Ahh, Hawaii. Paradise.
This was my fourth trip to Hawaii. After three previous
trips, I’ve learned lessons:
-Stay for more than 8 days to maximize the relaxation
-Stay in a place that includes a full kitchen, because
eating out every night for that long would kill my stomach and our budget.
-Apply suntan lotion every day, no matter what.
-Bring a lot of money for shopping.
-Plan to spend a lot of money on stuff I could probably get
-Drink a mai tai every day.
Being born in February, arguably the worst weather month if
you live on the east coast, means that my birthday celebrations are normally
inside, involving the wearing of many layers, and the eating of lots of food to
help pack on the insulating layers. This year, my wonderful husband, CPM,
decided that we should head to warmer climes to celebrate. I was in complete
agreement. Thus, our longest trip to Hawaii was booked.
It’s a long trip to get to Hawaii from the east coast. Since
we fly from Philadelphia, we are always subjected to a layover somewhere. This
time, via Delta, that was in Salt Lake City. On previous trips, it’s been Phoenix, Las Vegas, and
Houston. Woo. I’ve seen a lot of airports. None of them have great food. (For
great airport food, head to Copenhagen. I had a really great meal in that
airport.) By the time one arrives in paradise, you have the sensation of being
dried out, exhausted, starving, and exhilarated at the same time. You get your
bags, claim your rental car (we always get one), head to your condo/hotel, check
in, shower, and are now ready to begin your vacation adventure. For us, that
always begins with a meal somewhere.
After two weeks on Oahu, in Waikiki, I’m trying to remember
what we did that would be of interest to people, and I can’t think of much that
is earth shattering. We went to the beach every day, even when it was raining
(because the rain lasts only for a few minutes, and then the sun returns). We
went on a whale watch and saw two whales. We went house hunting and found a
bargain basement deal of house for sale at $485,000 with a tarp for a roof. We
took lots of long walks, some to find whales, some to find food, some just for
picture taking. We went outlet shopping. We went to the Ala Moana Center to
walk around. We walked Kalakaua Avenue every day, either in the morning or in
the evening. The people watching on the “strip” is second to none. We ate
delicious food. We went to the zoo on our last day to kill time and had a
blast. It was our vacation. We relaxed. We got sunburned, because suntan lotion
eventually gets irritating, and you give in and “forget” to apply it. It ended
too soon, as always, and we were back in Philadelphia, facing the cold, and the
snow, and hoping that spring and warm weather would get here soon. When the weather is bad here, I can just look at my
pictures and fantasize that I'm in a place where the sky is blue, the breeze is gentle, and the temperature is perfect.
Don't get me wrong: Hawaii is not perfect. It has its share of problems. There are homeless people. There are scam artists. There is crime. There is traffic. There is dirt. But something about the fluffy white clouds blowing by makes it okay.