A more relaxed day just wandering the island ... we did a little eating, a little shopping, a little sightseeing. Our attempt to see Iolani Palace was interrupted by lots of activists. As Senate was in session, there were many people of Hawaiian descent displaying their message of Sovereignty and taking back the lands. It was quite a sight to see as there were hula dancers, ancient Hawaiian chants and what we think is members of Hawaiian royalty dressed in the ancient ways.
After our picnic at Iolani Palace, we walked around Ward Center and found the Honolulu Cookie Company. Sampling of these local flavored shortbread cookies was a treat. My favorite was the coffee one. We also found Marukai and had ourselves a mochi ice cream treat. Prices at Marukai in the islands was a bit higher than what we are used to seeing at the Marukai in the mainland.
A nice snack or light lunch is always Kozo Sushi. They sell fresh sushi rolls all day long to go. It's wrapped in a unique way so the nori stays crispy until you are ready to eat it. Kaila was excited to take part in this cool ritual of eating a sushi roll!
The story of the day was typical of a casual Hawaiian day. Taking our time just hanging out and "running errands" without the rush of actually crossing things off our to do list. Just browsing and enjoying ourselves. We also got to catch up with old friends for dinner at Auntie's house.
Lots of time hanging out at the beach means the girls get to play in the sand and the water without tiring. Mom instead does tire out and lays down in the shade just relaxing and maybe playing with her iphone. :)
We also hit Aloha Tower Marketplace. It used to be quite busy and a popular hangout but nowadays seems really quiet. Lots of shops closed down, the restaurants just had a few people for lunch. This was on the ways we felt the changes here in the islands from the slower economy. Even though people are overall happy, they are definitely working harder and feeling the changes of less tourism, less jobs and more expensive everything else.
Our favorite thing to do while here is always the eating. Every morning, dad asks, What you like eat today? We try all the local favorites. Mitsuken, Helena's, Bob's Drive In, Rainbows Drive In, Zippy's, Leonards, Yummy's and the best roast pork at the food court in Pearl City Daiea (not even called that anymore). It's so much fun sharing it with the girls and they being foodies also love this part of our trip!
Day 4 is pau! We have so much more to do and we are so grateful to have this special time here with family, friends and each other. Best vacation ever ?!?!