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May 31, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Julie!

May 30, 2007

Eastern Oahu (May 29, 2007)

We actually did a lot today. Walking is still painful, but I don't want to sit around the hotel all day. I just walk really, really slow. Actually, last night I was passed by a woman that was walking with a cane. Yes, I am walking that slowly at this point. Today we had breakfast at the buffet in our hotel (we did yesterday as well). It comes with the room. We hopped in our rental car and headed out to the east side of the island today. We drove on the Pali Highway and went to Nuuanu Lookout. There are cliffs there were several hundred warriors were forced to jump after a defeat. We continued driving and stopped off at a few places to take a few pictures. After driving around, we refueled at Zippy's. The retinal specialist from my last rotation recommended it as well as the Iolani Palace. Once again, we were dining in a location where we were the only non-locals present. It is actually kind of cool. We went to Iolani Palace after Zippy's. FYI: Iolani Palace is the only once functioning palace in the United States that housed royalty. Next we headed off to Foster Botanical Garden. After walking the grounds, my food had had enough. We came back to our hotel and relaxed a while. Then we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. If you are a regular reader of my blog, or you know me well, you will know what I ordered...Twisted Mac and Cheese...yumo! After dinner, we drove around Waikiki and to Diamond Head Park. Now we are back at our hotel room sitting on the lanai looking at the ocean and watching the sunset. I think that we are going for ice cream in a little while. I think that we are going to try walking. Gabe keeps me on pain killers regularly since the sea urchin incident. The doctor offered to give me some prescription medication for the pain when I went to see him, but he said that they would be pretty expensive. I told him that I would just take Advil. It makes it tolerable. We are having a good time and the weather here is wonderful. I have talked to a few of the locals and they say the weather is always this nice with a few days of rain here and there. Gabe actually said that he wouldn't mind having a vacation home here. With what we are paying for hotels, I think the vacation home would pay for itself. Well, off for some ice cream. It is only 7:30 p.m. here.

May 29, 2007

Things are Getting Better in HI (May 28, 2007)

My luggage was delivered sometime during the night, but I am not sure what time. Gabe and I were both in bed when they called to tell us that the airline had delivered it to the hotel. I asked Gabe if he tipped the guy and he said that he did not because the person just kept apologizing and basically ran away. Either way about it, I now have clothes. My foot still hurts and walking is not enjoyable at this point, but I am determined to do things on this vacation. At least the swelling has gone down some. Just a helpful hint to those of you out there, when in the ocean, wear water shoes. If I go back in again during this vacation, I know I will be wearing them. We decided to drive around the western portion of the island today. We drove up to the North shore and on the way we stopped at the Dole Plantation. We took a tour and tried Dole Whip. It is basically a pineapple sorbet and it made the trip to the Dole Plantation worth it. It was delicious. We were on our way to have lunch at a burger joint that the doctor from yesterday recommended. On our way there something smelled incredible. I told Gabe maybe it was the place that we were going to, but when we walked inside, it wasn't. So, we walked to a place where some table and chairs had been set up and they were selling rotisserie chickens that they were cooking right there. We were the only non-locals eating the chicken, but boy was it good. Afterwards we stopped at a grocery store called Matsumoto's for some shave ice. The retinal specialist that I worked with at my last rotation recommended it (he is from Oahu). It was spectacular. So far the food had been really good today. We finished driving around the western side of the island and made our way back to our hotel in time to get ready for our luau tonight. It was at the Royal Hawaiian and appropriately called the Royal Hawaiian Luau. I loved the loa loa (shredded pork). The entertainment was great. There were hula dancers and dances from other Pacific islands were represented (this was considered a Polynesian luau). The fire dancer was interesting. Even though it sounds like bad things keep happening, we are having a good time in between the bad events. The internet here has been slightly flaky, so there has been a slight delay in some posting of entries.

Arriving in Honolulu (May 27, 2007)

We finally arrived in Honolulu on Sunday morning. We caught an early flight (8:00 a.m.) out of LAX. There were 48 people on the wait list for the 8:00 a.m. flight. It arrived in Hawaii around 11:30 a.m. If the times do not make a whole lot of sense, California is 2 hours behind of Illinois and Hawaii is another 3 hours behind, for a total of 5 hours. Once we arrived in Hawaii two of our three pieces of luggage did not show up. The airlines had no record of the luggage. The two pieces were all of our snorkeling gear and my clothing. Gabe's suitcase with his clothing made it. The only thing that we wanted to do was get to the hotel and take a shower and I had no clean clothes. At this point we had been in the same clothing for about 2 days...yuck! So, when we arrived at the hotel, we spent $50+ on a pair of shoes (flip flops), a t-shirt, and a pair of shorts. Then I showered and I waited while Gabe went to the laundromat in our hotel (the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa) to wash my clothes. Once they were ready I put them on and we decided to go to the beach. There was just one problem with that idea; I didn't have a swimsuit. So, we spent another $50 on a swimsuit, had lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise, and we went to the beach. Somewhere in this entry I should say that our hotel is very nice. We are on the 23rd floor (out of 25) and have a great view of the ocean. We have actually been setting outside on our lanai enjoying the scenery. Back to Sunday...while in the ocean I managed step on a sea urchin. I have about 8 nice puncture wounds and one spine still in my foot to show for it. After pulling out the urchin and removing all of the spines that I could, there was one that was really deep. After using a needle and tweezer in an attempt to remove it, I went to the doctor. They came and picked us up from the hotel and brought us back. When we called they asked if I could be down in front of the hotel in about 10 minutes. I told them yes and we hopped in the elevator. The elevator decided to quit working and we were stuck in it for about 10 minutes. They sent help and it started working again. Oddly enough, it let us off on the 13th floor. I made it to the doctor and he wouldn't remove the spine because he said that it was too deep and it would become infected if he removed it. He had me soak my foot in vinegar and said that it would turn to a powder and come out in about 3 weeks. Let me tell you at this point, walking around with a sea urchin spine in your heal is very painful. It was at this point that I decided that the island was trying to kill me. My Dad just told me to come home. Gabe and I decided not to go back out and to order pizza from room service. Then we went to bed. I will say that the weather here is really nice and it is very beautiful. P.S. If I have learned anything from spending forever in an airport, I have learned that it is very handy to have a laptop with a DVD player and some movies to watch. We watched Red Eye and started The Good Shepherd.

May 28, 2007

Chicago to Los Angeles

I haven't posted an entry lately, so this one is going to be really long. We were originally on the 3:10 p.m. flight to LAX out of ORD. The airline switched us to the 1:55 p.m. flight. The 1:55 flight then had a delay until 3:45 p.m. This would have put our arrival time into LAX at 6:10, but our scheduled departure out of LAX to Honolulu was 6:00 p.m. So, the airline decided to switch us back to the 3:10 flight. So, it had a 10 minute delay and we were on the runway. A seat on the plane broke so we had to go back and let a passenger off the plane. They had someone from coach give up their seat so that the first class passenger could have a place to sit. Then we were on the runway. A lady on the plane became ill and we had to go back to the gate to let her off the plane. Meanwhile, a passenger in first class became irate about the delays and they had to call the cops to remove him from the plane. He finally left without police intervention. Then we thought that we were ready to leave ORD, there was a mechanical problem with the trash can...it was filling with water. So we had to wait on a maintenance person to empty the water. At this point I told Gabe that I would volunteer to empty the trash can. We finally left Chicago two hours after our scheduled departure time. Once we arrived Gabe called in an attempt to get us on the 8:30 p.m. flight out of LAX. We were 14 and 15 on the waiting list (this list was over 30 long). They made it to us, but there was only one seat left so we didn't go. Gabe did manage to get us confirmed tickets on the 8:00 a.m. flight. This was a really good thing, since the waiting list for our 8:00 a.m. flight was at least 47 people long. The airline wasn't sure if they were going to pay for our hotel and they tried to put us in a Best Western. I have nothing against the Best Western hotel chain, but our hotel in Hawaii, the one that we couldn't stay in because we were stuck in LA, was much nicer and quite a bit more expensive. So they ended up placing us in the Hilton on a technicality. The customer service representative was unsure if the Best Western had a shuttle and if we accepted it as our hotel choice we were responsible for the cab fare. So, we ended up at the Hilton. Once we arrived the line had about 12 people in line and there was one person checking everyone in. We finally arrived at our room and we had to call housekeeping (three times) for a toothbrush and toothpaste. At this point we had no luggage and we weren't sure if it was in ORD, LAX, or Honolulu. I will continue my entry at a later time. We are going to do stuff this morning...it is currently 7:05 a.m.

May 25, 2007


Congratulations to Jimmy on his graduation from high school!


Yesterday Gabe and I finished watching Pan's Labyrinth (we started it on Wednesday). It is one of the best movies that I have seen in a while. If you don't mind reading subtitles, it is worth the rental. Today I watched Music and Lyrics while Gabe was at work. It was pretty good. It made me laugh a few times. I am still not sure that I actually buy the idea of Hugh Grant as an 80's rocker (I love 80's music).
In preparation for our Hawaii trip, my parents now have our dogs. My Dad and I met about half way so I wouldn't have to do the entire 12 hour drive. We left pretty early this morning (6ish) and I was back around noon. All of our packing is done (except for the toothbrush that I will use tomorrow morning). Now we just have to get up, catch the cab, and get on the plane. We have way more luggage than I had hoped. We have one large duffel bag completely devoted to snorkeling, and two suitcases with clothes/miscellaneous. We packed an empty duffel bag so that we would have room to bring things back with us. I think that I am going to try to sleep...I think that Gabe is working.

May 24, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Ryan!

May 22, 2007

The Laundry Will Not End

Yesterday Tony, Maren, and I had lunch at Chipotle and then I dropped them off at the Metra station to catch their plane back to Alaska. I came home and started in on the laundry. I have quite a bit to do, with all of the sheets, blankets, etc. In fact, I am still doing it this morning. I watched the movie Relative Strangers yesterday. It is about a rich guy who finds out that he is adopted and his real parents are not what he thought they might be. It had its moments, but there are better movies out there. I also sent out a ton of emails yesterday. I knocked quite a few things off of my list. I am getting ready to drop off a movie at blockbuster and pick up some pictures that I had printed last night.

May 20, 2007


Today we went to Trader Joe's and Ikea. After the shopping we went to Max & Erma's to eat lunch. We didn't really do much else today. My dad wanted to leave by 2:00 p.m. Gabe and I picked Tony and Maren up at the hotel around 2:30. They came back to the apartment and Gabe and Tony played a few video games. Eventually Maren and I joined in and we played some Wii. We had dinner at Cosi. There was some after dinner Wii play and then we went to bed. I am starting to add more things to my "To Do List". Gabe decided that I was in charge of finishing up all Hawaii planning. I have a ton of stuff to attempt to complete tomorrow.

May 19, 2007


Today was my graduation ceremony. We were all up early to leave for the city. It was a good thing that we left extra time. The draw bridge on Congress Parkway was stuck and we sat in traffic for about 20 minutes without moving. The ceremony itself wasn't too bad and seemed to move rather quickly. Afterwards we went to Redstone for lunch. My family came up late Friday night. So we didn't see them until this morning. After lunch we played a lot of Wii. Brandi and I are the bowling champions. It was a ton of fun. We had dinner at Baja Fresh and then Brandi stayed with us and we watched the Hitcher and Talladega Nights.


Congratulations to the ICO Class of 2007 (myself included)!

May 18, 2007


Congratulations to Kyle on his graduation from SIC.

Graduation Week

This is graduation week, and it has been very busy. Tuesday Gabe picked Tony and Maren up from the airport. They stayed with us on Tuesday night. I stayed up until 1:00 a.m. reading the 6th Target. It is James Patterson's latest installment in the women's murder club series. The Alex Cross series is still my favorite, but I read the women's murder club series in between the Cross novels. Wednesday I spent the entire day (until 6:30 p.m.) at the school. We had graduation practice, had dinner, and went around to different booths getting SWAG from the various companies. Thursday I got a few things done and then we went to our graduation dinner. It was at Adler Planetarium. I have quite a few pictures. In fact, I am emailing pictures out to everyone while I am typing this entry. It takes a few minutes for them to upload, so I am typing in the downtime. Tony and Maren stayed with us after the dinner. Today I dropped them off at the train station and they went downtown. I stayed and cleaned and finished up a few things. Then I dropped them off at the hotel that they are staying at while their families are in town. Gabe is home and I think that we are going to return some movies to Blockbuster and some books to the library.

May 14, 2007


I watched The Holiday today. It was okay. Better than I expected, but nothing too great. Any suggestions for good movies? We currently have Blockbuster online and I am looking to add a few to our queue. I am in the middle of about 12 loads of laundry. Actually, I am about 2/3 of the way through. I slept in until about 9:00 a.m. today. That felt pretty good. I haven't been able to sleep in for a while. Yesterday Gabe and I went shopping. We didn't really buy anything. I ordered a couple of graduation presents online...we decided we didn't want to go to the mall. My tomato plants and flowers are doing great. I have about 6 tomatoes so far.

May 13, 2007

Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

May 12, 2007

Gabe's Graduation

Yesterday we had food from Meson Sabika to celebrate the end of the quarter. It was my last day at my current rotation. Gabe's parents and sister also came up last night and stayed so that they wouldn't have to get up quite so early to attend his graduation at 9:00 a.m. today. There were over 700 graduates from the Business College and the ceremony was around 2 hours. Afterwards we ate at Redstone. We had never eaten there before, but Gabe really wanted to try it. The food was great. It is definitely somewhere that I would go to again. We played the Wii for a little while. After celebrating mother's day and graduations we went to Trader Joe's. It is getting late and I am going to bed...and I plan on sleeping in tomorrow.


Gabe, Congratulations on your graduation (even though you technically graduated last December)!

May 9, 2007

Eye Exam

Gabe and I just walked in the door from our eye exams. I am starving. He is going to throw some steaks on the grill (courtesy of my parents) and I will do some sort of veggie. I have to go into work early tomorrow because the office manager wants the interns to start attending staff meetings. I am not quite sure why considering I only have Tomorrow and Friday left at the site. I guess he must have some type of reason. I am going to try to knock a couple of things off of my list tonight. I am excited...I might actually make it to bed around 10:00.

May 8, 2007

Tired and Sleepy

By the time I get around to doing things it is time to go to bed. It is almost 11:00 and I should have been in bed an hour ago. I consider my "bedtime" to be 10:00 p.m., but that rarely happens. I always seem to have a ton of things to do. I am actually brushing my teeth while writing this. With graduation approaching things on my "to do" list seem to be multiplying. For those of you keeping tabs, my once missing in action optometry license application was received by the proper people...well, at lest according to the United States Postal Service's delivery confirmation. Boy do I ever hope that they are right. I was really looking forward to having some time tomorrow to get a few things done, but after clinic I have to go to my school to get an eye exam. My appointment is at 4:45. I plan on arriving early to take care of a few things at school. I hope to be out of my appointment by 7:00. At ICO the 3 hour eye exam does exist. I must take advantage of the perk of a free eye exam while I still have the option. After Friday of this week, I no longer have the luxury. I also need to order new eyeglasses. My discount expires on the 19th. I think that I am going to get sunglasses and "regular" glasses. I figure I will get my money's worth out the sunglasses in Hawaii. I have also decided that I am no longer going to watch "bad movies". I think that part of the reason I tolerate it so well is because I am always doing something else while I am watching the show. Tony commented that I have to be doing multiple things at once and he didn't think that he had ever seen me just "watch a movie". I think that he may be right. I like multi-tasking. Well, it is off to bed for me. Have a good night.

May 7, 2007


Yesterday we watched a movie called Down with Love. It wasn't that great. Gabe actually said that he would have been o.k. if we would have stopped watching it mid-way through the movie. It would not have bothered him to have missed the ending. I think that I have talked my Grandma into visiting my parent's for my youngest nephew's high school graduation. She hasn't been down to my parent's house in years. Her health isn't the best and she isn't too keen on leaving her doctors. I told her that if she wanted to go Gabe and I would pick her up on the trip to my parent's house.

May 6, 2007

Yippee...We have a Wii

Nicole and Andrew purchased a Wii for Gabe and I today! They found them in Wisconsin. Gabe is really excited to finally get one. I will have something to play while I wait on my license. :)
Friday night Gabe and I decided to grill. There was a lot of smoke coming from the grill and four of our neighbors came to our apartment and pounded on the door. They were afraid that our apartment was on fire. I explained to them that it was just the grill, but that we really appreciated their concern. Gabe has to clean the grill VERY WELL before we will use it again.
Yesterday we went to the Elmhurst library. I was really impressed with everything. It is huge (80,000 sq. ft for use, plus an additional 10,000 sq. ft. of storage). There are 84 computers for public use, plus wireless/plug internet connections. They even have a cafe. Yet another thing to keep me busy while I am waiting on a license.
Today, we went to the Elmhurst Art Museum's Art in the Park. There were over 100 artists displaying their crafts. I am not sure what we are going to do the rest of the evening. We might watch a movie.

May 3, 2007

Work, work, work

This week has been very exciting. I have worked, slept, and worked some more. I am really looking forward to a break. I don't mind working so much, but I don't like the fact that I am unable to do things that need to be done. Especially when you work 7:30 to 7:30. It just doesn't leave much time to conduct business that must be accomplished during business hours. I just read that the Gilmore Girls is ending this season on May 15. No more Gilmores. I really liked the show. Once I am finished working what am I supposed to do? They are canceling 7th Heaven too. While I am waiting for my license I guess I will read since the t.v. shows I like are being canceled. Maybe I will start watching Grey's Anatomy. I have the first season on DVD, but I haven't watched it yet. I have never really been much of a t.v. person. I have always been more of a reader. I guess I started watching t.v. as a break from studying. Maybe I will go back to reading a lot again...especially since I will be able to read for enjoyment.