honeymoon re-cap!

Okay, get ready — this is a pretty long one.  Luckily I’ve organized it by days, so you can get a gist of it even if you just read the headings.  Skim away.

On the Monday night after the wedding, Dan, Jess, and I were getting ready to go to the movies, but I started feeling pretty badly.  I had a fever, dizziness, chills, a kickin’ cough, and a little bit of a sore throat.  “This CANNOT be happening,” I thought, because we were flying to Hawaii in the morning.  And I felt quite sick, like sick enough to where I wouldn’t have normally gone on a trip feeling that way.  If we had gotten trip insurance, I would have thought seriously about rescheduling.  But I’ve never had to cancel a trip before, and we didn’t have trip insurance.  I was like “I WILL go on this trip.”  So I opted out of going to the movies, medicated, and went to bed early.

Hawaii

Day 1: Lots of flying, a little eating

When I woke up (mega early so that my parents could give us a ride to the airport at 5:30am), I still felt sick but was excited.  So we flew from Richmond to Dallas / Ft. Worth, and that wasn’t so bad except for my cough and the occasional onset of dizziness.  The 8.5-hour flight from Dallas / Ft. Worth to Honolulu was not quite as fun, though.  I was coming down with the flu, I had to sit in the same place for 8.5 hours, and (this always happens to us) the screaming baby was right next to us.  Also, I had been given some advice from my friend Colleen about flying to Hawaii.  “Take some sleeping pills,” she said, “So that you’ll be rested and ready to go when you get there.”  She had gone to Hawaii, not taken sleeping pills, not slept on the plane, and spent her whole trip being tired all day and unable to sleep all night.  So I took her advice and took two sleeping pills right after the plane took off.  In the grand tradition of me and drugs, they didn’t seem to work.  Yes yes, everybody else gets to take drugs in this life, either for practical reasons or for fun, but my body just has some insane resistance to them.  So anyway, I never got sleepy.  I took a couple more pills.  Still not sleepy.  I was sick and lethargic, but I would close my eyes for the longest time and never go to sleep.  It’s not that big of a surprise, since I can’t sleep in moving vehicles of any kind, but I thought for sure that this time would be different.  FAIL.  When we got to Hawaii I felt just as groggy as I ever had.  Our driver from the airport to the hotel was a strange character who somehow managed to tell us that everyone in his family was dead while simultaneously welcoming us to the Aloha State!

blurry, hopped-up-on-cold-medicine plane ride

The hotel we stayed at, the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, was fantastic.  I hate all things beige and wicker, but it seems that those items are unavoidable in beach towns.  Trust me, I researched it.  Anyway, besides those obvious interior design flaws, the place was great.  It’s right on Waikiki Beach, the picturesque bay from whence the practice of surfing spread during the last century, and it’s right in between the two most famous Waikiki hotels: the Ala Moana Surfrider (beautiful, old, Victorian hotel) and the Royal Hawaiian (1920s, giant, Pepto pink hotel).  The hotel bumped us up to a suite (because we were on our honeymoon, I believe, and people like to do nice things for you when they find out that tidbit) from the regular oceanfront room we had reserved, and it was way more space than we actually needed.  Our view was beautiful, with Diamond Head to the left and the Royal Hawaiian and the beach to the right.  From our lanai (that’s what they call balconies in Hawaii) you could see everyone swimming, surfing, and kayaking in the lovely blue water.

what's on the postcards is REAL

We cleaned up and went down to one of the hotel’s three restaurants, the Hula Grill.  At dinner I finally got tired, and was about to pass out onto my plate.  The fish was wonderful though, and I got a cocktail call the Backscratcher which actually came with a backscratcher shoved down in it.  There are no mosquitoes in Hawaii as far as I can tell, so all the beachside restaurants are wide open on the ocean-facing side to let in the breeze, the sunset, and of course, the pidgeons.

Begin rant: I love Hawaii, but WHY do they have to put pineapple in or on everything?  I like pineapple.  Don’t love it, but like it.  I understand that pineapple is a major crop of Hawaii, but it has an incredibly overpowering taste.  And I just think there are some dishes that really don’t need pineapple sloshed all over them.  Okay, end rant.

I think that first night we went to bed right after dinner.  Hooray for jet lag!

Day 2: Diamond Head and a luau

In the morning we got up super early (which was easy, I think I was awake at 4:30am) and walked to a 7-11 to buy 4-day bus passes.  $25 gets you carried wherever you want, all over the island.  Buses run every 15 minutes from 5:30am until very late.  We took a bus to Diamond Head, the volcanic crater at Waikiki’s eastern end.  The bus drops you off at the turn-off, but you still have to walk a ways uphill and through a mountain tunnel to get to the official park entrance.  I was already tired when we got to the entrance, but I’m not sure how much of that was the flu and how much of that was the jet-lag.

stairs stairs and more stairs

Diamond Head is an exquisite place.  I love beautiful views, and there was no shortage of them there.  But you had to work for it.  This place is bananas; it’s like a fun house built onto the side of a mountain.  It’s like the Yogi’s Cave that never ends.  Let me quote directly from some web sites to describe the climb:

“The hiking trail to the summit is very steep and uneven in some areas. The last 1/10 of a mile is all stairs and especially steep.” — hawaiistateparks.org

“The trail is paved the entire way but can be steep in spots. There are two set of stairs, one with 99 steps and the other, 76 steps. There is also a 225-foot unlit tunnel.” — hawaiiweb.org

I was like “Are we in Mordor yet?”  And the kicker was that some people we saw had sweat pouring down their faces, and then the other half of the climbers were cute little Asian girls who were dressed like they were going clubbing, wearing heels, and not sweating at all.  WHAT is their secret?  But the summit was gorgeous of course, and I think I was able to enjoy it almost as much as the non-sweaters.

Back at the bottom of the mountain, we enjoyed some Hawaiian shave ice.  I can’t for the life of me discern the difference between shave ice and a snow cone, but (1) Hawaiians are adamant about the fact that it’s “shave” ice, with no “d,” and (2) Hawaiians are adamant about the fact that there is a difference.  Since I like icy treats of almost any type, that’s okay with me.

The bus took us back to the Outrigger, where we took a quick dip in the ocean.  I loved swimming in Hawaii.  The water’s warm and shallow, and there’s none of this spending 20 minutes to get used to freezing cold water business.  And wearing full-on makeup in the water is fine, because the waves are minuscule and much like a swimming pool, you don’t have to go underwater if you don’t want to (this does NOT work in the Outer Banks).    Our swim was beautiful, and we talked about what a great time we were having and looked at our hotel and the view of the mountains.

After a quick lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise, where the weather forecast was painted on the wall because it pretty much never changes in Hawaii, we headed to the meetup place for our luau.  We were bussed to Paradise Cove Luau in Kapolei, just a short commute from Honolulu.  On the bus we had to play stupid icebreaker games, which was difficult because I really hate talking to strangers.  But we met an Australian couple vacationing from their usual life of owning the major manufacturer of certain car parts for Europe and Africa, and they were super nice.

At the luau they herded us into amusement-park-style lines, at the end of which were giant vats of mai tai.  After drinks were doled out, we each had an opportunity to pose for a picture with, as the luau guides themselves said, “our half-naked cousins who will be entertaining us.”

TEAM JACOB! Oh wait, wrong person.

I respect a man who wears a skirt and looks great in it.  Coconut bras are all the rage there, too, and were available for purchase in the gift shop.  They had various activities going on around this campus-type area, like sarong-tying demonstrations, hula lessons, archery, canoe rides, and drum lessons.  At some point a guy climbed up a coconut tree with his bare feet and dumped a bag of orchids out in what they call a “shower of flowers.”  We were then supposed to get the flowers and stick them behind our ears: behind the left ear means you’re taken, and behind the right ear means you’re single and ready to mingle.  Behind both ears means you’re taken but looking for an upgrade.  Important info in case any of y’all make it over to Hawaii sometime soon.

I tried poi, which tastes a lot like glue.  Not an unpleasant taste, but just a pasty, weird taste.  I think it might have been good when mixed up with other stuff, like dry starches which need something to hold them together.  For some reason I waited to taste it until almost everything else on my plate was gone, though.  The food was abysmal; my mom makes way better barbecue than the stupid fancy-schmancy pit they cooked that pig in.

I was told that luaus are super cheesy, and this one definitely was.  Dan was like “why are they dancing to 50s pop songs instead of traditional Hawaiian music?” and I was wondering the same thing myself.  I think they work so hard to make it appealing to mega white-bread tourists that they strip a lot of legitimacy from it.  I took a Hawaiian dance class at VCU, and the professor put a lot of emphasis on traditional hula (more tribal-ish) rather than modern hula (the stuff you think of when you think of “hula”), but the folks at Paradise Cove danced mostly modern hula.  So that was kind of disappointing.  But the ladies were really beautiful, and ornately clothed, and I was very entertained and very happy.

There was much napping on the bus ride back to Waikiki due to many people having had too many mai tais.

shaky shaky

Day 3: Surfing and the Magic of Polynesia

Waikiki Bay is perfectly shaped such that only the tiniest waves arise, but they last for ages before sputtering out.  Even the most uncoordinated tourists can learn how to surf easily on these waves.  So on the beach there are guys whose job it is to stand around on the beach most of the day, sometimes teaching people how to surf, sometimes rubbing zinc on their faces, and sometimes saying things like “Dude, what day is it?”  In an effort to give them something to do, we took surfing lessons.  An adorable 70-year-old with lots of grandkids showed us the mechanics of “getting up,” and then an adorable 20-year-old with sea-green eyes and washboard abs took us out on the water.  However unprepared I felt, surfing was actually a breeze.  Everything about it was really easy…except, of course, the part where I had the flu.  I could not stop coughing, got seasick after about 45 minutes and had to paddle in a little early.  Anyway, both Dan and I got up several times and rode waves all the way in.  Standing up on the board and keeping your balance are the easiest parts.  Here’s what’s hard:

  1. Paddling out, over and over again, to the spot where you can catch the best waves.  Arms = not happy.
  2. Not getting sunburned, since the sunblock washes off of you almost instantly.
  3. Not wrecking into other people, since Waikiki Bay is crowded with 100 other people trying to learn how to surf.

hanging loose, in the parlance of our times

I hate the concept of sitting in your hotel room watching movies when you have limited time in a strange city, but I was incredibly sick and running at about 10%.  So we rested for a while until I felt well enough to get ready for dinner.  We at at this amazing restaurant called Top of Waikiki, which features a revolving dining room that allows you to see the sun set over Honolulu in every direction.  It was beautiful.  We both enjoyed our meals immensely, and I will always remember the delicious ahi poke stack I had there.  It’s a popular appetizer in Hawaii that includes fresh ahi sashimi, and according to the menu, “crisy wonton sheets, avocado creme & a papaya vinaigrette slaw, kiwi-lime coulis & micro greens.”  It’s like somebody invented a food specifically for me.  I could take one a day, I tell you.  Like vitamins.  And the fact that it tasted good when everything else didn’t (because of being sick) says a lot.

ahem, "most original"

Next up was the Magic of Polynesia.  If you know Dan, you know he has loved magic since before Harry Potter and the rash of movies about turn-of-the-century magicians.  John Hirokawa is supposedly a mega famous magician, and his show, the Magic of Polynesia, is billed as the “Best Magic Show in Waikiki!”  I’m not sure if any other magic shows exist there.  He made some people disappear, and made a small helicopter appear, and he used lots of “volunteers” from the audience.  At the very end of the show he made it “snow,” which means that flakes of ice started coming out of the ceiling, and he sort of twirled around in it while music from Edward Scissorhands played.  AS IF I WOULDN’T NOTICE.  Although I admit that I was surprised, since that was the last place I expected to see blatant Tim Burton references.  It was cheesy but entertaining, as a lot of things in Hawaii were.  I can probably do without ever seeing another magic show.  But it was also worth the admission price just to hear the five-year-old behind us get REALLY worried when Mr. Hirokawa started sawing someone in half.  He went from genuine concern to panic in about three seconds.

Day 4: Pearl Harbor and the Palace

Friday morning we went to Pearl Harbor, which was under construction and very crowded.  I’m glad it’s under construction, because their museum definitely lacks zazz.  It’s time to move from the old faded type-written index cards to actual printed placards.  That being said, they have a lot of cool stuff there, and it makes for a very chilling morning.  Everybody knows about Pearl Harbor, but when you actually go there and see the wreckage and hear the stories from survivors, you’re like “Oh my gosh, the United States was bombed!  Thousands died!  While people stood there and watched helplessly.”  And Hawaii, of all places.  Our peaceful little American paradise. It must have been terrifying.  An ironic aspect is that a huge percentage of Hawaii’s population is Japanese, so the Japanese were bombing the heck out of themselves that day.  For example, there was a Japanese family who lived in Hawaii and had a farm there.  They had like three kids, then moved back to Japan.  The next kid they had (in Japan) grew up, became a fighter pilot, and bombed Pearl Harbor.  There’s a picture of him in his flight garb and it’s just mind-boggling.

to the memory...

Tourists are herded onto a boat and driven out to the middle of the harbor, where you can get out and walk around on the USS Arizona Memorial.  You read the names of those who died, and hang over the railings to see the sunken ship in its watery grave.  You’re supposed to be respectfully quiet while on the memorial.  For me it was the same kind of feeling I get when I go to Monumental Church, just a supreme melancholy at knowing I’m standing on a mass grave, and then a sense of curiosity about the lives of those beneath, and what they were really like.  So this is what I was pondering while throngs of Japanese tourists photographed every inch of the memorial around me.

so, so quiet.

After some confusion about bus routes we ended up in downtown Honolulu, where I was feeling quite horrible.  I needed food in my stomach ASAP, so we stopped at some Vietnamese place.  It was pretty good, but no Mekong.  I have to say though, that on a lot of menus you see “crispy vegetarian noodles” or something, and the noodles are never ACTUALLY crispy.  This time, they were.  And I appreciated that.  But it didn’t make me feel any better.  I was on the worst day of the flu, I think.  We almost hopped a bus right back to Waikiki, but I took deep breaths and decided to power through and see the palace!  I was already ticked that I had to miss like 40 things that were on my list, so there was no way I was leaving that island without seeing the palace.

home sweet castle

‘Iolani Palace is very imposing from the street; a big, sturdy building that looks important and immovable.  Coming across the lawn, we were lucky to stumble across the weekly concert of the King’s Royal Hawaiian Band.  They just never stopped setting up their stuff every Friday and playing for crowds, King or no King.  Good habits die hard, too.

just imagine the epic porch chillers you could have!

When you round the corner of the palace and come to its back portico, the whole atmosphere is different and somehow very comfortable-looking.  This gargantuan porch looks so cool, breezy, and inviting, and the view of the banyan trees in the backyard is even better.  We put these stretchy slippers around our shoes, grabbed head sets (audio tours — ALWAYS the best), and padded off into the house.  I thought, “I could live here.”  It’s one of those places where most of the furniture was auctioned off, and they’re just starting to get substantial amounts of it back.  I won’t go into the beautiful details of the house or its history, since you can read that in a more complete fashion online.  But I will say that it was an incredible place to be, and I think it’ll only get better as the years go by.  Hawaii is so lucky to still have this amazing building in tact and in such fantastic shape.  Also, all the crown jewels are on display in the basement.  You have no IDEA how much bling is there — and unique, cool-looking bling, the likes of which I’ve never seen elsewhere.  Having seen both in person, I can safely say that the Hawaiian crown jewels murder the boring old Hope Diamond.

ye olde koa wood staircase

We stopped at Kawaiaha’o Church across the street, and then rode a bus back to the hotel.  I needed a serious rest, so I think we watched movies or TV until I mustered up the energy for more fun.  There was an Italian restaurant I had wanted to check out in Waikiki, so we walked on the beach for part of our trek, and then switched to the street.  Dinner at Arancino di Mare was amazing, and I think Dan’s favorite meal while we were there — although we both admit it can’t touch Mamma Zu.  The service was impeccable, and the waiter even mixed Dan’s mushroom risotto in a hollowed-out block of parmesan cheese.  Fancy.  We ate on the patio, surrounded by palm trees and in view of the darkening beach, and with just enough of the smell of garlic to make me feel a little bit at home.

delicious.

Day 5:  Snorkeling and sushi-ing

gorgeous hanauma bay

Saturday morning we got up early and took the bus in the opposite direction of Pearl Harbor, toward Hanauma Bay.  This nature preserve is a lovely bay with crystal-clear water and all the brightly-colored fishies you could ever want to swim with.  I think the view of the bay from the paths above it was my favorite view in Hawaii.  While snorkeling you weren’t supposed to touch the coral reef, which was very difficult since there were only like two feet of water between the reef and the surface.  So, not much room to swim.  Whenever a wave would jostle me against the reef, I would let out a little underwater scream, because the instructional video said touching the reef was the same thing as hurting the reef, and also because the reef is SHARP and pointy.

O HAI

At first I hyperventilated a lot and coughed a lot because of something weird going on with my snorkeling gear, but after Dan watched me a bit and figured out what was wrong and we adjusted it, things were great.  By that time I had already swallowed a lot of water, though, and began to get seasick again from the constant rocking of the waves.  When we were in the water though, we were having a blast.  The view from my snorkel mask was just like those old Jacques Cousteau videos, with the fish swimming before me and alongside me, unafraid.  I wish we had more time snorkeling, and that I hadn’t felt so rotten that day.  It was a beautiful place and there was a lot of ground to cover.  But we retreated saltily back onto the bus and headed to the hotel to recover for a while.  I think that was the day we watched a lot of Mythbusters, the most amazing show in the world, which we just discovered because we don’t have TV.

Eventually we left the room in search of food.  Admittedly, at some point we almost ate at Señor Frog’s due to its hilarious references as “Señor Tadpole’s” in Arrested Development (“If you need me, I’ll be at Señor Tadpole’s having a margarita made in my mouth”), but retreated quickly without ordering after spending three minutes subjected to a menu consisting of mostly “sticks,” “shooters,” and “poppers,” 12 different football games on televisions all around us, and neon-colored everything.  Sometimes irony just isn’t worth it.

the famed doraku roll

So we ended up at Doraku, a trendy-looking but nice sushi restaurant.  It was packed,so we sat at the bar and I listened to an army guy tell the bartender how he had come there for the past five nights and ordered the same thing.  I think he was eating like four sushi rolls at one time.  When I got my food, I found out why.  It was probably the best sushi I’ve ever had.  I know that in Japan people turn their nose up at anything that’s not mega traditional sushi, but I’m not a sushi purist; I appreciate fusion and I love when interesting ingredients are added to the mix.  I had the Doraku Roll, which is lobster, crab, and cream cheese, tempura-fried and served with red and black tobiko and spicy garlic aioli.  WIN.  I wish I could have one of those made in my mouth every day.

After dinner, I think we went in search of souvenirs for the family, and like most touristy places, found lots of plasticky junk and ugly t-shirts.  But it was so much fun walking around the shops and checking out the street performers that we didn’t mind such sad shopping choices.  Waikiki is hilarious because it’s got all the same shops that major cities on the mainland have, so there’s no real reason to spend time shopping if you can get it back home.  And there was a Cheesecake Factory and a P.F. Chang’s right by our hotel that stayed packed all the time.  Dan tells himself that it’s only people from other countries eating there, who don’t have those restaurants at home.  But I have a feeling it’s mostly mainland normies who hate trying interesting foods and want the comfort of the known and the familiar when they’re in a strange place.

Day 6: Goodbye Hawaii, hello San Francisco

ready to leave Waikiki

The next day was a Sunday, and we somehow packed all of our stuff back up and flew out of Hawaii at 12:45pm Hawaii time.  We landed in San Francisco at about 8:45pm SF time, checked into our hotel (we went the budget route for the SF leg of our vacay and opted for Super 8), and just had time for a late dinner at Mel’s Drive-In before settling into our room and falling asleep.

San Francisco

Day 7: Chinatown, Oakland, and Black Heart Tattoo

In the morning we did a little shopping and I got two dresses and two pairs of shoes, my honeymoon treats.

makes me look like snow white

We then walked toward Chinatown, and from our hotel the hills were killer.  Dan was like “imagine if you lived here and had to do this all the time.”  I said that I thought people who live in SF find ways to avoid it, hence why there was nobody else on the sidewalk for blocks.  But it was fun, and of course that’s the way to find the best views…walking around on those ridiculous hills.  Soon we were in Chinatown and we just walked around for a while, enjoying the shops and picking through bins of tchotchkes.  We met up with our friend Jason from Spires for a while, who (much to his chagrin) was photographed wearing his own band t-shirt.  He’s a bike messenger, which seems like a profession I would avoid if I lived in such a hilly place, but he said that although sometimes you just have to drag yourself up a huge hill, most of the time you know other ways to get around doing it.

chinatown

Jason walked us to BART, and we headed out to Oakland for lunch at Golden Lotus.  Dan craves Golden Lotus the way band dudes coming through Richmond crave Panda Veg, and I don’t blame him: the food is incredible.  It’s the vegetarian oriental food we would have if the quality of the food at Panda Veg was akin to Mekong.  Just the “meat” they used was the tenderest, un-rubbery-est, most delicious “meat” ever.  If I ever go back I’ll have to get the sweet and sour chicken again, because it’s the perfect blend of soft and crunchy.  And none of this sawing through everything for 3 minutes with a knife before you can eat it.  It’s all bite-sized and made to be chewed, not sawed at.  ::sigh::

After lunch we hung around Oakland City Center, which is where Dan used to hang out when he was on Mission Year in the late 90s.  I think it was a little surreal for him because he hadn’t been back in years.  He pointed out the coffee shop he used to go to, and talked about people he met there, etc.

Soon we headed to Black Heart Tattoo, where I read a book and Dan got tattooed by Scott Sylvia, the same guy who did his Last Supper chest piece years ago.  It really is a nice shop; it has some architectural details and signage that I really liked.  Each artist’s booth is decorated with all manner of pictures, figurines, and other.  At some point I went on a little stroll around the Mission District, getting coffee and reading a bit at Four Barrel, looking in shop windows and reading restaurant menus as the restaurants filled up with people.  I made a note to come back there when we had more time, because I had found all the good shops and restaurants that weren’t chains, and I recognized some of the stuff in the shops from Etsy shops I had been to.

four barrel

When Dan was done with his tattoo, we walked back in the direction I had been walking because I had come across what smelled like a delicious tapas place.  On the way I shared my excitement about this neighborhood.  Dan said he felt silly for not knowing where the un-touristy stuff was, but that it was because he had not been allowed to explore the city during his long stay 1.5 hours away from it.  Tsk, tsk.  It makes no sense to me, being of the firm belief that a human being should always know where the very best and most unique shops were in the nearest major city.  That’s just common sense.

Anyway, we had dinner at Ramblas, which despite its ridiculous Papyrusfont sign, was delicious.  Their patatas bravas were the crispiest and the garlickiest I have ever tasted.  I would rank it right up there with Mas, just slightly above Si and Avalon.  We love tapas and I think there is an extra element of romance involved with sharing small portions of food together…and of course, large portions of an excellent red wine.  I was feeling better that evening than I had the whole trip, so this was the first time on the honeymoon I had drunk more than one drink.  Huzzah, quite an accomplishment!  I think all the money we didn’t spend on alcohol we probably spent on Day-Quil.  The night was crisp, windy, and beautiful as we BARTed and walked back to the hotel.

Day 8: Zachary’s Pizza, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Stinking Rose, and Hemlock

zachary's pizza, nom nom nom

On Day 8 we spent a little more time in the Mission District, window shopping and looking at overpriced mid-century furniture, before heading to Zachary’s Pizza in Oakland.  This is Dan’s favorite pizza in the whole world, and of course we’ve eaten there each time we’ve been to SF.  It’s delicious deep-dish, and I thoroughly enjoy it.  But it feels weird to eat pizza that’s all upside-down, with the cheese on the bottom and the sauce on the top.  I mean, what the HECK?!  How unorthodox!

man-date

Our friend Andre from Sacramento met us at Zachary’s and then took us to Fisherman’s Wharf.  It was so nice to see him, and we had an awesome day just knocking around the piers, talking, and hearing about his plans and what’s going on in his life.  We went to Pier 39 and watched some card tricks in Houdini’s Magic Shop, and then watched the sea lions for a bit in all of their big, fat, barking madness.

in 3-D!

My favorite part of SF was visiting the Musee Mecanique, the “Mechanical Museum.”  It’s a big warehouse on the bay, chock full of old mechanical carnival games and optical toys.  So yeah, basically heaven on earth for me.  And all the machines work!  Every one of them.  I put about $5 in the change machine and spent every quarter (and sometimes, dimes and nickels) watching little puppets dance, miniature theaters open and portray an execution scene (French or English-style, take your pick), a mock opium den with little wooden drug users inside, a zoetrope of a girl skipping rope, and dozens of other bizarre concoctions.  I had a few wizards tell my fortune via little cards that drop out of the machines.  I could have stayed there all day!  And I hope to go back someday.  But cash runs out quick when there are so many wizards to feed.

stimulates circulation.

As the sun was setting, we parted from Andre and hiked uphill toward Little Italy.  We had dinner reservations at the Stinking Rose, the best (only?) garlic restaurant ever.  I have a superhuman appetite for garlic, and so does Dan, and I think this is the only place I’ve ever eaten that can actually satisfy that appetite.  Garlic-roasted, garlic-smothered, garlic-topped everything.  Good to the last drop.

garlic town

We walked leisurely back to the hotel from there window-shopping all the way, de-garlicked, and headed out to Hemlock, a rad bar just a few blocks from our hotel.  Low lighting, no smoking, a friendly bartender.  I enjoyed drinking in SF.  After a little bit Chip and Brenda met up with us.  They introduced us to some of their friends, and we heard about their wedding and their honeymoon in Paris.  Turns out both couples were sick on our honeymoons, which I think is a pretty natural bodily reaction to finally being released from the stress of planning a wedding.

Day 9: Flying home

The last morning of our honeymoon was doubly pleasant for me because while I had had the BEST TIME EVER, I knew we were going home.  I read and gazed out the BART windows on the way to the airport.  It was a sunny morning, and we would be in Richmond by the end of the night.  I adore traveling, but I get homesick if I leave the house for several hours.  I don’t think I’ve actually ever been away from home for eight days at a time.  I think the only way I could ever travel for extended amounts of time would be if I could somehow take my house with me and be able to be surrounded by calm and familiarity every evening.  Motor home, anyone?

later, SF

Our flights were smooth and Jess picked us up and took us home to our house, our cats, and our life!  The only thing happier than our amazing honeymoon was walking through our own door again.  THE END.

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9 thoughts on “honeymoon re-cap!

  1. gah! asian girls wearing stilettos climbing mountains! i saw it in japan and i loathed them always. also didnt notice that jason is wearing a spires shirt. i need my own version of a self-promoting shirt…unfair.

  2. JACOB!!! Bwahaha. New Moon on teh brainz, definitely.

    I loved your recap…so lovely. Must have been wonderful to go to a new place together, then get nostalgic in SF.

    So..there was this time when the band was debating relocating, and I was severely heartbroken over the idea because I am a child of a single parent, who is attached to her mother and her 5 year old little sis (a wonder to be an only child for all of my life until adulthood and then welcome a little sister into my family..it’s a strange emotional experience.) I’ve never lived outside of a 20 mile radius, save my short stint in Grand Rapids. You know where the guys wanted to relocate? Richmond area. It was shortly after TBL moved, and I insisted to Calvin….”Well sure, I would have Dan and TBL, but I would be so lonely! With no other friends! And you know I’m horrible with strangers! I come on strong and making good friends is hard for me, and I’d have to start all over. I’d be miserable.” I was so against the idea that I refused to look at the positives..it was out of the question. And then I met you! And I think I fall in love with Richmond a little more every day through you. I know we aren’t moving down there at this point…(oh SURE it was fine to uproot my life, but now the rest of them have girlfriends and wouldn’t DREAM of leaving, haha) but now I say to myself..in another life, it wouldn’t have been so bad. Not at all. So, sorry for ever having misgivings about your city. I think I would have liked it. Loved it, even. Perhaps its my fondness of you that helps it be charming from the outside, but I know it goes far beyond that. I definitely want to take you up on a visit when we can work it in to our finances.

    P.S. We have all of Mythbusters. I could negotiate a copy of it. All of it. Into your custody. Computer version even, for you tv-less folks.

  3. It was lovely to visit a new place together, and then to go somewhere familiar. That was our exact idea. I can’t figure out whether I had a much better time in SF because the flu was beginning to lose its grasp on me, or because there were less people in flip-flops. I think probably a combination of both.

    How wonderful and sad to find out that you were possibly going to be moving here, but that now you’re not, but that you’re intrigued anyway. I really hate the idea of uprooting as well; the concept of home and the feeling of it means so much to me. But the upside to not living someplace is that you can visit it! And you can become mega close with a place by multiple visits, even if you never call it “home.” Please do make concrete plans to come here! I’ve got my calendar out and I’m ready to figure it out, girl. I also have a futon mattress with your name on it. And Calvin’s name. And luckily, one of my favorite things in the world is when people come to visit and I can show them this beautiful place. So come visit and let me do what I love!

  4. Sounds like an amazing time nonetheless. My trip to Honolulu was beautiful, but lonely for many reasons. I’m glad you all got to experience it together…. There’s nothing like spending a night wandering downtown, taking photos and shopping, only to end up eating by yourself at said Cheesecake Factory and watching a baseball game filmed 8 hours previously to make yourself feel isolated. Luckily it was just one so it wasn’t THAT bad, but I’m glad you all shared the experience.

  5. Oh yeah, I think that the best thing that came out of our trip was seeing how nice and supportive we could be of each other in sickness. So it was definitely worth it.

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