Friday, August 31, 2012

We are failed consumers

One of our missions was to go to Waikele Premium Outlets BEFORE we went to Ala Moana Mall. (We didn't quite succeed at that, but we didn't buy anything other than the mini router we needed for wifi. ) Off we set this morning, armed with shopping bags and lists. What did we buy? Nothing. Nada. Zip. We looked hard, but nothing appealed. Michael's excuse is that Brooks Bros is no longer there. My excuse is that I had a nice time with my sister in the US in April and am only just now wearing the summer clothes I bought then. I don't NEED anything. Pitiful excuse, I know, and it won't stop me later, but everything I saw was just boring or worse.

I wanted to go browse in Shanghai Tang at Ala Mo, but they have gone. So has Chico.

Oh well, maybe I will find another swimsuit in the Royal Hawaiian Mall. Perhaps a new snorkel from Snorkel Bob. Maybe I will find something nice at AnnTaylor. I am glad I had a test run learning to play the ukulele because I am not tempted to buy one.

In the meantime, Mr. Honu the large turtle had a swim-by with me this arvo. I bumped into my niece's extended family walking back after my swim, and Julie and Martin arrived. The family is gathering.

Getting here, getting connected

I arrived on Tuesday morning and sailed through Immigration. My fingerprints were no trouble at all. Collected my bag, found my way to the rental car courtesy bus, was shown to our car. There was the usual palaver about insurance. I showed my gold Amex card, I told them, I had travel insurance, and that seemed to be enough. Got into our slaty blue Ford Fusion and drove it back to the airport Carpark, memorizing the number plate and the carpark position. I found my way to the correct terminal and baggage carousel and sat down to wait an hour or so for Michael to arrive. My phone beeped - landed! He appeared, and eventually so did his bags. We made it back to the car and drove straight to the Waikiki Shore. We are in 804 this time, two down and one closer to the ocean from 1005 where we usually stay. The only thing that seems to have changed is that Mark no longer works here. It was time, he was very jaded and hated dealing with the public. He may have gotten one too many negative reviews on TripAdvisor. Isaac is still here though. Parcels were waiting for us at the desk, not for Michael to see.

It is now Friday, and we are well settled. Of major importance was connectivity. I suggested that as we are on holiday perhaps we didn't need to be connected, and that was greeted with the disdain it deserved. We went straight to the Apple store at Ala Moana mall, carrying our two iPads and iPhones. We bought an Airport Express, plugged it into the hotel connection and voila! Lanai Link is up and running with all four devices running perfectly. What a change from days of yore wrestling with connections and dialup modems.

We have crosswords, sudoku, knitting, ample books including Kindle and paper, drawing paper and pencils, so the entertainment system is fully operational. We have been to Safeways and stocked up on Illy blue coffee, bacon, eggs, icecream, fruit, vegetables, soda, and other essentials.

I have been swimming twice (missed out the day of arrival, too whacked). Swim 1 showed me a large turtle very close, and a very large blue iridescent fish - pale dappled blue, not a groper deep blue. Swim 2 had TWO turtles, one large and looked like the same one from yesterday, and one a bit smaller. They seem totally unconcerned by my presence, and I am awestruck and delighted.

Hawaii again

It is time for the blog/trip diary to be dusted off again, as I sit on the plane bound for Hawaii. Last year we went to Darwin to escape the winter weather, but it is time for Hawaii again.

Michael and I are flying toward each other. We boarded our respective planes at almost exactly the same time, he in Omaha and me in Sydney. He thought that as we were going to Hawaii he might take two weeks extra and go to Hastings to visit his mother, and do a little research. I stayed home and looked after mother and the pug. We texted each other until we both boarded. Both of us are in the air as I type this.

It was an eventful day for me, trying to get everything done. Sheree is staying in the house to look after Majic, and I wanted things to be nice for her. Early in the morning I noticed that the hot tub was leaking from one of its pipes, so I called the tub people. Alex talked me though wrestling the pipes undone, to discover that where there ought to have been an O ring, there was none. He phoned around the spa shops to find that a shop in Kingsford had them, so I set off with the just-bathed pug (no, he didn't get bathed in the hot tub) to get them. Mission successful, but on my way home a woman in a car near an intersection reversed as I was passing her. I swerved very quickly but she caught my rear left fender, then blamed me! Only paint damage. It is one of my fears that I will have a car accident the day I have to leave for an overseas trip, and this was it. It could have been worse. I checked the road rules online and I am pretty sure it was her fault. Reversing a car must be done only when safe, and it obviously was not. Anyway, Majic and I had a romp in the park, then we got home and I fixed the tub's leak. Then I got in, just to make sure it was OK.

Everything got done, and as noted above, I am now on the plane, and have just had some dinner. Not bad food, I have to say. Hawaiian Airlines isn't too bad. Flying economy as I think this is a short flight at just under ten hours. My seat mate is an Amazonian basketball player returning home to Hawaii. She hardly moved a muscle while I twitched and fidgeted the entire way

I am anxious about immigration in the US, given my seeming lack of fingerprints. What will happen this time? Last time it took me ages to get through and I had to go through secondary identification. We await with interest and will report.

Man, ten hours seems like an eternity.