First full day in Hawaii and I feel right at home with my wonderful friend Maria. We met 15 years ago at a bedsit in Earl's Court - 'fresh off the boat', so to speak. We have remained friends since then and have travelled to many countries together. Yesterday she picked us up at the airport with some fragrant leis and a huge smile - what a gal!
Today we went on, what would turn out to be, one of several shopping trips to Ross. I love Ross - it's a shop that I always end up getting some amazing new dress or bag or something cheap and cheerful. Today was no exception - I walked out with a couple of lovely new colourful beach dresses. Perfect for Hawaii!
In addition to shopping, we also went for a lovely picnic at the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens nearby. The rain didn't dampen our spirits as we ate Poke (Hawaiian marinated fresh fish - similar to Peruvian Ceviche) and Huli Huli chicken (roasted in a rotisserie). We walked around the gardens, admiring the numerous exotic flowers and trees - both indigenous and from all parts of the world. As with many other natural attractions in Hawaii, there is no entry fee and plenty to see and do. The gardens are towered over by the huge curtain-like Pali (cliffs which form part of the Ko'olau mountain range). It's a lovely peaceful place to relax and stroll around in.