From the plantation to the Honolulu zoo

Got up, felt great mentally but exhausted physically, had a bowl of cereal and told Matt to go to breakfast without me. I couldn't stomach another egg or pancake. So I called my children and got ready for the conference. Yup I am inHawaii  because the American Psychological Association chose the best venue ever to host a conference. Needless to say poster session, symposia n workshops were scanty bc people only attended their own and students only attended what was relevant to their graduate work (I'm guessing) 
My reference to the plantation refers to the work force. The pic above is me at Aloha  Surf Hotel. Below is my hubby and sis.
Today is moms birthday so Melanie takes her to the spa. After heading to APA convention at the Hawaiian Convention Center, 
Presenting my poster and going to see college friends give their talks, 
my sister, mom and husband met up with me 
and we walked to the Hilton Village Hotel. 
It's raved about in every magazine for the best beach, it's tapas bar, and lagoon. When we arrived it was bustling with activity. It wreaked of overprice food and merchandise. It was so crowded. People exited their limos and had their Louis Vuitton luggage placed on the curb side. 
We had lunch at Benihanas. The lunch specials seemed reasonable $6-$9. But again there is a catch. A drink is also $9. The meals don't come with sides so you add $1 for rice. The dessert is $9. So a meal in actuality is from $21. It was moms birthday so she was treated to a lichee mojito and Matthew had Zinfandel. Mel and I had water with lemon. And we all shared one desert. The food wasn't even that good! Smelled so greasy. It looked good though. The problem is unlike Thai and Jamaican restaurants that preseason n marinate food in ginger, herbs and peppers, these restaurants throw raw meat on a grill and then brush it with sauce so the flavor is on the outside and doesn't get anywhere on the inside. They also don't cut off fat eww! And everything is deep fried - shrimp, chicken, carrot, mushroom, zucchini. Again disappointed! Maybe I'm just a food critic. 
So we went to check out this famous lagoon. Again not what I expected. It was a man made pool with a man made island n the water was freezing. Matthew reasoned since it was still water it couldn't be very pure (ie people peeing in it). So we went to the beach and guess what i was wearing? Yes ma'am. Yes sir. Melissa wore a two pc swinsuit on a public beach!!! The first time ever since the birth of her two children. Who is writing this blog? Why am I speaking in third person, then?
I still didnt feel confident so I wore Matthew white tee. But how can I be a role model "love the skin you are in" if I dont practice what I preach? But how can I teach modesty if I bare it all? This is clearly why I am a professir because everything becomes a philosophical debate!
The water was nice and warm but the sand was rocky and got worse as you went out further. No wonder everyone used rafts, tubes and boogie boards. To rent one was $15-35. We hung out a little, took pics and left. This was around 3pm and we had to be at the zoo for 5:30 so we changed and headed for the bus. 
We changed in a bathroom that was freshly cleaned and had a sign "private party" we thought that was very thoughtful of them. Lol! 
So Matthew n I got to the zoo at 4:45 and the gate was closed so I called n they said it opens at 5:15. We were there for their twilight tour. Another groupin purchase. I should mention all my activities were purchased a month to two months prior to my arrival. So we have only been paying for food and transportation. Now that's a budget vacation. Can someone say prepaid? Prepaid! Lol! 
Here I am chilling in the tree waiting for gate to open. 
There were two guides- white woman n Asian man. He split the groups and then she comes and gives different instructions. I am very people perceptive so I told Matthew I didn't want to go with her group and Matthew agreed so we ignored her instruction and went with the Asian guy. It was a wise decision. He was young, hip, knowledgable and down to earth. So 6 pm here is midnight n I'm getting sleepy especially since we aren't going at a fast pace. 
After the kimono dragon, Galapagos turtles, lemurs, blk monkey with orange babies (tail used for balance not swinging), spider monkeys (tail used for swinging), gharial (not a crocodile n not an alligator), I couldn't take it anymore. But we proceeded to see an ape (monkeys hv tails n apes don't, humans are great apes), the Siberian tiger, elephant, hippopotamus (most dangerous animal in the world; Although vegetarian it kills more humans than lions, sharks n tigers), orangutans (he made us leave when they started consummating lol!!), pelicans and more birds. 
Next was the giraffes and other animals, but he asked if anyone wanted to leave and I did so he took us to the gate. It was very informative. I learned more than I thought I would. Now I can stop mixing up apes and monkeys! 
So if you care about the orangutans  habitat write to companies that use palm oil and ask them not to. These companies cut down the trees to get this ingredient that isn't necessary, but used because its cheap. 

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