Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Adventures In AlohaLand Day 2

Day 2 Before I even begin, I have to say how much I missed my guy. HM really just committed himself to this relationship, when I get back, we have a lot to decide. He is so incredible. He is looking for a new house and has made a lot of life changes to be with me. Here I go heading off to Hawaii when he is right in the middle of a lot of drama. I am going to leave out all of the I MISS MY BOYFRIEND angst and just give the trip report! :) LOL

Woke up early due to the time difference. Opened up the balcony door and stepped outside to check out paradise. From my balcony the water looked so inviting, as did the beach. The big news of the day was the unusual swells to hit the south shores. Really large surf for that time of year. I had scheduled for a 7am pick up with Hawaiian Fire Surf School. I put on my bathing suit and surf shorts and packed a little bag with dry clothes and towel/sunscreen.

I went downstairs and walked through the lobby, out back to the beach. My first morning on Waikiki! The beach boys were starting to arrive and set up for the day. There was only one other person on the beach. I asked this very nice man to take my picture with Diamond Head in the backgroud. Unfortunately it was with my waterproof throwaway, not my good camera! But at least I know what it was! LOL

Off I went to Starbucks in the lobby and got a muffin top and some bottled water. I decided to take it out front and eat outside. Everyone seemed on their way to work. The trucks were delivering the produce and liquor & beer, etc. I found a place to perch on the edge of a planter almost right at the crosswalk to the International Marketplace. I am from the south and we speak to people as they walk by. I can’t help myself, it’s in the genes! A delivery guy with a hand truck of liquor boxes asked me if I was here on vacation and was I having fun. I told him so far, I had only been in town less than 12 hours!

Then a very handsome, you might say dapper, gentleman of probably 75 - 80 years old or so came across the street with a walker. He was smiling at me as if he new me. I smiled back. He said “Good morning! If I had known you were waiting for me, I would have come sooner!” He had a little twinkle in his eye and a huge smile on his face. He was very sweet. I told him I had been waiting for him all morning! LOL He was from Spain. He could not have been sweeter. We chatted for a few minutes about how lovely the day was becoming. He told me I was very beautiful and wished me a good day. He was so nice, not at all creepy. Just full of life.

The head bellman let me know when the van came from Hawaiian Fire. He also told me, he thought they were probably the safest way to go. They really knew their stuff. The van had a young couple on board when they got me. They were from California. The young man had family on the islands and had been there several times. The driver was great. He plays in a Polynesian really funny. Then we picked up a guy who was from somewhere like NY or Chicago….he was odd, but nice enough.

We drove a pretty long way out. The traffic was bad, but worse headed to town. The driver told us how most people work in town, but few can afford to live there. He had some interesting things to say. We went to Barber’s Point. It was deserted except for the HF van and us. The company says you can even meet them there and just rent boards and such from them, if you have a rental car. I personally don’t think I would have been able to find it, even with directions. Now that I know where it is, maybe, but there were lots of turns and really in the middle of nowhere.

We got out and were greeted by Ryan. He had us all pick up a bag with our reef shoes and rash guards. Everything was laid out by size. They really have this down to a science! I had a private lesson, he was my instructor. We did some land drills and then got in the water. Surfing isn’t new to me, but I haven’t surfed in maybe 20 years or more! LOL
We got in the water and the waves were breaking pretty good in what seemed like 6 or 8 wave sets. It was just relentless and the current was running really strong. The waves were about 6-8 feet pretty steadily. Then a few 3 - 4 feet mixed in. This was the biggest surf in the summer in something like…ever! LOL

Ryan, bless his heart tried to help me, he towed me out several times. I would start paddling out and feel like I was paddling in place, he would pass me and hook his toe on my board and pull me right out. I got up one good time and a couple more half ass times, but I am not in very good shape these days and not used to swimming in those conditions. A couple of times I could hardly get back on my board for the waves.

Before very long at all jet lag kicked in to high gear. I started getting sparkly things around my eyes….sure sign for me of a migraine coming on. I told Ryan, I thought I needed to go in. I was really afraid I would get hurt out there, with the water conditions and my condition! LOL
He gave me one last push and I rode in to almost shore. I really struggled to get the board out of the water against the currents. I finally got it out of the water and sat in one of the chairs they had under a tent. Ryan brought me some aspirin and tried to talk me in to going back out. He was a really nice guy and really knew his stuff. I highly recommend their company. They have a great program. They give you good solid instruction on land. Not just how to surf, but the safety in the water with the board.

I chose the first day of my vacation to do this cause of the time difference I knew I would be awake early. In hindsight, I realize I should have waited until I had rested some.
Everyone seemed to really have a great time. The ride back was just as much fun as the ride there. My head was beginning to get worse, but I wasn’t driving so no worries.

When they dropped me off at the hotel, I took my things upstairs and went down to Duke’s for lunch. It was very warm in the restaurant, but the surf was spectacular. There was quite a buzz all over town about it. People were literally leaving work to come down to the beach to surf.
Many of the catamaran’s that take off from the beach had to call the day off. In fact while I was having lunch one of the boats came charging up the beach almost all the way to the restaurant! People were scattering all over the place! The waves just pushed them in much harder and faster than normal. It was funny only because no one was hurt.

After having the buffet at Duke’s I went upstairs to take some pain medicine and put a cold cloth on my head. I took a hot shower and then lay down for a few hours.

Late afternoon, I woke up, got another shower and felt human finally! I decided to head over to the infamous International Marketplace. It was really something. There are so many vendors and unlike so many other tourist markets, they don’t really all have the same stuff! Some of it is repeated, but mostly unique stuff. Some junky touristy stuff and some really cool gifts, jewelry, t-shirts, etc. I walked around there for hours. I decided to just look around today and actually shop closer to my time to go home.

I started to get hungry around 7:30. Walking along, I heard some really good live music coming from upstairs. I finally found the staircase (after asking these really funny folks in the Quicksilver shop) that led up to Coconut Willy’s. This place is a must!

The music was a 3 piece band of older gentlemen. They covered almost every style of music imaginable. They also sang some really beautiful Hawaiian music in Hawaiian. The singer explained what the songs were about in a very easy style. Really enjoyed listening to these guys. They also did country songs and dance music as well as old Motown. When I walked in they were singing Cotton Eyed Joe! LOL

This place really has a neighborhood bar type of feel to it. I ordered a mahi mahi sandwich that was really great! While I was eating I had a nice conversation with a couple who were visiting from Ireland. The entertainment didn’t end with the guys on stage. There were about a dozen or so older folks (I’m guessing 60yrs old +) there dancing. They seemed to be part of a group, maybe a dance club? They were having the best time! They were swing dancing like you wouldn’t believe and they line danced up a storm. It was really fantastic. And somewhat hysterical as there was at least one hoochie mama in the group and a guy with an Elvis pompadour. Now these two were not together although they did dance together at least once. They were very entertaining, even though they didn’t know it! LOL

Around 11:00 I decided I had enough for one day and went back to the hotel. I sat out on my balcony for a little while and just enjoyed the beautiful view of the ocean and the breeze. Finally got to bed around midnight. Again, hope yall are okay with all this detail Will write more later.

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