Aloha from Hale'wa Oahu B&BS readers - as promised (or warned depending on your perspective), I'm blogging from sunny Oahu Hawaii! My friend Vickie and I are vacationing this week here on the North Shore. So far things have been fairly uneventful but here's what's happened so far:
My bud Carrie drove me to the airport at the 'butt crack of dawn' (4:50am) on Friday June 17th. She took the scenic route so I was able to see the sunrise over the Atlantic before I was trapped inside two different flying metal objects for roughly 13 hours. The first flight took me from Boston to Phoenix. The views were pretty amazing - as I'm sure some of you know, it's like flying over a topographical map that you mess around with in elementary school. I'm not sure if I actually flew over Yucca Mountain but this foto (from google images which is where all the pics are coming from since my camera broke and I'm unable to download the sim card at this point in time), shows a bit of what I saw, well without words written on it.
Most of the people on my flights listened to ipods, watched movies, slept or read - very few were looking out their windows to see the sights.
I got to hang out at the Phoenix airport for a little over one hour. It was around 9am AZ time so I thought I'd grab an egg sandwich since all I'd eaten was a granola bar. My choices were Burger King hamburgers, Pizza Hut pizza, some sort of deli with sandwiches or a 40,000 calorie cinnabun. After walking around the airport for about 30 minutes (I needed to stretch anyway), I settled on peanut butter crackers and an almond/coconut snack thing. All I can say about the food there is 'epic fail'.
I left Phoenix around 10 am and the continental US around noon I think - I wrote the time down but can't find it - I think its on my travel docs which I believe are in the car. From there until 2:15pm HI time, all there was to see were clouds and blue sky.
One of the interesting things about the HI airport is that in some of the gates, people can meet you there so the security isn't as tight as other airports I've been at. If you want a Lei you have to purchase it and there's very little to do at the airport. All the shops on the level we were at were closed and there were very few people around. I made my way to the car rental place (via two shuttles) and then waited in line to get the car Vickie reserved. Needless to say, it's fun to drive especially with the top down.
Since I had about five hours to kill, I went driving up the Wai'anne (Leeward) coast - its the side of the island that Pearl Harbor is on. I saw some beautiful scenery and went for a walk on the beach at Kea'au Park, stuck my feeties in the water and just sat for a few minutes. It was beautiful and made me appreciate the space we have on the mainland as I started to feel a bit claustrophobic knowing that I was on an island and I believe closer to Fiji and Guam than California - for sure closer than Maine. The pace here is certainly laid back.
Sociology sidenote: there's a lot of poverty here - I saw a number of homeless people and many houses that looked like they were barely standing; often near large highrises and fancier homes. This became more apparent as I drove to a tip of the island, to Ka'ena Point State Park where there also happens to be an Army Satellite Tracking Station. Of course there's military people and bases all over Oahu. Close to the tracking station, there were a lot of people camping and also squatting on the beach. I drove by an area close to the state park where people were walking up to cars and selling things. I'm sure you can sort through my innuendo here. Oh, I saw a ferret zip across the road here. Here's a picture of the point:
Around 6pm I realized that I should probably eat something - it was midnight EST and all I'd eaten was nutty stuff and needless to say I was very tired. So I meandered back toward Honolulu and found a built up area that had food at Battle Point Harbor. I ended up getting a yummy sandwich at a local fast food-type place called Aloha something - Aloha Eats maybe. They had food that was grown locally and it was fresh so that was awesome. I also managed to buy a hat, which looks ridiculous on me but it'll be good for hiking and boating and such in ME, not just laying on the beach in HI and then I found this exotic department like store
where I got some waterbottles that are non-bpa (or whatever the bad plastic is) and has a thing in it that you can freeze to help keep your beverage cool.
Then I went and got Vickie at the airport. We roamed around the streets of Honolulu looking for a 24 hr. Safeway so we could buy some food and then headed to Hale'wa on the North Shore. We drove through the Dole Pineapple Plantation but could only smell the pineapples since it was dark out. We ended up at our condo around 10 pm (4am EST). We sorta saw the beach, had a little cocktail after I showered and then basically passed out.
The next morning, we woke up and realized that someone had put this in our front yard:
I'm not sure how we're going to be able to deal with this day in and day out! Rumor has it turtles sleep on the beach at night, perhaps we'll go out tonight and look for them. Yesterday we spent the day laying on the beach and swimming a little in the water. Vickie and I have both finished our books - she was reading The Help and highly recommends it; I was reading The Partly Cloudy Patriot and liked it but not as much as Assassination Vacation (both by Sarah Vowell). I'm about to start Vowell's new book Familiar Fishes which is about HI - hope Gretchen won't mind if I get some sand in it. I should get to the water, Vickie's been out there for about 45 minutes without me.
Here are some of the best quotes we've had so far:
"When in doubt, when your camera doesn't work just smack it" [turns out it is a temporary fix].
"If your camera doesn't work, shut it off and wait five hours" When I didn't do this Vickie said sternly "What did I say about five hours?" [this didn't work either].
After I picked up a pod from the beach and started to dissect it Vickie said: "That's not an almond, smell it - it's something that birds it not people. This is for wildlife not people" and then threw what was left of the pod over the railing and then said "sorry I pitched your nut".
"Real women have bellies".
When I was holding my camera to my ear to hear if it was trying to work Vickie said "That's a camera not a telephone".
"You can get cheap flowers like this in Seattle for like $5."
"You can get those in Maine too, you know like carnations and stuff".
"Why buy carnations when you can just go to a funeral and take them for free?"
Apparently it's Father's Day so I'll close with a foto of someone with their Dad at the Honolulu Airport.