the ship's disembarkment schedule. We were off by 8am and on our Thrifty car rental pretty soon.

Our first stop was Honolulu's famed Chinatown. Teaming with activity and exotic food and fruits this place was a treat. We treated ourselves to some Chinese pastries and Jackfruit smoothies.. yummy! V also got her much wanted floral lei... sweet smelling and really cheap in Chinatown!

We also visited the only royal palace in US. After visiting the pretty and grand ones in India and Europe this was a let down!
The so-called palace

Off we went towards Oahu's North Shore. A quick stop at the over-priced Dole Plantation ended up with a ultra-sized Pineapple Split and a walk through the world's biggest maze! A fun place and more suited for kids in my opinion! But a sure tourist trap! We were lucky to watch a few minutes from the finals of the Billabong surf competition along the pipeline. The pipeline is the hollowest and biggest of its kind in the world and has surfers from all over trying their best to ride it. For people with no knowledge about surfing it was kind of strange to watch it. It was like watching a foreign movie with no sub-titles! Fun though!
The gigantic Pineapple split

We had to stop for shave ice at Haleiwa. Two of the best places for shave ice in Hawaii are right next to each other. Each with a big line! We stopped at Atikos just coz the line was smaller and it was amazing. The ice melts in your mouth, smooth as silk unlike anything else we had on our trip! For a bit of drama/adventure try adding beans at the bottom of your shave ice. It is just plain beans (like black beans) boiled and added. Yes it is strange to imagine boiled beans in shave ice but the contrast is amazing and yummy!

Atiko's Menu

Anyone recognize the surfer? He was one of the finalists

After a pit stop we were back on the road, a bit tired and ready to head back home! We drove along just oohing and aahing at the beauty! It was a nice drive and by 6pm we were back in Honolulu. We headed to the Ward Center Stores just to spend some time! Window shopping, net browsing and a sub later we were ready to return to the airport and catch our flight home.

Delta flight from Honolulu to LA was a breeze. We were asleep before takeoff! But arriving at LA we realized our Houston flight was delayed by over an hour and they were not able to fit us in an earlier flight! We waited in LA and then reached Houston only to realize, one of our suitcases was missing. Well it really just had dirty laundry and some memorabilia. Afterwards we realized our suitcase (just 1 of the 3) went to Salt Lake City from Honolulu! Don't ask me how they did it! We got the baggage the next day. So it was fine!

And thus ended our trip. We nursed a fit of coughing and runny nose for nearly a week after that and slowly got into the Christmas and New Year celebrations!

And as they say, what happens in Hawaii stays with you forever! We'll cherish this trip a lot and have memories and photos to last a lifetime and more!

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