Sunday, November 1, 2009

Conor In Oahu

I guess this probably goes without saying, but It's embarrassing how long this blog has been idle. Luckily, anyone reading this blog probably likes Cheryl more than me, and she started an awesome blog of her own that has picked up the slack (and then some). This blog kind of died right before the draft, when I got super busy and then I went to Hawaii and then got back and was busy throughout the summer.

But I did have an awesome time in Hawaii. It provided some much-needed fun and relaxation right after the draft and right before the stress that comes with moving across the country. So, I wanted to chronicle the trip here. Better late than never, right?

Cheryl's dad was nice enough to take us to Oahu as a Christmas gift. It was Kent and Kathy, me and Cheryl, Cheryl's brother Greg, his wife Kari and their three-year-old son, Max.

Kent and Kathy picked us all up at the airport and led the way to our awesome resort. Apparently Cheryl was the only one trustworthy enough to drive the rental car and she did a fabulous job all week. By the time we got to our room, it was already kind of late at that point, so we just got unpacked and settled in.

That was the view from our hotel room.

Day 1
The first day, we took it easy and just kind of explored what the resort had to offer. The resort has some man-made coves into the ocean, so we just floated in those and then hung out in the pools a little bit. It was nice to be in the sun and the warm water. Max had a blast and we all worked up an appetite, so we ate lunch at the little restaurant on location, played in the pools some more and then had some shave ice. That night, we barbecued some ribs and played some games in the room.

Day 2
On the second day, we decided to go snorkeling at Electric Beach. It's called Electric Beach because a power plant shoots really warm water into the ocean and the fish just love it. Although it was sometimes nauseating swimming through very warm currents of water, it was really neat to see all the fish. However, we kind of got caught up in the fun and didn't realize how far we had drifted out. Swimming back was quite a chore for me and there were actually a few moments I thought I was going to pass out. Cheryl thought I was going to die. After that, we went to Paradise Cove, a private beach that was a lot of fun for just floating and relaxing. While we were there, a sea turtle swam up very close to us and stuck its head out of the water to get some air, which was really cool. That night, Greg and I barbecued some steaks for everyone, which was awesome, then Greg, Kari, Cheryl and I went down for a night swim in the pool. Good times.

Day 3
We did some more snorkeling on the third day, this time at Shark's Cove. This was my favorite because we snorkeled for a long time, saw tons of fish (and more sea turtles) and I never felt that my life was in danger. After that, we went up to the North Shore for some lunch at Cholos. After that, we did a little shopping and then headed down the street for my first Matsumoto experience. I had heard Cheryl talk about Matsumoto Shave Ice for years and now I finally got to experience it for myself. Well, as usual, she was spot was awesome.

The 30-minute wait was worth it, and it was fun to look at all the celebrity pictures inside the shop. Adam Sandler knows what's up when it comes to shave ice. After that, we went home, showered up and then took in a Hawaiian show on the resort lawn, which was really entertaining, before heading to a nice dinner with everyone at the Ialani resort. It was here that Cheryl discovered that whenever Max got upset or fussy, he would quickly calm down if she pulled up interesting YouTube videos on her iPhone. More on that later...

It was a long day and the dudes fell asleep in the back of the car.

Day 4
On the fourth day, we drove back up to the North Shore in the morning for a day of beaches. We first stopped at Waimea, but didn't park because there weren't any spots. Maybe if I go back to Oahu, I'll have the balls to jump off the huge rock. Probably not. Then we went to Pipeline and watched some surfers for a little bit. When we got back to the car, we saw something that has (unfortunately) been burned into my brain. This guy...

After that, we played in Sunset Beach for a little while and then it was on to Pounders, where I got....pounded. It certainly lived up to the hype. Every time you get hit with a huge wave, it knocks you underwater and right when you get back up, you have about a split second to catch your breath before you get knocked over again. I finally had to call it a day when I was losing my breath and did a double summersault underwater. It was fun while it lasted though.

When you're at the beach, always remember to wear sunscreen!

After everyone had their fill at Pounders, we went and got some lunch at the L&L Drive-In. Greg and I thought it was pretty good. The girls? Not so much. We also got a Taro Pie at McDonalds, which was interesting. I think I'll stick to apple, though. Then we went on a little tour of BYU-Hawaii, where Greg and Kari met. We also stopped at a grocery store for a few things, which is only worth mentioning because of what happened after, in the parking lot. It was a long day and Max was tired and started to whine a little in the car, as we were leaving the store. Cheryl quickly pulled up a Spongebob video on her phone and handed it to Max.

What she didn't realize was that, apparently, people like to redub Spongebob videos with a bunch of swear words and accidentally set him up with this video...

We were talking and didn't realize our error until 2:08 into this thing! All puns aside, Max is a sponge at this point and repeats a lot of things he hears (like Black Eyed Peas songs!). So, if he starts calling Greg an "assbag," blame Cheryl.

After that we tried to hit up Matsumoto again, but the line was too long even for us, so we found Leonard Jr.’s hot malasada truck. Mmmmm.

We drove back to the hotel after that, barbecued some chicken for dinner then played games. While we were barbecuing, I overheard a guy at the grills tell his wife, "I wish they made a cologne that smelled like this." ...a joke I made a couple nights earlier. Don't think I didn't notice, dude.

Max loved Matsumoto, but was also very content with Otter Pops in the hotel room!

Day 5
On the fifth day, we headed to Aloha Stadium for some flea market action. We walked around for a few hours and it all starts to blend together, because everyone’s basically selling the same stuff.

After that, I texted Hawaii’s assistant baseball coach and asked him where to find the island’s best plate lunch. He recommended the Rainbow Drive-In. We tried to find it using my phone, but somehow got a wrong address or something and ended up nowhere close to the actual location. Thankfully, some nice locals told us we weren’t close and were even nice enough to lead us to the right spot…which was about a 10-minute drive. But before they decided to just drive us there, they gave me a handwritten map on a piece of paper from their car. The paper was a receipt from a recent oil change, so of course I Googled the name on the receipt when I got home and was shocked to see the results. The guy on the invoice was a teenager in Hawaii that was recently put away for murder. Was that his family driving his car while he was in the slammer? I’ll never know for sure, but that was kind of weird. We actually tried to send a Rainbow Drive-In gift certificate to the address from the invoice, but it got returned. Anyway…it was a good plate lunch. Good call, coach!

After lunch, we walked around Waikiki for a little bit and went back to the hotel to chillax. That night, Greg, Kari, Cheryl and I went out to dinner by ourselves, while Kent and Kathy hung back and watched Max. We went to Roy’s and it was awesome. I had a special that included salmon, steak and shrimp and it was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

After dinner we went back to the resort for another night swim. Greg may or may not have ran into the ocean naked.

Day 6
This morning we tried to go snorkeling at one of the beaches on the resort. Kent had a good experience there the day before, but we didn’t have such luck. I lost my mask trying to get into the really choppy water and Kari got scraped up. I didn’t get far enough in to see anything, but even those that did said it was too mucky to see any fish. Oh well. We went back and just kind of hung out in one of the coves before going back up for lunch.

We got cleaned up and then headed back up to the North Shore for one last trip to Matsumoto. This time, Greg got his with the red azuki beans, which I decided tasted like hot dogs. Not a good combo. After that, we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center to walk around before the PCC’s show that night. That was a lot of fun. The PCC has a bunch of different areas, each one dedicated to a Polynesian island. In “Tonga,” I got selected to come up on stage and try my hand at some drumming. It was rad.

The buffet was good and the show, “Horizons,” was a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the drumming, fire twirling and girls shaking their hips.

Day 7
It was time to check out of the resort. So, we got out of there and headed up to Pali Lookout, because even though we had to check out, our flight was a red-eye, so we had the whole day to kill. The lookout was cool, then we went and had some lunch, then went back to Waikiki and walked around a little more.

For dinner, we decided on Duke’s, which was great, but the highlight of the night actually happened on the walk to dinner. As we were walking through downtown Waikiki, there were pigeons everywhere, especially on the sidewalk near other outdoor eateries. As we walked by the Cheesecake Factory, there were a lot of pigeons and I pretended to kick one. When it didn’t even flinch, I decided to stop messing around and really kicked it. That got its attention and it started flying….right up Kathy’s skirt! She let out a blood-curdling scream right in my ear, as she grabbed onto my arm and wet her pants in terror.

Overall, it was an awesome trip and I can’t wait to go back someday!