Thursday, January 19, 2006

Adventures In Alohaland Day 7

Day 7 Sunday On Waikiki Beach! If every day you could wake up in paradise, what would it be worth to you? The thing I keep thinking of, this is vacation. If I lived here, I would have to have a job. That work thing sure can get in the way of having a good time. Ah well, great breakfast at Duke’s as usual. Lot’s of families today for some reason. No bother, just noticed.

Went up to my room after breakfast and grabbed my light backpack that I purchased at the swap meet. Walked down the street to catch the Pink Trolley again to Ala Moana Shopping Center.

Had the same driver from last time. She is a riot. Lot’s of crazy people on the trolley. I think some people leave their brain at home when on vacation. That driver was so patient. Kudos to her for enjoying her job so much.

Looked around some of the shops I missed last time. Went back to Hilo Hatties for a few things friends from home had asked for. The bookstore was having a huge sale. I bought a couple of Hawaiian books for children. (I forgot to mention that when I went to the Swap Meet on Wednesday, I bought a friends twin 3 year olds these cool coconuts. They have something like a fish or a beach scene or a turtle and you mail them like a postcard! LOL They loved them!) And I bought one more Hawaiian history book for myself. Decided I had enough to lug onto the trolley and found my way back to the Pink Trolley.

The ride back was very enjoyable. A light rain off and on. It is very welcomed actually, cools you off. According to one of my guides, the Hawaiians saw sprinkles of rain as a blessing. I am trying to look at it that way here at home…not the same somehow! LOL

Back at the hotel, I dropped my purchases off in the room and headed down to Dukes for lunch. I made the mistake of sitting at my favorite little bar to eat! Alex was bartending and keeping things interesting at the bar. I had the excellent Chicken Quesadilla. Lot’s of food, but I managed to eat it all!

There were several of the old time beach boys there. The bar charges them $1.00 a beer and a huge discount on their food, if not free. These guys are so friendly after they see you a few times. They told me some cool stuff about the surfers out that day.

One of the guys started talking to me about how the true surfers paddle out, none of this towing in thing. He said he believes if you aren’t strong enough to paddle out far enough and aren’t fast enough to catch the wave you have no business riding it! LOL

These men are truly a treasure. Glad to see Duke’s recognizes their worth to the place. I have these guy’s names written down somewhere. I will keep looking for it. They were a trip. Very interesting and had hundreds of stories to tell. It took awhile for them to warm up, but when they did….it was worth it.

I mentioned that I intended to rent a car the next day to go out to the Arizona Memorial. One of the guys took me up to a young guy sitting there at the bar. He told him I was his friend and I needed to rent a car for the next day. That guy’s name was Pono, he was really nice and actually walked with me up the street to the Budget car rental place. They gave me a huge discount. One great thing about them, they give you discount coupons with your rental. I used several of them. They aren’t buy 1 get one free. They are either free items or discounted even for one. So good all around. I scheduled to pick the car up that night at 9pm, since I wouldn’t need it till the next morning.

I have truly felt that this trip was magical. Every person I met seemed to go out of his or her way to make sure my stay was great!

After thanking the guys for helping me so much, I went upstairs to my room to change into my surf shorts and tankini top for the sunset catamaran ride. The great folks with No Hoku gave me a discount on this ride since I went on the day ride yesterday. I think they do that for everyone, still it’s nice. Also, be sure if you want to do the sunset cruise you sign up in advance. It pretty much always sells out.

I went downstairs and had some time to kill. One of my favorite bartenders that I hadn’t seen all day, was at the big bar. He greeted me with what had become typical for me “Hey South Kackalackee! What’s up?” He asked how my day had been and what I was up to. I told him I was headed for the No Hoku. The whole time we were talking he was mixing drinks and without me asking hands me a lava flow in a plastic cup. He tells me this one’s on him and don’t fall off the boat! LOL So I graciously accept and walk out to the beach area of Dukes to wait on the boarding call for the No Hoku.

I finished by drink in time to get in line for the cruise. Nobuku recognized me and greeted me with a hug. Shogu helped me board the boat and brought me a mai tai. This time I decided to be adventurous and sit at the front of the boat. Not in the netting but just behind that. The solid part next to the sails. It was a great place to sit. Good view and lots of motion with the water. Got a little wet, but nothing like my first trip!

There were a lot of drunk people on this trip. I was not one of them. I had 2 mai tais. I met some nice folks who were there on business. They had just closed some huge $$$ deal in Honolulu and would be coming back on a regular basis to get the company off the ground. Some people have all the luck!

This was such a beautiful trip. I highly recommend it. They play great music there is an open bar and soft drinks. The crew is delightful and very safety conscious. They overall do a killer job. The view of Waikiki coming back in is just breathtaking. I took some photos, not sure where I am going to put them up, but I will post a link.

The ride back in was once again a trip, the conch blowing and people trying to get out of the way. It is a wonder no one gets hurt, cause there were some obviously oblivious people out there. But it all worked out just fine!

After giving my goodbyes with hugs all around to the crew, I headed back to the hotel. I headed upstairs to change in to some dry clothes. After combing out my hair, I was ready for some food and to go get my car.

I walked across the street to find some food. I sort of wandered and found a food court in the International Market Place for some fast food. It was filling and all I needed. I then had a Dole Pineapple Whip. It was awesome.

I left there and walked toward the car rental place. On the way I passed a jewelry vendor stand. They had nice gold and silver jewelry. I found a lovely plumeria ring. They gave me a great deal compared to Charleston. They didn’t have my size there, but did at their store. They told me I could pick it up the next day. It is really beautiful. It made me think of my mom. She loved to buy jewelry on vacation. I guess she was watching over me and laughing! LOL

The rental car went without a hitch. I found my way back to the Outrigger no problem and the bellmen took care of parking it.

Knowing that I was going to the Arizona Memorial in the morning, I decided to call it a night. I felt truly blessed.

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