Hawaiian Carriage

For those of us who shop, we sometimes need something to carry all our awesome buys in. You can find this kind of thing in many gorgeous Hawaiian style fabrics at various places.
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I got mine at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. I believe it cost me the enormous sum of $7. You can flatten the wheels and fold it up to carry it in a handbag or tote bag until you buy enough stuff to need it.

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet

From my November 2011 trip report –

H wanted to go to the swap meet, and I said I would go along. For some reason this really irritated my sisters other half, which really irritated me in return and made me determined to make a great day of it. The next day we could go was on Wednesday the 23rd which would also be the day we would get the results re cancer, but it was also the last chance before H would go home (early morning of the 25th), so it was the only option.

Of course I was already well aware of what the results would be – my sister and her partner had not been there after the surgery when the doctor looked me in the eye and told me what she thought – what she was certain – that it was. And I believed her, because she would know, right?

Having been to the swap meet before I knew it would be hot, I knew we needed to make sure we had sunscreen and plenty of water and hats, etc. Not to mention shedloads of $$!! So we set out very well prepared for the day and I got some awesome bargains.

There is a lady there who sells plus size clothes and they are beautiful, some Hawaii style wears which I bought a few of in amazing colours and patterns, which I did not see anywhere else I went.

IMG_2136 Jostar made in USA brand slinky style.

I got many t-shirts for the other half in particular he wanted some of the red dirt style t-shirts (in other colors too, the blue and green are very popular with him) and there is a place there with a lot of gothic style t-shirts for men – that same place has nice cargo shorts in camouflage colors which he likes. If you have ever seen the t-shirts Aaron Paul’s character Jesse wears on breaking bad, that kind of style. When I got home and unpacked it turned out, I had bought him 14 t-shirts during the trip and the majority of them had turtles on. Without me even thinking about it, this happened.

IMG_0406 “Jesse” from Breaking Bad style t-shirts.

I did not buy much jewellery but I did make my own bracelet and also made one for my niece at a stall there with mucho hello kitty and swarovski style crystals. It was gorgeous, sitting there in the warm Hawaiian breeze, making bracelets.

We also bought suitcases, and at some point in the journey around the stadium, our carryings became too heavy and I bought a $7 roller bag. It was the most awesome handy item.

Towards the end of the swap meet, while at a jewellery stall where H was buying some gifts for her family back home, my phone rang. It was my sister with the news I was not expecting – that there was no cancer. Thus cementing forever my assertion that the swap meet is the best place & thing in the world, ever.
IMG_0400 My swap meet haul in 2011 – note the rolling bag in the front there ^^ it cost me $7 and you should get one too!

I cannot recommend the swap meet highly enough – but – I know it is not for everyone. It is a “you will love it or hate it” type place. So to give you an idea if you are going to love it or hate it, do some googling for images from the swap meet, visit the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet website and read some posts from bloggers who visited. Like this one from someone who did not love itthis post from someone who liked it – And a few others with photos to check out – hereherehere

Stunned.

Here I sit, literally stunned into silence by the massive range of socks available in the USA.

Have a look at the huge range of socks on this website – Sierra Trading Post. They have nearly 500 different pairs of womens socks you can choose from starting at AUD$1.53.

They have all kinds of socks, in all kinds of materials.

I will like now to tell you a story about socks. Back in 1998, I was travelling from Adelaide to Tamworth for Christmas. I found these socks at Beach Culture in Sydney Airport while waiting for my next flight. They looked incredibly comfortable. They were 100% cotton but the thickest plushest cotton I had ever seen. They were $9.99 for 2 pairs. So I bought 2 pairs.

On the way home, having had the chance to wear these socks while on holiday, I bought every single pair I could find in that shop. Sadly they did not have anywhere near as many as I would have liked to buy. I think I might have ended up with about 8 pairs total.

Every single time I transited Sydney Airport from then on, I was on a mission to find more of these socks. On occasion I was lucky and picked up a couple more pairs but in general it was an epic fail. By 2001, they had stopped making these socks and they were no longer anywhere to be found. Never in my lifetime again have I ever seen socks so thick and plush. And believe me, I have been looking everywhere.

These socks were always my first choice when getting dressed for the day – for a few years there, they were the only socks I wore at all. They have been worn in all kinds of situations, with all kinds of shoes.

As the years went by, some of these socks fell victim to a hole in the toe, or even a sock kidnapping, where two went into the dryer and only one returned. A moment of silence for a fallen comrade, an anguished sad crying, the occasional sock funeral was held.

Some of the one left socks were partnered up with other one left socks to make a new pair.

Last night I wore one of those pairs of socks to bed. In 2013. I still have 7 pairs. They are nearly 15 years old so I guess in sock years, they are like 300 years old.

I will now post a photo of these socks. They have gone from bright white to a weird shade that cannot quite be described. They are a shadow of their former selves but are still plusher than most socks you will find in Australia.

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Please do not pass judgment on these socks. They are the Superman of socks. I will forever remember them and their awesomeness when looking through the sock basket to pick out a pair to wear. They continue to be a part of my sock family as night time socks because the elastic is not quite up to the task of daytime wear.

I am hopeful to find some new sock supermen – and superwomen – when next in Hawaii. I have purchased socks there before, however am still looking hopefully that I might find some as plush and awesome as the Beach Culture socks.

Shopping Mania

My shopping pile 9 days into our last trip – bearing in mind there was a major medical emergency with my Dad, so the shopping time was somewhat reduced.
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That suitcase under all those shopping bags is full. There are bags behind the chair you cannot see. Also, at the time I took this photo, there were a lot of dirty clothes on their way to the laundry. I had 10kg of washing done when we moved rooms on the 10th day of the trip.

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All the colorful stuff on the seat of the chair is underwear. I went a little crazy and why wouldn’t I, when instead of paying $15 for one pair of bottoms and about that or more for bras, I could pay $2 for bottoms and $4 for bras!

In Australia I do not like to try new underwear. There is nothing worse than paying $15+ for something and then discovering that you hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. I usually buy the same kind I always have and woe betide me if that kind is discontinued! Egads the nightmare!

In Hawaii, I experimented. I bought underwear I would *never* have tried in Australia because the majority of it was just $2 a pair. So on my first trip I bought one of each different kind and then I went back to the hotel room and tried it all on, decided what I most liked, and stocked up on those. But I actually liked all of the kinds I tried – this is unusual for me.

This was the one space I had to put stuff in our room. Because I was sharing with a friend we had 2 double beds and this means you get one chair with a footrest (as seen here) one desk and a chair (which was holding all my friends shopping) one luggage stand (which was holding my friends suitcase – that she dearly regretted taking once she discovered the awesome shopping) and a cupboard where you can hang stuff up.

We did not do much sitting in here as my Mum had a king bed room and that had a small lounge in there – 2 people could sit on it – which meant one of us was always on the bed. Often we would end up in the lobby in the lounges there, or at Starbucks where they had comfy chairs.

We made do, but I am seriously looking forward to more space on the next trip.

Over the next few weeks I plan to talk a bit more about shopping – stay tuned!

Island Soap & Candle Works

These are some of my favourite products from Island Soap & Candle Works.

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There is Creamy Coconut Botanical Lotion, which contains – Aloe Vera, Sea Kelp, Elder Flower, Yarrow, Comfrey Leaf, Chamomile Flower, Bitter Orange Flower, Burdock Root, and Calendula Flower as well as other ingredients. This lotion is decadent, absorbs very easily, leaves your skin silky smooth and smells incredible. You only need a tiny amount to cover a large area.

There is Island Passion Shea Butter Body Cream, which contains Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Yarrow extract, Burdock extract, Calendula officinalis extract, chamomile extract, Bitter orange flower extract, sea kelp extract, elder flower extract, comfrey extract and other ingredients. It is Lilikoi – Passion Fruit flavour

The body cream is available in several flavors and you can see another of the flavors right next door – Pineapple Paradise which is pineapple flavoured. This is a slightly heavier cream than the Botanical lotions.

You will not believe the gorgeousness of the smell of these creams. The products are all made in Hawaii.

Next to that you can see three of the lip balm flavors – there are actually four and they are the same flavors as the body creams. Kauai Kiss and Hawaiian Sunrise are the two remaining flavors not already mentioned. Again, all of these smell amazing.

But do not just take my word for it, on your next trip to Hawaii pop into an ABC store where they have testers of all of these products – and more! – available for you to try. If you really like what you see, it might be worth making the trip to one of their stores – there is one at Ward Warehouse, and one in the Royal Hawaiian Centre.

You can also order these online at the Island Soap & Candle Works website.

Doctors & Chemists

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Due to a medical emergency on our last trip, we spent a considerable amount of time at the Straub Hospital. You can read all about that in my 2011 trip report – and important note, do not travel to the USA without excellent travel insurance! QBE is who looked after us, including sending a paramedic escort for the trip home.

What I wanted to mention today was – where do you go if you need to see a doctor while on holiday @ Waikiki? These are the options I am familiar with from personal experience.

Straub provide two Doctors On Call clinics – one at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, one at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. Click on the link above for opening times, locations and contact details. There are fees involved – these shouldย be covered by your travel insurance, though if you have a excess you may find it is cheaper to pay the fee.

One of the doctors at the HHV on call clinic saved my Dad’s life. If she had not sent him for a catscan which was followed by emergency surgery, within hours he would have been returning home in the cargo hold instead of in the cabin with us. One of the surgeons at Straub went on to perform life saving surgery. The staff at both the clinic and the hospital were absolutely amazing to us.

What if you need medication? There are plenty of chemists throughout Waikiki but I have to send two special shout outs –

Longs Drugs at Ala Moana – we were at this place so often buying supplies on our last trip it began to feel like a second home. Incredibly handy if you are already at Ala Moana buying other things – as we Aussies so often are. ๐Ÿ™‚ They have an excellent range to browse.

Walgreens behind Ala Moana opposite Walmart – open 24/7 for everything you could possibly need from bandages to cold and flu drugs with pseudoephedrine (read my post about the difficulties I had finding that here) to snacks and prescriptions.

When you pack – make sure to include plenty of your own medication. Do not just take enough for the length of time you will be there. I did that last time for our 10 day trip where we ended up staying 21 days and had to organise extra medication which cost a bundle – this was also covered with our travel insurance thankfully, and they even contacted my doctor at home and organised the scripts to be sent to the pharmacy, but it was a hassle I could have avoided entirely by bringing more medication with me.