Hawai'i - The First Illustrious Day

As I type this the soft, native sounds of the house band are drifting from the stage, and the ocean laps gently below the Moana Terrace Bar. But it's unusual to start at the end, so let's pretend I didn't.

Chris, Karen, Tom and I arrived at Philadelphia International Airport to board our plane. After a long but uneventful flight we arrived at Honolulu International, and loaded up the rental car with our luggage and headed to the hotel.

While on Oahu we're staying at the Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, run by Marriot. It is a nice hotel with wonderfully slow elevators - I've been taking the stairs as I'm only on the 6th floor.

Kuhio Beach Park

Waikiki beach, Mariot in the foreground

After refreshing ourselves we all headed out to eat and ended up at a place named Duke's. The food was decent (the wings merely mediocre). Tom headed back to the hotel to sleep while the rest of us picked up some essentials at the nearest ABC store. After changing into swim wear and waiting for Chris to violently, malodorously rape the toilet we headed to the beach.

The beach is directly in front of the hotel (I haven't even looked at what the room rates must be). Kuhio Beach Park is surrounding by a stone breakwater, so there are no waves worth speaking of in the swimming area. While calm and shallow, it was a tiny bit of a let down - hopefully tomorrow we'll visit a livelier area.

We didn't spend too much time there before Chris and Karen headed back to the hotel. I stayed awhile and dried myself in the sun. Back at the hotel I changed into street-clothes and headed back out to take in Honolulu.

Waikiki Beach Area

Dancers and Traditional Hawai’in Band

There was a group of cheerleaders from Honolulu University doing "Flips for Tips", a fundraising effort for their squad. Turning right I left the crowded areas and ended up at a diseased inland waterfront. Posted signs declared the shellfish in the area was unfit to eat, and the water didn't look exactly healthy.

I returned to the main thoroughfares and wandered amid countless trinket stands selling genuine Hawai'in beads, made in China, and Hawai'in statuettes, made in Korea. Oahu is the tourist center that Frommer's promised it would be. There were a couple different local groups performing in the public shopping malls and parks, and each was interesting and worth watching. I really dig the ukulele - an under-appreciated instrument to be sure.

And once again we return to the end ... My beer is finished, the band has left the stage, so it must be time to turn in. A successful first day.