Sunday, September 28, 2008

Babbit the Aloha Rabbit: Day One

After a lifetime of waiting, the day finally arrived for Babbit and the rest of the family to head out to Hawaii. Our flight was scheduled around lunchtime, so we took our time loading up and heading to the airport. Check-in was fast and easy, as was our journey through security. We ate lunch in the airport, and strolled to the gate.

When we settled in to wait for boarding, the attendant made an announcement on the overhead that the flight was long, all the food was for purchase, and even that was limited in quantity. She suggested that everyone bring food and drinks with them as they boarded. James nonchalantly made a comment about our snacks and it was then that I realized the bag of snacks I so carefully prepared had been sent through with the checked luggage. I spent the next 15 minutes racing through the airport purchasing overpriced packages of trail mix and Happy Meals from the terminal McDonald's.

Snack-free Babbit waiting to board

The snack emergency didn't cause us to miss the plane and the flight we thought was overbooked actually had seats to spare. That allowed us to stretch out and get comfortable and avoid most of the "Mom, he's touching me!" stuff I was most concerned about.

We made it eight of the nine hours without any serious behavioral issues by entertaining the children with the aforementioned overpriced trail mix, various portable video game systems, movies on the laptop, and copious trips to the teeny-tiny bathroom. The first eight hours were so good, in fact, that I dumbly thought the kids could sit side-by-side and enjoy the descent and landing together. Boy, was I wrong! That last hour was more than a descent into Honolulu. All of the bickering made it more like a descent into Hades, what with all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth (though I got myself back together just as soon as I could).


Pearl Harbor from the Air

Aloha, Babbit!

Welcome to Honolulu

The Honolulu Home Depot
(...and a note for my mom: TRANSFER HERE!)

Babbit arrives at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina

A man admiring the fruits of his labor...

... and a little boy who has no idea just how blessed he is.

The hotel is built over man-made lagoons on the south side of O'ahu. A reef out by the rocks acts as a breaker for the big waves, and we're left with a calm ocean pool, excellent for swimming and snorkeling. Our room is a tenth-floor ocean view. We're on the very top floor in a corner section. In our room, a sliding wall of windows opens onto the lanai and we sleep with it open, lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves.

The View, Unobstructed.

Our first Hawaiian sunset

After settling in, we decided to get some dinner and go to the grocery store for a few staples that I couldn't pack in the luggage. We were just going to grab something from Burger King when we happened upon this restaurant.

Since his Filipino mom is no longer living, James and his family have graciously tolerated my attempts at making pancit and lumpia. Despite his patience with me, we could not see a Filipino restaurant and not stop. Gracie ordered pancit, I ordered lumpia, James ordered chicken adobo, and Bub had two grilled cheese sandwiches. Gracie fell asleep at the table before the food ever arrived, Bub ate half my lumpia, and the chicken adobo just wasn't what mom used to make. (Actually, neither was the lumpia -- James said mine tastes better!)

After a somewhat disappointing dinner, we went to the grocery store. We were a little afraid to go shopping as a couple of people told us to anticipate very high prices. I don't know if it's the area we're in, or the fact that we did our shopping at a chain store, but the grocery prices we encountered were not that much different than the ones back home. There's a slight premium on some things, but overall, the prices are comparable.

The major discrepancy I noticed was in the cereal aisle where bags and boxes were priced $2-5 each, just as we're used to. Right in the middle of the reasonably priced breakfast cereal was this box, on sale for $7.09. Sheesh! Where's a coupon when you need one?

In Hawaii, the cereal is fortified with real gold!


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