2018 Hawaii (Oahu)

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Family Thanksgiving (Nov) in Hawaii: family, friends, and a Jellyfish sting.


2018.Oahu.Flight.jpegWe paid an extra $100 for an upgrade to First Class: which made the travel so much more bearable.
2018.Oahu.Double.jpegThe Uber Driver was overjoyed at the double rainbow... a good omen.
2018.Oahu.Hilton.jpegWe stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (Tapa Tower). Multiple other friends were staying there around the same time. And we visited local friends.
2018.Oahu.RoomView.jpegAnd the accommodations were great (and discounted): we went as part of Bridge Tournament Nationals that my Mom/Marcus participate in.
2018.Oahu.SantaCastles.pngThere were a couple of Santa Sand Castles (at a neighboring resort). It was Thanksgiving, but close enough -- and we alternate Families/Holidays, so we are going to Pheonix and M's family for XMas.
2018.Oahu.XMas.jpegSo a few family shots for Christmas Cards were required.
2018.Oahu.Family.jpegMom and Marcus chilaxing.
2018.Oahu.Pool.jpegThere was hanging out at the pool. (Which was not heated and a bit cold).
2018.Oahu.Tube.jpgA shockingly fast water tube/slide at the resort.
2018.Oahu.ShavedIce.jpgObligatory shaved ice.
2018.Oahu.Lamberts.jpegAnd Lamberts ice-cream. (I was "the spoon", that didn't get my own... but tasted everyone else's). I won't fork a family member, but I might spoon them.
2018.Oahu.Thanksgiving.jpegWhile we did some nice meals, we also did a Thanksgiving at Denny's (which mortified the teen). Sometimes we're high-brow, sometimes we're a Denny's kinda family: we didn't want to do a huge buffet, when Melissa, the kids and I are all fairly light eaters.

Beach Time

2018.Oahu.Beach.jpeg Hawaii isn't complete without mai tai's on the beach.
2018.Oahu.Beach3.jpeg Drinks all around...
2018.Oahu.Beach1.jpegAnd the traditional burying of the sibling!
2018.Jellyfish.pngI got hit by a box jellyfish on Waikiki. It was a light hit: about 2" long on inner thigh -- very painful for the night, irritated for days. I shaved it with a razor, put on Benadryl, but I didn't have a reaction. (Maybe my Black Widow bite toughened me up?)
2018.Oahu.Beach5.jpegPoaching a little DQ from the kids will make it better.
2018.Oahu.Scuba.jpegMy brother did a little side scuba adventure with some friends. (My certification has long expired).
2018.Oahu.Beach4.jpegPaddle-boarding in the safety of the lagoon. (My pics weren't flattering, so erased from history).


2018.Oahu.Snorkel1.jpegThere was a snorkeling excursion. Which was a short ride out from Waikiki.
2018.Oahu.Snorkel3.jpegTo a reef that had Sea Turtles, and little fish that "car washed" them of parasites.
2018.Oahu.Snorkel2.jpegAn easy hang out on a catamaran.
2018.Oahu.Snorkel6.jpegThen it was everyone in the water (life vests required?).
2018.Oahu.Snorkel10.jpgTake underwater shots with your phone in a baggie, isn't the best quality.
2018.Oahu.Snorkel11.jpegLook, a blurry Turtle (that you were supposed to touch), but the turtles didn't always follow the rules.
2018.Oahu.Snorkel7.jpegAfter about 45 minutes of that, it turns into a booze-cruise, where you just sail around before going back.
2018.Oahu.Snorkel8.jpgThey were liberal with the alcohol in the drinks. My wife is a 1 Mai Tai girl, and she had 3.
2018.Oahu.Snorkel.jpgMelissa and Marcus got trashed, and the kids were playing guide animals to the happy-wobbly adults.


2018.Oahu.Church.jpgMarcus had diabetes and was on the short road to death, when he visited this Church. The Pastor mentioned he would be cured, and he soon got a rare liver/kidney transplant, which cured his diabetes and he got a new family (us). So we returned there to a black, gospel, very rival feeling church.
2018.Oahu.Church2.jpegWe had snapped a flashless picture before they got full and announced "no recording/photography". We honored the request (after that). But the music/singers/praise was incredible. Ella mentioned "any of them could be on the Voice". Just about everyone in the choir solo'd, even the little 80 year old frail looking lady belting gospel music like Aretha Franklin. My brother talked about stepping up their churches game, with the enthusiasm of this place.

Sea Life Park

2018.Oahu.SeaLife1.jpegWe went out to the Sea Life Park. It's a pretty drive, with scenery and things on the way (like blow hole and beaches)
2018.Oahu.Sealife5.png They had Sea Lions and Penguins and Dolphin's, "oh my".
2018.Oahu.SeaLife.DM.jpgThey also had turtles, sharks and a petting area. But it's basically good for a couple hours, and we had 4 before our Luau, so too much time.


2018.Oahu.Luau0.pngOf course we went to an obligatory Luau, and to celebrate Mom's Birthday (that was part of why we went to the Sea Life Park).

Really, if you've been to one Luau, you've more or less seen them all. Similar food and things. We've done this one and the Polynesian Cultural Center one (a decade ago): this one wasn't quite as culturally educating, but just kind of more relaxed and fun (and better with family). We had a good time.
2018.Oahu.Luau.jpegThe family shot... for a modest price.
2018.Oahu.Luau1.jpegThey had a lot of little side activities like making wrist lei's.
2018.Oahu.Luau5.jpegThe dancers kept dressing and dancing in various Polynesian island garb, and giving us a culture lesson.
2018.Oahu.Luau6.jpegAnd ended with the traditional fire dance.

Pearl Harbor, Waimea Falls and North Shore

2018.Oahu.Pearl.jpegI opted out of the Pearl Harbor recap (been there, done that). Did the U.S. Hornet Tour just a week or so before.
2018.Oahu.Pearl2.jpegBut the family had fun on the Battleship Missouri.
2018.Oahu.Pearl3.jpegThe Arizona Memorial was going through renovations.
2018.Oahu.NorthShore.jpegThen it was off to North Shore...
2018.Oahu.WF0.jpeg and Waimea Falls...
2018.Oahu.WF6.jpgOther than the warnings about various animals dropping off various diseases in the water, so swim at your own risk, it was fine. No one got ill.

Dole Plantation

2018.Oahu.Dole1.jpegWhile driving to North Shore and getting a waterfall instagram (Ella's requirement), there was a "short" lunch diversion to Pineapple Plantation.
Oahu.Dole23.png Which took a few hours and involved a train tour...
2018.Oahu.Dole4.jpegFamily photos... souvenir shopping
2018.Oahu.Dole5.jpegAnd pineapple whip for desert.

Parade and Fireworks

2018.Oahu.Parade1.jpegWe walked to a Christmas Parade, with LOTS of bands from all over the country.
2018.Oahu.Parade2.jpegAnd Hawaiian Santa in a canoe.
2018.Oahu.Fireworks.jpegThen it was back to the resort to watch fireworks on the beach.
2018.Oahu.Fireworks2.jpegOhhhh... Ahhhh... it was actually quite a nice show, right over our heads.


2018.Hi.SideStreet.pngA local friend suggested we try Side Street Inn: so we took the family.
2018.Oahu.SS3.jpegIt was in an office building looking place. We were warned: each serving will feed a Samoan. So we ordered a sampler for 3-4 people -- it fed nine of us, and we had left-overs. I'd describe it as fantastic Asian Fusion. We went back the next night and ordered the same thing, and it was still delicious.
2018.Oahu.SS2.jpegIt won awards 8 years in a row, and at $150 with drinks (for 9 people) it was a bargain... with huge and tasty mai tai's .

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