On the Way...
We launched out of Baltimore Washington Airport early Wednesday morning en route to Salt Lake City, where we would have a two hour layover. The second leg took us in to Honolulu arriving at 2:30 pm. This was a good schedule. We selected exit row, adjacent aisle seats. Neither of us had a middle seat passenger to rub elbows with, so this was cool. We had a two seat exit row on the 767-800 to Honolulu. Not bad. Except for BS (Beloved Spouse) inadvertently knocking a cup of ice water in my lap, we had an uneventful, pleasant trip...the gold standard of air travel....uneventful.
We arrived in Honolulu, and the first rush one gets walking off the plane into the fragrant air never changes! In one hour and 15 minutes, we had retrieved our luggage, our National jeep rental, drove downtown, checked into the Hale Koa, and went to our 11th floor, full ocean view room (I am not kidding; stunning view of Waikiki). Fifteen minutes later, we were unpacked and ready to rumble. (Note: No Costco stop; Momma's on vacation; kitchen is closed.)
We cleaned up a bit and headed to Duke's We had a 7:45 reservation, but we hoped they would take pity and seat us sooner. They did, bless their hearts, and seated us near the rail. I lei'd my wife and put on one myself (sounds terrible, doesn't it?) Kara, from Seattle, took great care of us like we were her parents. She is the type of young woman I wished I had another son for. Earned my second umbrella. The food, oh my heaven! Mac nut crusted Monchong is so delicious. To top it off, I played the birthday card for a serving of hula pie. Kara rounded up the gang and sang Happy Birthday (the mark of a truly fine restaurant). The little old ladies with the base, guitar, and ukelele chimed in too.
We ended the day with a stroll down Kalakaua Avenue. The silver cowboy was there. Also the biggest Hawaiian warrior I have ever seen was there too. Also, Mr. Potted Plant. Lots of new high end stores from our visit two years ago.
Good night, all.
North Shore boogey time...
We arose early, still on East Coast time, and launched across the central highlands to the North Shore. First stop was the Haleiwa Cafe for breakfast. Tania took great care of us. BS always highlights my weakness for pretty waitresses. There are worse faults I guess. The Huevos Rancheros were perfect. So was the coffee....and the homemade banana bread....and the papaya. I swore I wasn't going to do that. Met a friendly couple, New York natives, who retired in Waialua. They appeared disgustingly happy. Also met a handsome two year old boy, eating breakfast with his Daddy. He would be a great playmate for my two year old Bea.
After breakfast, we rambled around Haleiwa while she woke up. We watched the early morning sky divers at Dillingham.
We continued to wander. Checked out Papailoa Beach for turtles, but the tide was very low, below the plants they like to feed on. Didn't see any. Ditto Pupukea. We stopped at Shark's Cove and snorkeled a bit. There were more people than fish, so we didn't stay long. We moved on to Turtle Bay for a swim. BS decided to check out the jewelry store while I hiked down the beach.
I went way down the beach toward Kahuku, all the way to the point that you can see from the resort. Here on the point is a huge lava rock field, with some of the most sharp, jagged formations you will ever see. I am all buy myself and enjoying what God has created. No one visible anywhere. Don't you just hate Oahu? It is so crowded.
The return had a huge surprise. I was picking my way through the alternately deep, soft sand and the ferocious rock when I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks. At my feet was a juvenile monk seal. Green with algae and a big friendly monk seal grin on his face, he looked at me and waved a flipper. I quickly stepped back away from him and prayed he wouldn't bolt into the water. He didn't. I tried to determine exactly where I was. The closest landmark were the point and a golf green. A couple was just finishing the hole, and I called out to them to ask what hole that was. There are Japanese and speak no English. However, he did manage "17". So I called my wife and sent her to report my find. When I completed the hike back to the resort, my wife told me action was underway to protect the young seal.
We returned to Waikiki for an Outrigger Catamaran, now Waikiki Rigger, cruise. Traffic was obscene. Lots of vehicles and road construction made the journey two and a quarter hours long.
The cruise is my favorite. The breezes, the camaraderie and the sun setting are so refreshing. We have been in Captain Dave's care so many times, he knows us.
We were suffering from "2d night jet lag" exhaustion. We ate a quick bite at the hotel and crashed.