Thursday, November 19, 2009

Aloha. and Our First Place.

After an entire day of flying we FINALLY made it! It was about 9:30 pm Hawaiian time (2:30am ET). Almost everyone from the ward room was there to welcome us! There was about 20 people with welcoming smiles and beautiful lei's. Oh the lei's smelled so good! After several introductions JJ headed off with our sponsor, Ryan, to get the rental car while I was left to manage the 7 checked bags!

We headed over to Pearl Harbor to check into our hotel which once we arrived discovered that I was not allowed to stay there! Melissa, Ryan's wife, quickly stepped up to help get to figure things out and to find us a place for us to stay. At this point I really wanted my pajamas. She called over to the Air Force base hotel, where they had room and I was allowed to stay! It turned out to be better because we had a one bedroom apartment instead of a standard hotel room.

To be honest I'm not really sure what we did over the next few days, it is all kind of a daze. I blame the jet lag. We did look at several rental units, many of which were not of the living standard that we are used to. We have discovered that there really is just not that much to choose from out here and it is surprising how much they can charge for rentals that are severely lacking (like ovens).

We did pick one, which JJ says he loved the minute he saw it. It is by far better then anything else we saw! We are in a 3 bedroom 2 bath townhouse. It is the top floor of the building, so the pent house! haha, that kinda cool to say, I know, I'm a dork.

The big seller, the view! We look over the Kaneohe bay and the mountains.

Kitchen, Living room

Living Room/ Dining Room

Master Bath (the second one is the same)

Views from the Master Bedroom

So those are the views from Our First Place! More to come soon!

I found a video on You Tube of an identical unit that was for sale. Its a walk through and has most images of what it looks like!

Pohakea Point

Monday, November 2, 2009

New York Extraganza.

Wow. When someone first asks, "how was your weekend in NY?" That is the only thing that I can think of. Now I have been to New York several times before, but nothing compares to this last time. I was 100% absolutely positively blow away. And what made my experience so grand this time you might ask? Well it was our hosts and tour guides. I could not have asked for better people to show JJ and me around the city. We stayed with my dear friend Andrea on Long Island and it appears that her father is an expert on the city. He amazed us with his knowledge.

When I first arrived at Andrea's I was welcomed with open arms! It was so good to spend some time with such a great friend. When JJ arrived about two hours later we rode the train in to the city with Andrea and her Mom to meet Dan for dinner. We rode into Penn Station, which for JJ, a first timer, was an experience all on its own. He was amazed by the people running to their trains and the amount of people gathered around the train board. We made our way up to the street where we meet her father for dinner. We drive over to Little Italy and ate at Da Nico, the Grossman's and ex-mayor Giuliani's favorite. Since we were near Chinatown we thought we would look at the fake designer bags. A while back all the Chinatown stores got into quite a bit of trouble for selling the counterfeits so then now have everything in a back room. Which come to think of it is quite sketch. Nonetheless, we did not purchase the illegal bags, but did get a laugh out of all the back rooms every store had. One shop keeper even said that they would put any name on the bag we wanted! After we drove around lower Manhattan with hopes of riding the Staten Island ferry. However, the weather was not cooperating so we drove through the city some more and crossed over the Brooklyn Bridge to a little dock to see the skyline of the city.

The next morning we woke early because we had a lot to do! After a delicious breakfast complete with New York Style Bagels, we drove back into the city. First stop: Dan's office. Now you might think this was odd, but his office is on the 46th floor of a building just a few blocks away from Central Park. To say seeing a 360 degree of New York for 46 stories up is jaw droping does not give it justice! We were above most other buildings. Next we walked over to Rockefeller Plaza and got filled in on the history of the area and any building that JJ asked a question about! Dan knows it all! We walked up 5th avenue and looked at all of the stores along the way. We did make a stop in Tiffany's, my request! We only visited the first floor, oh yes, there are 4! I was in jewelry heaven.

We continued up to Central Park where Dan surprised us all and took us on a carriage tour of the park! Andrea and her father filled us in on some more information about the city and the park. I really don't know how people can retain so much information! When we exited the park we walked over to the Plaza where Andrea's mother was waiting. We walked through the hotel (which now has apartments too). It was absolutely beautiful! JJ couldn't help himself though and he started comparing the Plaza to his beloved Greenbrair, lol.