Saturday, February 7, 2015

Oahu: Ala Moana Beach Park and Chinatown

So how was it 63degF (17 deg C) this morning? I woke up nestled under three blankets. And I walked to the coffee place in long pants and a sweater on. Am I glad I packed a sweater in place of hiking shoes! No, not really. Still amazed at my imbecile life decisions, but grateful for the brief lightbulb moment when the sweater went into the suitcase.

Also received my first valentine from the people that stole my heart - the Zamora kids. Sebastian, Stella, Christian and baby Alexander sent me a card with their names handwritten. I'm so proud to have been able to watch them grow. I love the family,  the kids were always so easy to look after, and so much fun. I still cannot believe they paid me to play with their kids!

Not that I'm expecting any more valentines. Justin and I were the least of gift givers. Special occasions were celebrated with food, and extra special occasions were celebrated with home-cooked food. He will always be the world's best Master Chef in my heart, even though he sucked at remembering important dates. I believe he never got our wedding anniversary date right, ever. But that was what made him him, if you know what I mean.

Another first for this trip - I signed up for a stand up paddle board yoga class. I don't know what's up with the weather this week, but it was super windy on Waikiki. I started out for the Ala Moana Beach Park for the class hoping for calm seas, only to be dismayed by the choppy waters. Well, at least I wasn't going snorkeling today, right? Apparently the instructor had to cancel several classes this week because of the Wind. Luckily she didn't do it today. It was, however, a great challenge to my balance. First of all, we couldn't paddle out to sea, so we stayed in the shallow waters. Secondly we were given anchors(?!) to keep us from drifting away. Lastly, we had to modify every pose because standing up on the board just wasn't happening. Nevertheless, I had a great time. Heck, maybe I should teach SUP yoga too!

I was determined not to be a bother to my hosts, so I insisted on walking home, taking the scenic route on the famous shopping stretch that is Kalakaua Avenue. Have you noticed how fun Hawaiian names are? There are always more vowels than consonants and it's a challenge to say them right! The GPS says them all funny, according to Molly, who apparently is our local expert. :)

Molly took us to Chinatown for dinner and the First Friday event. You know you have arrived in Chinatown when all the road signs start to include Chinese characters. Every first Friday of the month, Honolulu turns into a huge block party for artists, performers, galleries and stores. Or simply put, just another excuse for people to jumpstart their weekend getting really wasted. The Chinese lion dancers were also out in full force tonight, visiting stores, setting off firecrackers, drumming up good fortune for the new year.

We had dinner at J.J Dolan's on Nuuanu Ave (try saying that one!), which has famous kickass pizza. We had ourselves a spinach and garlic pizza that had a creamy quiche like topping but was certainly not too garlicky; although you wouldn't want to talk to any one after. Wash it down with a cold glass of beer, aahhh pure heaven.

Oh and did I mention I caved and bought myself a pair of walking shoes?
Now I'm really ready to take on the world.

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