(Read first for guilt-laden disclaimer: Yes, I know it’s been more than a few weeks since the trip this entry is about, but in between times I’ve been really busy. Really. So, here’s the first part of our ukulele-centric trip to Hawaii. The second section, which is about our time on the Big Island, will follow soon. Really. Oh, and if you just want to skip to the photo gallery for this entry—with lots more pictures than I had room for on this page—click here.)
While the rest of the world was (endlessly!) discussing voting on Election Day, Mark and I were winging our way west from Sacramento Airport to the islands of Hawaii. First stop, Oahu—home of Waikiki’s famed beach and a more-than-lively music scene populated by a wealth of talented–and friendly–performers.
After more than five hours of jet time (we fly coach, folks; if you’re a first class passenger, your experience may vary), I always disembark feeling as if I’ve spent a bit of time as a dryer sheet, bouncing around in a noisy metal drum. Yet arriving at the terminal in Honolulu Airport, I’m immediately energized by the variety of people (with the US economy as it is right now, the Asian tourists totally outnumber anyone else), the balmy breeze and the fragrances of the flowering trees planted in the gardens throughout this mainly-outdoors airport.
A quick trip downstairs for luggage, a hike (no sidewalk during an airport reconstruction so we hoofed it across a bit of a planted area and two lanes of traffic) across the street to the lei stands and then off to Avis to see what the rental car gods have blessed us with this trip—a serviceable and non-impressive Subaru-something-or-other four-door (in grey, no less).
Mark and I have only been to Oahu for one night in the past (usually we just pass through Honolulu on our way to a neighbor island), so we’d decided this Hawaii vacation would feature a bit of time on the island that most folks recognize at “the” Hawaii of the oft-imagined tropical dream vacation. We booked ourselves into a one-bedroom unit at the Wyndham Waikiki Beach Walk. We’re not timeshare members with RCI (heck, we’re not timeshare members with anyone), but rented the rooms through a third party. Good decision! While not on the beach (we’d have plenty of that on the Island of Hawaii in the next two weeks), the WWBW is close to everything as well as immaculate and roomy. Destiny checked us in (she’s so lovely and equally sweet–and she plays ukulele left-handed, I found out later). Our room, on the eighth floor, even had a view of Diamond Head, seen over the cotton candy pink spires of the Royal Hawaiian.