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Old 05-10-2013, 10:25 PM   #31
blondietink
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It's a National Lampoon Vacation with Chevy Chase! You are a very funny writer. Or, have you ever seen the Normal Rockwell depiction of the happy family leaving on vacation and what they look like when they return?

We have had many of those kinds of vacations, and they are the ones we remember the most!

Oh and by the way, when pushing the wheelchair you need to become thick skinned. Very loudly say, excuse me, pardon me, etc. and just push your way through. My DS uses a wheelchair and we have learned.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:32 PM   #32
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Day 8- Wave Hunting & Hula

This morning I got up at around 6am, my new normal. I have to be honest, I haven't been trying too hard to stay in bed any later because I enjoy my relaxed, quiet mornings where I can write my blog on the lanai (balcony) and just enjoy. I got up and posted my two blog posts- I had fallen behind one day since we were in a hurry to get to Hananuma Bay the other morning. Matt's been sleeping later than I have, so once he got up we decided on our last free day we would go searching for the perfect beach with the perfect amount of waves. So we got our swim suits on and headed out. Even though we were headed for a beach, we still brought the wheelchair just in case we ended up somewhere else that Matt would definitely need it.

We were pretty hungry, but we were already getting a late start leaving this morning, it was 9:25am when we left the hotel, so we just decided to try and hold out for an early lunch. We headed east towards Diamond Head and drove up the coast, passing Sandy Beach (From Here to Eternity Beach) and the blowhole on. We did't use the gps, but rather the map, because we wanted to stay as close to the shore as possible. We stopped at a beach that was recommended to us for 5-10 foot waves, but the surf was not good today, so it looked as though we were out of luck. We decided to head further up north towards North Shore. We were still unsure if we wanted to get ourselves all the way up there, especially if it looked as though the surf was not cooperating today.

It was about 10:30am and we were now REALLY hungry. So Matt starts pointing out places, but I didn't want to eat somewhere I could at home, like Taco Bell, but I also didn't want to just try some place blindly. Before leaving I had compiled a list of restaurants that we couldn't fit in to our schedule that I would have liked to try. I compartmentalized them by part of the island. Without even needing to look at the list I thought of Mike's Huli Huli Chicken. A food truck that I thought should be close to us, since I remembered passing it on our first day. SO I start to put it in my GPS, but I happen to look up while I', waiting for my GPS App to open and what do I see? You guessed it! Mike's Huli Huli Chicken. By the way- that translates to something totally different in Russian. Wow.

This place is amazing. It was featured on Man Vs. Food and you can see the picture of Adam Richmond on the side of the truck, posed with quite the character, Beanie a Boston native. That Beanie was hysterical! He took our order and then gave us all kinds of suggestions on how to eat the food and then he hung around while we ate talking to us. He brought up the Boston bombing and what he and his "boys" would have done to them if they got their hands on them. Haha. He was crazy! The food was amazing!! If you're going to do food trucks, I highly recommend going to Giovanni's and Mike's- skip Macky's. Matt ordered the chicken and shrimp plate- the shrimp was just as good as Macky's. I got the pork and chicken plate, but rather than salad like Matt got, I chose macaroni salad instead. The food was AMAZING. There were many other options too. They had steak, hoagies, tuna, mixed frozen drinks... Really a must try- cash only. Now this is not near all the other food trucks of the North Shore. This truck is on the eastern coast, if I had to guess, about 20 minutes or so from Diamond Head. I highly recommend this place and hopefully you get to meet Beanie.

While at Mike's, they gave us suggestions on beaches to try, but Beanie was the one to tell us that he saw the weather report today and that it wouldn't be a good day for the surf. We decided to go a little bit further up north to try the beach they suggested- it was flat as glass. We sat there for a while trying to decide if we wanted to venture back up to the North Shore or just head back and enjoy our time at Waikiki. We decided to head back and on the way stop at the blowhole and Sandy Beach.

We got to Sandy Beach (the real one, not the movie one) and found a place to park. This beach was packed with locals and not another tourist in sight. Our first parking spot but us right next to a van full of young guys smoking pot and were pretty blatant about it. We were feeling a little uncomfortable especially since from the second we were out of our car, they were silent. They never spoke again the whole time we were messing with our stuff. Matt decides he'd feel better if we move away from them, so back in the car to the other side of the parking lot. We got ourselves a spot on the HOT beach, it was the heat of the day, 2pm. Once there and situated Matt realized that there was a lot of rock at the shoreline so he wanted us to move (quite a ways) down the beach. I was so hot and felt like I had gotten too much sun already, so I told Matt I'd put the stuff in the car and wait there since he said he wouldn't be here long. As Matt crutched his way down the beach I started to load up our stuff and immediately felt uncomfortable. No one said anything, but you could kinda feel that we weren't welcome and the stares were making me nervous. I decided it'd be better if I stayed with Matt, so I trekked across the hot sand to where Matt was. The crowd over there was a little better, so I felt comfortable.

The beach was pretty there were some surfers to watch as well as these wake boarders that were doing some crazy moves! Every time I tried to get a picture or video the waves wouldn't cooperate, so you'll just have to trust me- they were awesome! They'd ride the think water at the edge heading towards to water and when they hit a wave they'd flip in the air off their boards. It was really impressive. These were all locals and they were younger guys- maybe college aged.

Once Matt had his fill of the ocean, we headed over to the lookout for the blowhole and Sandy Beach (the one from the movie). The blowhole was not...blowing? The tide was just not cooperating. I overheard a local telling their friend that they had never seen Sandy Beach so calm. It was calm. Matt and I would have loved to go down and swim but the path is not quite crutches friendly. So after a few pictures, we headed out.

We hit a little bit of traffic heading into Waikiki from the east at around 3pm. Nothing terrible, by any means. I think me being from NY and Matt being from NJ, we're kinda used to much worse. We also have been timing it pretty good too. It didn't take us long at all to get back to our hotel.

Matt iced his knee and then we headed for an early dinner at Puka Dog-which is actually now Hula Dog, Puka Dog is on Kauai. It's the exact same thing, just the owners split ways so one got a new name. It was exactly as I remembered it 4 years ago. You can see them featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. Matt got the bacon taro bread, polish sausage with the hot garlic lemon secret sauce, pineapple relish and the guava mustard and the fresh-squeezed guava lemonade. I ordered the white bread, polish sausage, mild garlic lemon secret sauce and the mango relish and I got a passion fruit lemonade. It was so good! Matt couldn't believe how much he liked it. I won't go into how they make them, google it, but it's a really great idea and Matt want's to open one in NY.

After our early dinner we walked thru the soon-to-be-no-more International Marketplace and shopped a little. Then we crossed the street and picked up just two more items for loved-ones back home. I really haven't done that much shopping at all and nothing for me. Well, Matt did pick out some of those shortbread cookies for "us". After our shopping we were headed to Yard House for some dessert but we got suckered into a whole Dead Sea minerals demonstration. Normally, we're both very good about totally avoiding them, but this girl was sneaky and got us. Before I knew it I'm sitting in her chair getting lotions splattered all over me and trying to be convinced that she is giving me a secret deal, that is costing her boss to loose over $250 dollars, because "she likes us so much" and her manager is not around. Whatever, lady. She would not take no and Matt was getting angry. It took us quite a few stern "no thank yous" to get me free of her throne of lies. While sitting in that chair, I wanted to yell to all the passer-bys, "Really, I'm not a sucker!! I know better!". Instead I just sulked listening to her endless speech and lies.

After out of her clutches, we finally headed to Yard House. It was only a 25 minute wait, so we got a bench and smoked weed- second hand style, until we realized what was going on and moved to another bench. I can't believe how openly people smoke pot anymore. It's sad.

We finally made it into Yard House to feed our now unwarranted munchies with some amazing desserts. Matt ordered the Salted Caramel Butterscotch Pudding that he loves and I finally got to try the S'mores Brownie- it's HUGE!! Both desserts were great, service there is very slow. You've been warned. After our dessert we decided to head back to our room, because our lanai (balcony) had a perfect view of the 9pm fireworks that go off from the Hilton Hawaiian Village every Friday night. We were sound asleep almost immediately and we totally missed the fireworks. When we woke up this morning (Sat- when I'm typing this), Matt was still completely dressed.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #33
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Day 9- Boarding the ship.

I got up this morning at my usual time of somewhere between 5:30-6am. I decided I would shower and get dressed right away so that my bathroom products would dry out more before I packed them, while I typed up the day before’s blog post. The morning was pretty laid back even though I had a bunch of packing to do and I didn’t know what was ahead of me with lugging all this baggage around all day- the suitcases, not Matt. Speaking of Matt, he got up about an hour after me, made some phone calls and then helped in the best way he can these days- delegating. Awesome. I do joke a lot about Matt’s general uselessness this trip but that’s only because he is normally so far from that. He hates feeling useless and watching me have to do everything. I, however, love to bust his chops and he can’t get me back on the blog, soooo onward with the Matt jabs! Love you, honey.

Our plan was to leave the hotel at 10am, then we changed it to 9:30am and we did it right on time. I packed up all the luggage and while Matt went with the bell serves guy, he was such a help, I walked one block over to the post office to buy some stamps. I had to walk because they were having a parade so a lot of the streets were closed this morning. As if Waikiki streets aren’t difficult enough to navigate- let’s throw a parade in the mix on the busiest day of the week. I still don’t even know what the parade is all about, I just suddenly could hear and then see a marching band from my balcony. Speaking of sounds at the resort. I forgot to whine about the construction next door to our hotel. Normally, I am a pretty heavy sleeper and sounds don’t affect my sleep but they have been JACKHAMMERING throughout the entire night, every night of our stay. The first & last night it was in the distance and I barely noticed it, the second night, however, oh my God! It sounded as though they were jackhammering right next to our room and I’m not talking the typical “hotel jackhammering” sounds you may hear from the room next door, I’m talking construction jackhammering. It was unbelievable. All that said, we didn’t not get a single cent off our stay. Not even due to an entire evening without water. Can’t wait to write that TripAdvisor review.

Once I had made my marathon walk for stamps, and received my change in all dimes- yeah, thanks, we were on our way to return our rental car and shuttle over to the cruise ship. The drive to the airport was pretty short, but the traffic lights make it a little slow- still better than being on the traffic of H1. The GPS said it would take about 25 minutes and that’s exactly what it took us. Once there, thankfully, an Enterprise employee helped us get our bags out of the car and even pushed the cart of luggage for me, while I pushed Matt in the wheelchair. While he’s unloading our bags I tell him we need the shuttle to the cruise pier. He then proceeds to tell me that they don’t do that, that their shuttles only go to the airport. That is NOT what all of my research had said. Everywhere I read told me the shuttle goes to the airport or cruise port. I don’t know if this was a new change or what, but snafu number one, complete. They guy was real apologetic and ran in to call us a cab. As he’s inside calling us a cab, I see a minivan cab dropping people off, so I figure I’d wave him down. I’m walking to the cab and he’s not seeing or hearing me. So I start my run, but it’s not a normal run, it’s more of a “I don’t want to fully commit to run after you because I feel like a fool and everyone’s watching me” type of run which turns out to look a lot like a really girly pathetic “run”. The man must have been deaf and blind because how he didn’t see me or hear me is amazing. Luckily, or maybe not as you’ll see, I got his attention just in time and asked him if he could talk us to the pier. The man didn’t seem to speak very much english, because it took every adjective my little mind could think of to describe the pier for him to finally understand where I wanted to be going. Once I felt secure that this guy was not going to drive off, I went back to get Matt and the Enterprise guy pushed our luggage cart and even loaded the taxi for us- yes, he got a nice tip which he was very grateful for. I asked him to check with the cab driver to be sure he knew where he was taking us and then we were all set.

The taxi was all packed and ready so we headed out. Before leaving I asked what this trip would cost like my dad taught me. He didn’t give us a price, but said, “It’s metered.”. We should have gotten out. Now, you have to understand. We had just made the drive. The cruise ship was exactly at the halfway point between Waikiki and the airport. We past the ship on our way to return the car at the airport, so we knew the drive ahead of us. We knew that the best way was the Nimitz highway and NOT the H1, like our GPS and everyone else on the planet suggests. This scam artist took us on the the parking lot of a highway, H1, then drove thru the packed Chinatown to get us to the cruise ship. By the time we got there the meter was at $27. We were so mad. He barely spoke any English, but that didn’t stop Matt & I from having a conversation for him to hear about the way we should have been going rather than the way we were. I was irritated to say the least. As soon as I saw him turn for the H1 ramp I knew what was going on so I texted Matt, “He’s ripping us off!” as if Matt was unaware of the drive he just made. He gave me an “Oh, I know!” but it wasn’t via text. Ha!

We made it to the pier at 11:05, the pier opens at 11am. We start unloading our bags and I’m noticing my biggest fear. Everyone who’s arriving are wheeling their own bags into the pier and I don’t see a single porter. So I leave Matt with the taxi and I walk over to a security guard to ask about the porter situation. He told me that they should by out here by now, it’s 11:10am, and then points me in the direction of where they would be hanging out- about a quarter of a mile down the long pier. Awesome. So I start my walk and on the way I pass the NCL employees that direct you for check-in. Perfect. So I go over to the man and say, “My husband is in a wheelchair so I can’t manage our luggage, can you get me a porter?” to which he states to another guy, “This girl needs a wheelchair.”. “No! I have a wheelchair, I need help with my luggage since my husband’s IN the wheelchair.” his response, “Oh. The porters aren’t on duty yet.” and walks away. I was dumbfounded. He just walked away and left me! Not to mention, the pier opens at 11am, it’s 11:15am, shouldn’t you have a porter or two available??? So I turn around and start to head back to the taxi stand a couple of streets over, and I’ll be honest, I was holding back a tear or two. On my walk of shame I passed the security guard and I tell him what I was told, and he was upset, but I kept walking. So I get back there and tell Matt the situation and decided that I’m just going to have to make trips. What else could I do? So I have Matt stand with his crutches and I try to load up the wheelchair with our suitcases- we have 4. As I’m doing that the security guard comes over and tells me that he’s going to help me. So we’re getting the luggage situated and just as we start to make our first trip, the security guard sees an “off-duty” porter and yells to him. The porter, who I saw as my knight, puts on his NCL issued Hula Shirt, that I saw as shining armor, and comes to help. I was so grateful to the porter and the security guard. The NCL employee, however. Never mind.

The porter directed us on where to go and the line inside for security wasn’t too bad. A security employee came and took Matt into a different area for screening and it all went very smoothly, for us at least. I don’t know what it is about security lines that brings out all the deep-rooted, dumb in people, but my God. Didn’t you all fly here? This shouldn’t be your first go at the rodeo. The guy two people in front of my left his bag on the table. He left his bag. He forgot to slide the thing with him the 3 feet and place it on the belt and worse yet, he didn’t even notice he was missing his bag until we tracked him down. It was hysterical to watch because he turns to his wife and says, “I think I forgot my bag.” Uhhh? You either have it or you don’t big guy. I digress.

After security we made our way thru to the check-in desk, but not before our pictures with a male and female hula dancers. Alooooooooo-HA! I tried to keep the drool to a minimum for Matt’s sake, but I’m sure he was doing the same for me. I tried not to giggle like a school girl as we “squeezed in close” for our picture. Hubba, hubba. We’ll be buying THAT picture, because that’s my tradition, of course. I always buy the embarkation photo. *wink* Once checked in, we headed to some seats where we waited for boarding to begin. They had musicians and hula dancers, drinks, shaved coconut and other things to keep you preoccupied. We just sat and enjoyed the moment.

At 12:25 they were finally ready to board. We skipped the line since we had to take the elevator up. Once up there, it was just a few more steps until we were on board, if only it were that simple. We walk up to the gangway and oh my God. That thing was long and steep! As I’m about to say to Matt that he’s gonna have to walk, he says to me, “There’s no way I can walk that.”. Oh, my God. So in my head I’m thinking someone will help me, there got to be someone here for this type of thing, so the employee at the top of the gangway of death sees the panic and moves the line of people to the side and tells them to wait for me to go- the gangway is only one and a half persons wide, so I don’t really know what that was about so I assume he’s the one going to help me. He turns to me and says, “Most people find it easier to go backwards.”. That’s it?! You’re really going to send this 120 pound girl down this ramp, in flip flops, trying to hold back 170 pounds on wheels?! Yup, he was. So I take a deep breath, turn Matt around and start my journey. The first step wasn’t too bad and I got comfortable at the idea. After the fifth step, I realize there is no way I can do this and I’m now stuck on this gangway just struggling to hold Matt in place. My feet were sliding out of my flip flops and all I could envision is Matt running me over and then making a grand entrance into the ship. So I see over my shoulder this NCL employee headed up this ramp. He’s about 6’4” and huge. I’m doing my happy dance because finally someone has realized that this ship is a sinkin’. He gets to us pretty quickly and then squeezes by us just as quickly. I think my jaw literally dropped open. He left us, he didn’t help or anything. Just squeezed by. Didn’t care that we were nearly about to die or that I was backing up the entire line of passengers from getting on board. Didn’t matter to this guy. So I realized that I was going to have to do this. I struggle to take another step and I just didn’t see how this was going to end well and I’m really freaking out in my mind- I was oddly silent through this so after, I find out that Matt didn’t realize the gravity of the situation. He knew I was struggling and was surprised that that man just walked by us, but he didn’t know the level of my panic and how close he was to a sudden drop into the ship. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, which was probably only 5 minutes, I hear a voice behind me saying, ”Please let me help you with that.”. I didn’t even turn to look, I just belted out a “thank you” and moved out of the way, then I look up to realize that it’s the cruise director! How embarrassing. He was really nice and chatted with us once we were at the bottom. All I could think is now at every evening event we go to, this guys gonna call us out or something. I think I would have rather get run over by the wheelchair!

Once on board we headed to the buffet where the nicest guy took Matt around for his food so that I could get my own. Lunch was great- how can you not enjoy a buffet? After lunch we walked around a bit and then found a spot by the pool where we relaxed until about 2:30pm and then we headed for our room. I’m reminded just how spoiled I am being a faithful Disney Cruiser almost immediately. First off, there’s no way any Disney employee would have not been there to offer help from the moment we stepped out of the taxi, let alone walk past me in my time of need. Second, the size of the cabins. I forgot how small NCL’s cabins are in compared to DCL. It doesn’t help that we now have a wheelchair and crutches. The room is nice enough though. We have a balcony, port side, so we’ll enjoy that and really, we won’t be in our room very long. After being in our room for a bit we headed to the Muster Drill and then up to the pool for the sail-away BBQ and some time in the hot tub. We spent most of the evening there until we headed to “watch a movie”- we were asleep almost immediately.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:36 PM   #34
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Glad to hear that you made it to the Pride of America. Hopefully, now that you are on the ship you can relax and take it easy.

One thing I remember about the Pride of America is that it has really small elevators. I imagine that your wheelchair pretty much fills up the elevator, but I imagine that three or four couples will still try to cram into the elevator with you.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:19 PM   #35
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My adult aged DS uses a wheelchair and we have cruised Carnival. The cabins are huge and there are always Carnival employees to help us get up ramps, on/off tenders, navigating the ship, opening doors, etc. Remind me to cross NCL off my list.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:00 PM   #36
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Day 10- Gorgeous Maui, not so much.

Woke up this morning somewhere around 5:30-6am, my usual that I really don’t mind. I went and sat on the balcony and typed up my blog as I watched us pull into our first port of the cruise, Maui. We are here for two days. We have rented a car for the two days. The forecast on NCL’s Dailies (daily newspaper with ship activities and info) said Cloudy- if only. It was pretty cloudy coming in and misting a little. Nothing too serious. I finished up the blog and headed inside to get ready and get Matt moving. We were trying to get off the ship right at 8am when we got the all clear. The closer to 8am it got the less in a hurry I was in, because I remembered we have the car for two days so we don’t have to be back by any specific time.

It was about 8:30am when we were ready to leave, so I decided against my favorite cruise past time, breakfast buffet, and we headed for the car rental. One last peak out the window was really discouraging. It was raining, but it didn’t look too heavy and we figured we’d just drive out of it- it’s a passing storm. So off we went, but not before I grabbed our rain jackets.

We got down to the gangway and it’s pouring. So we quickly put our rain coats on and we head out. We walk a ways to an industrial building where they have security set up for boarding the ship, but it’s only so big and we have to continue outside for quite a ways to get to the rental car shuttle spot. I step out the door and it’s pouring. I can’t tell where I’m supposed to go, but I see an NCL employee standing there talking to two woman so I go to ask her. “Excuse me.” Nothing. “Excuse me, I’m sorry to interrupt.” Still nothing. “Excuse me. Where do I go for car rentals?” This woman looks up at me with a glare that could kill and says, “excuse me” to the woman she had been talking with- who started looking at me on my first excuse me, so it was pretty clear this lady was ignoring me. Here I am standing in the pouring rain with a wheelchair, you can’t acknowledge me? So with an attitude she answers my question and really at this point I just want to cry.

On we go, walking all the way down to the very last stall before the parking lot to wait for our car rental shuttle. The rain is coming down hard and sideways with the wind. There is absolutely no cover whatsoever so we just have to stand in the rain and wait. We saw every car rental shuttle but ours twice while we stood in the pouring rain. We were drenched. The backpack was soaked thru, my shorts were now completely see thru and because of the wind you had to hold your hood the whole time, so the rain was just running down my raincoat sleeve making the raincoat almost useless. The buses of course came in the direction of the rain/wind so I faced Matt with his back to it and I faced it head on to watch for our bus. We waited like this for 35 minutes. Finally, the Alamo shuttle arrived. Once on board the shuttle, we talked to this really nice couple who knew all about knee injuries and offered to meet up later and give us some anti-inflammatory medicine, which they were shocked the doctor didn’t give us. The bus ride was about 10 minutes including the stop to show us a secondary parking lot if the first was full.

Once we arrived at Alamo we find out that there is flash flooding and mudslides in some of the areas of the island. We were headed for Haleakala Crater, an old volcano with incredible views. The way up is a very windy road so I was a little nervous and the key to going up there is visibility. At this point we are realizing that this storm is not just here but over most of the island. So I ask the woman checking us in if we should still try for it and she tells me that it’s way too dangerous and we won’t see anything. Three million thoughts are running thru my head and I was really trying to figure out if we should even rent the car or just get back on the ship. I knew we needed the car for tomorrow, so I figured we’d just rent it and then find a mall or something. While checking in she was really pushing me for an upgrade from our economy car, but I stood strong, my brother ( former enterprise employee) would be proud. So she sends us on our way- back into the monsoon.

Out in the parking lot, it’s the kind of setup where you pick your own car and the keys are in it. We were looking for a Spark- a TINY car that the woman made sure to show us a picture of, I’m sure to try and scare us into upgrading. There was an attendant out there and she asked us what kind of car and when we told her economy she smiled and told us to take any mid-size we want. She was really sweet. So we got our grey Avenger and we were off- not before loading up the wheelchair in the rain. Thank God I got the folding one that I did- it’s half the weight of the traditional one. I would have really struggled to get that thing loaded. We get into the car and right away we’re googling our little hearts out. Matt’s checking weather reports throughout the island and I’m searching, “What to do in Maui in the rain.”. We find the Maui Ocean Center, so we put it in the GPS and head out.

The drive to the aquarium wasn’t too bad and we seemed to hit a pocket inside the storm- maybe the eye of the storm? We had blue skies directly above us but everywhere you look around us and as far as you could see was grey and black skies. By the time we got to the aquarium we were further into this pocket but we could see the storm moving our way and the wind was still pretty intense. So we rushed into the aquarium and made the best of it. I was expecting a lot more from the “Maui Ocean Center”. With a name like that you expect a lot. Nonetheless, we were dry- actually we were drying off and we had some cool and really weird fish to look at for the morning. We ended up spending probably only 90 minutes there. There were a lot of screaming children. Ha!

When we got out of the aquarium the storm was definitely about to hit. Felt like a hurricane was coming. The wind was intense! So we rushed to the car which was, what felt like a mile away! The parking lot was confusing so we ended up parking pretty far from the entrance and we were paying for it now. The wind was blowing at us so I was pushing the wheelchair against the wind. I couldn’t believe what a difference that made. At this point we were laughing because it really felt as though we were tempting fate. We were one of those crazy reporters standing out in a hurricane. It was kinda fun- now that I’m dry and sitting in my cabin looking back on it.

Next we decided to head to the touristy town Lahaina. I knew there were a bunch of shops and restaurants and my earlier research even told me that there was a small movie theater there. It was about 10 miles from the aquarium, so we headed out. We were already really hungry so before leaving, in the gift shop, we bought ourselves some macadamia nuts to enjoy on the ride. Again, we stayed just ahead of the storm and we were starting to see small slivers of blue skies again. When we got to Lahaina, we had very cloudy skies but lots of blue too. We decided we’d get something to eat and shop until the weather caught up with us and then maybe go to a movie. So we go to one of the many parking lots where you have to pay to park. $10 for 2 hours, $15 for six hours... We decide on the 6 hour option since we’re probably seeing a movie when this storm catches up with us. They don’t have anyone manning the parking lot, rather a machine to pay at that only takes exact amounts and does not offer change or even a refund. There is also a change machine next to it to break a $20 into four fives. As you’d expect from this vacation, the machine ate my first $10 but didn’t count it, so parking cost me $25. And of course, only fitting, we call the number to get our refund and no ones there to give refunds on Sundays, we’d have to come back tomorrow. Yeah, thanks. There went $10. Unbelievable.

Lahaina is a cute town with lots of shops, although most sell the same stuff. There were a lot of restaurants which made it hard to decide, but we ended up going with The Seafood Co- something like that. It was nothing special but we had a great table over the water. The food was good, but the menu wasn’t too exciting. After our lunch we walked along the shops and then got to have ice cream at the famous, Lappert’s. Matt and I aren’t too excited by the shave ice that is offered EVERYWHERE, so it was nice to enjoy a really good ice cream. The weather was still holding up but there was no breeze now and it was really muggy. Pushing the wheelchair along those “sidewalks” proved to be very challenging so we just decided to head back to the ship.

Into the storm we drove, heading back to our home. The storm had lightened quite a bit back at the ship so we had to walk back in only drizzle. We found free parking in the first lot which we were very grateful for- we didn’t think to ask the doctor back in Honolulu for a handicap sticker. We were going to go to the hot tub since we were already wet and the hot tubs were covered from the rain, but once we got back to the room, we made the mistake of “laying down just for a minute”. Needless to say, we never made it to the hot tub. We got showered and dressed and decided we’d try the Asian restaurant tonight. The ship wasn’t near as empty as I thought it would be. I think because of the rain a lot of people just stayed on board rather than venture out or head to the luau. We didn’t have any trouble getting a table at 6pm without a reservation. The menu seemed really good, but you know how Chinese goes...it’s never near as good as your usual spot back home. I will say their version of Egg Drop Soup was awesome. It was real thick and they add corn. I really liked that. I had ordered the dumplings for an appetizer and they asked if I wanted steamed or pan-fried- always a tough decision for me. I went with pan-fried, but when they arrived, they were deep fried. That was disappointing. I passed on dessert, but Matt ordered two for himself. We had this assistant waiter that was very nice and freakishly obsessed with “Titanic”. It was weird. He worked on a cruise ship and he knew every fact you could know about the Titanic, including her sister ships and he got REALLY excited when he talked about it. He also had a strange obsession with ginger- in all forms. If he wasn’t talking to us about the Titanic, he was informing us of all the “delicious” ways you can enjoy ginger- think Forest Gump but with ginger rather than shrimp and this kid was super A.D.D.

After our history lesson, we headed to see a musician named Willie K. He was a Hawaiian who plays the ukelele and guitar and sings, but not just Hawaiian songs- everything. He even sang some opera. The best was when he closed the show with the 1984 version of “We are the world” where he impersonated every one of the artists on the recording. He was amazing. Our favorite was when he did Bob Dylan and Michael Jackson spot on. Cher was funny too. Actually, everyone was good and it was amazing how quickly he could could from one voice to another just like the original song.

Next we were going to head to Karaoke, a favorite cruise past time of my families, but it wasn’t for another thirty minutes, at 9:30, and we were really struggling to stay awake. I offered we go in the hot tub so I would stay awake, but Matt agreed to just go to bed. We didn’t know if any crowd would even show up to Karaoke so it wasn’t worth it. Maybe tomorrow night.

As you can probably tell, I’m a day behind in my posts. We’ve been so busy it’s been harder to keep up and I haven’t tried at pictures since I’m on the ships internet and it’s very slow. I will be updating with pictures sometime soon, so hang in there.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:28 PM   #37
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My goodness, this has been quite the adventure! Someday you will look back at all the trials and travails and laugh...right?
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:56 PM   #38
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It sounds like a great time (except the injury)
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:13 AM   #39
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Marking my spot. Will head over to your blog too- am especially interested in how you researched the trip.

So glad you went back to the front desk and asked for another room. I don't blame you at all for being upset & tired!! Just goes to show you that it always pays to ask!

Can't wait to catch up on the rest!
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:18 PM   #40
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Hey guys. We're back home safe and sound. As you can see, I couldn't keep up with the posting on this trip, but don't fret as I've been typing them up, so I will complete this trip report and add pictures right here so that you don't have to go over to the blog. I'll start working on that tomorrow- I've got a DVR full, a wonderful hubby & a lazy Sunday fighting jet lag to get back to.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:42 AM   #41
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Still waiting for the rest!
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:04 PM   #42
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Talking

Waiting here too! You left us hanging!

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(less than a month for Aulani
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:14 PM   #43
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Hi! I know your trip has been over for a while, but I'm subbing because your report was so thorough and includes many of the things we plan to do in August when we visit Aulani. Sounds like you were a trooper on this trip! I hope you ended up having a wonderful time and that your husband's knee is better!

Susan
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