Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 9 - The Final Day

We woke up earlier this morning than we had planned, so we all just went ahead and got up. After showers and making sure the luggage was ready to go to the airport, we set off to find some breakfast. Last night while shopping we had found a crepe place and that sounded good so we headed in that direction. When we got there we saw they didn’t open for another 30 minutes. We decided to head the other way toward Eggs ‘N Things. When we got there we discovered a 45 minute wait. So, we ended up back at the hotel for their breakfast.

After breakfast we got the car and drove out to the Byodo-In Temple. For some reason the kids had originally wanted to go and since we had time we decided to do that this morning. We got there before the tour busses and it was very tranquil and peaceful at first.

We started walking around the grounds and saw the hundreds of koi in the ponds. Madison wanted to feed them so we went in the gift shop and bought some food. We came out and she started throwing the food to the fish. It was amazing to watch them swim on top of each other to get the food. And then the next thing we knew, Madison had a fish land in her hand to eat some of the food. That’s when Dalton decided he wanted some food as well. We stood there for probably 15 minutes letting the kids feed the fish and the birds.

Once the feeding was done, we let both kids ring the bell in the Bell House. The bell is customarily rung before one enters the temple to spread the eternal teachings of Buddha.

After ringing the bell we took off our shoes and entered the temple. Before us stood the over 18 feet tall Buddha. After seeing Buddha, we walked around the grounds a little more before leaving.

We headed back to the hotel where we checked out and loaded our luggage into the rental car. We didn’t have to return the car until 6pm so we had time to do whatever we wanted. On our segway tour earlier in the week, the guide had mentioned an acai bowl at the Diamonhead Cove Health Bar. We decided to head there and try one for ourselves. The bowl was a lot bigger than we thought and we probably could have at least shared one bowl between two people, but it was yummy!

I had remembered seeing a triathlon shop not far from there and I really wanted a Hawaiian themed jersey so we headed that way. I don’t really wear sleeved jerseys a lot, but I saw one I really liked. I also found a sleeveless one I liked, but the smallest size was a men’s small. In the end, I ended up with both of them.

After that, we set off to drive around the island so we could see the few parts we had not seen before. We stopped at the Halona Blow Hole. The view was pretty, but we never saw the water come up out of the blow hole.

Our next stop was a macadamia nut factory. There wasn't a tour to take, but there was plenty to sample! We ended up buying a couple more bags - one coated in cinamon and one coated in caramel.

Since we had time, we decided to head back up to the North Shore and head into the town of Haleiwa. It is a quaint little town. There are some modern aspects to it, but most of it reminds you of what it might have been like before Hawaii became such a popular tourist destination.

We got stuck in a little bit of traffic up there for some reason, so after driving through Haleiwa, we decided to head on back and turn the car in. It was an easy process and we were quickly on the shuttle back to the airport.

We sent our luggage through the agricultural inspection and then checked our bags for the flight. We noticed when we got in line for security that they had the full body x-ray vision machine. It looked like they were making almost everyone go through it so we figured at least one or two of us would be sent through. Nope, 3 of us got sent through. Dalton, the only one who thought it would be cool to go through it, was the only one who got lucky and got to go through regular security. It wasn’t that bad, but it was weird wondering how much they can really see. I didn’t even want to think about it.

Once through security, we found our gate. Madison and I found plugs so we could recharge our phones and we passed time by reading. Around 7pm I asked the kids if they were going to want to eat before getting on the plane. They did, so $40 later everyone had a full belly.

Going home we were in first class again, but on a different type plane. This one wasn’t as nice as the one coming over and the seat didn’t recline near as far. I knew it would be hard for me to sleep. I was glad I kept my neck pillow out even though I got a pillow and blanket in first class.

After takeoff they served warm nuts, vegetable soup, fruit and cheese, a Hawaiian roll (yum) and a macadamia nut cookie. I ate some of it and had a little wine. Then it was time to try to sleep. I think I may have gotten around an hour of sleep from Honolulu to LA. We landed in LA at 5am and our next flight home left at 6:40am. On that flight we got served breakfast. I maybe got another hour or two of sleep on this plane. It was more comfortable and the seats reclined better, but still not like the seats on the flight over.

When we got near the airport, I could tell I was home. My allergies kicked in and I sneezed multiple times in a row. I hardly sneezed at all in Hawaii. Hmmmm. Anyway, as soon as we landed and got off the plane I could feel the heat. Ugghhh. I had worn my jacket on the plane because I was cold and that thing quickly came off. We headed down to grab our luggage. And wouldn’t you know it – another wheel on my luggage came off. That luggage is going in the trash.

My parents were outside waiting to pick us up and take us home. And when we got home, the dogs went crazy. They were very happy we were home. Our house sitter took great care of them while we were gone.

Vacation is over and it’s time to unpack and prepare to enter the working world again on Tuesday. Thank goodness for the 4th of July holiday.


M said...

What a wonderful trip!
My sister lived in Haleiwa when it was a tiny little surf toen. When I was there a few years ago I actually found the same house even though I had a hard time rememberin the name of hte street...until I saw the street sign.

Loved your photos! Enjoy the 4th at home :)

Grandma J said...

Wow, you sure know how to fit a ton of stuff into a day! Sounds like you had a great time, and yeah, Texas is still hot :)