Tagged: Travel

Viva Las Vegas

Day 1. The Dam Day. - March 29

Our first day we leave Las Vegas (doesn't everyone?) and head out to Hoover Dam to take the Dam tour. It's a really big dam. We pay our dam money, ask a few dam questions and wait in a dam line to watch a dam movie. We know this will be a dam fun time. We watch an old dam movie about building the dam, carving giant tunnels, and cooling dam concrete. We finish the dam movie and wait in another dam line while we wait to take the dam elevator. We descend in the heart of the dam and visit one of the massive dam tunnels carrying a lot of dam water. We behold a marvel of engineering and the fruits of the labor of a generation a hundred years old. Next we visit the dam building and view the dam turbines that provide power to the southwest United States. The floors are marble with intricate designs by master craftsman. We don't build industrial facilities like this anymore. We exit the dam and walk the road that caps millions of tons of concrete. The ...

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Oasis of the Seas

Both I and my wife reached a certain life milestone this last year that involved the number 4 and determined that it was time we started acting our age. Of the options available we chose a cruise and so it would seem we are at "that" age.

I have been known at times to require Dramamine and a vomit bag when riding in the rear seat of a car. To mimimize the threat of spending a week unable to stand up and wanting to die I pushed for us to sail on the largest ship in the world - The Oasis of the Seas. As it turns out even the largest of man-made objects are subject to the whims of enourmous bodies of water, but the worst side effect we experienced was the inability to walk a straight line a few times. Most people on board exhibited the same symptom most of the vacation whether the sea was upset or smooth. 21 bars in a contained location has that effect.

##Day 1 at sea. On any normal voyage a day at sea might involve reading a book or, staring at the water, or picking your nose. ...

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Macademia Nut Pancakes, Rain and the Polynesian Culture Center

I hear it rains a lot in Hawaii in the winter. However, we are favored by the gods (probably because of all the times we visited the Tiki Room at Disneyland), and so we only had one day of major rain. I guess Mondays are like that even in Hawaii.

Every day should begin with pancakes covered in Macadamia nut cream sauce from Boots and Kimo's

At the LDS Temple in Laie

Opening coconuts with a sharp stick while wearing no shirt seems like it should come with a warning label but if you have that body you probably fear nothing but a steroid test:

Darin was about to take off his shirt here and really get jiggy:

The food at the Polynesan Cultural Center was mediocre, but the show is amazing. I'm not sure if the guys from the various islands come as pyromaniacs but they must leave that way. It's inspiring to watch other people play with fire. I might have to buy a flaming baton. Sorry no pictures on this one - they forbid the taking of photos and you don't want to mess ...

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Aloha Stadium Swap Meet and Waikiki Beach

Saturday and Sunday there's a flea market at Aloha Stadium. We chose to visit Saturday. It's a great place to buy souvenirs to bring home. As you walk around the stadium there's a continual repeat of booths selling bags, jewelery, board shorts and bikinis, but scattered amongst the repeats are a few gems. I found a place selling balsamic vinegars flavored with tropical fruits. I ended up picking up a coconut, pineapple and passion fruit flavored vinegar the collection of which put us 7 lbs over weight on our suit case and would have cost $135 bucks to get home. Luckily, the airline provides boxes. You can simply pull out the extra and throw it in a box and pay $25. That's a good thing to know.

Here's Callie excited about the flea market:

Callie and JoAnna enjoying the almost infinite shopping:

We spent the later part of the day at Waikiki beach. It's spectacular, and it was fun to go once, but it is crazy busy and covered with people. All the hotels in the a...

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Pearl Harbor

Sunday we visited Pearl Harbor. It's a sobering place. Of course I've spent my life learning about the history, but a visit is very touching and helps remind you of the cost of the freedoms we take for granted.

Tears of the Arizona. About 500,000 gallons of oil remain.

Parts of the Arizona remain above the water.

The Missouri

A Japanese torpedo they found while dredging the bay (unexploaded). They examined it, then detonated it. Here's what remains:

We spent the evening along the shore in Ko Olina.

We're pretty happy to be here.

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On the last day we did not rest, at all, on the plane

Last year when we planned this trip we opted to take a red eye back so we could spend the last day so we booked a flight that left at 10pm. We spent the last day hanging out at the beach at Ko Olina. While at the beach snorkeling and hanging out we had no regrets about choosing the red eye back. Now that we are home my neck disagrees with the choice and I keep randomly falling asleep in odd places - the couch, my desk, while hauling in the trash can, etc but I'd still do it again.

Our final moments at the beach:

Callie finally got to see a sea turtle up close. He said something like "150 dude and still young:"

We were 7 lbs overweight on our bag. That would have cost $135 dollars vs the standard $25. I'm pretty sure Fedex is cheaper. Luckily, they have boxes and let you repack right there. We dropped a bunch of stuff in the box, shared the cost with Kristen and Telly and viola we were only out $25. Next time I might just pick one of the boxes up on the way out of ...

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