Anyway, we arrived in San Diego and were met by Daisy and Papa Ray. They love and spoil this child more than I could tell you. And the spoiling started before we could even get out of the airport! (They stopped and bought him a toy while I was asking the information clerk where to check in for my next flight...) Once Gabriel was safely with his grandparents, I was off to the commuter terminal for a 20 minute flight to LAX, some chill time at the USO, and then a 6 hour flight to Honolulu!
I'm still on home time, which is four hours ahead, and I can't seem to kick it! Waking up early is fine, but getting tired at 7 or 8 in the evening really bugs. I woke up around 3am yesterday, but laid in bed (determined to sleep more) until 5. At that point, I couldn't possibly lay there anymore, so I got up and got a glass of water and then went out on my mom's front porch to watch the sun rise while I called Gabriel. I must admit, I was a little worried that Gabe would be sad that mommy left him and he would feel abandoned. Boy, was I wrong. I couldn't keep his attention for two minutes! I could barely get a "Hi mommy! I yuh you!" out of him before he was off running and playing again. Daisy told me it was going to be a shopping and errand day with Gabe, and I'm sure she snuck in some spoiling--she's crafty like that.
Not too long after I got off the phone, my mom and mother in law were up and we were cutting up some fresh, local produce for breakfast. Man, the fruit here is good. I missed it!
Once everyone was ready, we hit the ITT office (military discounts for travel and activities - like 30-60% off, people! So spoiled.) and booked the Polynesian Cultural Center, the Atlantis Submarine tour, and Paradise Cove Luau. I also
picked up my rental car and had a nice surprise waiting for me! We reserved a standard SUV, but both of the ones they had available had come back damaged from the previous renters, so we got upgraded to a luxury SUV for free! Weeeee!!! I love it. I may try to drive it home.
After we got the details in order, it was time for shopping and lunch and more shopping! I found a cute, fun ring at a little shop outside the NEX (Navy Exchange) and Linda (mother in law) bought a really pretty Hawaiian dress at Princess Ka'iulani fashions.
Crappy cell phone picture (don't judge!) of the ring I bought.
We decided to visit the Palace in the late afternoon and I'm sooo glad we did! It's one of the things I didn't have a chance to do when I lived here before. (The Palace is where Hawaiian royalty lived before the United States kicked in the door and decided to take over...) It was beautiful and I am so glad I was able to witness and learn about more of Hawaii's rich culture and interesting history.
The Palace. I wish I was allowed to take pictures inside! It's gorgeous.
After the Palace, we were BEAT from walking around all day, so we headed home and had a great home-cooked meal (thanks mom!) and headed to bed.
Today, Daisy is taking Gabriel to the fair. I'm sure he is going to have a BLAST! We are getting an early start - heading up the east coast of the island to show Linda some pretty little beaches, Chinaman's Hat, and the Laie LDS Temple before going to the PCC for a day of immersion in Polynesian culture and great food!