July 6, 2007
ALOHA!! Everyone says that here. I have been so busy here. In some ways its like Las Vegas - timeshare sales people everywhere - and when you get away from that its paradise. I took advantage of looking at a couple of timeshares....they bugged me enough. The incentive was - free tickets to different tours. Great deal - So far I have been on a Circle Island Tour and a tour of Pearl Harbor.
Circle Island Tour - Tour guide: Felix - native Hawaiian. I could go on about this tour and tour guide but it short - He was informative, funny and played the Ukelele. We saw Diamond Head, Hamana Bay - Summer - we will snorkel here. Around to see Blow Holes - cool. Across the island to the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Did you know that Hawaii is no longer the biggest producer of Pineapple and Sugar? They have been replaced by Taiwan, and other small countries - They bid ½ of what ever it is they are selling - putting pineapple and sugar cane growers out of business. Sad. Then we were off seeing little villages and shops. Finally we get to the Polynesian Cultural Center - we didn’t stop...then we drove past the Mormon Temple. Gosh - its so beautiful - again - we didn’t stop. So on our way to more shops and little villages - it seems we stopped a lot to look at shops. They back around to Waikiki. One thing Felix said that stuck in my head was how Hawaiian’s were family oriented. He gave us this little ditty - FAMILY - F is for the fathers who support the Family - A is for all the children who bring joy to the family - M is for the mothers who take care of the family and ILY is for something we should say to our family everyday - I Love You.
Pearl Harbor Tour - Tour guide: Pablo - ½ Hawaiian ½ Mexican. This was a much more somber tour. We are reminded that we are visiting a memorial for the 944 men who’s remains are still on the USS Arizona. They show a 20 minute video narrated by Stockard Channing - it is very moving. Then put us on a shuttle boat to spend 15 minutes on the Memorial. It was very overwhelming and solemn. A wonderful tribute to the men and women who died on that day. It’s like their 911 in 1941.
Now to today - I am sitting in bed - still - thinking about what will paradise bring today.
July 11, 2007
Today is my 47th Birthday. Happy Birthday to me!! I know I haven’t written everyday - but there is so much to do here. So here’s a recap of the last few days.
Friday I spent the day looking around the shops. So many shops but they all carry the same things. It’s the prices you shop, then you need to remember where the shop is so you can compare prices. It’s kind of like a Polynesian - Nogales feel - they give you a price and then you walk away and they say something like - ‘hey broda or sisa - I make you a better price’. It’s rather entertaining. I went to a Luau Friday night. It was huge, over 900 people attended this one. I meet some wonderful people from Michigan and Las Vegas. The food was good and the poi was interesting. The entertainment was awesome. These hula dancers are so beautiful and can they move. Did you know that men did the hula dances first? The women didn’t start doing hula until the 30's or 40's.
Saturday I spent at the beach then did laundry and cleaned my little apartment. That evening I sent on a dinner cruise aboard a Catamaran. Once again, the food was great....so much for dieting here. I met a couple celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary, the Campbell’s, and I met these nice ladies one from Georgia and the other from Oklahoma, Linda and Regina these girls were as fun as fun could be so they let me hang out with them.. We had a nice dinner then went up on deck to see the Waikiki skyline come into view. The back drop was Diamond Head. What a beautiful place, I can’t believe that I am here. With the wind in our faces and the sun behind us I just had to do the "I’m the King of the World". Just couldn’t help it. We were summoned back inside for the entertainment. Now this was entertainment - hula girls and hula guys but this time they grabbed people from the audience to participate. By the end of the show, everyone was on their feet dancing and laughing. This was a party and a whole bunch of fun. It didn’t end there - the bus drivers and their tour guides kept the party going all the way to the drop off point.
Sunday I took a cab to church. I met a lot of people and spent quality time with them. Half the ward were visitors and in talking to the locals told me that it’s always that way. I got to meet several local families and they gave me some ideas of what to do around the island. One told me that I could board the local public bus for $2 and go around the island...hmmmm $2 that sounds good to me. I took the bus back to Waikiki with other families and ran into Regina and Linda from last night. How funny to see them again in a city of this size. Anyway - I went home and hung out on the beach again.
Monday was just another day in paradise. I walked around to the Honoloulu Zoo and back and had the craving for some good seafood. So I went out and splurged, I had lobster. Oh my goodness, it was so good. What can I say - the seafood here is wonderful.
Tuesday - ok what to do today??? Hmm, remember I was told about the $2 trip around the island on "The Bus"? Well that’s what I did. Ok, this was something I should have really thought about before I boarded "The Bus". Did I mention this is the PUBLIC bus? This trip took 5 hours!! Five hours of public, of stopping every 500 yards at first then at every stop around the island. Of men coming to sit next to me who smelled of old beer, who smiled at me with no teeth. Of some who fell asleep with their feet on the seat next to me. Yuck. Of teenagers starting fights with other teens, of fisherman who came aboard with all their gear and (gulp) smelled like fish. Ok, not the brightest moments of my Hawaii experience, but definitely an experience. It’s kind of funny now, but it wasn’t then.
So this brings me to Wednesday, my birthday. I started the day off with a workout at a local gym, it’s not too late to start taking care of my body, is it? I worked out with this guy I met the other day, Cesar from Mexico. He’s a lot of fun and cute too - young, but cute. Then I was so exhausted I came back to the apartment, showered and crashed out for a while. Then as usual, I went to the beach. I decided to go the International Market Place and see this band I saw the other night, just two Hawaiian’s, a keyboard and guitar. I spent some time talking with them tonight, it was fun and they sang me a couple songs for my birthday then we sat around and talked when their gig was over. I have been invited out by Greg, the keyboard player. So after Summer visits we will do something. Oh, Summer’s visit....I have schedule out our time here on the island together. It is packed with things to do and of course time to relax and get some sun.
So for those of you who wished me a Happy Birthday - Maholo (Thank you) and for those of you who forgot Maholo (Thank you) but don’t forget my 50th in a few years!!! Thanks for reading - I appreciate the comments good and bad. I’ll write more soon!
Love to all!