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Monday, January 01, 2007

Today was Mom and Grampa's last day - they flew out at 11:59pm today, which is very odd, because if they left on time, they'd be taxiing right as the New Year happened...We'll have to wait to hear their trip report to find out what, if anything, they did to ring in the New Year.

We all had breakfast together at the Wailana Coffee shop at 10ish, and then slowly got organized to make our way up to the North Shore. We had a ranch tour booked at Kualoa Ranch at 3, so we drove up the western side of the Island, and stopped at a couple of beaches to take some photos of surfers and body boarders. The waves definitely weren't huge, about 4-6 feet, but they were pretty messy, breaking all over each other and churning around pretty violently.

We kept going around the island, and headed down to the Ranch for our movie set and ranch tour, that ended up being 99.9% movie set, but that's fine - we saw locations from Godzilla, Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, the Karate Kid, LOST, and more - they do a lot of filming on the ranch! We also got to stop at an old WW2 bunker they have built into their mountain and go inside part of it which was interesting, they've made that into a quasi museum about some of the productions shot on their land, so you could read about them, etc. The bus we were in also seemed to be from WW2 - exposed wiring, bouncing, grinding gears, etc. It was also entertaining as the driver got instructions like 'now put it in gear' or 'put your brake on' or 'go more slowly now' from the tour guide. They got us around though and it was a fun and entertaining tour!

We headed back down the coast and stopped to watch the last sunset of 2006 go down, it was a pretty good one! Then we kept going on for dinner. We were originally going to try and go to the Hau Tree Lanai as a bookendish meal to the vacation (our first meal was there as well), but they were having a poncy set course dinner for New Years, and we weren't really dressed for or interested in that, so we went to plan b, The Old Spaghetti Factory. This one is particularly well themed I thought and had some fantastic old furniture and light fixtures and stuff. I also got my cheese tortellini :)

By that point, it was time to get all the luggage in the car and drop them off at the airport. Mom managed to buy, and fill, a hockey bag sized, Hawaiian printed duffel bag, which has her boogie board strapped to it. It weighs a ton! In the hallway, we managed to make an articulated travel trailer type set up, with her three pieces of rolling luggage all balanced against each other. It was pretty entertaining! We stuffed it all into the back of the SUV, and got them dropped off at the airport just after 9, hopefully she didn't get dinged too badly for over sized, over weight, over packed luggage!

Peter and I headed back to the hotel to drop off the car and then went to meet Yuki at the Halekulani hotel on Waikiki Beach to ring in the New Year and watch the fireworks. We had a lovely spot on the lanai by the beach, and it was a fantastic place to watch the show! There was also a formal party going on beside us, and we got to enjoy their live big band/swing/orchestral music as well - a lovely New Year's all around.

Headed back to the hotel at around 2, and basically collapsed into bed with a magazine before getting up to blog this, and since its now 3, will be collapsing back again in a second, I'm sure. We fly out at 2:40 pm tomorrow, on what looks to be a very full flight, though luckily we were able to get me out of the aisle and into a window seat, which will be much better!


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