January 1st 2009 Happy New Year to everyone! Mark, Tom and I slept through all the New Year noise. Not so Ali and Annabelle. The first noise I heard from the New Year was a deep, rumbling thunderstorm moving across this part of the island at about 6.30am. It was rather comforting though to snuggle back deep into to the Westin bed with this reassurance that nature was rolling away at work in the background. It was as if the Hawaiian spirits were purging away all that was bad of the stricken 2008 and heralding a triumphant beginning to 2009. The clouds parted at about 9am and the sun broke through bringing those without hangovers down to the beach. It turned into a magnificent and sparkling morning. Tom, Mark and I ventured down to the beach front of our hotel where we lazed the day away enjoying the sun, peace and idyllic surrounds. The girls went back to Ala Moana shopping mall and I am grateful that I was not tempted to join them. The girls returned at about 3pm and took to the beach chairs that Mark and I vacated. We had to go in search of another bag to fit in all of Mark’s shopping. Yes…you read correctly…Mark’s shopping! The late afternoon was spent packing before we headed out to an early dinner at ‘Duke’s’, a restaurant in the Outrigger Waikiki, next door to our hotel. Mark even managed to buy another pair of shoes before we went home to finish packing.