Hawaii Report #1

So, you’re probably wondering how Hawaii was.

Hawaii was fantastic. Gorgeous weather, beautiful scenery, fun things to do, good food, and Japanese restaurants and tourists out the yin-yang. There’s a lot to talk about.

This time, though, I’m going to do things a little differently, in the hopes that I’ll a.) get through my travelogue before summer’s over, and b.) not bore you silly with exacting details that you don’t need. As with last year’s trip to Tokyo, I wrote in my notebook every night all the notable things that happened that day. I think I’m going to just scan those in and comment on them as necessary, and add links to my flickr pictures for that day.

I’m going to try to put enough commentary on my flickr photos that the best way to find out about the trip would be to just do watch the slideshow. I don’t have all the photos up quite yet, though.

So, let’s go briefly through Days #1 and #2, shall we?

notes for Wed and Thurs

I should note that, while I took photos of just about everything — including Wednesday night’s ramen dinner — I didn’t upload every single picture I took, just because it wouldn’t be interesting to everyone. Simple snapshots of “this is what we ate” didn’t always make the cut. So, if you really want to see pictures of our first ramen dinner in Hawaii (or anything else), leave a comment to that effect. Same goes for if you want an explanation of something I wrote, since I’ll probably only expound on notes that I don’t think would make much sense if you weren’t there. (And if you weren’t inside my head while I was writing them.)

So, jet lag hit us just like in Japan, and we were up at the buttcrack of dawn just about every day. Which was fine, since it meant we got an early start and got to enjoy the day and the sun and the awesomeness that was Hawaii.

I totally need to scan in and post the photo they sold us for $18 at the orientation breakfast. It’s horribly cheesy, and not a very well-lit portrait, at that. And we’re superimposed over Waikiki Beach and the mountains with the word “Aloha” exposed into the image. I had to buy it because it was so bad.

After that, though, it was super helpful to skip the “complimentary” tour of Maui Divers jewelry and just walk back to the hotel, as it got us properly oriented within Waikiki. Thursday was basically the day we got ourselves familiar with our new neighborhood.

You might not be able to read the line near the bottom: “Got aloha shirts & stuff @ ABC Store.” The ABC Stores are everywhere in Waikiki — literally on every block, I think. They’re like convenience stores and gift shops all rolled into one, with clothes and food and beverages and smokes and trinkets and ukuleles and all kinds of kitschy goodness. We got something at one ABC Store or another almost every day.

Germaine’s Luau was one that we got persuaded to add at the orientation breakfast, and I’m honestly glad we did. That one contrasted with the one we did later, on the north shore, and we got to see what kinds of foods and dances and other trappings were common to both. Germaine’s, though? Had booze. Three free drink tickets. Plus the nice couple from Michigan (John taught high school English in Plymouth MI for 20+ years) let us have their leftover tickets, so we got sufficiently hammered.

Check out the photos of our first full day in Hawaii in the Hawaii 2008 flickr set (slideshow or normal) — once you get past the photos of Germaine’s Luau, you’re into Friday’s pics.

Next: Friday! The Polynesian Cultural Center!

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