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October 23rd 2013
Published: October 23rd 2013
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So I just spent about an hour typing up a very interesting and humorous final blog entry to try and top the rest. I left my computer for about an hour and when I came back to publish my entry travelblog.org had automatically logged me out of my account and my epic blog entry WAS NOT THERE! Turns out I didn't press the save button....So now I am going to attempt to rewrite what was originally written - remembering to press the save button every so often.

We arrived back to normality about two and a half weeks ago. In fact it almost seems like we have never been away. I have been meaning to type up my final blog entry since I got back as I was hoping to print all my entries off and put them in a book with some pictures so I could try and re live the memories but I haven't had a moment. So here goes:

Touching down in Honolulu, Hawaii we hit the tarmac at 6.30pm. Dashing off the plane we quickly collected our bags and arranged a transfer to our hotel. Tim fiddled around quickly with his phone attempting to get reception and after arriving at the hotel we checked in, raced to our room, threw down our hand luggage and ran to the lifts. Seeing the porter struggling with our luggage we then ran back to the room, tipped the porter and raced back to the lifts. Running through the streets of Honolulu trying to weave in and out of people as we went whilst taking the occasional glance at the map we had on Tim's phone, we finally arrived at our destination - a small, characterless looking bar.

It was the AFL Aussie Rules Grand final match and of course we couldn't possibly miss it...

Upon entering the bar it appeared that half of Australia had too decided to join us for the big match. I took a seat on a bar stool and ordering a drink I attempted to get my breath back and take a moment to realise that I was now in Hawaii. Tim was far too excited to sit down and arriving at the bar just in time for the second half Tim and his fellow Aussies began yelling and cheering at the big screen being streamed from across the internet. Sipping at my drink I watched the 3rd quarter and began to get a little bored. Now don't get me wrong I don't dislike Aussie Rules football I just haven't grown up with it and no matter how hard I try I just don't get it. I decided at this point that it would probably be a good idea to leave Tim to it and instead entertain myself by having a wander around the jewellery stalls just down the road. Getting up from my stool and walking towards the door I noticed that half the bar seemed to be staring at me as if to say 'she can't possibly be leaving now...' Wandering out the door I overheard Tim saying to some randoms "She has had enough...she is English."

Its funny how for the first 23 years of my life I had never heard of Aussie Rules Football and now I am married to an Australian I actually cannot get away from it - in England Tim managed to join a team and win a grand final and here we were in Hawaii watching the game.

Wanting to tick another box from my '30 things to do before I'm 30' list (thanks Jen who inspired me to write this list) we booked a helicopter ride across the island. Feeling slightly apprehensive as I am scared of flying and Tim is scared of heights we both squeezed in the front of the helicopter next to the pilot and began to float up into the air. It was a scary but awesome experience and was great to see the whole island and just how diverse it was from sandy beaches to tropical rain forests, volcanos and waterfalls. Whilst in Hawaii we also hired surf boards for a couple of days and it was awesome surfing in just a bikini and not needing a wetsuit. At one stage I was paddling back into the shore and I noticed a rock which seemed to be coming close to the surface. Then suddenly a little head popped up - it was a giant turtle swimming right next to me - the cutest little critter I have ever seen. He bobbed about next to me for a while and then put his head back under and swam away. Whilst we were visiting the North shore we saw lots of turtles, they were all surfing in the waves and being dragged back by the tide every time they hit the beach.

Whilst in Hawaii we noticed lots of Japanese, Chinese and Korean tourists. Evidently they spend on average per person $600 a day more than what the westerners do. Because of that there were lots of tours, signs and even menus in restaurants catering for tourists from those countries. They also accept 'yen' in many places. I find it funny that in many Asian countries they try and stay out of the sun in order to keep 'white' looking whilst in the west it is the opposite way round. Lying on the beach Tim was the only Asian bathing in the sun and became even browner. I tried to get as tanned as possible but no matter how brown I get I will always look white next to Tim...

Leaving sun kissed Hawaii we had a great time there and despite trying to do a lot of relaxing we also did quite a bit from surfing to paddle boarding, visiting battleships and a pineapple farm to going to a Luau (a Hawaiian feast with entertainment - normally hula dancers and fire dancers.) On our last night we went on a sunset dinner cruise, watched the fireworks on the beach and sang karaoke whilst sipping cocktails - a great end to a great trip. So reflecting upon the entire 3 months I was going to write a list of all the highlights from our around the world trip but I decided against it as it will a.) sound like I am boasting and b.) make me want to be back there. Instead I have decided to list what countries have made me appreciate about back home in Australia. Lets go:

Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe): Africa has made me appreciate smooth roads, being able to sleep in the car instead of constantly bump, bump, bumping through pot holes. It also has made me appreciate water. After running out of water whilst camping in the Serengeti National Park, suffering from gastro and it being temperature wise reasonably hot, I would have, at the time, done anything for a cold shower even if it was literally only just dripping out. Visiting some heavily populated Muslim areas in Tanzania and Zanzibar made me appreciate being able to go out in public showing my knees or shoulders and finally Africa made me appreciate camping in Australia and how I can drift off to sleep without worrying that an elephant or hippo might squash me or a lion might try and get into my tent.

England: I don't want to sound too harsh on England because of course I am English. However, now I am in Australia I do appreciate the sunny skies that we have only too often and also the fact that traffic jams are pretty much non existent here (to all of you who complain about the traffic in Adelaide - trust me it is nothing compared to London!)

Italy (Rome and Venice): Taking a taxi into town on Saturday night I actually thought to myself 'wow, I love paying the correct taxi fare!' In Italy we were constantly ripped off by taxi drivers either not putting on their meter or adding a ridiculous sum of money to the total cost because we were tourists.

Greece (Athens and the Greek Islands.): Seeing protests across Athens due to school, hospital closures and unemployment has made me appreciate our employment rates and how compaired to Greece we have barely been hit by the GFC at all. Also rather randomly Greece made me appreciate toilet seats... Many restaurants and bars we went into had soap, locking doors and toilet paper but no toilet seat...

America (New York, Rhode island, Washington DC, San Francisco): Healthy food. I found a lot of the American food processed and fatty and I was craving some healthy, naturally flavoured food something bad. Towards the end of our trip I also began to get a little bit fed up of the staff in airports. Just because you work in an airport it doesn't mean you are more important than me so get off your power trip and stop talking down to me...

and finally Hawaii: This was a tricky one and I have just sat here for a while pondering, but finally I have come up with something: booking tables. Unless you book a table in Honolulu it is virtually impossible to get a meal for any night of the week (and in some places the wait was over 2 hours.) I love it that I can walk into a restaurant in the majority of cases and get a table for the two of us and if I have to wait it is not for 2 hours.

So there we go...3 months, 9 countries, 17 cities and 4 States...what a roller coaster of adventures.

Thats all for now folks!


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23rd October 2013

Yipee! Welcome back!
Welcome back to Australia :D ! Great last post - loved the pineapple photo and Turtle story! Sam

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