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
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
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
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