Week of Lasts

I am sitting in our hotel room, in DC, surrounded by dogs, toys, clothes, and our human puppy.  I have driven out around the new installation a few times, but find myself sitting here thinking about this blog post.  As promised in an earlier post, here is my post about our week of lasts:

It started out with a haircut for Man Cub.  While I don’t necessarily think they do any better a job than the on-post barber shop, I will say that Pigtails & Crewcuts down near the Navy Exchange (NEX) has a much more kid-friendly ambiance than the on-post barber.  That said, we waited over an hour and a half, for a walk-in appointment.  So, I highly recommend an appointment!

We also attended our last daily Mass at Soldiers’ Chapel on Schofield Barracks, HI.  If you are looking for a really cool, older chapel to go look at, and are on the island of Oahu, I encourage you to check out Soldiers’ Chapel.  
The last full week in Hawaii also saw us go to the Swap Meet at Aloha Stadium.  It isn’t a swap meet in the sense that you take things and swap them; instead, it is more like an open-air bazaar.  It is held at the stadium on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays (you can Google Aloha Stadium Swap Meet to get the hours), except on game days during football season – then, it is Wednesdays and whichever weekend day is not being used for games.  The Swap Meet is a must go – it is where the vendors sell their wares for a fraction of the cost (bartering/haggling is acceptable) than touristy Waikiki, North Shore, etc.  
A couple days after the Swap Meet, we took our last trip to the beach as a family.  There, Man Cub saw his first deep sea turtle (known on the islands as a honu “hoe-new”).  At one point, the honu was crawling up the sand, trying to escape the waves.  Man Cub demanded I pick him up, and then Man Cub sat on my hip, while he stared at Mr. Honu, wagged his finger, and said, “no, no, no.”

We also went out to eat one last time with a dear friend – someone to whom I refer to as my “on island aunty”.  She is a long time friend of my mother.  She treated us to a fabulous asian food restaurant in Honolulu – the name of which escapes me.  
Our final Monday, we said goodbye to the house we had for almost 2 years.  This was Man Cub’s first home, and I was very sad to leave it.  That said, I am almost positive Man Cub’s lead levels will lower once we have a newer home!    
The last Tuesday we were on the island, the family hiked Diamond Head.  This was Man Cub’s and my first time to hike it, and probably only the 2nd (of several trips) time Soldier Boy got to take his time and actually enjoy the sites of Diamond Head.  This completed my personal bucket-list of our time in Hawaii – getting a family picture of us at the top of Diamond Head.

The last 2 nights in Hawaii were spent down in Waikiki, where we had spent 9 days at the beginning of our Hawaiian journey.  Both days, Soldier Boy spent up at work, so it was just Man Cub and I, doing the fun Waikiki things.  We ended up visiting the Honolulu Zoo one last time.  The animals were out in force, as seems to be pretty usual for that zoo.  Man Cub’s first stop at the zoo was to the elephant area, and unfortunately, he was asleep before we made it to the chimpanzees.    
Soldier Boy splurged and got us a very nice room at the Outrigger Waikiki hotel while we stayed down there, waiting to leave.  It was the perfect place for me to say my personal goodbyes to Oahu.  There were magnificent sunsets, and the room had us up and away from the bustle of the tourists.  I could have sat there for 2 full days just listening to the ocean, and watching the water.  I can’t resist putting a picture of one of the views from our hotel room:
Our last dinner in Hawaii was not at a fancy restaurant, nor a very well-known tourist restaurant.  Instead, we opted for low-key, casual fare near the airport.  Da Big Kahuna’s pizza shop is a great place to get some nice pizzas, or they can make any of their pizzas into a sandwich.  Their garlic rolls are absolutely delicious, and that is kind of what they are known for around Oahu.  I highly recommend it, if you are in a casual pizza kind of place while on the island!  
Lastly, it was off to the airport.  Man Cub was quite the trooper, and strutted his way to the airplane, occasionally helping Soldier Boy wheel Man Cub’s car seat.  Overall, it was the perfect culmination to rounding out our Aloha experience.  

A hui hou, Hawaii… 
Mahalo and Aloha.

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