Waikiki – A Day on Oahu

The birds gathered in the incredible canopy trees below our 8th story Lanai are chirping and singing for us! A nice change from the symphony of garbage trucks taking out the trash but I guess it is what to expect with the hotels plunked down here between the trees with only a slight view of the hills and maybe if I strain my eyeballs with a telescope between the hotel towers blocking Waikiki Beach I can maybe see the sea. When they say “Partial Ocean View” in the hotel description they really leave a lot of wiggle room on their definition of “View”.

No matter! We are finally on the Hawaiian Islands! After leaving Quebec and driving to Vermont and then flying to New Jersey for a non-stop flight to Honolulu we are bushed, bagged, bent and baked…but the warm humid air perfumed with flowers and sweet ocean surf is intoxicating!!

The flight yesterday was quite a ride that really pressed our asses into pancakes. The flight was an hour and a half late so we were even later in the air but I set my watch immediately to Hawaii time and we settled in….I thought we had booked seats on the window side but we were in the very back row beside a lovely lady from the Philippines who was going to stay in Honolulu for only two days.

The flight was pretty uneventful with no obnoxious people and I played a bit of peekaboo with the little cutie-patootie ahead of me and all the kids on the flight we’re well behaved. There was video games in the seats and we watched some Hawaii Five-O (The episode was “Six Kilos” featuring “Big Chicken” where Steve is undercover…just like us!) And we had some food and basically got stiff legs and finally arrived at around 10 pm at the airport and it was awesome…so many people and we’re walking on this concourse and there are palm trees and the what I thought was the original Honolulu sign I had seen on the original Hawaii Five-O series!

As we walked like kids in a candy store through the open concourse at the Honolulu Airport we were in a sweet cloud that smelled of leis around the necks and happy people coming to the islands! Welcome to Fantasy Island it seemed to say to us with the humidity and the flowers or what we could see of them as it was dark. I had romantically thought that a young Hawaiian girl would bound up to me in the airport and place a Lei around my neck and kiss me on both cheeks and say Aloha but I guess that is only happening in the movies! Isn’t this a movie? It sure feels like it!

DD and I boarded the airport shuttle with a large group and we had to stop at 15 hotels…luckily our Aloha Surf & Spa Hotel wasn’t the last but the driver was fun and we had a nice tour of the Waikiki area…so many people strolling and shopping and even though it was late it was full of activity~!

It was about 11 by the time we got to the hotel Aqua Aloha with the open lobby of lush blue tiles and comfortable furniture and we’re greeted by Angie. She is a big Hawaiian lady with a big smile just as you’d expect…we went up to the room and DD sniffed the pillows to ensure the room was clean, if it fails the sniff test then we have to find another hotel, and we fired up the Air Conditioner and went out to buy some snack s as we were very hungry!

We grabbed some sushi and chips and some Wasabi Macadamia nuts and came back to the room…had a bite and watched some Polynesian Foot Volley Ball game (it looked like a faster and more competitive version of Hake Sack that is played at the Tam Tam Jam in Parc Mt. Royal in Montreal on Sundays) on TV and then drifted off to sleep….we thought we’d sleep past the continental breakfast but the sounds woke us up and so it is now 7 am and DD has had her shower and applied her self-tanning lotion and I’m going to have a shower after my coffee on the lanai and we’ll go and explore the greens bursting into daylight!

Whew it is 7:30 and we’re back at the Aloha Surf and Spa after a gruelling day in Waikiki. We started by heading out into the sunlight after a few sticky buns for our continental…the lobby was full and we had to sit there because all the seats at the breakfast, if you can call it that, we’re taken…we then walked out to the main streets hat were already bustling with people getting an early start to the day.

DD mentioned about having a map so we decided to step into the ABC Store and asked for a map of Waikiki and paid 6.49 plus tax and then half a block later saw a tourist information kiosk where the maps we’re free…D’OH! Anyway we walked along the beach past the Waikiki Zoo and through a small garden area and to some cactus plantation and then up towards the Diamond Head crater park where we wanted to hike up to the top.

A rundown old limo with a scruffy skinny looking biker type asked something likely wanted to get us to take his cab we said no no no and just kept walking then some overly steroid- pumped Gorilla in a 4 x 4 SUV taxi is yelling out the window “Hey you going to Diamond Head?” and I’m like “Yes That’s nice…yeah…we’re going there”… because I didn’t hear exactly the question and anyway prefer not to be asked for a ride from some Taxi driver…back home we like to ask for a ride not to have some “Dude” ask if we want a lift….sheesh I’ll ask you if I want a ride little taxi boy!

DD on the Lanai of the Aqua Aloha Surf And Spa Hotel in Waikiki. It was a bit noisy in the morning but we were so pumped at being in Hawaii that nothing seemed to phase us! And overall the place was great and centrally located.

Anyway so he drives by hollering that “it was a yes or no questions and I would have given you a free ride to the park!” and so yeah whatever you say freak! It was a lovely day and walking to Diamond Head isn’t a big long walk and we wanted to see everything! I just couldn’t believe this guy…like harassing tourists on Hawaii can’t be a good business practice.

We walk to the park and through this massive tunnel that goes through the rim of the volcano and then we’re literally walking on the volcano floor and to the park where a lot of tourists are preparing to make the trip up the hill to the top the trail was built in 1908. It was about an hour return trip and we were like ants going on trails the view was cool looking up from below. So many people with no water bottles or heaving or walking in bad shoes…the tunnels and stairs we’re quite tough actually and I’m glad I had been to the gym as my legs enabled me to want to take two steps at a time. One woman was stopped at the edge of the spiral staircase and she was suffering from claustrophobia and asked if it got better…it likely was not the best place for a claustrophobic but anyway at the top after we crawled out the gun turret sights from 1908 we made it to the top and the view was nice but there were too many little bugs the size of “No see-ums” but not biting but just covering us so we stayed about 5 minutes before we came back down.

We had some Wasabi Macadamia nuts and the chips and a Pepsi we had left-over from last night at the hotel…sitting under the bus shelter on the floor of the Volcano. We walked through the tunnel and took the city bus (as if we’d take a taxi now) from the park entrance and came back home..we ate the left over sushi that was in the hotel mini-fridge and laid down for a nap…nothing like a nap after such a long flight and so much walking in the sun!

DD under the statue of Duke, one of the most famous Hawaiian sports figures of recent history. The statue on Waikiki beach has a webcam pointed at it and is always popular with tourists like us!

We slept like baby turtles for an hour at least deep in a rock solid sleep and then woke up a bit dizzy from the long walk we’d taken so we had a coffee and went to buy postcards and do some shopping…so many shops and people trying to sell you stuff…not their fault…they just have to make a living but sometimes the whole downtown Waikiki scene was a little too aggressive for my sensibilities. We bought our postcards and found the post office and visited some clothing stores and a Ukelele store and then went for supper at the Waikiki Cheeseburger place called “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and we had a window seat and spread out the 25 postcards and ordered a burger with Maui pineapple and a guacamole burgers and there were birds at our feet right in the restaurant and then as we sat writing our postcards home we watched a beautiful sunset and we took pictures and then walked over to the hula show and live music and singing at the Waikiki beach.

I got sprayed by a big wave and then we strolled back to buy a dessert piece at the food mart and now we’re finishing the postcards and just relaxing ready for desert and an early night because we have to catch the shuttle to the airport at 9:45.