Hawaii ’07: Day 3

Waikiki Travel Blog

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Gorgeous Sunset on Waikiki Beach

So I really overdid the walking yesterday... and a little of the drinking It didn't help that I was wearing sandals and that the bar had Guinness, and people were buying be drinks. God help me, sometimes I'm just not that bright. Anyway, woke up this morning motivated to do absolutely nothing, but being that I'm paying more than I can afford for this trip and I am in paradise, I figured I should suck it up and enjoy the day despite the pain (and the morning rain shower). I did seek activities that required as little walking as possible though. I got up at 8 or 9, still no sunrise for me on this trip thus far, and headed a couple blocks up Kuhio Ave. to Keoni at the Ohana East hotel. They had a 3.95 breakfast special: scrambled eggs, bacon and 2 huge pancakes with coconut syrup.

Really cool Banyan tree at Waikiki Beach near my hotel
Ono! Scarfed that down and washed it down with my new morning ritual: coffee. Seriously, who starts drinking coffee at 26 years old? I don't know why I like it here, maybe it's because I like almost EVERYthing here. Hobbled back to the hotel to figure out what to do with the rest of the day. Once I got on the computer I decided that I needed to figure out what to do for the next few days, because you see, planning my activities on the computer required no walking. I got in touch with the Dolphin Research place that I was planning on going out on the boat with. It's not free but it's not expensive either and the proceeds go to charity. I worked on figuring out the bus system so I could get to Waianae on the other side of the island tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn.
Sunset at Waikiki Beach
This all took me to about 2 or 3pm. I still hadn't gone swimming so I headed down to Waikiki and got in. My feet hurt so bad, I didn't want to walk over there, but once I got in the water I was glad I did: the water is PERFECT. Maybe 78 or 79 degrees, crystal clear and the bottom is pretty much all sand. I swam around for a while and it felt good to get some exercise that didn't involve being upright. Hobbled my way back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. I was starving and I ate over at the Cheesecake Factory a few blocks from my hotel. I would rather not eat at chain restaurants but they do have local fare at this one and I had never been there... and there portions are big and fairly priced.
New friend Paul before torch lighting ceremony at Waikiki Beach
I had a fish burger which was basically a marinated and grilled ahi tuna steak and coleslaw on a potato roll. Very nice. The slaw was awesome, they put pineapple in it and the sweet acidity really balances the creaminess. I had the strawberry cheesecake too and it was awesome. I got done with dinner just in time to walk over to the beach for the ceremonial torch-lighting at sunset. People were gathering around a small natural-turf stage and watching the surfers catch their last few dozen waves before dark. I was taking pictures and caught the eyes of a couple cute Japanese girls. They were taking pictures of each other in front of the beach and setting sun so I offered to take one of the two of them. I sat down on the ground near them and soon thereafter we were joined by an eccentric middle aged local guy in scrubs.
Another gorgeous sunset
He is white but fluent in Japanese. He had the girls laughing in no time. He somehow got me into their conversation and their group. The girls were quite impressed by my 50 word Japanese vocabulary. One girl, Mamiko doesn't speak any English, the other, Minori knows about as much English as I know Japanese (more I'm sure), but we seemed to hit it off anyway. It helped having Paul (the guy in scrubs) as a translator. It was like having Declerq around: this guy would say and do anything (he hid under his shirt for 5 minutes “looking for his cigarette” whilst he smoked pot out of a tinfoil pipe) which made everyone relaxed and made me look sane by comparison. After the sun set and we got a bunch of pictures together, a group of native Hawaiians put on a really good and educational traditional hula show.
Seriously, the sunsets never get old
(Hula isn't about sexy dancing, it's a form of interpretive dance meant to tell a story.) It was a great show and I had a blast. Paul told me that the girls were into me and that I needed to come out and have Japanese food and drinks with them. We walked over to a place called Samurai, very close to my hotel and had some great stuff called teppenyaki I think. Squid, battered and fried and covered with some creamy sauce and benito flakes. We also had something that resembled a green onion frittata (not easy to eat with chopsticks.) I bought beer at the liquor store next door and we all sat around and chatted. Apparently my Japanese pronunciation is very good, I just need to learn a lot more words. It was cool speaking with them and the owner of the restaurant.
New friends Minori and Mamiko at the beach
He said when I move here I can come work for him! A bit later the girls wanted to go find some Hawaiian music CDs. Paul went to go find himself some more weed (he's a 48 year old Greg, I assume he's self-medicating). I took the ladies to Borders (closed) and we parted ways after exchanging email addresses. What seemed to start off as a bummer of a day really worked out well. Mamiko studies hula in Japan and I suspect and hope they'll be visiting often.

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Gorgeous Sunset on Waikiki Beach
Gorgeous Sunset on Waikiki Beach
Really cool Banyan tree at Waikiki…
Really cool Banyan tree at Waikik…
Sunset at Waikiki Beach
Sunset at Waikiki Beach
New friend Paul before torch light…
New friend Paul before torch ligh…
Another gorgeous sunset
Another gorgeous sunset
Seriously, the sunsets never get o…
Seriously, the sunsets never get …
New friends Minori and Mamiko at t…
New friends Minori and Mamiko at …
Mamiko showing off her ukulele ski…
Mamiko showing off her ukulele sk…
Paul, Mamiko and Minori throwing t…
Paul, Mamiko and Minori throwing …
Me, Mamiko and Minori before the h…
Me, Mamiko and Minori before the …
More of Waikiki
More of Waikiki
Torch lighting ceremony on Waikiki
Torch lighting ceremony on Waikiki
Traditional music and hula show at…
Traditional music and hula show a…
World-class traditional Hawaiian h…
World-class traditional Hawaiian …
Traditional hula dancer, very beau…
Traditional hula dancer, very bea…
Me, Mamiko and Minori at Samurai h…
Me, Mamiko and Minori at Samurai …
Minori and me in front of Banyan t…
Minori and me in front of Banyan …
Mamiko and me in front of the gian…
Mamiko and me in front of the gia…
Waikiki
photo by: mrgishi