June 2009

Our Honeymoon – Day 6 – Taking a little drive

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With the full day open, we figured that Monday would be the best day to take the drive up to Waimea Canyon.  Waimea is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, as it measures to 10 miles in length and is over 3,000 feet deep.  Geological facts aside, the site is simply breathtaking:

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We drove from the South Shore (where we’re staying), up to the west side of the island, then took the 18 miles road that took us up to the top of the canyon.  The drive was a sport in itself, especially in the convertible:

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This was the easy part!  As we drove we encountered road construction, where Bethany made the comment “You can’t escape road construction, even in paradise.”

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After a very steep and bumpy drive, we finally made it to the top.  Bethany assured me that that view would be well worth it, and my wife was definitely telling the truth:

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Bethany put it best when she said that you can’t even tell where the ocean ends and the sky begins on the horizon.  We took a series of incredible pictures which we’ll post on Flickr, but we wanted to post proof that we made it to the top:

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We drove our way back down the canyon (which Bethany documented in a video that we’ll be posting), taking the scenic route.  At this point we were very hungry and ready for lunch.  We hoped to stop by Brick Oven Pizza (as our guidebook lists it as the best pizza on the island), only to find that they were closed.  We went to a deli across the street and enjoyed a Mango Smoothie and turkey sandwiches.

The long drive with the top down took its toll on Bethany, and she napped in the afternoon to recover.  We enjoyed a swim in the resort pool, throwing a football around in the water.  We then freshened up for our dinner at Roy’s: a great restaurant that featured steak and various fish. We both enjoyed a four-course “sampler” meal, which offered very delicious – but modest – portions that left us satisfied.

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Jeromey committed a Honeymoon No-No by forgetting to wear his wedding ring to dinner.  These late-afternoon showers throw off his routine.

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We finished the night by taking in another movie (this time it was “Pure Country” featuring Bethany’s handsome cowboy George Straight) – along with some wine we snuck down to the hot tub in plastic kitchen cups (very classy.).

Next Up: Relaxation at the Spa, relaxation at the resort.

Our Honeymoon: Day 5 – Rest, Relaxation and a Luau!

The overnight flight took its toll on us, resulting in us sleeping in until 11am.  With half the day slept away, we decided to spent the rest of it in relaxation.  We made our way to the beach close by and did  a little bit of boogie boarding.  We quickly got hungry for lunch and came back to the pool-side grill at the resort and had a few burgers.  Maintaining our low profile, we went back to the hot tub close to our room and laid out in the sun.

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The late afternoon rolled around and we made our way over to the Hyatt (a rather pleasant walk down the coast-line) to check into our Luau.

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We sat next to a couple that was out in Hawaii celebrating their anniversary and commenced consuming great music and Mai Tai’s.  For those that don’t know, a Luau is basically a party, filled with good food, drinking and dancing.  The Luau we participated in offered all-you-can eat & drink, and we definitely took advantage of that.

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We of course had the slow-cooked pig, but also there were other great meats and fish, as well as many other great foods.  We once again repeated our honeymoon habit of eating far too much, but had some great entertainment while we digested.

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The Luau also featured an amazing fire dancer:

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We have many more pictures and even a short video from the Luau, but will post them when we have the bandwidth to post to Flickr.

At the end of the evening (and several Mai Tai’s later) we stumbled our way back to our resort and enjoyed a relaxing movie in our room.

Next Up: A day at the Waimea Canyon, and a fabulous dinner

Vegas Michael Jackson tributes

One of the interesting things about traveling during tragedy is seeing the local reaction, especially in a tourist trap like Vegas.  You see a lot of people trying to use their resources to try to pay homage to Michael Jackson.  Two of which I captured and wanted to share.

Bethany and I went down to one of our favorite Vegas spots – Fremont Street – the night after Jackson died.  Freemont has these light/laser shows that they run across their room.  This evening’s show was simple, showing images of Michael Jackson’s album covers while playing “Gone Too Soon” from his Dangerous album.

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The second image that caught my eye was at the Venetian on Friday night.  When you travel up the moving walk ways, you got past a wax museum that has representations of many celebrities.  The museum folks put out their statue of Michael Jackson on the main display, which resulted in many people laying down flowers by the wax Jackson.

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I’m not sure what to make of that one, but definitely shows that everyone responds to grief in their own way.

Honeymoon Day 4: We finally made it!

With the first Las Vegas leg of our trip done, we grew more excited about Hawaii.  First was the matter of getting there, a grueling series of flights that had us leaving Vegas at 2:30am, and arriving in Kauai at 7:30am (spending 2 extra hours in the air).  These over-night flights always look good when you book them, but when it comes to arriving at the airport, waiting to board, and trying to sleep in an uncomfortable plane, you wonder if the schedule was worth it.  Bethany begs to differ, as she is glad we have two extra days in Hawaii. With as beautiful as things are out here, I’m losing this disagreement.

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This flight wasn’t long""

it’s simply amazing how green everything is out here.  The weather is perfect, a little warm, but accompanied with a nice sea breeze.  We’re reveling in the experience of driving in Hawaii in a convertible, but it’s astonishing that every road here is the size of a Colorado back road. 

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Driving through Kauai.

Our car rental shuttle driver recommended a place called “Dani’s” for breakfast.  Equipped with our sun hats and lei’s (from our lovely lei greeting), we were definitely the only tourists in there.  The food was a great value, and we were on our way to explore Kauai.

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Driving in the convertible.

We scoped out our hotel location, but were far too early to check in.  We then did some shopping on the South Shore.  We found some really cute stores and had our first bout with Lappert’s Ice Cream (the first of many, we suspect).  We also found a cute store and got our sport bands (cheaper wedding bands that we can use while swimming and other sporting activities. Remember when Olympic Volleyball player Kerri Walsh lost her wedding ring?) that were perfect fits.  We were growing pretty tired from our sleep-deprived flight, so we pulled into the nearest beach under a tree and caught a nap in the convertible.
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Lappert’s Ice Cream. 

We had lunch at the BBQ Inn, which ironically did not have very much BBQ – but good food nonetheless.  We then went to hotspot of commerce called K-Mart to pick up needed groceries and supplies for the week. Living in Colorado, it’s always baffling to walk down an aisle filled with hard liquor.

We’re staying at the Point at Poipu Resort, with a beautiful room that overlooks the Hot Tub, backing right up to a breathtaking ocean scenery.  We took much-needed showers and prepared for our dinner at the Beach House.

The experience at the Beach House can be best summarized with these pictures (from our table I might add):

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As the crazy honeymooners that we are, we crashed at 9:15pm and slept until nearly 11:00am the next day.  That overnight flight didn’t take its toll on us at all.

Next Up: A day rest & relaxation, topped off with a luau.

Honeymoon Day 3 – Last day in Vegas

Friday turned out to be a bittersweet day for us.  We were definitely sad to be checking out of the Palazzo and leaving Vegas, but we were also very excited about the adventures to come in Hawaii.  We tried to make the most of our last day, but also needed to stay cool as well.  The weather in Vegas has been hovering at about 100 degrees during the day, so we sought refuge indoors where we could.  Friday was also a day for us to fulfill our Vegas traditions that we’ve formed.

We woke up on Friday to breakfast in bed, ordering Eggs Benedict for room service.  This was the first time either of us had room service, and were very excited to be able to eat great food up in our room.

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We quickly began to pack for Hawaii and loaded our luggage into the car for the day, and then checked out of our lovely room at the Palazzo.  Looking to escape the heat, we took in Transformers 2 at The Orleans Hotel.  This was our first movie we saw as husband and wife.  We didn’t find the movie that great (which Jeromey will probably post on his other blog), but this was a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

After the movie we fulfilled another Vegas tradition by visiting the Bellagio and taking in the gardens.  The gardens were beautiful as always, as we marveled at the giant Farris Wheel and Bethany stopped to smell the geraniums.

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A visit to the Bellagio wouldn’t be complete without visiting the chocolate store behind the gardens.  We shared a banana crepe and gelato, then started heading towards our other Vegas tradition: Battista’s Hole in the Wall.

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We’re pleased to say that the staple of Battista’s – the old man that plays the accordion – is  alive and well.  In fact, he serenaded us with “Love Me Tender” for our Honeymoon.  We ate far too much and tried to walk it off on our way to the Venetian to see the Phantom of the Opera.  Bethany was especially excited to see Phantom, as she saw the play once before during a traveling production stop in Denver, but she was also excited to share the experience with Jeromey for the first time.  Both of us were blown away by the performances.  Phantom is currently celebrating their third year in Vegas, and it’s incredible some of the things they were able to do with the permanent stage setting.  The chandelier scene was spectacular, so much so that the audience shrieked.  We were pleasantly surprised by our seats, as we only purchased orchestra-level, but found that we were actually in the 4th row off to the side.  At one point, performers were doing scenes only a few feet away from us. The only complaint we had about Phantom was that it was too short and wouldn’t tide us over until we had to leave for the airport.

After taking in Phantom, we thought it would be romantic to experience the gondola (boat) ride through the stream around the Venetian.  We shared a boat with another couple on their honeymoon as well.  Santo, our guide, shared great stories as he navigated us through the waters then topped off our experience by serenading us three different times.

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We topped the night off by playing penny slots, then gathered our luggage for the long flight to Hawaii.

Next up: Flying to Kauai, our first day in paradise.

Note: We have an abundance of pictures that we would like to share, but our internet connection is limiting us from posting too many on Flickr.  We hope to upload our first batch of pictures in the next few days. Stay tuned.