Friday, March 30, 2012

My First 48 Hours in Oahu

Sun, sand and surf, tall and lean coconut trees swaying gently to the soft breeze, clear blue skies, emerald green sea, soft white sand, beautiful and bright sunny weather are all images formed to depict Hawaii in one's mind; not to mention the words exotic, tropical, relaxing, sunny; are sets of flamboyant adjectives synonymous with the famous destination for beach vacations and romantic getaways.

Islands are what formed the foundation of the enchantment factor drawing visitors from all over the world to enjoy the exclusivity of these islands across the Pacific, promising bliss and warmth from its sandy shores.

Put on your swimsuit and sunnies, wear your sandals and bring your towel and you are all set for a Hawaiian vacation are probably some of things one may have heard or conjured in their mind when dreaming and plan a getaway to Hawaii, and guess what, I did none of that; on the first 48 hours upon landing on the tropical soil of this famous place!

Alright, no need for panic or distorted shape of frown forming on anyone's face as I am not here only for 48 hour and Oahu, is not at all as pictured when one thinks of the word Hawaii and the closest that one can come to is probably the word Aloha.

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing Oahu is not your typical laid back kind of island; but rather it is a fully developed city and I am referring to office buildings, large shopping malls, busy traffic, patrolling police cars taking place in this very island; the first few scenes which greeted me upon my arrival at the airport.
The airport itself, was a rather enchanting sight with the rustic charm of the architecture and design from the past; but that image fades as soon as one steps out of the airport area and heads to the town.

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing Development sprawled all over Oahu island; with buildings, institutions, and well-built highways emerging into sight as one drives on the highway towards the city center.
These were scenes so familiar to me, that had it not been for the customs officer stamping my passport to admit me entry earlier, I would not be able to believe that I am, indeed, in Hawaii.

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing Oahu is indeed an island; of the other islands which offer most of everything and is suitable for families or city dwellers like myself as everything is just easily accessible and available and I find that thought comforting, though I may have lost my memory of my main objective here; which is a romantic island honeymoon with my newlywed husband.

However, I can only blame it on the long and exhausting flight which tire us so much that we whiled the first 12-24 hours with casual activities like driving around and shopping, then heading back to catch up on some beauty sleep to adjust to the local hours; which by the way, is 18 hours behind my local time.
It is not too bad though; as the three quarters of the day difference somehow made it close to some of our meal times thus compensating for the time lag and minimizing our adjustment levels.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Before a beach or island vacation seeker runs off in the opposite direction upon reading the first part of my article, let me assure that Oahu is not all city-like either as the island still maintains its allure and charms in its well-planned layout of the attraction spots including that of the mystical yet breathtaking views of the mountainous areas, the active harbors, boathouses and also shipyards, the rich cultural and historical background still in place today, the sandy beaches and the blue sea, all awaits visitors in every corner.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Like a treasure box slowly creaking open to reveal its treasures, it was an exciting and breathtaking experience as I reveled in the pleasure of exploring the island of Oahu; which offers much more than just sun, sand and sea, and promises a journey filled with memories through a rich blend of history, technology, culture and traditions all in one as one takes in bits and pieces of the most developed island in Hawaii.

I may have taken a slow ride on my first 24 hours, but Oahu did not let me stay in my slumber too long as it beckons with its many attractions and itineraries which must be properly planned to ensure one get the best of Oahu and I made sure I started right; with a glimpse into the past of Oahu in the first 48 hours, after taking in the sights of the city.

To be continued...





Monday, March 26, 2012

Hawaii Day 1

The first day in Hawaii went by rather uneventful, as we were a little tired from the long flight we had (did I mention it was extremely long?) and it did not help that the sun was shining so brightly.
There are many islands in the beautiful Hawaii state and we were in Oahu; where we stayed near the famous Waikiki beach. In fact, our hotel was just stone's throw away from Waikiki.

We had lunch, and spent some time walking around in the mall then drove around and we did a little shopping.
Everything was rather relaxed on the first day; and we had a nice dinner at Chili's.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

We made a stop at Walmart to get the necessities like mineral water and juices for our driving trips for the next few days.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
We rested early on the first day, yeah, we were kinda tired, but the tour and interesting things start on the second day!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hawaii Day 1: Express Lunch at the food court

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Our first stop upon arrival was at the nearby Ala Moana Shopping Center; where we headed to their food court for lunch.

I can't believe that my first meal upon landing in US was Chinese; as we opted for a Chinese lunch from the famous and bustling Asian food chain; Panda Express.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Our economy fast lunch; at only USD$9.75 (and additional 4% tax) for two entrees and a choice of noodles/rice. (Additional USD$1.00 for fish or prawn; as originally the price is USD$8.75)
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
From top left: Braised broccoli and cauliflower, hor fun, and steamed fish fillet with soy sauce and ginger

Additional side order of Chinese deep fried spring rolls (USD$2.50)
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Fortune cookie of the day!:)
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

I enjoyed the meal, and I think it was definitely the right choice!:)

Can't wait to explore what this famous island has to offer!

The car on the road

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

We collected our rental car which we booked earlier; following a free ride from Hertz to their rental station.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
A comfortable bus ride aboard the Hertz bus

Our car for the whole trip; we remembered ordering a smaller car but well, guess we were upgraded!
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

A glimpse of Waikiki area! It's where we will be staying during our honeymoon trip...
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

To be continued...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First Glimpse of Hawaii

Behold the first sights of my honeymoon in this highly acclaimed spot for lovers and newlyweds!

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
The curves of the mountain due to the volcanic effect

I have always dreamt of visiting Hawaii, and knew that I wanted this place for my honeymoon when I get married to the love of my life and I am thankful that my hubby fulfilled this piece of my dream!
Words simply do no justice the excitement and joy I felt when I saw these welcoming lands from the window of the plane, and I had to pinch myself to believe that I was about to land in Hawaii; which I have been dreaming of since I was a little girl.
It felt surreal to me, but yes, I am in Hawaii!
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

I will let these pictures do the talking...
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing


The destination of my honeymoon finally revealed, and yes, ALOHA, Hawaii!:)
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Long Flight and meals on Delta Airlines

As I left the comforts of Malaysia Airlines and embark on Delta Airlines for the first time, I did not want to harbor high expectations of the comfort and luxury level.
Anyway, I was not really disappointed in the airlines either although the food, yeah, the food did bug me a little.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

In-flight entertainment was still good, thank God, to make us through yet another long flight to our destination. I was extremely excited but I tried to make myself go to sleep to avoid the effects of jet lag when we land at the destination and spoil the first part of my vacation, or honeymoon!

The food we had
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Fresh fruits
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Chocolate cake
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Fresh and moist towelette to freshen ourselves up as we are about to land...
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Transit at Narita International Airport

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Nope, Japan is not my destination for the honeymoon as we were stopping over for transit.

Love the clean and well-organized concept of the Narita International Airport
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Waiting to board the gate to our destination! :)
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

MAS and Flight meals en route to Narita

Taking off at 9am in the morning, I was equipped with books, updated playlists to keep me occupied for the first 8 hours of the flight from my origin to the transit destination; Narita International Airport.

Of course, Malaysia Airlines also made sure that we had a good time by feeding us a full meal and also snacks and constantly hydrating us with rounds of drinks.

There is never a moment of boredom with the updated lists of movies, tv series, and songs on the in-flight entertainment.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Flight meals
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Braised chicken with rice
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Cold Soba
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Chicken salad
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Fish with potatoes
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Thai mango with shrimp salad
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Cake with caramel milk for dessert
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Eight hours of flight, a meal and a snack and tons of new movies to watch and a good book, well, not too bad for the first part when one is excited :)

Breakfast at the Premium Lounge

I was really excited for the honeymoon trip; and needless to say, I spent months packing and doing my research although I was also hoping that there things will go well and that I can go for the trip.

When the day came, we woke up to depart to the airport early to beat the work traffic.
After checking in, as usual, we will head to relax and have a quick bite at the Premium Lounge in the airport.
This time, it is the most important meal of the day; breakfast.
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Relaxing and stretching ourselves in the comfortable environment of the lounge was the right thing to do, as we prepare ourselves for the long; extremely long flight to follow, to our destination! :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some snacks from China

A glimpse into the types of packed snacks from the China trip...
Healthy and sugar-free western cakes
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Mini red bean dorayaki cakes
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

Authentic Jiangsu biscuits; totally different from the ones locally found in my country!
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing

It is fun exploring the stores for stuffs like these, and everyone gets a 'taste' of the place where we visited!:)