Diamond Head

Just behind our hotel is the famous Diamond Head, so we decided that we should walk up to the top.

Diamond Head is the name of a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu and known to Hawaiians as Lēʻahi, most likely from lae ‘browridge, promontory’ plus ʻahi ‘tuna’ because the shape of the ridgeline resembles the shape of a tuna’s dorsal fin. Its English name was given by British sailors in the 19th century, who mistook calcite crystals embedded in the rock for diamonds.

The entrance to the Diamond Head is inside the crater – we new from laster Saturday that the entrance was close to the farmers market, so we put on some good shoes and took off. The guidebook says you need a flashlight – we say – forget it. The tunnel is lit and there are always someone who has a torch. Just bring water – a large bottle for two people is enough. You can buy water at the bottom, but there’s nothing to buy on your way up or on the top.

The walk from our hotel took us 40 mins – it was all up up up. The climb itself isn’t that bad, but wear good shoes (not like the Japanese guy we met on our way down in his best shirt, black pants and mirror-shining shoes – and a briefcase. Flip-flops is also not a good thing as it’s very rocky and there are a few steps you need a bit of climbing. The worst part of the climb is all the steps at the end. They really take the last breath out of you.

When on the top you need climb out a “whole” – so this is not a place if you have a bad back (unless you crawl out – which is actually a good idea). Anyway – we survived the climb and the “whole” and the view is just amazing! When at the top our hotel is so very close and it’s difficult to understand how we got to where we were. We walked around the crater before swirling upwards and ended up almost where we started – just a BIT higher!

On our way home we stopped at Bogart’s Cafe. JO had a breakfast bagel and I bought pancakes with bananas. Of course I ended up eating just 1/3 (or maybe only 1/4) and the rest is brought back to our hotel so we can munch on it later.

It’s actually raining now. It’s pm 3:30 (1530) and we hope that it will clear up for all those who’re getting married today. The weather here is like this all the time, but we only had drizzle so far – except for a quick shower in our own wedding that killed all my curls :)

We’re closing in on our last 3 days here and we have nothing planned. I think we’ll spend the time relaxing – it’s after all our holdiay!

Aloha and mahalo!


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Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center is the place to visit to learn about all the polynesian islands.

We managed to visit almost all the islands and learned and tried the poi at the Aotearoa island (New Zealand) – which was way more difficult that it looked.

We got to eat some yummy icecrem in Samoa and listen to the most funny chief ever! (he should have been a comedian).

We tried hula in Hawaii and saw some different kind of hula dances and instruments used.

In Tonga we saw the funniest show ever and where’s that video camera when you need it! The boat parade featured all the different islands and it was both pretty and funny (one guy ended up in the water).

We had brunch/dinner and ended this really hot day with the evening show Ha: Breath of Life – you can youtube  it to see a bit of the show.


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On our own in a rental car

Although we’ve been around the island already – we decided to rent a car and drive around ourselves. All the cool cars were already gone, but the Dodge Caliber wasn’t that bad :)

Our first stop was the beach were we got married. We asked at the hotel if they could direct us to Portlock Beach, but they couldn’t find it in any map. The sent us in the direction of Hawaii Kai and we drove right to the beach! It’s just a very quiet neighbourhood, so we were almost all alone (except for a few gardeners). We went down to the beach and took a few more pictures and some sand from the beach. Then we went almost just across the street to Hawaii Kai Foodland – a large food store where we (of course) bought some food!

It was just the perfect day – sunny and nice and our next stop was Sandy Beach Park. Passing Chinaman’s Hat and house that was used in the first (original) Karate Kid movie – we even drove past a movie shoot!

We then decided to drive down to Kailua – it’s always nice to drive through some neighbourhoods – to see how ppl. live. Kailua was a very nice and pretty place and is worth a visit. We stopped at a view point, but we have no idea if it had a name (the sign at the stop didn’t say anything).

From Kailua we drove to Kaneohe and then to Chinaman’s hat. At the beach we saw some holes and Kim and Rob could later tell us that these were sand crab holes (we never saw any crabs though).

As it was very warm – and even though we had AC running all of the time we stopped at a 7/11 and bought two HUGE “slurpies”. We drove across the street to Hiki Lau beach and had a short break while finishing the cool drinks.

We drove to the north shore where we wanted to see if we could see one of the turtles that’s suppose to live there. We past the beach and saw a lot of ppl. looking at something – so of course we had to turn around and go back. And – our luck – we got to see a turtle resting on the beach! It was about 40 years old and it was recognized by one of its shark bitten flipper.

Anett had read about Matsumoto Shave Ice and JO was so nice to drive there and buy some ice! (even though he doesn’t really care for shave ice).

Since we’d been around the island, but never gone to the west – we drove all the way out to Pokai Bay Beach park.

We decided to head back into Honolulu so we could return the car before 6 pm since Saturday was already planned. You don’t really need a gps for driving around Oahu, but it was good for one thing – finding a gas station. Althought he car didn’t use much petrol we had to return it with a full thank – our luck was a gas station 3 blocks away from the car rental place.

Here are some (or a lot) of pictures from today: (and if Kim or Rob read this – please correct me if I got the names wrong).

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Birds, trees and flowers

These last two days have been lazy. Just like a holiday should be we finally managed to sleep till 0700 today! (new record).

We had planned a lunch with Kim at 11 – so she picked us up and we all drove away to have lunch (it was actually breakfast for us). I’m still a bit unsure about all the food that Kim stuff us with, but it’s good stuff and I think it’s a good thing we live a bit outside Waikiki so we can walk it all off.

After lunch we went to Walmart to buy a small carry on for the flight from Hawaii to LA and then it was time for food again! Kim and Rob told us about the malasada which is from Portugal. It’s a bit like the “berlinerbolle”, but with less dough and you should eat it hot. It was yummy enough, but you wouldn’t eat too many at a time.

Kim let us off at the marriage licence office (which is neighbour to her work). We had to go there to get a copy of the marriage licence and to have them send the papers to Norway. On our way back home – yes, we walked all the way – we stopped by HardRock Cafe to buy my friend Tove Irene some of the stuff she wanted.

Going into town I bought a new bathing suit (my other one is a bit too  much see through). Then we had dinner at Cheesecake Factory. We had the same as in San Francisco, but the dish wasn’t as good as the one in SF, so we’ve had enough of that. Prices here are even a higher in SF, but they’re still waaaaay lower than in Norway.

So – as the title say we’ve seen a lot of pretty birds here. Green rosella parakeets, cardinals (de med rød “tofs” på hodet), etc etc. The cute pidgeons we’ve only seen in aviaries, so we’ve taken quite a few pics of the cute and small birds. There are a lot of white doves here. JO has an idea that they are left-over birds from weddings and other ceremonies :) The trees and flowers are also pretty and different and we have loads of pictures, but we’re saving some for later :)

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I dag skjer det! Norwegian only

Denne dagen har vært planlagt noen md og alle dere som tror dere hadde en anelse kan bare tro igjen. Faktisk var turen allerede bestilt og ordnet før ideen om bryllup kom. Dere lurer kanskje på hvorfor vi valgte den 4. oktober og ikke 10.10.10? Den 10. var allerede fullbooket og dagen har ikke noe å si. Den 4. er mer viktig for oss. Vi møttes første gang den 4. april – ble forlovet den 4. juli og nå gifter vi oss. (i etterkant er vi veldig glade for valget – Nina – norske konsulen – fortalte oss at dagen er så booket og full at det nesten blir kaos – det er på en søndag noe som i tillegg betyr fulle strender, så vi er glad vi valgte rett dag for oss).

Vi har vært så heldige at Nina – den norske konsulen her på O’ahu har ordnet det meste. Det vi hadde med oss fra Norge var ringer, kjole og dress. Ringene kjøpte vi i Gressvik (ah – der ringer det en klokke hos noen av dere) – kjolen min er egentlig en lang aftenkjole som er blitt gjort om. Den var egentlig stroppløs og lang. Stropper er kommet på (slik at de går over skuldrene) og det nederste laget av kjolen er fjernet slik at man kan bruke kjolen både kort og lang. Dressen til JO var over dobbelt så dyr som min kjole og er bare utrolig flott!

Buketten min var egentlig rosa, men da JO fant ut at han ville ha en burgunderrød vest, så måtte jeg endre litt. Rosa er også litt for sukkersøtt for meg – ikke sant – så da ble det den mørkerøde buketten og et burgunder sjal. Blomstene i håret mitt er hvite orkideer – det samme som JO har på lomma på jakka. Lei-ene er en del av bryllupsseremonien og ble ordnet av Nina. Marriage licence – bryllupslisens – ordet vi fredagen før. Vi kunne tatt bussen (som stoppet 100 meter unna hotellet), men vi valgte å gå. Vi tror ikke folk her går så mye for alle var sykt imponert over at vi hadde gått over hele byen og litt til for å komme dit (1.5 time å gå – det tok oss litt mer for vi var jo helt nye her og måtte kikke inn i alle butikker som var på veien). Det var litt detaljer – så til den store dagen. Jeg – Anett – hadde bestilt frisør, sminke og manikyr. Det var på det flotte Abhasa Waikiki Spa.

Først var det vask av håret og hodebunn- og nakkemassasje (holdt på å sovne). Deretter ble håret mitt rettet. Så var det manikyr – dette har jeg aldri hatt, men det må gjentas! Massasje av fingre og armen helt opp til albuen – deretter ble neglene ordnet og lakkert hvite – ganske så nøytralt. Så ble jeg sminket og til slutt kom det noen skikkelige dårelokker på. Jeg så helt teit ut, men disse måtte stå i til vielsen ellers ville de ikke holde (de holdt så langt som til vi var i bilen – da bare MÅTTE jeg dra fingrene gjennom håret). JO kom fra hotellet – ca 25 min unna – og deretter skiftet vi på spa-et før vi gikk ut og ventet på limoen. Det var en lang, stretched limo, hvit sak fra Cloud 9. Vi har aldri kjørt limo, så det var mye nytt for to nordboere.

Vi drakk litt vann og trykket på knapper og dill og var ganske så imponerte. Vi sparte champagnen til etter seremonien :)

Nina, presten, sanger og gitarspiller, fotografen og videomannen møtte oss ved Portlock Beach. Dette er en liten, nesten privat strand hvor det sjelden er folk. Eneste vi var bekymret over var at det regnet da vi kjørte dit. Heldigvis er været slik at det er bare å vente noen minutter, så endrer det seg helt. Vi gikk alle ned til stranda og presten forklarte hvordan det hele skulle foregå. Fotografen (som så ut som han var snytt ut av nesa på Dustin Hoffman) instuerte oss hvordan vi skulle stå og hvor vi skulle se og hva vi skulle gjøre (jada, det hele var nok litt amerikansk). Gitarspilleren/sangeren begynte det hele med en hawaiisk kjærlighetssang. Det var veldig nydelig og følelsesladet – noe jeg ikke hadde trodd at det ville være. Presten blåste deretter i en konkylie og begynte seremonien. Så kom lei-seremonien hvor vi begge skulle legge en lei rundt halsen på den andre mens vi samtidig sa noe til den andre og deretter gi den andre et kyss på hvert kinn. Til slutt kom den delen hvor man gjentar hva presten sier og man setter på ringer og så var man faktisk gift! Vi ble tatt litt på senga ang. navn for vi var blitt fortalt at dette ordnet vi i Norge, men neida, så Anett heter nå Rasmussen (noe som blir helt umulig å huske!)

Vi har dessverre ingen bilder av oss sammen da disse komme senere (og vi glemte helt at vi faktisk har tatt med stativ til kamera!), så dere får se på bilder av oss, men ikke sammen.

Vi må forklare symbolet vi gjør. Det heter “shaka” og er som oftest assosiert med Hawaii. Man gjør det mens man svinger hånda i en hilsen til en annen person. Det er en del av “the Aloha spirit” – man tar ting som det kommer, og er en en hilsen om vennskap og forståelse for andre mennesker.

Etter vielsen ble vi kjørt tilbake til hotellet hvor vi slappet av og tok noen bilder før vi tok taxi til Alan Wong’s og hadde en nydelig middag! På menyen stod det “Congratualtions Anett and Jan Ove Rasmussen. 4th October 2010″. Alle kelnerne og Alan Wong hadde signert menyen som ble rullet sammen og gikk oss i gave da vi gikk. Til forrett hadde vi

  • “H.R.Caesar Salad”, Crispy Cheese Basket
    • Baby Maui Romaine Lettuce, Creamy Anchovy Dressing, Kalua Pig, Lomi Tomato Relish

    Dette var sykt godt, men som alt her er det store porsjoner! Til hovedrett valge jeg

  • Maui Cattle Company Beef Tenderloin
    • Kabocha Flan, Roasted Hamakua Springs Tomato, Foie Gras Black Pepper Sauce

    Jan Ove valgte

  • “Bambucha Steak”
    • Grilled One Pound Maui Cattle Company Rib Steak, Bacon Mushroom Green Bean Salad

    Vi var egentlig stappmette, men siden vi hadde valgt bort bryllupskake måtte vi ha dessert. Jeg valgte

  • Chocolate Sampler
    • Warm Molten Chocolate Cheesecake, Waialua Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate “Crunch” Bars, Chocolate Soup, Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies, Michelle’s Candy Bar

    Jan Ove valgte

  • Deconstructed cheesecake
    • her er det ingen beskrivelse, men kaken var del opp i alle delene en ostekake innholder

    I tillegg til disse nydelige dessertene fikk vi enda en dessert laget av en nydelig vaniljeis med jordbær og appelsiner og en like kakesak med macademinanøtter på toppen (Hawaii er kjent for sine nøtter for de som ikke visste det). Glemte å si at vi også hadde drinker – jeg hadde en Celebration of Pineapple (smakte bara ananas og man kjente ikke spriten) – Jan Ove hadde etter eller annet godt med rom. Vi dro så hjem til vårt flotte hotellrom som Nina hadde fått oppgradert til oss. Vi har dermed 40 kvm å boltre oss på og en balkong med både havutsikt og fjellutsikt! Dette var en flott dag og etter 16 år var det vel på tide å bli gift!

    Vi takker dere alle for alle gratulasjoner og hilsner!

    Aloha og Malaho!    

    Guided tour of northern Oahu

    Rob had to work today so Kim had her friend Ron driving us (so she could pay attention to talking and not driving – teasing you again, Kim).

    We started with breakfast – again – HUGE potion and we ate half of it. Today was sunny and nice and although the northern parts of Oahu is more green, windy and rainy, we had a perfect day!

    We started the day at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Although I find cemeteries a bit sad this was a pretty place and you got some info about the past war history. We also got a great view of Waikiki.

    We then left for Nuuanu Pali State Park. It had a great view, but it was so windy that we were afraid that a couple of small dogs would end up like kites (drager man flyr med).

    We then went to the Byodo-in temple. It was opened in 1968 and it’s a scale replica of a temple at Uji Japans that was constructed over 900 years ago. The Byodo-in is built to represent the mythical phoenix, its wings upheld by pillars of stone. Folklore tells of t phoenix arising from the ashes to reflect the promises of hope and renewal.

    From the temple we drove to Chinaman’s Hat – and island that looked like a hat – Anett had to dip her toes in the sea. When it’s edd tide (fjære) you can walk out to the island.

    From Chinaman’s Hat we went to the north east shore (we can’t remember the place). It was a lava rocks and a small lagune for people to swim in. Jan Ove went for a walk on the rocks and took pics of fish, crabs and other cute stuff that live among the rocks.

    We stopped for a quick snack before we headed to the old Dole Pinapple plantation. We had to try some pineapple and you can’t get it any sweeter than that!

    On our way back “home” we stopped by Kim’s house and met her father and 97 year old grandfather! He graduated back in 1931, but he knew that the capital of Norway is Oslo – it’s amazing. He’s also a great bowler and has bowled a perfect game of 300. He still bowles!

    Kim invited us to her favourite Japanese restaurant. This was not your typical european-japanese style restaurant, but a small place with genuine food and good sake! Don’t drink too much sake without eating any food – stuff will get a lot funny in a short while :) Rob joined us for dinner after spending a day in class – he’s working on his masters degree.

    Thanks again Kim and Ron (very confusing with all these names) for a funny and relaxing day!

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    Guided tour of southern Oahu

    Today was the day we got to meet Kim and Rob! I think we all clicked from the first second and the talk (mostly lead by Kim) went smooth (just kidding Kim)!

    We finally got leis and we gave them some typical Norwegian gifts – like milk chocolate (best in the world of course) – miniature bottles of aqua vitae, lovers mittens and a book about Norway (in English).

    Our first start was the farmers market at Kapiolani Community College. Kim got JO to taste some abalone and no, he didn’t like it. But this place had much to offer when talking about food. The Loco Moco is a burger with egg on top of a burger and rice. It’s a full meal that will get you going and keep you going for quite some time.

    We left the farmers market and headed for Sandy Beach Park and then to the “blow hole” – guess you can understand what that is. We stopped at Makapuu Beach Park – and saw the Bunny island (have no idea what it’s called that – looked like a dead bunny…).

    We stopped for a small snack and something to drink at the Kalapawai Cafe & Deli. Kim then drove the looong way up to Mount Tantalus which has this really pretty view of Honolulu. We then ended the guided tour at Pu’u Ualaka’a State Park where we took some pics of us and more pics of the city.

    We ended a very nice day with a trip to our hotel – to show Kim and Rob the view and then we had dinner and cake at Cheesecake Factory! We’re looking forward to tomorrow Kim!

    A big MAHALO for today!

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    A walk around town

    We had a stormy night, but as we learned from the weather forecast – it’s a mix of everything – sun, rain, grey, warm, humid, windy etc. If it rains – wait 10 mins and the sun will shine!

    We woke up really early. The 3 hrs time difference from San Francisco was really hard and we tried to not fall asleep at 9 pm (which was really midnight in SF) – but at 1030 pm I – Anett – fell asleep.

    Honolulu is a busy city. It’s actually a bit more busy than we thought it would be, but from seeing all the posh shops (Armani, Tiffany, Burburry, Louis Vuitton etc etc) we understand that this IS a major – busy – city :) I thought  it would more rural – how wrong was I! We walked all over town, but was really tired after walking for hrs, so we took the “milk route” bus on our way home.

    The first thing I did today was to buy a white leather jacket… I know! How can they sell leather in a place like this! They told us they only sold it to tourists. So – we carried this jacket for the next 6 hrs (not a good plan, but I couldn’t just leave it). We – again – had a nice lunch at Cheesecake Factory. We had a large lunch, so there will be no other meals today – guess we should have taken a smaller potion!

    Tomorrow is the big day! We’re meeting up with Kim and Robert and we’re up at 7:15 am for a visit at the local farmers marked! We – or JO – has known Kim for a long time, but never met her, so I think it’s about time that we all meet up with some “old” friends! Come back tomorrow for some more pics.

    Here are some pics from todays Honolulu walk. We saw some cute birds that we’ve only seen caged up and it’s always amazing to see them live. The trees are huge! You can hide your whole family and then some more when it rains – and not to forget the flowers! The expensive parrot flowers are all over the place and I can’t get enough of them!

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    A quick hello from Waikiki

    It’s pm 9:10 and we’re 12 hrs behind Norway. It was a quick flight from San Francisco  and then a quite long taxi ride - heay traffic and rain - and it’s humid! The good thing though is our hotel room – a spectacular view and we can’t wait to wake up to a sunny morning (we have 14 days here and it must be sunny one day right?

    Walk around San Francisco

    Woke up early and decided to take a walk before going to breakfast/lunch. The food in the hotel is a joke (melon and pastries), so better to get som decent food out.

    We only knew where we wanted to go, not how to get there. So we ended up walking through a bigger part of downtown San Francisco. Up over very  steep roads, so steep that cars had to park 90 degrees and not along the road as most other streets, and down the other side.

    We went to see the famous windy roads of Lombard street, through Little Italy and Chinatown. After almost 3 hours of walking we ended back at Union Square where we had lunch at “The Cheesecake Factory” ontop of the equally famous Macy’s.

    Back out to town to get a lense for the camera, in the same shop as last time we were here in 2008. Then on a search for a suitcase. You can’t get those cheap in downtown San Francisco, and espescially not in places like Bloomingdales and Nordstrom. $500 for a small “designer” suitcase. We just need a little extra space for stuff we buy, not something that packs itself for us. So we ended up taking the tram to the piers again where we knew they had some cheaper alternatives. Now we have some extra luggage space for all the things we know we are going to buy but not planned on buying.

    Tomorrow is the last day in San Francisco before we head on to the next stop. Hawaii here we come. We’ll get there quite late so probably won’t hear much from us tomorrow. Here are some pics taken from our walk today.