Lee came home from work on February 20 and said "I just found out that they want to send me to a conference on the north shore of Oahu the second week of March." He didn't get a chance to say anything else before I said "Cool! When do we leave?" :-) (Words to live by: Never turn down a chance to go to Hawaii!)
I called the travel agent the next day, and was able to get a really good fare even on such short notice (actually it's one of the cheaper fares I've ever gotten), and Lee was able to arrange to get on the same flights I was on.
I love Hawaii...For 6 years we had friends and family who lived there, and we made at least one trip every year, but this was the first time we had been to Oahu in 4 years (I went to Maui with a friend a couple years ago).
And Lee and I spent our honeymoon 10 years ago on Maui and Kauai, so it's only fitting that we should get back to Hawaii during our tenth anniversary year of vacations!
We drove our car to the parking garage and caught the shuttle bus to the airport. We couldn't believe the line at the Delta counter at 5:45 in the morning! Fortunately we had packed light (don't need much for Hawaii), and had carryons. Our flight was delayed, and our 6:30 flight didn't actually leave for L.A. until after 8:00...We didn't care, since the same plane was going to be taking us to Honolulu, but a lot of other passengers missed their connections in L.A.
We still arrived in Honolulu at 12:35 in the afternoon - only 10 minutes late. It was great to already have our bags and not have to wait at baggage claim. We got our car and headed out of the airport. Ahhhh...it was great to be back in that Hawaiian air! My dad calls it "soft air", and that's a good description - it surrounds you with warmth as the tropical breezes caress your skin...there's nothing like it. Sure makes you feel lazy, though!
First stop was a visit to my friend Violette, who lives in Kapolei - she moved to Hawaii and couple of years ago, and this was the first time I had been there since then. She lives in a really nice area.
Then we headed off to the North Shore, with a stop at the Dole Pineapple Plantation for some Dole Pineapple Whip (with crushed pineapple on top, of course!) We walked around the pineapple garden while we were eating, and learned many interesting things about pineapple...
Did you know that...
After that we continued our drive to the north shore, and found The Turtle Bay Hilton Golf & Tennis Resort. The grounds and the inside of the hotel are lvoely. But the outside...Sitting on the coast as it does, the elements have not been kind. Some of the rebar has rusted, causing the cement to break away. It looks pretty bad. But part of that is because the loose stuff has been chipped away (don't want it to fall on anyone!), but they haven't patched it yet.
Still, it makes a pretty nice hotel look very run-down.
After checking in we took a walk along the ocean and the grounds of the
hotel, had an early dinner, and went to bed - we were still on
west coast time (two hours ahead). Ahhhh...so nice to be in Hawaii and
fall asleep to the sound of the surf!
After breakfast Lee went off to his meetings and I took a walk down the beach and up to the tennis courts and golf course, just to see where everything was.
I loaded myself up with sunscreen and books and went down to sit by the pool. It rained a little (it had rained heavily between the time I returned from my walk and when I went out to the pool - but Hawaii weather is like that). The weather was overcast and not especially warm by Hawaii standards.
I spent some more time in the sun after lunch - but didn't overdo
it, and no sunburn!
After Lee was out of his meetings for the day we took a long walk along the beach - as far as we could tell we were the only two people around. We watched the sunset before coming back in to clean up and change for the conference dinner.
In the evening we took a long walk along the beach in the *other* direction. :-)
I had a chance to talk to the woman that I had seen feeding the cats the previous two mornings, and learned a little more about them. The hotel was going to trap them and have them destroyed, but this lady and others convinced them that they needed to retain their services as "Pest Control and Extermination Experts". So, the pool attendants started trapping them and taking them to the Humane Society to be tested, vaccinated, and altered before returning them to the hotel grounds. They all bear the notched ear that shows they have been altered.
This lady lives a couple minutes away, and comes every morning to
feed them some dry food - not enough for them to live on, but since
they look well-fed and healthy, they are obviously doing a good
job in their primary occupation of rodent control. She said that
there are 17 cats - I think I saw about 10 different ones.
A couple of them were pretty tame and would come up to be petted and played with even when I *wasn't* bearing food, but most of them kept a wary eye on me.
This was the first typical Hawaiian day - sunny, clear, and pretty warm. I went out to the pool for a couple of hours before lunch and then went in.
Lee had a lunch meeting but after that he was done and had the rest of the day free.
We drove to Haleiwa (Ha-lay-ee-vah) and wandered around some shops and had some Dave's Ice Cream (a local brand, and very good) before going to the Wyland gallery. We spent quite a bit of time there - Lee got four new t-shirts and we found a bronze of two dolphins that we both really liked.
We left without buying it, and took a walk along the beach and drove around the area a little more (there isn't much to do there) before going to the local pizza place for dinner - after three nights of hotel food we wanted something different! It was very good, and we had a wonderful waitress.
On the way out of the parking lot we decided what the heck, we were still celebrating our tenth anniversary and so we were just going to do it, and we pulled in and bought the Wyland bronze (that's us pictured with it at the top of this page).
Lee was disappointed, because he didn't get a chance to take his swim in the ocean like he had planned. So he read email and cruised the web instead.
We checked out of the hotel at 11:00 and drove back to Honolulu via the windward (eastern) side (the north shore is about equidistant whether you go through the pineapple fields or via the windward side).
There's some nice scenery on the windward side, and for the most part the road is *right* along the coast. We saw the Crouching Lion, Chinaman's Hat and lots of beautiful valleys and beaches. Courtesy of the rain, there were quite a few waterfalls cascading down the mountains.
We had a steady drizzle most of the way until we got into Honolulu, and then it cleared up a bit, though there were still some showers.
The plane home actually wasn't more than about 2/3 full - we were the only ones in our middle five seat row, which was nice. We had one of those little Delta SkyWest flights for the flight from LA to SD - those planes are noisy! We finally pulled into the garage at home at about 11:15 p.m. The cats were very happy to see us!
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Copyright © 1997, by Laura Gilbreath. Feel free to link to this document, but you may not redistribute it in any form without the express written consent of the copyright holder.
Laura Gilbreath, email: lgil at lgil dot net