Saturday was our day to take the Grand Circle Island Tour, taking us all around the island of O’ahu. We mainly saw beautiful views of cliffs and beaches, although Cousin Greg was quite the snarky comedian and told us some local history we hadn’t heard yet. After the tour, we went to the mall for conveyor belt (kaiten) sushi, and had an early night.
Most of these comments can be cross-referenced with the flickr set, but there are some that need expounding.
“Diamond Head – hike later?”
We never got the chance, unfortunately. We could have taken the bus out for $2, hiked up and down, and taken the bus back, had we made the time. As it was, our vacation was just a smidge too short to fit that in.
“Lunch at Helemano = ‘special’ workers, good food”
This was one of a few stops that involved businesses for which Cousin Greg said that the tour company helped to drive business. Helemano is the one remaining Dole plantation, and they not only give tours and have a gift shop, but they also have a restaurant. The waitstaff in this buffet-style eatery all have special needs — in non-PC parlance, they’re retarded. They’re nice enough, though, and they all seemed competent enough to do their jobs well, even if it was just pouring water or juice. The food was mainly Chinese, and it wasn’t bad at all.
Cousin Greg informed us that a good chunk of the northern part of the island is owned by the LDS Church; you’ll remember from my bit on the Polynesian Cultural Center that the Mormons own and operate that facility, and it’s staffed by BYU Hawaii students. Turns out that the Mormons basically own the entire town of Laie. Cousin Greg said he likes to call it “Mormon Country,” and that amused me.
Shuttle Taxi to Ala Moana”
So, we were standing at the stop to pick up the $2 trolley shuttle to the Ala Moana Shopping Center (aka the big mall) when a taxi came by and offered to take us for the same price. At first, Aaron thought he was trying to swindle us and get us to pay regular cab fare (which would have been three times that, if not more), but the cabbie and I eventually got him to understand that he was offering to take us for the same $2. After experiencing the trolley on the way home, stopping at half a dozen Waikiki hotels before we got to our stop, I can appreciate the time that cabbie saved us.
And that was Saturday. I’ll try to get through the rest of the travelogue by next Saturday, when we’re having our luau. By the way, if you didn’t get an invite, and you’d like to stop by and partake, give me a holler. I didn’t invite most of the out-of-towners (I’m looking at you, Columbus), but you’re welcome to come if you’d like. Just let me know you’re coming, so I know how much leftovers I’m going to be sending home with people…