Saturday, January 5, 2008

Friday, January 4th, 2008 -- ALOOOOOHA!

Aloha Bloggy!

Yes, I am here in Waikiki, the land of sun, surf and pineapples! I had a wonderful trip here and my first day on the island was filled with sun and fun with friends. Ha! I didn't realize that my energy level is not quite the same as it has been in past years... and that hit me last night, my first night here (grin).

For starters, it wasn't until I got here that I am now realizing the various things I have forgotten to pack... things that I would have packed without even thinking about in the past. Unfortunately, one of those things is the small cable that I need to hook my camera up to my computer so I can download the pictures off the camera onto the computer so I can then use them on the blog (or send in email, etc). That is a real bummer... it means this trip report for the next 3-4 weeks is going to be just words, no pictures! Unless I can luck out and find a camera shop here who just happens to have one in the back. Highly unlikely but let's not doubt the power of mind over matter ;)

Speaking of the "Laws of Attraction"... I have a wonderful example of how this has worked for me. For the weeks leading up to my flight here, I have been not too excited about coming because I was not looking forward to being squeezed onto the plane like a bunch of sardines. More so this year than any other because of my legs. I am just not as flexible because of what the chemo did to the feet and how it's impacted the arthritis. Suffice it to say, I was dreading the uncomfortable flight. Now, if there were an empty seat beside me, that would give me plenty of room to at least not feel quite so claustraphobic. When I checked in, I asked if the flight was full... and the attendant just laughed and said, "All flights to Hawaii at this time of the year are full, if not oversold." Oh great! So she said I could check with the gate attendant but highly unlikely that anything could be done.

Now, for weeks I have been visualizing and saying to myself "I will have an empty seat beside me" but it was not looking good. When I got to the gate, I went up to the attendant, explained my problem and that I understood the plane was full, but should someone not show up and should there possibly be two empty seats together, blah, blah, blah. She checked and apologized... the plane was full and she did have 2 single seats but they weren't even close to each other. Oh well (sigh).

So the first seat I was assigned was an aisle seat in the middle row (of 3 seats). While the plane was boarding, the gate attendant came up to me and asked if I would mind moving to the aisle seat across the way.. this was where there were two seats in the row... a window seat and an aisle seat. There was a gal in the window seat and it didn't really make any difference to me who I was sitting with and by moving, she could sit a family of 3. So I moved and the gal was very nice and friendly... so at least that made an uncomfortable situation more bearable. So off we went... and this gal and I had a nice chat. About 20 minutes into the flight, one of the flight attendants came up to us and said that there was another single seat up a couple of rows and would this gal like to move to it? So, as much as we were getting along just fine, the gal said, "Well, why not. That will give you more room to stretch your legs, but make sure you get up now and again and walk on them."

So, lo and behold, here was a full flight and I did get my two empty seats... and the rest of the flight was great, even with the 15 minutes or so of pretty strong turbulence :)

Ok... wow, if it takes me this long to describe a part of a day, this blog entry will go on forever!! LOL!!!

So, I'll make the rest relatively quick. I got to the hotel and checked in and it really is very comfortable. It's an older hotel that has been renovated. I am staying in a "standard" room, but it has some amenities that most standard hotel rooms don't have. Yes, there is a tv (pretty standard) but it also has a stereo with Bose speakers. The king size bed is SUPER comfortable... both nights now I have slept sooooo well!! Air conditioning is turned on/off with a remote control rather than setting it like a thermostat. There is a small fridge and a safe. The bathroom is great... the bathtub is a jacuzzi tub. Yayayayaya! And of course, there is high speed internet in each of the rooms. So all in all, very comfortable. I was going to look into being upgraded to a Jr. Suite, which has all the same amenities plus a kitchenette, including a full size fridge. Depending if I stay a bit longer, I may still look into this, but for now I'm quite comfortable :)

Yesterday, we spent the day on the beach... my first day. My buddies had an umbrella already set up for me and (grrrrrrrr) since I FORGOT to bring my beach chair (it's still behind my door at home), they had rented me a chaise lounge chair... but at $15/day, that could get way too expensive. So, I made a few phone calls because I know I have left a chair with friends a few years ago. Now I had said that I didn't want/need it again because I would just bring another one each year... but now I was wondering if someone still had it? To make a long story short, yes, the chair is still here on the island, so Ed is going to bring it down to the beach this morning... and the beach boys who run the chair/umbrella/etc. rentals, will keep it with our other chairs/umbrellas, so I don't have to be hauling it to/from the hotel.

Last night, 8 of us took a stretch limo to Bob Mott's BEAUTIFUL townhouse to celebrate another friend, Sheila's birthday. The last time I was at this townhouse was back when they first bought it and it was empty. They were renovating so had not moved any furniture or anything in... and now it's finished and lived in. Beautiful home... and a fun party! But then, when haven't we had fun??? (grin)

I'd say that some of them may be a bit later getting down to the beach this morning (chuckle). Me, I realized as we were getting ready to leave about 11pm (1am Vancouver time and I'm still on Vancouver time at the moment) that I had run out of steam. My legs were now not listening to my brain.. weird feeling, but I know it was mainly because I was just tired. This morning, I'm still tired and much slower. I just realized it is going on 10am so I better get a move on and go get some breakfast. I will then head to the beach... but it does take me awhile to get to the beach since where we go on Waikiki is probably about a 1/2 mile walk. Not far at all... unless you walk slow :)

Ok... that's it for now! Will be back later :)



Thursday, January 3, 2008

January 2, 2008 - Happy New Year!!

Hiya Bloggy!

Long time no posts or anything. Well, I'm not about to make any excuses because the intent was there... there just weren't enough hours in the day over the holidays.

Right now, I should be in bed because tomorrow is going to be a VERY long day! I have to get Bridget out to Tsawwassen by noon, have a little visit with Steph and Tony who are going to be looking after her while I'm gone, then off to the airport we go. I am giving myself plenty of time at the airport because we all know how long the lineups can be and then once checked in, I have to get down to go through US Customs then get down to the gate. I'll have my butterfly cane with me, but let's face it... I'm just not as quick as I once was. Hence the reason to give myself plenty of time at the airport ;)

Now, I don't even know where to begin to talk about the holidays, not to mention, I'm trying to make this relatively quick since I still have the dishes in the kitchen to do and arrange my luggage, etc. (well, get it off the bed so Bridget and I can sleep in the bed tonight).

Suffice it to say, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve were absolutely wonderful... and magical!! For the first time in years and years, we had snow falling on Christmas Day!! It didn't start until later in the afternoon, but certain areas in the city ended up with a White Christmas!! Yayayaya!!

I spent Christmas Eve at Dad's. We went out for dinner with Patt and Jerry, and Rod and Karrie. Here's a picture of Dad, arranging Christmas Gifts for the morning when the whole family would gather:

Hehehe... I think I will just show you how I spent my Christmas and New Year's in pictures :)

Christmas was spent at Dad's, with Pat, Jerry and the boys upstairs, although they came down and joined us for breakfast and gift exchanges. Hmmm... I don't have any pictures of either of my brothers or Karrie. If you guys are reading this blog, I do apologize. I was taking pictures during the morning but I see I don't have any of you guys!

Here is a picture of the presents after Santa had arrived. I guess he must have arrived while we were out for dinner (grin)

Let's start with the little diva since she is always the centre of attraction. She liked sleeping in her grandpa's bed. We do this once/year on Christmas Eve and she remembers every time. So here she is Christmas morning, in no hurry to get up! Lazy bum!

Here is my sister, Erin, with my Dad. Dad had received a Nintendo DS for Christmas, so Erin was setting it up for him. Boys and their toys... and girls too! :)

Here we have Jerry and Patt and their son Jeff and soon-to-be Daughter-in-law, Helen. Jeff and Helen will be getting married on July 26 this year! Yayayaya!! We are going to have a wedding in the family!!

And here we have Jerry and Patt's younger son, Mike and his girlfriend, Meghan. Mike is working up North with an explatory company and Meghan is going to school in the States, so it's good to have them both home at Christmas.

Ok...jump to later in the day when I went to my friends, Steve and Don's, for Christmas dinner. There were 5 of us... and we had a fabulous dinner that Steve cooked and arranged. He's a genius in the kitchen!!

When driving from Dad's place to Steve/Don's, I hit a Winter Wonderland in a couple of places. I just had to get out of the car and take a picture because it was so beautiful!

Here they are... Steve on the left and Don on the right!! Two fabulous guys!!

Christmas dinner! Did we have a feast or what?? And just the 5 of us adults to enjoy what Steve put together for us.

Here we all are, except for Don who is taking the picture. Starting with me on the left, then Steve, across the table is Doug and Andrew.

Here's little Gyro, Doug and Andrew's little dog. Hehehe... Gyro and Bridget had words with each other, but pretty soon figured out their boundaries and then they were both as good as gold and basically ignored each other. Bridget was more interested in sleeping.

Here's a picture of Don and Gyro BEFORE dinner. Don had got home at 5:30am Christmas morning from a trip out to Maui (Don's a flight attendant with Air Canada). So he's still pretty chipper and awake BEFORE dinner ;)

Ok, after dinner, not quite so awake. Even Gyro was starting to get a little on the sleepy side.

Let's move on to Boxing Day, Dec 26, 2007:

As Bridget is getting older, all this holiday festivity stuff and all the visiting is wearing the poor dear out. Here she's having an afternoon nap, and is staying at home instead of coming over to Shel and Jill's for a Boxing Day party.

Here's a lovely picture of Inga, Jill and Sanjay. Inga's hubby is not here at this point because he is performing in the Arts Club production of "Beauty and the Beast". But he was over before the performance and then came back after the performance. Hmmm... and I don't seem to have a picture of him before or after!

Isn't this adorable?? The little babe is Lilianne (I hope I spelled that right) and she is the daughter of Therese (Shel's daughter) and Stefan. They live in Montreal but were here for the Christmas season.

Here is Naveen and Jill. This Boxing Day Party was at Jill and Shel's house and we all were having a good time by this time of the night :)

Here Sanjay is getting some attention to his back which he had hurt. Maddalena is applying heat and giving him advice and it seemed to really work. So we have Sanjay, Naveen and Maddalena in this picture.

I love this picture! 3 very beautiful and generous people. Sanjay, Maddalena and Therese (Shel's eldest daughter and new mom).

I knew I had a picture around here somewhere with Shel in it. Here is Naveen, Maddalena and Shel. Shel and I have known each other for 35 years this year. Where does the time go???

Hahaha... this is sort of a posed picture! I told Naveen to pretend he was cooking. Shel then asked him what he was doing and he said he was cooking. Shel's response -- "In the sink???" and that's when we all cracked up ;)

Here is Emily with Inga and Troy's two darling little girls, Juliette (the youngest) and Natalie (in the grey).

Ok... a couple of days between Boxing Day and New Year's. These are the only 2 pictures I seem to have during that period:

Here's my little darling in her fuzzy, warm pink jacket that Jill got her in the summer when we were doing Grease (remember? The Pink Ladies all had pink jackets. So now Bridget does too and it's perfect for when it's cold out!)

How could one resist? Bridget is on the bed and I was folding laundry on the bed, so she did one of these, "Look at me, Mom, aren't I cute??" (grin)

Now we jump to New Year's Eve. New Year's Eve Party is at Naveen's house. Again, a nice small affair... there were 8 of us adults and 3 children (who are all pre-teens, so are more grown up than children).

Here is your's truly... moi! I did have makeup on when I arrived.. I'm not sure where it went in this picture ;)

Connor Kapahi, 12 years old and is already interested in the stock market!

Emily Kapahi, 14 years old, and interested in dance, singing, theatre and shopping! :)

Cooking at the stove! Naveen, his sister and his cousin... and what a fabulous meal they came up with!!

Sanjay and Jill... New Year's Eve, 2007 (or do we say 2008 because the new year is 2008?)

I absolutely adore this picture!! This says it all here... close family and lots of laughs!

Hehehe... I just had to take this picture. Naveen is in the middle of doing renovations to his house, so the bar had to move... and here it is (grin)!

Ok... I'm sure there are other pictures, but it is really, really late.. almost 2:30am. I have got to get to bed because tomorrow is a long day as I fly over the Pacific Ocean and head to Hawaii :)

I will be using this here blog to do my Hawaii reports, so maybe... just maybe I'll get here a little more often (chuckle). I'll certainly give it my best shot!! :)