Just another day in paradise.
Honolulu Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
We awakened early this morning to a noisy quarrel of island birds outside our balcony door. After the usual thoughts of <where am I?> faded from my consciousness, I focused on the rhythmic patter of rain on the pavement outside. Showers on the islands are frequent and not exactly unexpected as they fester each morning like an angry sore on the horizon. I know, not a pretty picture.....but it really wasn't a pretty picture.
A soft, pleasant rain is a welcoming gesture unless it is accompanied by the stiff winds that can arrange the hair on your head in a most unbecoming manner. We were nearly lifted off our feet as we crossed the street on our way to the IHOP for a quick breakfast. Aside from our hunger pangs, the first thought we had as we headed out the door was to retrieve the rental car, drive it back to the airport and return to Waikiki on public transportation.
We really didn't need the car until Monday since we had planned activities that could easily be accomplished by walking in the area or by riding a tour bus. The public transport on the island of Oahu is fairly cheap with easy access for anyone with a dislike of driving in unfamiliar cities. From the airport back to Waikiki, we had the choice of a public bus for $2 one way or a hotel shuttle for $9 for the same trip. This doesn't even take into account the trolleys of many colors (pink, blue, yellow, red and green) that are also available for anywhere from $1, $2, $3, continuing up to $27 for a complete city tour. We chose the hotel shuttle since the city bus showed the trip to be a little over an hour and we were sure we could get there quicker via shuttle.
Nearly an hour and a half later, after we stopped at all the airport terminals and had a taken an impromptu tour of every hotel in Waikiki, we arrived back at our hotel, congratulating ourselves that we would be saving $75 for not parking our car in the hotel lot.
The morning had dissolved and we seemed to be getting nowhere fast, but the rain had now cleared and we could finally have a nose around the city. We strolled down Royal Hawaiian Avenue and took a left on Kalakaua Avenue, finding ourselves smack dab in the middle of Hawaii's version of Rodeo Drive. Louis Vuitton and Prada competed for our attention with Juicy Couture and Givenchy, but nothing could deter us from our planned destination of Macy's and The International Marketplace.
In our haste, Mark had not packed enough clothing to get him through 4-5 days. No, a bathing costume (in his words) and a t-shirt are not enough for an Englishman on tour! I, on the other hand, was on the lookout for the cheap, tacky, clothing of questionable taste which could only be described as loud, full of multicolored flowers, bamboo stalks and/or dancing hula girls, plastered across what the locals call <Aloha shirts>. I finally settled upon two brightly colored sarongs from a stall in the open air market while Mark made his way to the designer attire in the men's department in Macy's. Selections purchased, we ate a greasy rendition of tempura shrimp purchased at one of the food stands in the market then threaded our way through the crowds in search of our evening's entertainment.
A dinner cruise was nixed as our shrimp continued to sit undisturbed in our stomachs, in no apparent hurry to depart. We wanted something that would begin much later in the evening, thereby giving us some time to regain our appetites. We scoured the pamphlets filling the tourist information booths until we settled upon <Waikiki's Hottest Ticket>, "The Society of Seven plus Hawaiian Entertainment".
As the dinner hour approached, after having changed into our "evening wear", we retraced our steps down Rodeo Drive to the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel's Main Showroom. While waiting for the doors to open, we cooled our heels in the bar overlooking Waikiki beach, with it's glorious island sunset.
The "ticket" was obviously hotter than the buffet meal we served ourselves before the start of the floorshow. I worked in a dinner theatre for several years during my university days and I'm sure that they were serving the same green beans this evening that I had encountered those many years ago.
Happily, the entertainment was more palatable than the rubbery, fried fish, as we were treated to several hours of music and comedy, encompassing traditional Hawaiian instrumentals, hula dancing, broadway tunes, celebrity impersonations and the usual amount of embarassing audience participation involving amateur Elvis kareoke in full cape and black wig regalia.
A soft onshore breeze and the ambiance of Hawaiian tiki torches illuminated our leisurely stroll back to our home in the islands. Just another wonderful day in paradise.