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Oahu Day 1: A Day of Hustling

sunny 75 °F

Today my Dad and I set out on a belated birthday adventure. We travelled to Oahu!

When we set off from Fresno we were quite the happy travelers, my mom and Daniel who had to stay behind tried their best to not seem too bummed out they weren't joining us.

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After spending Sunday night at a hotel near the airport we set off from Oakland at 5am Monday morning.

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We made it through security in no time at all so we treated ourselves to some breakfast to pass the time until boarding.

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I was able to get us a free upgrade to premium economy when I mentioned we were on a father/daughter birthday trip at the check in at the airport. This was the first freebie of our trip, little did we know we were starting a trend that would continue throughout our trip. The upgrade included early boarding, extra legroom, and free drinks!

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We started our flight with a Prosecco toast and some snacks.

We decided to watch a movie together which left us laughing. We had many fails to get it going, several times one or both of us couldn't hear through the headphones and so adjustments were made. Two different times we discovered the failure was not plugging our headphones into the headphone splitter in the first place!

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Once that was settled my iPad wouldn't connect to the inflight wifi. When I mentioned this to the flight attendant she gave us one of the airline tablets to use for free! Second freebie!

We ended up watching a movie called "The Hustle" and soon both realized we were inadvertently running our own hustle, flight upgrades and a free tablet rental just by mentioning our father/daughter birthday trip.

I insisted that we make full use of our free drinks. We also enjoyed a glass of Baileys Irish Cream to end our flight.

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We landed in Honolulu and picked up our rental car. My dad has not visited Oahu since 1980 and this is my first time. It was very interesting to be in such a big city versus Maui and Kauai where I had previously visited.

We arrived at our hotel, The Modern Honolulu, 4 hours ahead of our check-in time. Once again, our birthday luck continued and were told our room was actually ready and we could go ahead and check-in.

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I loved finding hotel slippers in our room. I wear slippers all the time at home as I don't like being barefoot but often don't have room to pack them when traveling. It was such a simple pleasure to have these waiting for me on our arrival.

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We got settled in and enjoyed a light snack poolside at our hotel.

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After we ate we decided to visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater.

My dad's uncle Frank Andrade is buried there. He was killed in action in World War II in the Pacific in 1944. Frank was my Grandpa Tony's younger brother. They both served in the Pacific and had been able to meet while temporarily stationed on the same island. They spent time together including attending Mass which they knew would make their mother happy. Shortly after they parted ways Frank was killed while out on a mission. According to the information listed at the cemetery Frank was buried at the Punchbowl cemetery in 1949.

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It was a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. We placed a lei at Uncle Frank's graveside and offered a decade of the rosary. It was sobering to see so many graves and to think of all of the lives that were lost and sacrificed. I was so glad to be able to visit and I know my Grandpa would be proud and happy to know his brother has not been forgotten.

We returned to our hotel and rested briefly before heading to dinner. Fr. Michael's good friend from seminary is a priest here in Oahu. Over the years we were lucky enough to get to know him at various seminary functions so we were thrilled to be able to reconnect with Fr. EJ here in Honolulu! He picked a fabulous restaurant called 12th Avenue Grill. I got the steak with potatoes and a maui pineapple bbq sauce and my dad enjoyed salmon and pasta. Cardamom rice pudding for dessert for me and a peanut butter gelato with espresso for Dad. This restaurant is known for their gin and tonic so we all enjoyed those as well!

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We had so much fun reminiscing and shared so many laughs with Fr. EJ. It was such a great way to kick off our trip in Oahu and he also recommended a lunch spot for us and some other tips for our time in Oahu.

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We are tired from a day of travel and adventures but so happy to be together and making memories.

Posted by danielcatherine 03:59 Archived in USA Tagged birthday oahu honolulu freebies hustle punchbowl Comments (2)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 11: Nobody Candy Nigh

“Chocolate’s healthy? I thought it was just a treat!”-Aubrey

overcast 86 °F

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This morning we took Aubrey for her belated birthday excursion (or “birthday extravaganzo” as she called it.). We started by driving to Lydgate chocolate farm in Kapa’a. Along the way Aubrey had some Portuguese sweet bread (Aubrey said “I want to crunch and munch a bunch of this!”) We had a great conversation with her that touched on the purpose of tree tunnels in Hawaii (“for princes and princesses!”), genealogy (“someday I’ll be a mommy, and then a grandma, and then a grandma Jackie!”), and current family relations (“so I’m aunty’s niece?!”)
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When we arrived at the farm Aubrey was instantly popular with everyone. She was the only child on the tour, and was incredibly polite and inquisitive throughout the tour. The guide, Andrea, first helped Aubrey feed a chicken. Aubrey fearlessly held out her hand and let the chicken eat crushed macadamia nuts.
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Aubrey “posing” with the macadamia nuts and nutcracker.
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All of us before the tour began.
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The tour guide showing us vanilla beans growing.
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Trying some cherries.
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A demonstration of the papyrus plant which culminated with Aubrey receiving her favorite toy of the day:
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A papyrus frond! It can be an umbrella, a sweeper, or even troll hair!
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Getting ready for the tropical fruit tasting.
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We tried longan, egg fruit, lychee, dragonfruit, soursop,
palm blossom honey, and black pepper.
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Aubrey wielding her papyrus frond.
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Aubrey trying the palm blossom honey, which she asked to be able to do.
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Daniel trying fresh black pepper. It was incredibly good.
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We then got the chance to look at cacao pods and even try the beans from the pod. Aubrey didn’t like them, but we found them palatable.
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Aubrey with her frond.
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All of us in the cacao orchard.
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The tour guide gave us an interesting talk on the origins of chocolate as a precursor to our tasting. Aubrey didn’t have much interest in that part (although we found it fascinating and informative.)
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Thankfully the farm had some coloring books and markers for her.
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Aubrey participated in every part of the blind tasting, and liked every one of them besides the 100% cacao baking chocolate. Her tasting notes (transcribed by Daniel) included “Emma Ems (M&Ms),” “Oreos,” and “Yummy!”
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Aubrey asked if she could give Andrea the “recipe” she created, which Andrea was happy to accept. She also wanted a picture with Andrea.
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More frond time!
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We all had a great time on the tour.
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Aubrey asked Andrea if she could feed the chickens one more time.
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One last “ice cream cone water” (water in those pointed conical water cooler cups).
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And a few pushes on the swing, and we were off to lunch.
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Daniel got a veggie enchilada stack and Catherine and Aubrey got nachos. Aubrey was very sleepy, and we talked about jet skis because we saw a truck pulling one. Aubrey, differing greatly from her mother at her age, said she wouldn’t want to go on a jet ski and if she did she wouldn’t want to go fast.
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We then went to a place called Uncle’s Shave Ice. Aubrey and Catherine speculated that you have to be an uncle to work there, but the girl at the counter probably wasn’t an uncle. Aubrey got birthday cake, pineapple, and cotton candy flavor, while we split a lilokoi and guava one.

Now, in Daniel’s family the song “Happy Birthday” is always followed by “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow.” Daniel grew up believing they were one song. Catherine asked Aubrey if we could sing her “Happy Birthday.” Aubrey replied
“Okay, you can sing happy birthday but not the jolly o fellow part and not the candy part, cause the jolly o fellow part and the candy part can get pretty long.” Catherine wasn’t sure what Aubrey meant by “the candy part.” Daniel said “when it says ‘nobody candy nigh.’” We sang her “Happy Birthday” without
the “jolly o fellow” part or the “candy” part. She told us that even though it’s not our birthdays she wants us to try some of the delicious birthday cake shave ice.

At the end of the day, we came back to the house and started to carry Aubrey in. She started vomiting and screaming. So after a beautiful and joyful day, it looked like she was miserable. It could have been from eating more sugar than usual or too much time in the heat and humidity. Thankfully she recovered after a nap and was feeling well by the time the party started.

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We all worked on getting ready for the party we’re hosting. During this trip we each are hosting a meal at our family’s house. Today was our day. Here Dalton is helping Catherine ice the drinks.
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We served linguiça, or “Portuguese sausage” as it’s called here, sandwiches, with Hawaii chips, macaroni salad, Hawaiian fruit juices, and mai tais. Everyone seemed to enjoy the party quite a bit.

One of the best things at the party was Daniel’s mom’s pineapple pie. Daniel’s parents had this in Costa Rica and loved it, and his mom learned to make it after their trip. Here she was able to make it from Maui Gold pineapples, and it was incredible.
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People eating, and Dalton seeing what it’s like to sit in a plumeria tree.

Posted by danielcatherine 20:11 Archived in USA Tagged chocolate tree party farm sick tour birthday verde cacao plumeria aubrey dalton Comments (0)

Kauai Day 2: Plantation Railroad

overcast 80 °F

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We started our day with the Kauai Plantation Railroad. Apparently, Aubrey has wanted nothing but to go on a train and see pigs.
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Both of these were fulfilled by the Kauai Plantation Railroad. We had the opportunity to feed the pigs (tortillas, their natural food source in the wild) and see the large numbers of piglets. Apparently, there are 400,000 wild pigs around the island.
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Various plants around the plantation, including taro, cashews, macadamia nuts, octopus tree, ti plants, etc.
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After this we went to the double waterfall at Wailua Falls.
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Then we went to lunch at Duke’s Barefoot Bar which is at the beach. We had a wonderful dinner at Duke’s on Maui last year, and we had an equally delicious lunch this year.
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Some pictures of the area around Duke’s, with plumeria trees and the ocean.
After that, we went to Daniel’s cousin Jerry’s birthday party. He is turning 27 today, and the party was at the house where his family is staying. It was a nice party, and a great first full day in Kauai.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:03 Archived in USA Tagged train birthday plantation kauai jerry pigs ti 27 taro duke’s Comments (0)

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