Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oahu - Day 1

Let me first just say that flying with a toddler is such a pain. Gabriel was well behaved for the most part (no crying or anything), but keeping him occupied is so much work! One of our flight attendants gave Gabe some "wings" (a pin) for being such a good passenger - he LOVED it, and I was so grateful that the flight attendant made him feel special. Thanks awesome Delta flight attendant guy!

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!

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