E Komo Mai Hawaii!

E Komo mai Hawaii! (welcome to Hawaii!)

And if you want to really say it right, pronounce Hawaii correctly– “Hah-vy-ee” 😉

WOW. Wow. wow. This place…

So I flew here on Hawaiian Airlines, which was a wonderful experience. Despite the toddler in the row behind me who scream-cried the ENTIRE 6 hours (oh mylanta was that a long flight made longer…) the flight  was actually very calming. From the minute you get on, you hear the Hawaiian music playing softly, the flight attendants wear aloha shirts (‘Hawaiian shirts are actually called Aloha shirts– who knew?), the little tv screens at every seat were playing a loop of beautiful sunsets, swaying palm trees, hula dancers, etc. All in all- very pleasant. HA is one of the only airlines left that still provides a complimentary meal, with wine and SILVERWARE. Not plastic spork. Silverware. FYI. 😉 Here are a few pics from my first sight of Hawaii from the air…

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(Left to right) Those are the Ko’Olina Lagoons on the Leeward side, 2 shots looking leeward, and a shot of cities-because why didn’t I expect such crowding??

20140414_161143 This is actually the entrance to Pearl Harbor. The beach on left, is Iroquois Point– where we will be living!

When I arrived, I was greeted with a magenta orchid lei (Confession: I arranged for that in advance when I booked my flight! It cost $20 but after the last few months of holy hell pcs-cancer- cross country driving- I totally felt like I deserved to be greeted as if on vacation! DO IT! Spring for it! It sets the pace for a new beginning!!) Now, when you accept a lei, there is actually a whole protocol for this… You bow your head and they (the giver– you NEVER put one on yourself!) drapes it around your head and over your shoulders. SO it doesn’t (initially) hang like a necklace, it drapes evenly front and back. Eventually it will end up hanging like a necklace (as you can see), but when giving a lei– it always goes on evenly. 😉  Now, this being my first time in Hawaii, first time getting lei’d (haha, see what I did there?) and being alone, I got even MORE Cheesy and started taking selfies. Yup. I was that chick.

20140414_135208 20140414_135202 Shameless. Just, Shameless.

Just got lei'd at the airport...OMG I"M REALLY HERE!!!

Just got lei’d at the airport…OMG I”M REALLY HERE!!!

2 Funny things about landing in Hawaii– you have to fill out a Customs Declaration (as if arriving in a foreign country) and the restroom signs. See for yourself…

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I didn’t get a shot of the mens room sign. That just would’ve been awkward…

Sea Monkeys sponsor met me at the airport, so as soon as my stuff was loaded in his car– we were off to the car lot! He offered to take me to lunch, but honestly– I just wanted to get the MonkeyMobile (“Toaster”) so I could check that off my to-do list. So we went to Sand Island and I busted out my big mamma-jamma PCS binder with all the necessary paperwork in it and got his car. (side note: they were impressed by my organization/binder. Booyah.)

Once I signed for his car, inspected it and all, they gave me directions for registering it- but honestly, I ignored it. I got the car (and every other damn thing!) to the island, HE can take care of SOMETHING. (and he did–both cars.) From there, I followed the sponsor to the base so I could fill the Toaster (remember: it ships nearly empty!) and while at the gas station (a mini-NEX) I figured I would grab a few things to eat in the hotel, since it had a mini-fridge. This was easier said than done… recall, it was almost Pesach. Passover. No leavened grains. DOH. (actually, no dough…) I bought some grapes ($9.99 a lb!! WTF?!), salad, tuna, water… and Sam Adams. I figured Pesach didn’t begin until sundown, and dammit–I earned a beer. Or 2. Or 3. Afterwards, I  followed the sponsor to the lodge to check out out our new temporary home.   ****Side note: since then, I have learned: do NOT buy your food at the Nex Minimarts.. highway robbery. Seriously. I’m still shaking my damn head over those $10 grapes…

Now, Navy Lodge. Actually really nice! It’s out on Ford Island, and recall– I booked it back in January (so, 4 mos in advance!) since we have 2 pups with us. They put us up on the 3rd floor, all the way at the end (which is great, because we only have one other room on our balcony + housekeeping. Our balcony is closed off at one end (going into the hotel), so I’ve been able to let the pups run on the balcony (when nobody is home next door). 😉

The pups didn’t arrive until the next morning, delivered by Island Pet Movers in style…! (seriously- check this out!) 20140415_085742 20140415_085813 20140415_085810 20140415_085807 20140415_090023 Needless to say, they were happy to be back with their mama and adjusted to the hotel room very quickly…20140415_093745 20140415_093733 20140415_103705 20140415_095218 20140415_095216 20140415_095153 20140415_093828

 

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I won’t lie though– early morning potty breaks are a PITA, running down 3 flights of stairs…(there is an elevator, but the stairs are closer and don’t involve me high-tailing it through the lobby in my pjs’ with 2 cross-legged spaniels!) The lodge does have ample dog walking space, including one fenced in dog park that my pups LOVED!!! We stopped using it though, due to the barbaric burrs in that park.

20140422_161406 There are about a gajillion burrs on each stem. Now, imagine picking THOSE out of your poor dogs toes and belly-fuzz!

They look like tiny anemone and stick in between toes and in fur badly. 😦

20140415_092007 20140415_091958 20140415_092321 OH!! And another thing!! RED DIRT! It stains EVERYTHING!  Miss Puppy (Sophie) who is usually my prissy pup– rolled in it and managed to stain her BLACK hair. Guess who got a bath that night..? Hint: THIS girl…20140415_092017

Use the dog-park (unfenced) that’s back beside the pool instead. No burrs. Or- if you are like my picky pups– they prefer to go under the plumeria trees near the playground. Just bring your baggies!! There are a lot of dog owners here, and I’ve noticed several don’t pick up after their dogs. Gross. Be responsible. (And if you DO catch one of them– offer them a baggie. It should give them a hint.)

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20140417_064402 20140417_064219  20140417_06452620140416_190559 Happy puppies at the park. They didn’t even want to run around, they were so content to just sit and enjoy the breeze!

Our room (Sea Monkey, me, +2 pups) consists of a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette (like a little galley kitchen: fridge, microwave, cooktop—NO OVEN), and a second room that combines living room with office/dining space. It has a couch, table and chairs, and desk. Originally, we were going to be in the lodge for 2-3 weeks. We had to extend… At the time I am writing this, it has been 54 days. 54 DAYS. We leave on Saturday, thank goodness! It’s been a really wonderful place to stay, but we are itchy to get in our house!!! If you book at the Navy Lodge on Ford Island– just an FYI– it has 2 tvs, a dvd player, the kitchen is stocked with mixing bowls, colander, cutting board, silverware/dishes/cups for 4 and a mini coffeepot that takes pods. Housekeeping provides them. (It’s kona coffee though, so get 3 a day! 😉 )

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Here you can see the living room/dining room/office, the pass through kitchenette (note fridge size!), the our room & the bath. The couch is also a pull out bed, FYI if you have kids. The 2 pics of outside are from the bedroom window– Pearl Harbor and an old bunker!

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Yeah… these are from our room. Seriously

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The colorful ones are sunset– the silvery ones are sunrise! …Because, when you have two pups that need to go out, you sometimes see the sunrise…

So yeah… Welcome to Hawaii. E Komo Mai… 🙂  I think we’re gonna like it here…

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