Hawai'i 2.0, Day 3: "Eating people alive? Where's THAT get fun?!"

So, our original plans for today were to maybe go to the Valley of the Temples and visit the Byodo-In Buddhist temple, or maybe stop by Pearl Harbor and pay our respects at the U.S.S Arizona, before heading across the island to go to our scheduled Luau.  However, the weather is so nice when we get up -- clear blue skies for the first time since our arrival -- that we forego our driving and instead walk out to Sans Souci Beach located in our hotel's back yard and relax for several hours instead.  We play in the surf a little bit, we just lie back and look at the clouds, and we watch as the lifeguards put up jellyfish warning signs.  The hardcore beach lovers promptly ignore the signs -- or use them for shade -- and continue to play in the water; Lucie and I, however, decide not to tempt fate and head inside to the hotel's restaurant for a late breakfast, where I have salmon Florentine Benedict (eggs Benedict on a fresh sage biscuit, with salmon fillets, spinach, and a dill Hollandaise sauce on top); Lucie has a more traditional breakfast plate with eggs, sausage, and poi pancakes; and I have (of course) freshly brewed Kona coffee.

Stomachs sated, blood sugar raised, and wallet lighter, we then decide to go where everybody else goes on vacation in Hawai'i; namely, the Apple Store in Kahala Mall, just on the other side of Diamond Head.  See, I'd forgotten to bring along our FM transmitter, so we're unable to listen to the Bruddah Iz and Makaha Sons songs on our iPhones like we'd planned, and it's either buy CDs to play (which we already have at home and don't really need) or buy another FM transmitter (which we could always use.)  With those two options, we (I) decide (eagerly anticipate) to use (embrace) the newer technology (yay!) and buy an FM transmitter at the Apple Store.  Parking at the mall is surprisingly easy, we get a space on the top level right near the doors to the escalators, and the escalators drop us not twenty feet from the Apple Store.  Now that's luck!

We head back to the hotel and spend a few more hours on the beach, although we stay on dry land this time and just watch everyone else play among the jellyfish rather than participate.  Lucie had read that there might be a box jellyfish migration to Oahu during our visit, and the prediction was spot on.  Odds are we wouldn't get stung -- lots of ocean out there, and relatively little of it inhabited by stinging dudes -- but we'd prefer to do our gambling in air-conditioned buildings on Native American tribal lands, thank you very much.

We wash off the sand, head upstairs to change, and then head on out to Germaine's Luau, located (of course!) on the other side of the island.  After a few missed turns (the highway exit signs aren't as helpful as we'd like once you're away from Honolulu) and some frustration finding the place (Germaine's is located in the middle of an industrial area, with road construction causing detours that weren't mentioned by the nice lady on the phone when we made the reservations), we get a parking spot and head inside.  We get our free shell leis, get our picture taken for free (of course, buying the pictures later will cost us), hit the gift shop, and sit down at our reserved spot (or what I'm guessing is our reserved spot, since the name is spelled... creatively.)  I promptly spill my piña colada.  Thankfully, someone covers up the spill with a floral print tablecloth, and I forget all about it as we watch the sunset, take pictures of the traditional uncovering of the imu for the Kalua pork, get our food and sit down to watch the show.

Unfortunately, I'm guessing the moisture and/or sugar from the drink attracted the wildlife, because my legs immediately start to itch like crazy as I'm bitten repeatedly by mosquitoes, or sand flies, or flying Hawai'ian leg leeches, or an unholy combination of all three... and of course I'm wearing shorts because it's warm and humid out.  I do what I can to stop the feeding frenzy, but by the end of the night both legs have well over a dozen bites on each, probably upwards of 20.  We politely refuse to participate in the group hula lesson on stage, quietly mock the drunk 20-something girls who seem to be looking for a pole as part of their hula routine, and enjoy the fresh pineapple on the table (although we'd already had several pineapples' worth at the Dole plantation, it's awfully hard to get sick of fresh pineapple ), and I have a second piña colada without further spillage.

After the final hula, we go ahead and buy the luau pictures, head back to the car, and drive back to Honolulu for the night.  We've got some packing to do since we leave for the Big Island (what we're considering our "real vacation") tomorrow.

Coffee consumption: 2 cans of Royal Mills iced cappuccino, 3 cups of coffee with breakfast.


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