Aloha from Kaua'i!
Well, this Trip Report will be a little different - I was not going to do one for just an off-island trip of a couple of nights duration, but was "inspired" by a fellow Hawai'i resident who did so and it was a fabulous report - mine won't be anything like that mind you - so don't get your hopes up - but here goes!
We love films, we met at a blind date when I was 17 at the movies in fact and our love affair (both with movies and each other) has never faded - we always go every week to a movie here on Kaua'i, even though the choices are....er...limited to say the least.
So we always enjoy going over to O'ahu every year for the HIFF (Hawai'i International Film Festival) - which is held in October and showcases films from around the world, and Hawai'i as well.
We flew over first flight out Sunday morning (oh my gosh, that is just too early!!) and got over to O'ahu in time to say to my husband "now what, it is soooo early?" --- well, we picked up our car at Avis (we always use Avis) and no troubles as usual - headed on the road (choke traffic, commute hour) - and decided that we hadn't been to the "Shorebird Restaurant" at the Outrigger Reef Hotel for a few years - I loved their breakfast buffet and the location so we headed down there.
Now we've gone to O'ahu a fair amount - every 2-3 months we go over for some reason I'd guess - but it is usually for something specific and we don't have time to do the breakfast buffet thing....so it was nice to find that admist all the Waikiki Boardwalk construction and change, that the same little parking lot was opposite Fort Derussy and a quick walk over to the hotel - which has been massively upscaled and fancified since our last trip there - the thing that I most noticed? Well, as a former front desk clerk at a Kaua'i hotel who stood for all 8 hours of her shift (as does just about every front desk clerk) - here were comfy ergonomic chairs that the front desk staff were comfortably sitting in to check in people - now WHY didn't they have those when I was working the front desk? I would have avoided that nasty Plantar fasciitis that I got from standing all day! Anywho - I envied them!
So, the Shorebird - nothing really has changed there - the view right onto the beach is still there, the casual atmosphere, the accents of probably every one of the 50 states and several other countries being heard in conversations - and the buffet - which I thoroughly enjoyed - the only gripe I had was that it wasn't a good day for papaya - it was pretty junk - but given all the other choices (and bear in mind I don't eat meat) - there was nothing to complain about at all!
We enjoyed ourselves, watching the varous visitors get beach boys to dig umbrellas in the same next to their lounges, and then listen to various discussions on the merits or not between their home state and this one - pretty entertaining actually - Waikiki is the best place, bar none, that I know of to people watch and be entertained!
So then we went to a new hotel (for us) to try - the Ohana East on Kuhio Avenue - recommended to us by a friend who stays there a lot on business. We were waaaay early, but wanted to just store our bags so we wouldn't be a target - but the wonderful front desk clerk said if we could wait 1/2 hour, he would have our room ready for us - so easy peasy, we went and had a cup of coffee in their internet lounge and before we knew it, our room was ready - and this was at right about 10am I'd guess.
Lovely room, no view to speak of (but we didn't pay for one) - very clean and the furniture was lovely and not threadbare or worn and it had a lovely bright window with a little lanai as well. Nothing fancy, but really nice, basic comfort - we will probably stay there again.
So headed off to Dole Cannery Theatres - I guess I can sum up the course of the next 2 days by saying that from Sunday at 11:30am until 8pm that night, we watched films - from China, from Italy, from Hawai'i, from the Phillipines, from Indonesia, etc, etc.
Great to see so many young filmmakers and so many different types of films that we wouldn't normally have an opportunity to enjoy. Also saw comedian Frank DeLima going to a film - he was buying something at the concessions counter and since he is on a health kick (he has lost a TON of weight) - I was niele (curious) as to what he might be buying, but not THAT niele to go and look!
We got out and were pooped (our okoles were sore as well!) - we aren't night people and just wanted something quick and non popcorn to eat and then hit the sack - so we parked the car at the hotel and walked across the street to Chili's - which we haven't been to in years and years. Well, I was tired, so bearing that in mind - it wasn't my thing - the overly blond "dude" serving us was doing the forced cheerful thing and I had soup and salad - the broccoli and cheese soup was really like a thick cheese dip that you'd serve with tortilla chips - couldn't eat it. The salad was good though! Basically we just wanted to chow down and get out of there. Night life people we aren't and the freak show out on Kuhio and Kalakaua is just so bizarre to these country mice that we just went to bed pronto!
The next morning we walked around and I made a bee-line for the Sheraton Moana Surfrider - I love buying one of their French macarons (well, maybe 6!) and taking it upstairs to one of the koa rocking chairs to sit and watch the parade of people on Kalakaua Avenue - this day there were 6 Japanese brides and grooms departing from the Moana - all one after the other - gorgeous gowns, white tuxes, the whole banana - it was fascinating to watch....I know that it is popular for Japanese couples to be married in a traditional ceremony at home and then come to Hawai'i for a Western wedding....the brides in particular I found fascinating - so beautiful and wearing heels that must have been 4 inches high if they were anything - how could they walk???
Anyway, back to the hotel and then back to Dole Cannery for the film festival - more films - and with the exception of one, I thought every single one was great and thoroughly enjoyed them. We were lucky enough to go to the "Evening with the Eberts" that was a film "Leaves of Grass" being introduced and moderated by Roger and Chaz Ebert. This was a sold out event and all I have to say is that after watching Mr. and Mrs. Ebert - I am now huge fans of each of them - I've always enjoyed Mr. Ebert's reviews, but now with his disability, it is amazing to watch how he interacts with the crowd without speech - he is funny, witty and amazing - all without speaking one word - his wife Chaz would take a question from the audience and Roger would immediately be writing his answer in longhand on a notepad - in an amazingly short time, his wife would read the answer and it was always amazingly concise, witty and entertaining - he diffused what might be pity about his conditions with comical gestures illustrating what his wife was translating and before long, you really almost forgot that he was disabled in that way. His brain certainly isn't! It was a honor to get to see both of them - and the film "Leaves of Grass" was probably my favorite - reminiscent of early Coen brothers films such as "Fargo" (one of my 5 favorite films ever!).......
So, back to hotel, this time with take-out Jack in the Box. Well heck, we don't have it here you know - so those eggnog milkshakes are a real treat for us!
I told you this would be a non-foodie report, right????
The next day we had a flight around 3 back home to Kaua'i but still wanted more films!!! So we drove over to the Kahala Mall and saw a great little movie called "Kind of a Funny Story" - another excellent, little film that we'd never get over here on Kaua'i - oh, and beforehand, we had breakfast from the great take-out items at Whole Foods - man, if that place was on Kaua'i - we'd go bankrupt eating there!!! Soooo tasty, and so many vegetarian choices!
So, movie pau, hit the road - dropped car off, caught flight back - this time on the plane with our own Mayor Carvalho, gubernatorial candidates Aiona and Abercrombie and several of the TV media from O'ahu - forgot there was a gubenatorial debate here on Kaua'i.....so got to see all the "big boys" up close!
See, wasn't that fascinating???? LOL - well, considering we spent about 85% of our time in a movie theatre - that's as good as it gets for this Trip Report! Oh, forgot the total movies we saw (including shorts) - 19!!
Oh, I did manage to get down Maunakea Street for my obligatory pikake combs for my hair from Lin's Lei's - can't go to O'ahu without getting those!!!!
Sorry for the boring report - next time we'll do something really exciting - like do research at the State Archives like I normally do.....oooooh....keeping you in suspense I know!!