July 20th:

There are two things you cannot use as landmarks when giving directions in Waikiki - palm trees and ABC stores. My hotel/resort occupies its entire block and there's an ABC store at the front AND the back! I've talked about this before (oops, no I haven't!), but it really is utterly remarkable how ubiquitous this store is - walking down Kalakaua, not only is there one on every block, but on one block there is one on one corner, and another one on the next corner only a short perpendicular block away to the north (away from the beach). You can literally be surrounded by ABC stores in this town!

I really took my time leaving this morning - got up in my own good time, watched some TV, and finally trotted out at 10am. I walked two blocks to the zoo, and spent a couple of hours there. It's a nice zoo, but it is undergoing a lot of construction. Also, a few of the animals were not visible - I didn't see the tiger for one, and some of the birds. They had a good selection of birds (apparently, the place started out as a bird sanctuary), and it was interesting to see how many were from Australia. I took lots of pictures, and even saw some things I hadn't seen before (the gharials for one).

Afterwards, I walked down Kalakaua to the Waikiki Food Court and had some very delicious and very ordinary Taco Bell for lunch. I wandered back to the room, stopping here and there to do some last-minute shopping, including the International Market where I got a nice turtle earring (well, belly-bar) that was cheaper than the one I got last month and which actually fits (and the little flippers move, too!). The $4 whale-fluke earring I bought at the Luau place didn't end up turning my ear green, so maybe this one won't either.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening in the room watching TV (getting back into the "at-home" vibe already) (Judge Judy, and a couple of episodes of Law and Order, and then the Jaws special of Mythbusters which turned out to be 2 hours). I watched the Atlantis subs go home, the sunset, part of the torch-lighting along Kalakaua (missed taking a picture because I didn't know that the torches ended where they did), and other stuff, and it rained a little right around sunset.

I left again to find dinner, but the Italian restaurant at the hotel didn't seem to have any appetizers (I really wanted some Caprese Salad), so I wandered around trying to do a final bit of last minute shopping (unsuccessfully), and finally got dinner at McDonalds again (thought I did find a Quizno's). Back at the room I ate dinner and watched CSI: NY, contemplated going out again at 10pm and decided not to, and sat down to do the pictures and this.

Even though it is high time I was getting home, I kind of wish I had more time here. I kinda wimped out on the options for today, just doing the zoo and not Hanauma bay or Sea Life Park. It's not like I'm dying to go to either of those places, but more like the vacation is finally ending and I really don't want it to. There aren't any options for extending it even a day or two, and I wouldn't do it even if there was. I'm not looking forward to the flight home since it's another overnighter. I hope I have an easier time sleeping.

Next time I write will be from my apartment, probably with Chirp falling all over my legs (unless he's gotten so used to Grainne's visits that he doesn't even notice I'm back). I was thinking the other day about whether I really want to go to Scotland next month - it's a shorter trip, and much less planned out. Likely to be both more rushed and less organized, which isn't going to be much fun. Still, it will be what I make it. Maybe I'll be all rested again by then - probably be all bored again in the week and a half I'll be home. We'll see.

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