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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 3
Hawaii - Oahu
The Long Weekend


Day 2
LA to Oahu
Slept until 5AM, enjoyed Dad's delicious breakfast of eggs, Canadian bacon, juice and toast, then the five-minute jaunt back to LAX to wait two hours to board Hawaiian Air Flight 01 to Honolulu. Again, I am Mr. Random Search at the security checkpoint. But I don't mind. Sat and talked with Eric from Denver who is traveling with his daughter to Kauai.
Familiar sight at LAX
Carol arranged for a window and an aisle seat - prime seats on this five-hour flight on a DC-10. As to be expected, my cellphone rang just as we were boarding - Mark in Schenectady setting up a four-way conference call for tomorrow at 7AM Honolulu time. If looks from Carol could kill I would not be writing this now… The call should not take long and is important to my client.
The DC-10 was comfortable although I rarely have enough leg room. The west-bound movie was "Monsters Inc" which we had already seen.
I have no idea how I do it but somehow I manage to locate the one screaming kid on a plane and plant myself either directly in front or behind. This flight is no exception, but I will tune it out with a good book ("Black Hawk Down.")
It is always incredible to me how vast the oceans are. This is quite evident when you fly above one for hours on end. Nothing but blue water and white caps for five hours, until at last we spied the lush island of Oahu. The flight was very nice and the service was terrific.
Since my first trip to this magical place many years ago, the first thing I notice when I deplane in Honolulu and walk through the open air terminals is the scent of plumeria. This trip is no exception, although I notice more tobacco mingled in… We took the Wiki-Wiki ("quick") shuttle to Alamo Rental Car and soon were on H1 heading east into Waikiki and the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel. Our room on the 22nd floor gives an awesome view overlooking Waikiki Beach and the blue-green Pacific Ocean.
Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel
Showered, unpacked and walked a couple of blocks down Kalakaua Boulevard until we spied Cheeseburger in Paradise. Be advised to skip this joint - we waited 45 minutes for a very mediocre lunch. In fact, I had to send my Cheeseburger in Paradise back - I had ordered it medium-well and it came raw. Stay away… There be demons here…
The ubiquitous ABC Stores
We walked around Waikiki with the 4 bazillion other tourists and were quite glad to be two of them. There are ABC Shops (ultimate tourist shop - postcards/mumus/t-shirts/chocolate-covered macadamia nuts/baseball caps) every 50 feet. We took a quick stroll through the massive outdoor International Marketplace with its wonderful, humongous, ancient Banyon trees and stall after stall of trinkets, jewelry, Hawaiian shirts, toe rings (Carol bought one) and all things Tourist. Then strolled along bustling Kalakaua Avenue and window-shopped until our feet told us it was time to give them a break. We found the Halekulani Hotel and sat at the oceanside terrace called House Without A Key and enjoyed the cool breezes coming off the emerald Pacific. I have seen no other place on the planet where the waters are as beautiful and serene. We watched the surfers, snorkelers and swimmers and just relaxed as the trade winds brought wonderful Island scents our way. Throughout our stay, the delightful plumeria blossoms magically wafted in and out of our senses.
Resting at the Halekulani Hotel
We then walked along the beach, in the sand, towards our hotel and saw a beautiful rainbow over Diamondhead, the famous Oahu landmark. On our last visit we hiked up this ancient lava outcropping - it is quite a hike. Suddenly we received a call from our dear friends Sharon and Michael, welcoming us, and when we arrived back at the hotel we found that they had left exquisite leis for us with a very nice note, so typical of them. Sharon had been transferred to Oahu for a year-long project with the state of Hawaii and she and Michael are enjoying every second. We are anxious to see them.
Rainbow over Diamondhead
Before arriving back at the hotel, we stopped at one of the dozens of ABC stores along the way and purchased a Hawaiian shirt and shorts. I intend to play tourist to the hilt on this trip… At the hotel we took some photos of the amazing view from our room twenty-two stories above Kalakaua Avenue and Waikiki Beach...
View from our hotel room
Rested for a while and then retrieved the car from the hotel valet service and drove up to Kokohead, then realized we were famished and did an about-face back into Waikiki where we found a great Chinese restaurant called Fook Yuen Seafood on Kapiolani Street. We ordered the seafood combo and spinach with garlic although everyone else (all Chinese, by the way) seemed to be eating the lobster special. Our dinner was excellent and the fried rice was superb.
Fook Yuen Chinese Restaurant
Having spent a wonderful first afternoon and evening in Paradise, we hit the sack early to re-energize for more fun and adventure in the coming days...

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