Monday, June 29, 2009

Back to Reality

Last Monday, 22 June 2009, I went in to see my oncologist, Dr. G, and get my 4th treatment of erbitux and camptosar.

The good news is that I gained six pounds while I was in Hawaii. I'm now back up to 141 pounds.

The even better news is that the new treatment seems to be working; my CEA (a measure of a protein produced my cancer cells) went from around 30 before the trip to Hawaii to around 10 on Monday. (Normal is around 5.) This gives me a lot of hope that Frank's nasty little friends will be gone by the end of Summer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hawaii: Friday, 19 June

Sadly, our Hawaiian adventure had to end. We got up early Friday morning and headed for the airport. Traffic and rental car return went much quicker than I anticipated, so we sat around and chatted for a little while.

Then it was time for Vicki to board her flight home to Australia. We said our good-byes:

and waved at her through the security gate. And then she was gone.

Kyle, Marjorie, and I then found our gate, bought some lunch, and finally boarded our flight to the mainland. The first leg (to LAX) went smoothly and Kyle even managed a short nap:

In LA we found out that we had to change terminals to catch our flight to Orlando. Luckily, a very nice woman gave us a ride in one of those cool airport car thingies and saved us about twenty minutes of walking.

The red-eye flight to Orlando was packed, but Kyle managed to sleep for most of the flight. Marjorie and I - no so much.

My good friend Jim picked us up from the airport around 6:30 AM and by 7:30 AM we were home asleep in our own beds.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hawaii: Thursday, 18 June

For our last full day in Hawaii, we decided to visit the USS Arizona Memorial:

In addition to the Arizona Memorial itself, the site is also home to submarine the USS Bowfin:

After we toured the sub, we headed off to see the submarine museum while Marjorie and Vicki toured the USS Missouri.

Once we got back together, we headed off for dinner at Haleiwa Joe's in Kaneohe.

Hawaii: Wednesday, 17 June

On Wednesday, while the girls searched Waikiki for swag, Kyle and I hit the Honolulu Zoo.

We checked-out the komodo dragon:

and had lunch with the "naughty" peacock:

Then we visited with the Galapagos turtles:

and the zebras:

Hawaii: Tuesday, 16 June

On Tuesday, we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

We fed the fish:

checked-out the Easter Island display:

learned some Hawaiian:

played shuffleboard in the Tonga village:

and learned to throw a spear:

we got "tattoos" in the Tahiti village:

and Maori face tattoos in the New Zealand village:

Marjorie and Kyle also swung poi in New Zealand:

and Vicki danced her butt off in Samoa:

From there, we headed to the luau:

Marjorie and Kyle got huge smoothies:

and we met our main course:

When we got home, we scrubbed-off most of our tats, but Kyle asked if he could keep his Tahitian "Gecko" tattoo:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hawaii: Monday, 15 June

Marjorie decided to take Monday off, so Kyle, Vicki, and I went back to the Kualoa Ranch for the Movie Set tour.

The first stop was a World War II bunker overlooking the Pacific ocean:

The bunker was also used to the movie Pearl Harbor.

Next we saw where a scene from Jurassic Park was filmed:

Then we checked-out "Godzilla's footprint" from the awful America Godzilla movie:

We also went by areas used in Lost, Tears of the Sun, and 50 First Dates.

Then we went back to the central part of the ranch and said hello to the horses:

and we checked-out a big rock on the way home:

Hawaii: Sunday, June 14

We split into two teams on Sunday; Marjorie and I went to the Valley of the Temples:

and Vicki and Kyle went to the Kualoa Ranch (which was across the street from our house) and did the "Jungle Tour". After the tour, Kyle did a little horseback riding:

Later in the day, we headed down to Waikiki to see the sights and do a little shopping:

Hawaii: Saturday, June 13

On Saturday, we decided to go check-out the North Shore. First we stopped at the famous Sunset Beach.

as you can see, the waves weren't very big in the Summer.

Next we went to the town of Hale'iwa where Kyle and I scored some shaved ice:

After a good bit of shopping and some lunch, Marjorie discovered the Waialua Soda Company.

All of the sodas we tried were good, but the Vanilla Cream and Root Beer were excellent.

Hawaii: Friday, 12 June

So on Friday, we headed down the coast to Hanauma Bay. The bay, which is a marine preserve, is in an extinct volcano crater where the ocean has eroded one side.

On the way we stopped at an overlook:

This is what the bay looks like from the top of the crater:

and this is what in looks like from the beach:

Vicki got into the beach spirit and took a nap:

Kyle and I built another mighty sand castle:

Kyle and Marjorie checked-out the fishes:

and we checked-out the crater wall:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hawaii: Thursday, 11 June

Originally, we were going to go to Hanauma Bay on Thursday, but turns out that it was King Kamehameha Day (which is a state holiday). So rather than fight the crowds at the beach, we went to the Bishop Museum.

The Bishop Museum is made up of several buildings, each dedicated to a subject area. We headed for the science building first. Most of the displays concerned volcanoes:

Kyle piloted a model submarine around an underwater volcano:

and Marjorie and Kyle caused a volcano to erupt:

Next, we went to a presentation called, "Meet me at the Hot Spot". The presentation included all kinds of stuff about volcanoes: types of volcanic eruptions, types of lava, the history of volcanoes in Hawaii, and small furnace with molten lava. It was very cool.

When the presenter was explaining various types of eruptions, she had Kyle come up and shake-up a two liter bottle of soda water. Kyle shook the bottle with all of the enthusiasm and energy that only a six-year-old boy can muster, so when she opened the bottle, the presenter got soaked. Really, really soaked.

Once she dried off, she had another boy create a secondary "eruption" using Mentos and a very cool launch tube. (More on that later.)

Sadly, the batteries in my camera died about then. So I don't have any pictures of the soda eruptions, the molten lava, or the rest of the museum (Polynesian culture, Hawaiian history, and the planetarium).

However, Kyle found a Mentos launching tube in the gift shop. So on the way home, we bought some batteries and a two litter bottle of Diet Coke.

When we got home, we did our own science experiment: