Thursday, July 3rd
I honestly cannot remember how the morning went this day. I didn't write my notes on this day until days after, so I just completely lost the morning. No biggie.. it was probably something like, woke up, ate breakfast. I know, exciting right? The part I do remember is Erika and I walking down the main street there looking for a spa to get a massage. I was excited by the thought of getting one, but also nervous. I've never gotten one before and it's always seemed so bizarre to me. Some stranger feeling you up. Well.. hmm.. now that I put it that way. Doesn't sound so bad :D
We checked out one place but it didn't quite meet Erika's muster. So, we keep walking. We try to go up to one, and it ends up being on the roof of this kinda moldy smelling hotel. Good thing that one was closed. Ew. We ended up at the Hyatt Regency Wakiki Resort & Spa called Na Hoâ€™ola , and WOW. I can just say... WOW. WOW. First, the place is just so serene and gorgeous, and you seriously have an elevated front row view of the greatest part of Waikiki Beach. Just like that picture on their website. Hell, that might even be the chairs me and Erika sat in and the view we saw. Beyond gorgeous. WOW. We look over their menu of spa services and decide to get the couple's massage (cuz it's cheaper that way you pervs) and choose the Ho'ola massage. I guess it's their signature massage or something. But, since I don't know any type of massage from another, I can't really tell you how it differs. WOW. WOW. I know, but yah, it just rocked my world. We finish that up, go take showers in their very nice girls locker room, and head out to do some more relaxing beachside.
Before hopping across the street to the beach, Erika & I grabbed a deli sandwich and some fruit from a convenient store and split all that while sitting on a park bench looking out at the beach. Seems so simple and like no big deal, but just sitting there eating and looking at a gorgeous beach is just about as relaxing as it can get. We finish that up, walk about 30 feet from the bench and plop down our beachmats and stuff. I didn't know about Erika, but I can't just lay out at a beach. Dunno why, but that's just not how I roll. I'm a water gal. The waves are good too. I like being smacked around by waves. Call me crazy. I think it was just before we head into the water or maybe just after, that Sharon met up with us. She was done with her bridesmaid duties for the day, so had some time to play with us. I practically ran into the water. I just couldn't wait. Sharon seemed a bit intimidated by the water, but she managed to wiggle her way out a bit. All three of us pretty much just played in the waves and had fun.
We did have to be ready for the lu'au by 3:45. For some reason, we had it in our minds that everyone else was wrong and our thinking of 4:45 was more accurate. What we didn't realize is 4:45 was when the lu'au started. But, 3:45 was when the buses were going to be behind the Hyatt to pick us up to drive us an hour to get there. So, a few phone conversations made us realize this and we had to scramble FAST. Three females got ready, including showers and partially blown dry hair, in less than 30 minutes. It might be a record. I sacrificed, I showered last and let my hair wet. I know, such a friend. Had nothing to do with the fact that I hardly ever blow dry my hair.
We end up running several blocks to where the buses are, then get in this long line. Sharon can't see anyone from the wedding party in our line, so we're kinda wondering what is going on. Another phone call, and we find we are at the wrong bus. Thankfully, our bus is just on the other side of the street from the current one. The wedding party was so big we got our own bus. Yay! They were waiting for us, cuz as soon as we got on, off we went. It did end up taking us an hour to get there cuz of Honolulu traffic. It's a beast, but nothing I haven't seen before. We get to Paradise Cove and it almost feels like an amusement park entrance. We get shell lei'd, handed a mai tai, and we get a group picture the entire wedding party. I say wedding party, meaning everyone in the wedding and attending the wedding. It was about 60ish people.Â Then we are off on our own to check out the arts & crafts and demonstrations. The actual food portion of the lu'au wouldn't start for another two hours. So, we needed to be busy. One of the first things we did was head towards the shore area near some bushes and start taking pictures of each other. While taking these pics, a tall attractive dude was nearby and Sharon asks if he would take a pic of all three of us. He does, then Sharon starts talking him up. He's from Oklahoma, he's there in Hawaii with a couple hundred or so high school football boys (oh, that's who all those dudes in jerseys that got off 3 or so buses were). See, he's coaching them in some All-American team thing they've got going. Wowza. So, just as Sharon is going to make the transition to get Erika in the conversation, Michelle calls us over to her to get pics with them. Introduction of two attractive singles only one state apart failed. It could have been so beautiful.
We get more drinks and keep walking around. Quick lesson on drinks ... Mai Tais are everywhere and they are really delicious. Apparently there is this other drink called a Lava Flow that is also everywhere and consists of a Pina Colada with a strawberry mix of some sort, resulting in the sweetest damn drink I've ever had. I think Sharon ordered one, and after a few of us tried it, it sat there all alone, un-drunk. Deathly sweet. I'll conclude with the Tropical Itch. This was my kind of drink. And apparently everyone else's too. We all ended up getting them a few times, and every time you ordered one it came with one of those bamboo back scratcher. Yah, I have a few. It was very refreshing to drink with abandon knowing that the worst we would have to do was walk to where the bus dropped us off to our hotel. Funny thing though, no matter how much we drank, and the tropical itches seemed rather full of alcohol, I don't think any of us got drunk. It was weird.
Finally, it's getting time for the food, and they sound the alarm (blowing a conch shell) and everyone hustles over to this mini arena type place where the pig is roasting and they do this ceremony thing that I can't see too well, and then the pig gets pulled out of the ground and taken away. We finally get the OK to head to the buffet and I think I got a little of everything so I could say I at least tried it. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting as far as food goes. I mean, there was the kalua pork, and some mahimahi, and this lomi lomi salad, but everything else seemed very American-picnic-y. Pasta salad, salad, white rice. I'm sure there's more, I'm just not remembering. Good food, just not as "Hawaiian" as I was expecting. While we eat, we get some entertainment with some hulas and such, but then after most everyone is done eating the real show starts. It was really good. Lots of hulas, different types of polynesian dances, like the Maori Haka, and even a fire dance that I think is supposed to be of Somoan origin. My only criticism of the show was I thought the main host or storyteller was a bit on the cheesy side. Kinda Las Vegas-y in a way. But still, it didn't put me off from the show.
All is over, we pile back onto the bus -- but not before we get a picture with one of the half-naked men at the lu'au -- and head home. Back to hotel, crash.