Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Lu'au at Paradise Cove

After much anguish on my part (would we survive the hour-long bus ride each way? would we cough up the $USD40-60 for a "child's" ticket our have Matilda sit on our laps and eat from our plates?), we decided to go to the Paradise Cove lu'au. We had a great time (and it being not-too-busy, Matilda had her own seat at dinner, and they even gave her some food - fried chicken and rice!).
John and Matilda went for a paddle in an outrigger canoe.
We all got polynesian "tattoos" (with that greasepaint stuff you use when painting kids faces). Matilda got a honu - turtle on her arm.
John got a "tribal" pattern, that Matilda cleaned off during dinner.
I got a pretty Plumeria/Frangipani flower.
Almost sunset ... how gorgeous, and we shared it with just a few hundred other of our closest tourist friends.
Matilda doing the haka. Rather than hours of hula dancing, we were entertained with all manner of polynesian/pacific dancing and rituals.
Come with me, Matilda! The dancers ALL got to know Matilda.
Will you dance with me?
Time to learn some hula dancing. Matilda decided it was HER stage, and she was not going to stand in one place to dance. I'm at the far left of the picture, Matilda's .. not.
We had to get Matilda off the steps before the Tahitian fire dance started. In this spot we could feel the heat of the flames as he twirled the baton around!!

On the bus ride back to Waikiki, our host, cousin Pomai, jokingly talked about a sing-along, and made mention of Old MacDonald's farm. This prompted Matilda to start singing at the top of her voice for the next several minutes. Luckily, she had charmed the rest of the bus (or they had drunk enough Mai Tais and Pina Coladas) by that stage, they all thought she was adorable and were happy to listen to her rendition of eieio. Over and over again. At some point on the drive back, Matilda fell asleep. Yay!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Aloha 2! ;)

Each night at our hotel, the Embassy Suites in Waikiki, there was a Manager's Reception in the Grand Lanai, with some snacks, free drinkie-poos (which for Matilda was a Sprite, Juice, water and ice concoction of our making), and Hawai'ian entertainment, featuring singers and hula dancers. Matilda called the hula dancers "dancing ladies". As we'd exit the lift on our way to the reception, Matilda woudl run and yell "dancing ladies!!!!" (she'd do the same thing, but yell "brekky" in the morning on our way to the brekky buffet, or yell "fhwimming" on the way to the pool). Matilda loved watching the dancing and listening to the music. I'm not keen on her being involved in activities at this age, but after our trip, I'm wondering if she'd really love some dancing lessons.

One night, we made our way to the Hilton Hawaiian Village and dinner at Benihana (US chain of Teppanyaki restaurants that we love). We went down to the lobby area, and asked for a taxi ... and were shown a stretch limo!!! So this was our sweet ride to Benihana, which does not have a kid's menu, contrary to the info on their website. :(

Cute photo of Matilda swimming - hat, floaties (water wings), rash shirt.

Matilda's version of water boarding her father. Not sure where this tendency for torture has come from!

We succumbed and got Matilda a "Monkey Bubbles" drink from the pool bar - some soft drink in a coconut carved to look like a Monkey head. We were able to bring the coconut home without any problems with customs - we declared everything we had, and the only dodgy thing was the Kukui nut (candle nut) lei that John got at Paradise Cove. That was confiscated (though we could have paid $30 to have it treated) - so we were glad we didn't buy any in Honolulu, as plenty of tourist shops had Kukui nut leis at 3 for $USD10 or so.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Aloha from Honolulu!

We arrived in Honolulu just over a week ago, after a more stressful trip than we anticipated - we left Brisbane over 2 hours late thanks to a mechanical failure, so what was meant to be a leisurely commute to the International airport turned into a bolt, including running through the Domestic airport and getting priority passes to get through Immigration and Customs!
The International flight was pretty uneventful, once Matilda finally sat down and then finally fell asleep. The all-male flight attendant crew did not succumb to her cuteness, and insisted on her sitting down - we tried to tell them it might have more impact if they roused on her rather than us, but hey.
When we arrived at our hotel mid-morning on the same day we left, our room wasn't ready, so we all got changed into Summer clothes, and went for a walk on the beach - bad move, Matilda just wanted to get into the water! We went up the beach from the Outrigger to the Sheraton (one of the Sheratons), then wandered Kalakaua Ave until we found somewhere unique and local for lunch. Burger King. Shortly after lunch time, we went back to the hotel and were able to check in, and John and I broke out jet lag rules and had an afternoon nap.

Our days since arriving have mainly centred around swimming. Matilda prefers the pool for some reason, but we are determined to get back to Waikiki at least once before leaving (and tomorrow we're getting a car and heading up to the North Shore to see if we can see some turtles and have some of the allegedly best Shave Ice around).

We went to the Waikiki Aquarium. Matilda loved the shark display, and while professing to being scared of the crabs, also kissed them through the glass. She's all style, our girl.

Waiting for a hermit crab to crawl out of his shell ... predictably, when he did, Matilda dropped him! :)
First Shave Ice, at a food stand just up the beach towards Waikiki from the Aquarium.