We were suffering through the winter blahs, as the Pacific NW winter dragged on, grey skies, soggy days, me complaining about work, Dave complaining about the theater. One day I said ‘I think you haven’t said a thing today that wasn’t related to theater work!’, and he agreed. And then he did something about it. A couple weeks later we went to have dinner with our friends, and he surprised me with a trip to Hawaii! Leaving the next day!
I love spontaneous trips! We always have so much fun! He had even gone behind my back and asked a coworker to warn my boss I’d be taking off for a week! He had plotted with our friends to figure out where to go! So all I had to do was wrap my head around packing summer clothes:
Me: So I should take a sweater?
Dave: No, it’s going to be 80 degrees!
Me: But it will be cold at night right?
Dave: Do you remember what 80 degrees feels like?
Narrator: She did not remember what 80 degrees felt like. Everything she packed was too warm.
So we headed to the airport, and we are sitting in the waiting area, and I can hear the neighboring gate calling out ‘First boarding special needs, families with children, veterans, first class…’ and I said to Dave ‘First class, I’d like to know what that’s like someday!’ Just then our gate called for First Class and Dave stood up and grabbed our bags and said ‘let’s go’, and I’m like ‘Whaaaa?’ He said ‘I got us first class for the flight over’!!!
Check out all that legroom! Big comfy chairs with tons of room to stretch out!
And fancy breakfast!!
What a great start!
When we got there we got a shuttle bus to take us to Waikiki, to check in at the rental which was right on the beach! Looking right down the beach you can see Diamond Head. And of course it was warm and beautiful, just like you expect Hawaii to be!
And the view from our condo 9 floors up – perfect!
Making ourselves at home
That evening there were fireworks over the beach, easily viewed while chilling on the balcony
The next morning we took a city bus to Pearl Harbor. This was one of the more confusing places I’ve visited, because you need to have tickets for all the different areas, and catch a bus to get to the other half of the displays which are on the military base. We were very confused about how to get to the Arizona, because there were reserved times, we had a ticket for the afternoon, and we were trying to determine if we could go see the Air Museum first, but when we asked a park ranger they advised us to get in line then, because the previous day high winds had cancelled all the afternoon visits to the Memorial. So we did that, and ended up going over there early.
It was a beautiful memorial, and very humbling to be standing directly over the sunken ship. It was also VERY WINDY and when we left, they got everyone on board and left the memorial empty, and I heard from someone later that they had had a power outage that afternoon, so we were lucky to get to see it when we did.
Then we caught the bus over to the Mighty Mo, and wandered around there admiring all the big guns above decks, the place where they signed the paperwork to end the war, and wandered around below decks until my claustrophobia said enough was enough of that.
Then we headed over to the Air Museum. I did not take a lot of pictures, but I did take one of the restored airfield tower, and cleaned it up for a nice peiece of art:
After a hot bus ride home we discovered Shave Ice – Dave may never be the same.
And of course every night we ate like kings. Calories don’t count on vacation!
Every night while looking for food we wandered through this really fancy shopping area with places like Rolex and Tiffany and a Tesla store. There was this cool shopping center built around a HUGE tree with walkways for the upper floor winding between the trunks.
Dave found a shirt he really liked there on one of our evening wanders but the store was closed because it was so late.
We went to the Aquarium the next morning, which was a nice walk along the beach, counting ABC Stores every block, and watching the surfers on the beach. The Aquarium was small but they had a really cool display of Sea Dragons. Apparently this is a Common Sea Dragon! Pretty spectacular for a ‘common’!
The Zoo was pretty nice (though I’m biased because I think the Oregon Zoo has spoiled me, and is the best!) and it had a big central courtyard with a GIANT TREE in the middle of it. Me for scale.
After wandering the zoo we stopped for lunch and were harassed by peacocks.
One last bus ride, where we got to chatting with a nice older lady from Florida who said the zoo was fun, but she got lost in the winding paths. We thought it wasn’t that complicated, but then she mentioned she stopped at the convinience store and pre-gamed her visit with a little liquor! Lady, it’s barely even noon! Boy did we all have a laugh at that! I guess that’s what retirement is like!
Then we picked up our transportation for the second half of the trip. Time to explore the island!
I would have preferred a Mustang, but it was this or BWM. Oh well, convertible is convertible!
First stop was a Buddhist temple in the hills above Honolulu.
I loved this place, I thought it was beautiful, and really peaceful.
We stopped at McDonalds for a Teri-Mac burger, possibly the messiest burger ever created. I did my best not to leave any evidence in the Merc.
The balcony had a view of the beach, a museum with an attack helicopter on the roof, and pickleball courts, which were pickleballing at all hours. It was so much fun to watch the ships coming and going.
If we were awake, we were on the balcony. They could have just rented us a balcony. What a view!
The next morning, a breakfast whale-watching cruise! I was not sure about this whole concept, because I have never been on a boat bouncing around on the sea, and certainly not with a belly-full of breakfast, and neither has Dave.
The captains of all the whale watching boats worked together to spot the whales and direct each other to them. We got to see quite a few whales, including a mother and calf! Hard to get pictures of them though! I was even more surprised by the flying fish! I thought that was super cool!
And we had breakfast and nobody got seasick, even though it was like riding a roller coaster sometimes. Pretty exciting! Oh, and Dave lost his hat. So long, hat!
When we went back to our car we realized we had forgotten to pay for parking in our excitement to get to the boat, so we got to figure out how to pay a parking ticket! After that exciting morning we headed up to see the Macadamia farm, and the beaches on the north side of the island. I cannot get over how pretty it is here, every curve led us to more beautiful places!
After lunch we finally found a nearly empty beach to stretch out and enjoy the waves for a bit and have a nap.
Dave picked up a new hat to replace the one lost at sea, only to have the new one blow off out of the convertible! His third hat of the day had a chinstrap!
Man, look at this scenery!
We ended up at this beautful beach at the end of the day. Blue skies, puffy clouds, blue water. Paradise!
The next day was a short hike at Diamond Head
The Pineapple Farm, Where we stood in line for longer than a Disney ride to take a little train ride around the farm. My feet hurt so bad from walking everywhere all week I was just in incredible pain standing there, then when I finally got on the train I just dozed off for the whole ride.
and driving out to the far end of the island to see what was there (lots of homeless people living on the beaches).
Saw a Jollibee and had to try it. I feel like their mid-afternoon offerings may not have been at the peak of quality.
Also – Hawaii traffic! Well, isn’t that fun?
Feet are so very tired…
We finally spotted a break in the people on the beach below our hotel and grabbed our towels and ran down to play in the water. He did wade out into the ocean, but it was too cold for me, I stayed on the beach.
For our last day Dave went back and got that expensive shirt he liked from the shopping center with the tree in it.
We drove around and had a view of Honolulu
Back at the airport, dropped off the Mercedes, and ready to fly home
Not in first class anymore
This was a classic Dave Vacation, non stop go go go, we can sleep when we’re dead! We had a great time, and really enjoyed the break from PNW winter. It made the next 4 months of winter go by a little more tolerably.