Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Aloha - day 1
Day 1 was spent getting here but we arrived at 12:30pm so we just HAD to do SOMETHING, didn't we? We landed and unlike the many movies that define the places we have yet to set foot in on our own, they do not hand you a lei upon arrival. I knew this, but couldn't help but to be dissapointed when there were a few tourists wandering about who were adorned with leis (they hired a lei delivery service, nothing special about them). The Honolulu airport was very pretty, even from the tarmac. There were palms and lush flowering plants strategically placed amongst the concrete. Inside, the airport wasn't locked and loaded with "Code Orange" security warnings like on the mainland. It was all open to the outside and breezes were flowing, a very different feeling of "protection of freedom" there. I think its called Aloha ;)
Into our Jeep we rented and on our way to Waikiki Courtyard Marriot, it was interesting to see all the street names and try to deciper between the street names: Kiaolu or Kuhio or Kalia, they all take a second glance to see if thats where we should turn or not! A few minutes in our room, and off we went to Dukes Barefoot Bar for a small bite and drink and unwind. It overlooked all the festivities of Waikiki Beach and I must say, it seemed so SURREAL!
Sometimes it takes a few hours to really BE HERE NOW, so Geof suggesgted we go to this cool park I found, just a few miles away. We went with our snorkel gear and blue and white stripped pool towels from the hotel (hello! We're tourists incase you were wondering! I hate being obvi...) to Magic Island at Ala Moana park. We "washed off the mainland" as Geof instructed and indeed felt refreshed and connected. We saw signs for the Memorial Day lantern festival taking place the next day and decided we had to go. Little did we know what all it meant...
Back to the hotel, a short rest, shower & change, and off to find dinner. We ended up at Siam Square, an authentic Thai restaurant across the street and it was VERY good! A group of young girls came in for what looked to be a bridal shower or engagement party and hand delivered Lei's to the guest of honor and they chattered in native tounge. YES!!! we said, we have succesfully arrived in the Hawaiian culture.