Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WE GOT LEI'D

How Vince and I ended up vacationing in Hawaii last month was due to a "wrong presumption." We were leaning on travelling to the Philippines or somewhere in Bahamas but we were mistakenly advised that if we exit the US, we will not be allowed re-entry, while transitioning with our visa status. It was only after I've booked our trip to Hawaii that the immigration lawyer realized that Vince and I are Canadian citizens, and we are in fact allowed to leave and re-enter the US provided we have a valid extension of our current J visa, which we do have.

So anyway, I was itching to go on vacation then. I was kinda feeling stressed out at work, and I felt like I badly needed a getaway. Quick. ASAP. Or else, I'd go nuts. That kind of feeling, if you know what I mean. Since we thought we're limited to travel within the States, I searched the Internet for top beaches in the US, and lo and behold, Hawaii beaches dominated. There were several here in the mainland that came up the top 10 including beaches in Florida, New Jersey, South Carolina and California, but to me they weren't as appealing as Hawaii. Plus, we're thinking that when we move to Georgia, we'll be a sneeze away from Florida and South Carolina, so might as well save those trips in the future when we're closer there. Therefore, Hawaii was it.

We flew out from Newark (EWR) airport, connected in Los Angeles (LAX), and arrived at our destination, Honolulu, after 12 long hours.  That was toooo taxing for me (and my little bun in the oven)!  That was my worst flight experience so far.   There was one time that we experienced turbulence for an hour-and-a-half! Can you imagine that?  I got terribly crampy and nauseated, I couldn't believe I survived that without *barfing.* Ooopppsss.

Vince and I were overly relieved when we finally landed in Hawaii.  I had arranged a shuttle transportation pick-up at the airport to our hotel (and vice versa) which included a "lei greeting" package.  So, after an hour delayed and bumpy, rough flight, Vince and I couldn't hide our giddiness and smiles when we heard locals at the airport greeting us "Aloha, Mahalo." The shuttle service representative was equally welcoming as well as she hung the fresh leis on our neck and volunteered to take pictures of us :)


We stayed at the Ala Moana Hotel which is about a 20-minute drive from the Honolulu International Airport. On the way, the shuttle driver gave a quick round of what to do and where to go in Oahu and the basic what-is and what's-not.


After we got settled in our hotel room, we went to the Ala Moana Center, one of the largest open-air shopping centers in the world, which is just beside the Ala Moana Hotel.  It's a very huge mall, but we weren't thinking of shopping... (yet)!  We were starving, so we headed to the food court, and oh my, there were so many selections! Too bad, my first-trimester appetite wasn't very cooperative, I settled for a beef teriyaki meal. Vince went for Loco Moco, a local comfort food. It's basically made up of burger patty and fried egg on top of Japanese rice generously smothered with brown gravy. It looked yummy, but my tastebuds were acting weird at their best, so obviously, I didn't get to enjoy it :(

Loco Moco

Our first day in Hawaii was wonderful and very promising. Vince and I were overly excited for the rest of our vacation :)

I'll end this for now, and will share more details of our Hawaiian escapade in my next posts. Stay tuned! Aloha and Mahalo ;)

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Oahu Travel Bits and Tips:

Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian islands, and where Honolulu and Waikiki is located.

Instead of taking a cab from the airport to your hotel (or vice versa), pre-arrange a shuttle service. You can search the Internet for companies that provide these services or even call the hotel where you'll be staying at and ask for their recommendations (some hotel provide free shuttle service).  With an added lei greeting, you get the full experience of your first time arrival in Hawaii ;)

The farther your hotel from Waikiki, generally, the cheaper the accommodation is.

Aloha translates as Hello or Goodbye. Mahalo means Thank You or You're Welcome.

PS: For those who have a bucket list, I recommend that you add Hawaii to it, that is if you have not included it yet. Seriously.

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16 comments:

  1. Sounds really exciting! I wish I am financially capable as you guys to afford trips such as this one.

    By the way, excited na ako sa susunod na kwentong Hawaii. I am happy that you are sooo finally back in the blogosphere.

    Mwaaahhhh!

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  2. Wow KM-my family here are planning to on Hawaii this coming thanksgiving day....that's a good tips you gave.thanks for sharing.Well see we're end up this Thanksgiving.anyway congrats preggy ka nah.

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  3. whoa! sobrang sarap naman ng vacay na yan Sis :) ako for now sa panaginip muna!! going to Hawaii.... aw!!! panaginip pa nga lang muna!! hehehe

    >> congrats din pala, abay... soon to be mommy kana din!! take a lot of care!!! mwahness

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  4. hehehhe..Actually I'm not interested in Hawaii sa totoo lang-gusto ko mag cruise kami..But my parents in law every year sila pumupunta sa Hawaii kasi mga snowbird yan sila..di na nila masyado kaya ang cold sa Michigan...Maybe your adventure helps to change my mind to pursue in Hawaii this Thanksgiving day.

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  5. hi KM, I am happy that you're back to the blogging community.. lol.. Congrats and goodluck on your pregnancy!!.. am i right?..

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  6. you both look extremely joyful, love the leis you both wear, very Hawaiian look. and that loco moco really makes me loco right now :) sorry about your appetite then, hope it is better by now, and wishing you a smooth pregnancy. yes, see you around, I am in FBF too, rovs recently added me, and that's how I came to learn of your blogs. i love them, you have such joyful spirit in sharing. keep on spreading the joy :)

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  7. Kahit nakita ko na tong mga pics sa FB, di parin ako nagsasawang tingnan uli. Siempre, I am also curious as to the tales behind the treks ;-)

    So mukhang totohanan na ang pagbabalik mo sa bloglandia Teh? kasi gora ka na uli sa meme eh. Ako indi pa eh. Kung sino lang ung magagawi sa blogs ko, I always return back the favor. Tingnan mo ilang araw palang akong nagbblog eh di pa nga todo, na bedridden nako, LOL! I am down with flu :-( Sadness ang Lola mo

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  8. NICE trip gurl..it makes me wanna go to Hawaii too.. :)

    PM ko nga yung friend ko sa LOndon, sabi ko punta kami ng Hawaii.. :))

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  9. wow! you really so much fun!

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  10. Looks like you two had a blast sa vacation na yan! Looking forward to see more pictures!

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  11. yay! welcome back Sis Karen to your romantic vacation minus the turbulence :-( glad that you and Vince enjoyed the needed relaxation :-) I have never been to Hawaii but I have cousin that lives in Maui :-) pictures are beautiful Sis :-) Dropping by from Tuesday Travels :-)

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  12. visiting you back :) you look beautiful in that blue summer dress sis :)

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  13. I have had the privilege of visiting here several times. It is not like it used to be. I still enjoyed it, but it has gotten too commercial.

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  14. Thanks for sharing your blues.

    Happy Blue Monday, KM.

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  15. hello sis KM. that's good that you are enjoying your Hawaii vacation. so you're transferring to Georgia soon? awww, i'm sad :( i wish i met you sooner. i was thinking about you during our Lancaster trip last month. I got to meet Emzkie and I was wondering if I could meet you but I guess we aren't close yet so I am shy to ask. my fault, waaa... anyways, advance happy moving soon and enjoy your beach and warm days there in Hawaii. :D visiting from Tuesday Travels (sorry po for being late >_<) http://www.memorylanebymel.com/memory-lane-monday-27-clinton-square-park-travels-at-syracuse-part-1/

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  16. Awwww, vacation galore pala kayo... Love the smiles.

    Late visit from Blue Monday.
    My BLUE
    Rose

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