Saturday, January 19, 2008

Day One in Hawai'i - Barking Dogs

B. didn't know the expression "barking dogs" means "aching feet." I don't know where I got that one from, but after Day One in Hawaii, my dogs were barking.

We spent the entire Saturday basically walking most of the length of Waikiki several times as we started off at the hotel in search of a place for breakfast. I decided we should have 1 breakfast splurge so we ended up at the Royal Hawaiian sitting on their outdoor patio with pigeons flying around us.

B. had fresh fruit that she shared with the girls. I had to have a hearty meal in the morning or I knew I'd pass out by midday so I had scrambled eggs, link sausage, and hashbrowns with an incredibly good cup of coffee that must have been Kona.

NG was enthralled with the pigeons and birds that she pronounces as "bood, bood." I only had to chase her once as she followed a pigeon to the other side of the restaurant. Overall, the girls were pretty tantrum-free, however, we were keenly aware of a mood shift when they were ready to leave so scurried out of the restaurant before a meltdown occurred.

I'm fascinated with how I've developed the Tantrum Radar, a sensitivity I never had before and not something that is taught in a book.

We proceeded to walk to the grocery store, stocked up on groceries, dropped them off at the hotel, then walked to the beach, found a spot in the shade of some palms, and took turns taking our babies to the ocean while the other mommy and baby watched the strollers.

NG was simultaneously thrilled by the ocean waves and absolutely terrified. The first time we walked down to the water, she kept saying "Wa-Er" in recognition but clung to me like a monkey. I put her down so she could stand on the sand as the waves came up and lapped at her feet. Initially, she began to cry but eventually started walking closer to the water.

"The water will come to you," I kept telling her to encourage her to stay put so we wouldn't get washed away by a wave (yes, one of my fears). I try so hard not to let my own phobias influence her. I want her to be bold and brave but not reckless. How do you strike that balance, I wonder?

She ended up insisting that we go back to the water 3 times and each time she was a little more bold. By the third time, she let the waves splash up to her thighs and one almost knocked her over but she held her ground. She ended up crying when I finally picked her up to take her away from the "Wa-Er, Wa-Er, Wa-Er."

After Baby's First Beach, we walked toward Diamondhead and placed sarongss over our strollers to help the babies sleep. B. and I had lunch from a Vietnamese food stand at an art festival in the park in the shadow of Diamondhead, listening to musicians playin Hawaiian flavored jazz and oldies from the 50s while sitting by a little pond.

The babies still slept as we walked back toward the ocean and found a boardwalk for a stroll by the sea. By the time the girls were awake, it was almost 4pm and the mommies were ready for cocktails.

We asked an "Ambassador" for suggestions for places to drink - they were by the beach wearing lime green tshirts and carrying first aid kits. I thought the woman gave us a peculiar look - two mommies with babies asking for alcohol - but she told us the Westin had a nice garden bar under a huge banyan tree. Sounded like the place for us!

So we spent the next hour or so sipping tropical drinks under a banyan tree as the girls toddled about, chasing "boods," sitting on a stone stoop side by side, eating pineapple and spitting out maraschino cherries, greeting other customers, and running off toward the bar with mommies chasing them through the maze of tables.

Right before another toddler meltdown, we hurried out of there to change diapers and go back to the hotel to change for dinner. I, of course, failed to pack any skirts. Then again, I probably don't own any summery skirts that fit my post partum body anyway. Luckily, the sarong I had used on NG's stroller during her nap just barely fit around my midsection and turned into a lovely long skirt.

We changed the girls into dresses, then headed out in search of a place for dinner. We had a 20% off coupon for a placed called Chuck's Cellar but the entrees were minimum $25 each so we decided to take B.'s earlier suggestion to have noodles at one of the many noodle houses in the area. So we walked to the other part of downtown and found a Japanese noodle house for dinner.

The girls enjoyed eating noodles and so did the mommies. The place was filled with Japanese men and women who seemed entertained by our little white babies slurping up noodles and NG saying "hi" and "bub-bye" and "fooootd" for food.

On the way back to the hotel, I spent the last of the $100 cash I had just pulled out that morning on gifts. How did I run through 100 bucks so quickly? Now what am I going to do for the next 6 days???

By the time we got to our hotel, our dogs were barking loudly. We sat for a few minutes in the lobby where they have free wifi so I could upload some photos to Flickr, then we headed upstairs, read books to babies, and struggled to get them to sleep.

I've typed this blog post in the dark living room that NG and I are sharing as she snores softly on the bed across from me. Who knows what adventures Day Two will bring. Maybe the zoo? I'll have to go online and figure out my money situation. This was a very last minute trip, something I had not saved up for, so I wasn't really prepared financially. But it was too good to pass up the experience. So here I am, probably broke, with 6 more days of fun in the sun. Well, if I have to starve anywhere, it might as well be Hawai'i!

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