Saturday, May 24, 2008

Never enough pictures of HAWAII!

In love, in Hawaii, in sandals on Waikiki.

This is the view from our hotel balcony. The first night we were so tired. There was a 5 hour time difference and we were both ready to hit the hay, but Mike had to take a dip in the ocean before he could rest. I told him I'd cheer him on from the balcony. He ran out the door in his swimsuit and I brushed my teeth and went to open the sliding glass door to the balcony. It was locked and stuck. I tugged and pulled, but it wouldn't budge. I gave up and went to bed. Mike came back a while later, dripping with salt water and a huge grin on his face to find me snoozing in our soft King size bed. Sorry I missed your swan dive, Mike! Our beautiful home away from home, the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Oh, how I miss you and your room service.

We hit 2 different shave ice stands. Aoki's and Matsumoto's. Both were delicious. Aoki's served sweet beans in the bottom of the cone topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, then shaved ice and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. The beans were like sweet black beans. Kinda weird, but we had to try it. Matsumoto's was the better of the two. We decided you could live off shaved ice if you had to....and we saw many homeless people in Honolulu that were probably doing just that.

If eating Shaved Ice is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

Delectable, as was the first.

Check out our sweet ride!! We toured the island in this beautiful blue convertible Mustang. Prrr. We were IN. Or, at least we felt like we were in....
This is a picture of one of our beautiful Latter-Day Saint temples in Hawaii. It was a warm, overcast day. It was 5pm when we pulled into the temple parking lot. We stopped and talked with the missionaries at the Visitor's Center and toured the grounds. It was lovely. I'm so glad we made the stop, even if we didn't get to do a temple session. We felt the holy spirit and it was peaceful and gentle.
Mike soaking up nature at the Lyon Arboretum near the University of Hawaii.
Mike's favorite plant on our hike.
My favorite flower on the preserve.
Are you wondering if something small and furry was taking this picture??! Mike's tripod was so handy! (Yes, that is a big map in Mike's hand. The arboretum was huge! I loved Hawaii, but I wasn't so keen on staying there, drinking rain water & eating slugs for the rest of my life! Are we still on the trail?? Are you sure??)

This tree had the craziest trunk!
This was called Inspiration Point. Is this place for real??!?!!?!
Putting these pictures together, I can't believe I was really there!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The rest of the story..............................

Mike co-authored some research at Mayo and submitted it to a conference in Honolulu. We were thrilled when it was accepted! We farmed the kids out (Ryan & Lindsay took Quinn for 7 nights! Bless you! Our Delta flight had a lay-over in SLC where we tossed Max & Mae to their grandparents) and flew to Oahu to find out what the spirit of Aloha was all about. It was a great week.

My favorite part of Hawaii was my hotel. Serious! We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It was so beautiful and big and expensive. I loved it!

Our last day in Hawaii we toured a nature preserve close by the University of Hawaii. The scenery was amazing. Downtown Honolulu was not the flowering paradise that I had imagined, so a hike in these botanical gardens was the perfect way to end our trip.

Mike presented his poster at a 3 hour session on Sunday. There were 700 posters on display. Mike went to part of the conference everyday, so it ended up being some work, some play. What??? Not all play??!! :)

Mike packed up Mayo's posters after the session and we walked the 4 blocks to our Hawaiian Village. We made that walk several times during our trip.

Nice weather. It could have been a little warmer, but I shouldn't complain about a few clouds and 80 degrees! We drove the whole island on the one day Mike had off. We visited the temple and the visitor's center. We ate a white shrimp truck and savored our shaved ice treats (my fav had a scoop of ice cream in the bottom and sweetened condensed milk drizzled over the shaved ice...MMmmmm). We stopped at a small surfing town and walked the streets, imagining what it would be like to live there year round. We snorkeled at Hanuma Bay at 7am (Mike's teeth chattered for hours). We walked along Waikiki Beach at sunset. I loved Aloha Stadium where I bought 10 pairs of my favorite Hawaii sandals and a few strands of Kukoi nut necklaces (I should have bought tons more necklaces! I hate it when you get home from vacation and you think, dang it, why didn't I buy more of that??!?!). I slept in until 9am. I didn't push a double stroller for 5 whole days. I ate famous do-nuts and fresh fruit every morning while tropical birds flew overhead. It was...paradise.

A BIG thank you to all those who helped to make this trip a reality for me and Mike! We will love you forever!!!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

5 nights, 6 days.

We went to paradise. And now we're back.