Aloha! So I had intended to blog a bit more often, but we've kept nicely busy. Here's a little recap of the last 3 days here on Oahu. One thing you should note before reading, my wife has asked that I point out that we are having a really great time here. Almost everything has been wonderful and I can't get enough of the beaches. I guess I tend to dwell on the negative in my blog and she doesn't want anyone to think that we're not having a marvelous time, which we are. I can prove it with pictures and everything!
Day 3 - This was to be our final morning in Waikiki. We were determined to maximize the beach time there. As we were walking towards the beach from our hotel we decided to "shortcut" through one of the beachfront hotels (one of the really nice ones). With the beach in sight, we took like 10 steps into the lobby area, before we were confronted by a security guy with keen observation skills asking us if we were looking for the beach. (we were carrying towels, beach mats, sunscreen . . . etc.) What he really meant was, "you guys so don't belong in this insanely expensive hotel, why don't you step outside with the rest of the public." He had one of those earpieces with a wire, so he looked even more serious than your typical hotel security guy or maybe "W" or at least Rosie O'Donnell was upstairs. So we made our way AROUND the hotel to the beach. Later that morning we checked out of our hotel and started our drive around the island towards our bungalow.
All of the tourist stuff tells you that there are a gazzilion cars on the island and only a few miles of roads. So this obviously leads to pleasant traffic situations and lots of gas stations. Congestion is just part of the deal, so it takes quite a while to get very far. Couple that with tourists taking in the "view" (I'm an offender) and driving on Oahu is slightly frustrating. But I have to admit to kinda digging the slow pace of things. We stopped at a few spots along the way, including the famed Giovanni's Shrimp Shack. I don't really do seafood much, so Traci took in this piece of Hawaii. She assured me that it was great, and there were several Japanese tourists sitting around us nodding and smiling, so I think that was a stamp of approval as well. Or they were laughing about paying $12 for 12 pieces of shrimp sold out of some Italian guy's trailer.
Traci just pointed out that there's a beach here called "Sandy Beach" - that made me chuckle. I hope to also visit the "Wet Ocean" some day.
We arrived at our Beautiful Beach Bungalow (I'll call this BBB from now on). We rushed out to the beach right next to us to check things out. What we saw stopped us in our tracks. The huge waves were breaking right on the shore - apparently these are wisely called "Shore Breaks." There were signs posted everywhere warning against swimming at all. They even had a drawing on them of a guy being flipped upside down by a wave. You don't wanna be that guy. It was still very impressive to see, and of course, so was the BBB.
Day Four - We spent Saturday morning at Waimea beach. This beach also had the forboding shore breaks, but they were quite a bit smaller. It took some time to get used to, but after a while we were having a blast getting pummeled by the waves. (by "we" I mean "me" - Traci wisely swam out past where the waves broke) The waves would drag me up the beach - I routinely had to empty my pockets and shorts of the sand that mysteriously got together there. Good times though. Another odd highlight was that we met a family from Wichita. We Kansans get around!!
After a quick shower back at the BBB we cruised over to the Polynesian Cultural Center. (PCC) Everyone told us this was a must-do, and they were absolutely right. I got to do a Samoan Dance, kill a "pig" with a spear, and we had a big-time luau where our table-mates were all from the Philipines. We had a fun time observing all of the different nationalities that were visiting. For one of our shows they asked for 3 volunteers and they ended up with a guy from Korea, one from Egypt, and a dude from Australia. The shows were really well done, and we're contemplating going back tomorrow since we only saw about half of what we'd have liked. It was a long day though and the drive back to the BBB couldn't end soon enough.
Day 5 - Since today was Sunday we tried to keep it low-key. We did church with a ward in Laie in a building right next to the temple. It was fun to hear every speaker say Aloha and then have the congregation respond in kind. I'm so gonna try to get that going back in Kansas, but Traci is skeptical for some reason. We spent most of the rest of the day driving around the island - we even got to see our first, and only, WalMart up close - a real treat to be sure. We did squeeze in a nap, and a decent rain burst blew threw that really cooled things down. It's wild how the rain blows in and out here. We went for a walk on our beach when it was sunny again, and another shower blew threw - leaving us running for the BBB. In the PCC we learned that in Hawaii the men do lots of the cooking, so thanks to that bit of useful knowledge, Traci told me that I would be making dinner tonight - we had marvelous pasta with sauce from a jar. (that'll teach her)
Coming up: our last precious beach moments (trying to get a tan), we do last-minute, mad-dash, souvenir shopping, and the joys of long plane rides