Day 3: Oahu to Maui

This morning we were up early again for our 8 am flight to Maui. We took a cab to the airport after raiding leftovers in our hotel fridge. Our flight with Hawaiian Airlines was on time and it was so short!  I couldn’t believe we were served drinks on this flight because it was seriously like 20 minutes. We were up in the air at 8 am and landing around 8:20. The views on the flight were awesome.

Once we landed we had to pick up our rental car. The lady at Hertz wasn’t very helpful and she was kind of rude but we were in and out of there quickly. We had planned to drive straight to our condo in Napili and find something to eat along the way. About 10-15 minutes into our drive a light came on in our Nissan Sentra. The light was something about the emergency braking system, so Don called Hertz to ask if we should come back and they told us to. Once again we were in and out of Hertz quickly and our help there was a lot nicer. We went from a Nissan Sentra to a Nissan Altima, both felt like giant boats.

Since places were now starting to open for lunch I decided we should try a place that was recommended to me by Julia called Tin Roof. It was really busy and really nowhere to sit. We ended up sitting outside on a parking curb because that’s where other people were. I ordered the steak bowl and Don got the chicken bowl. We had a side of the pork belly. Everything was really good and I would recommend checking it out if you need a good place to eat near the airport.

After eating we started driving. I was surprised by the landscape; Hawaii seemed a lot more dry than I had expected, but it was beautiful. We arrived at our condo around noon and we were able to check in early. We are staying at Napili Sunset, which is in Napili Bay. The place seems nice, a little overcrowded with a lot of furniture but nice.

After settling for a bit we decided to check out our beach. We had to walk across the street but it was only about a 5 minute walk, if that. The beach was beautiful. There were a lot of people snorkeling, swimming, and boogie boarding. We decided to snorkel and we went pretty far out. There were a lot of cool rock formations and schools of fish. We were on the left side of the bay looking at the rocks when a giant wave crashed into us. It startled us a bit and we swam quickly away. When we got to calmer water we saw a turtle! I had read that you’re very likely to see turtles while snorkeling in Maui but I didn’t think we would be lucky enough to see one on our first day! It was cool, but it didn’t stay around for long. After this we decided to just relax in the water for awhile and float around. Then we came back to our place and checked out the pool. The water was extremely warm.

First Turtle! Napili Bay

After the pool we were getting hungry so we decided to check out Teddy’s Bigger Burgers in Lahaina. We had seen this place on a guy’s YouTube video about affordable, good places to eat in Maui. The menu at Teddy’s was a bit confusing because they have a lot of options.  We each tried a burger and after ordering one of their special ones I saw I could have just had an original one. That was a bit disappointing because it felt like they were pushing you to pay more and try one of their specialty burgers. The burger was good. We also tried fried pickles. Everything was good here and I would go again but just try their straight up burger. I can’t even remember which ones we ordered, but since we ordered a specialty burger it felt expensive.

After dinner we wanted to pick up some food for the condo so we went to a Safeway but we couldn’t find everything we wanted because it was under construction, so we went to a Food Land and a Walgreens. After getting some stuff we drove around to try to get a view of the mountains in the area. We did take a few pictures and the GPS took us through a neighborhood, which was kind of weird. Overall it was a pretty good first day in Maui.

 

 

Hanauma Bay & Exploring Waikiki

Today we had to wake up early to get picked up for our excursion to Hanauma Bay…like 5:30 early. Luckily we had a good breakfast that we picked up last night at the grocery store.

Chicken Katsu & KonaRed Coffee

We were picked up at 7 am by Snorkelfest. There was one other couple with us and it was their first time snorkeling so the driver went through the basics of snorkeling in the van. The drive was about 20 minutes and the driver would point out famous places along the way like Keanu Reeves’ house and Diamond Head. Snorkelfest is basically just transportation to Hanauma Bay, the  rest of your time there is self guided. I would recommend it though because unless you have a car you will have to rely on a bus or hope that an uber driver will pick you up from there after snorkeling. It was $60 for the 2 of us so I think well worth it. The views on the drive were pretty cool.

Once we got to Hanauma Bay we had to walk to check in and pay about $13 for entrance into the park. After we were checked in they showed us a short video about the bay and rules, then we were free to check it out. We purchased a locker to put our valuables in and then we got in the water.

The water was warm and shallow. At first it was really calm but since it was so shallow in spots it was hard to snorkel without brushing up against rocks and coral, so we decided to go further out. Our guide had explained earlier that going out far would be cool you just had to be careful of the currents. The current was really strong and I just felt like I was fighting. We haven’t snorkeled in a few years so I also didn’t feel as confident and I worried if I was feeling this tired and out of control in the beginning how would we make it back? So I panicked a little and wore myself out. It felt like a rip current because I had to swim to the side to move at all. No one else was really attempting to get out further so we decided to go back.

We got back to shore and took a small snack break and then we decided to go on the left side of the bay which if you look at a map of the bay this was called “Backdoor Lagoon”. We saw seals resting on rocks here and the water was more calm. We were able to go through the channel here and reach the deeper water. The snorkeling was much better here, lots of coral and fish. Hanauma Bay was beautiful but compared to other places we have snorkeled we didn’t see a lot.

Seals!

Once we were done snorkeling we walked around the beach a bit. It was beautiful and sand was sparkling! It was crazy. We took a lot of pictures here and on our walk back up to the parking lot.

On our drive back our driver gave us a lot of advice about where to eat. He mentioned Chinatown, Zippy’s, Rainbow Drive In, Tiki Bar, and Growler USA. Now we were hungry and ready to get cleaned up to eat!

When we got back to the hotel one of Don’s sandals broke, so on our walk to find food we stopped at Foot Locker and The Croc Store…he found shoes at both. We walked about 20 minutes to Rainbow Drive In but it was really busy so we kept walking to Zippy’s. Zippy’s is a fast food chain in Hawaii and you can get a lot of local dishes. They are also a bakery. I had chicken katsu which was so much better than what I had gotten from the grocery store and Don had Loco Moco. Loco Moco is a beef patty on top of rice with an egg and gravy. It was pretty freaken delicious.

On our walk back we stopped at Growler USA and the Cubs game was on so we watched it and had a few beers. This place was pretty cool and they had a ton of local beers. The Cubs were losing so we left before the end.

We wanted to check out Tiki Bar since our driver also mentioned that place for drinks so we stopped there and it was on our way. I had a margarita because it was happy hour and good priced. Don had a beer then we both had salads. Don got the Caesar salad which was the weirdest Caesar salad either of us had ever seen. I had a mozzarella salad. It was an ok place but it mostly just felt like a place to go for a good view. Here we learned the Cubs came back in the bottom of the 9th to win off of a Bote grand slam! We should have stayed to watch!

On our walk back to the hotel we sat by the beach and watched the surfers. We saw a lady on the beach carrying a bag with a cat in it. The cat looked pretty chill. Next the cat was out on the sand on a leash walking around. Then Don was like “the cat is in the water!” The woman was letting her cat swim in the water it was crazy! The cat looked like he liked it. The swimming didn’t last long and she dried the cat off and started walking away from the beach towards us. She sat down next to us to get her cat packed up again! We talked to her briefly.

Pretty cool day in Waikiki. Tomorrow we leave for Maui.

 

Hawaii Day 1!! Chicago to Waikiki

We left this morning around 7:30 am for our 10 am flight to Honolulu!! Our flight was direct on United so that was pretty cool. Only thing not really cool were our options for eating in the United terminal so we ended up having Mcdonald’s for breakfast. I can’t really complain at all about the flight itself though; it was on time and we had 2 seats by ourselves! Don also really enjoyed the cell phone/tablet holders on the back of the seats. I spent most of the flight watching The Sinner that I downloaded from Netflix. Pretty good show, I recommend it!

We arrived in Honolulu around 2 pm local time and took a cab to our hotel in Waikiki, Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach. Fortunately, we had enough Hilton reward points to stay here 2 nights for free. The hotel was nice and really modern looking. It also had a nice store attached to it where you could get coffee and some groceries.

Once we got settled in we decided to find some food and walk around a bit. There was an area with a bunch of food trucks right next to our hotel but it looked like many of them were shutting down for the day. We decided to walk towards the beach to eat. We walked around the beach a bit then we ate at Duke’s Waikiki. It seemed touristy but so did everywhere around here. Dukes had a nice view and live music. We ordered the fried calamari to start along with some Longboards. Don had a cheeseburger and I had the Korean steak tacos. The calamari was pretty good and the tacos were ok. The steak in the tacos was really good. Mostly if you’re going to eat at Duke’s you’re paying for the location and view. I wouldn’t really recommend the food.

After eating we walked along Waikiki Beach and watched surfers. It rained for a little bit, but it was still beautiful!

Before we went back to the hotel we stopped at the grocery store across the street to pick up something for breakfast since we will have an early morning for a snorkeling excursion. The Food Pantry grocery store was pretty awesome. It had a little cafe in it and almost like a small food court. They also had many pre-made meals you could pick up. We got some chicken katsu and rice. We also got a few musabis, Musabi is spam and rice wrapped in seaweed. It’s like a small sandwich almost and it’s a pretty common Hawaiian snack. It sounds not so great but they are pretty good. We ended up falling asleep around 7:30 pm because of the 5 hour time difference.

 

Pandemic Legacy 2: September

September was rough. We ended up losing our first game, but a lot of stuff happened during the loss so it was ok. We were told in the beginning of September that we no longer had the objective of Recon 1 Unknown Region; it was being replaced with Recon East Asia. We also found out we had discovered a new haven but it had not yet been accessed. Our same characters, Goods, Newt, Aofie, and Claire set out once again to save the world.

It was in this game that Package 6 came back to haunt us. If you recall we were able to put infection/city cards into package 6 so they would not be drawn. We hadn’t put too many in fear that something would happen later but we did put a few and it had been nice not having to worry about these cities anymore. Well now when an epidemic occurred we had to draw a random infection card from package 6 and remove any cubes if any.

We knew from the beginning of this game it would be nearly impossible to achieve the goal of reconning Asia. We did search Khartoum and this card allowed us to give a player card to another player. We connected 2 new cities: Dar Es Salaam and New Mumbai. The new haven was also accessed and named Aang. Even though we lost the game we did keep a permanent supply center in Kolkata to make it easier to recon Asia in the next game. With our other points we increased the population in Tripoli and Istanbul. We also used a Foundations upgrade on a Washington city card to make it count as 2 cards of its color to build a supply center.

In the second game in September we had 2 rationed event cards. We used the One Quiet Night and Drastic Measures. Goods used the unrationed event card called Renewel which allowed her to gain a character upgrade worth 2 points or less. She chose Soldier so she can now discard a city card matching the color of the city she is leaving to prevent exposures from Hollow Men. We were able to recon Asia. Reconning Asia connected Jakarta to the grid. It also added 4 more Hollow Men cards to the infection deck. Claire searched Dar Es Salaam twice and was able to draw a free supply line from there. The other search from Dar Es Salaam showed there was a lost haven near there but we had already found it and accessed it. September did give us another unrationed event called Biodome Prototype, which allows us to place up to 3 shelters onto any cities on the grid. We have discovered shelters now to help prevent exposures for characters. To place a shelter you have to discard a card matching the color of the current city. It is nice to have some ways to prevent exposure now.  We also used the frequency scanner a lot to try to avoid epidemics. It actually worked a couple of times!This game is getting crazy.

Pandemic Legacy 2: July & August.

Fortunately we were able to win both July and August. Both of the games were near losses, but a win is a win! In both games we continued to use the same characters: Claire the Laborer/Architect, Aofie the Administrator/Runner, Goods the Farmer/Courier/Smuggler, and Newt the Radio Operator/Helmsman.

In the beginning of July we found out that the satellite towers were picking up broadcast signals but we didn’t know who was transmitting them. It is thought that it is the Hollow Men but maybe it is someone giving the Hollow Men orders? It’s questioned if someone is ordering the Hollow Men to spread the plague. The journal entry talks about the grid growing and not being able to keep up with the Hollow Men. It also talks about preparing to forsake cities.

June was challenging; we ended the game one away from death. To win the game we were able to build three supply centers and accomplish the new objective of making three broadcast towers in each area. When we completed the broadcast objective we learned that we picked up chatter from the Hollow Men. We found out they usually use the frequencies 9.2, 9.31, and 11.88. The hint also tells us when the towers are fully operational (predictably in August) we will be able to listen to their signals. We were able to make a road to connect London and Paris. We also connected Khartoum and LA to the grid to end the game.

On the last play of the game Claire was to build a road from Atlanta to Mexico City and then build the last supply center. We were pumped we were going to end the game and we were on our 7th incident so one more plague cube was all it would take to end the game. When Claire tried to make her road from Atlanta to Mexico City she discovered she could not because it would be going over water. How did she not notice this?! Luckily, she was able to make it to LA and still end the game. That was a close one. We used our game end upgrades to up the population in Chicago, Lima, Jacksonville, and Frankfurt. We used our last points to give Newt the Coordinator upgrade. The Coordinator is able to as a free action move a player to his location if the player is in an adjacent location. Onto August!

Our journal entry in August informed us that the satellite towers were functioning and accessing different frequencies. This gave us the ability to use a Frequency Scanner. The Frequency Scanner is used when the player does the Monitor action.  Monitoring is done by drawing and discarding 4 player cards while at a broadcast tower. Once this is done the player then scratches off a box on the frequency scanner. We were able to do this once in August but it did not yield any answers.

At the beginning of the game we were also able to use 3 production points to give a player an upgrade. We gave the Supplier upgrade to Claire. This allows her to move a supply cube from the stockpile to a city matching a card in her hand. She can only do it once per turn as an action and she doesn’t have to discard the card.

August started off badly. Right off the bat Atlanta, New York, and Baghdad were getting plague cubes. We had to take care of this quickly by adding more supply cubes there. We also decided it was best for Newt to use the Unrationed Event called Strategic Reserves. This allowed us to move 8 supply cubes from the reserve to the stockpile to use in the game. Unfortunately we cannot use this again but it really helped us out in this game. We were able to make the 3 supply centers, connect 2 new cities to the grid, and search twice to win the game. We connected San Francisco and Mexico City to the grid. Newt was able to search LA twice. When we searched LA by land we found shipping containers with supplies that allowed us to move 4 supply cubes from the reserve to the stockpile. When we searched by sea we found that we learned the location of a lost haven, but we had not accessed it yet. This allowed us to open box 60, but we already had so we gained an action.

We won the game but had a hard time deciding what to do with our points. It was a hard decision because Khartoum became Forsaken and we were trying to decide if we should use the points to upgrade the population. Ultimately we decided to let Khartoum stay forsaken and we increased the population in Mexico City, Jacksonville, and Atlanta. We used our last 3 points to keep the supply center in LA. Can’t wait for September!

 

Our post of posts