|Barry & Phyllis||Hawaii|
|Last Update, January 27, 2003||Page 1|
Welcome to our Hawaii. Phyllis can't get enough of it and I have to admit, it doesn't suck. Even with all of the "running around" we tend to do, exploring every corner of each island we visit, it is still the most relaxing place we have ever been. It is also among the most beautiful places we've seen.
What follows is a collection of pictures and experiences from several trips to the islands of Hawaii.
The picture on the left was taken at the "Old Lahaina Luau" on the island of Maui in June of 1999, 10 years after our first trip to the Islands of Hawaii. It was our first Luau in all our visits and exceeded our expectations - especially the open bar for the duration of the feast.
Below is Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu in August of 1989, our first trip to the Hawaiian Islands. Oahu is the most "built up" of the islands and the most populated. Honolulu ("the gathering place"), on Oahu, is the state capital. Visitors to Hawaii aren't there to see Honolulu. And forget the old songs about beautiful Waikiki beach. It ain't much (apologies to those who may think otherwise). It's a very narrow beach lined with lots of big hotels. Our first impression was a bit disappointing.
The fact is, we didn't expect to like Hawaii. Neither of us is fond of the beach. But everyone that had been there said, "Go." So here we were, determined to make the best of it. And so we did. And it was so easy.
|The hotel we stayed at (the Holiday Inn at the time) is the rightmost
hotel in the picture. To its right is Diamond Head Crater. We took a hike up there, but
more about that later.
Did I mention that we got to the hotel and our luggage didn't? We actually touched it in the airport in Honolulu but the tour "greeter" insisted they would get it to the hotel for us. We didn't see it 'til the middle of the night. Trust me when I tell you it's not nice to stay in the same clothes for over 24 hours.
So what to do when our luggage was in limbo? A walk on the beach seemed appropriate. Some guy was standing by his catamaran trying to sell tickets for a fun ride on the ocean. He was fishing for customers with a "discount" as a lure and we bit. What great fun. The wind was up and this thing flew through the water. Along with some nice views of Waikiki, we got to see lots of flying fish. They don't just make long jumps out of the water. They flap their whatevers and fly just above the surface.
Starting from the upper left photo and going clockwise, that's (1) a shot of the catamaran taken after our return to the beach at Waikiki, (2) Phyllis relaxing, (3) the rather bronzed boat crew, and (4) Diamond Head Crater seen from the boat.
|Here's a shot of Waikiki Beach at night taken from the terrace of our hotel room after one of the longest, most tiring days we had ever spent on a vacation. Our luggage was still in limbo, but we were assured after numerous telephone calls that it would arrive "any minute." "Any minute" turned out to be a few hours later.|
|Diamond Head Crater
Here's some shots of that hike up to Diamond Head. We met a group of people who had also read about the free guided "walk" up the crater. It started a short distance from the hotel. Getting to the start of the climb was easy, but it was all uphill from there, including (would you believe?) a long concrete stairway mid-route. We fell far behind the group near the top but made it all the way. Talk about being out of shape. But the views we got from the top were exhilarating and well worth the effort.
View from the Top
Hanauma Bay is about 10 miles east of Diamond Head and is locally recommended as the place for snorkeling and beginner's SCUBA diving. I desperately wanted to try snorkeling and coaxed Phyllis into trying it. If you want an earful, ask Phyllis what happened when we went to rent snorkel gear. It was back in 1989, but to Phyllis, it will all come back as if it were yesterday.
|As a first snorkeling adventure, it was fun, but with all the people there kicking up the sand and silt, it could have been much better. You can see how murky the water looks. I expect it would be much better in the early morning. The pictures were taken with one of those throw-away underwater cameras.|
|Next, we'll take you to the other side of the Oahu to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center (click on  or [Next] ).|