|HONEYMOONING IN HAWAII|
|So, let’s honeymoon in Hawaii. Where in Hawaii? Of the several islands that comprise the state (Kauai, Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Oahu), we had heard many good things about them all. My daughter-in-law, Ning, comes from the island of Lanai. My son, Rick and his wife, Vickie, had visited Oahu. My friend, Norman Stuckey, has vacationed for many years in Maui. Good friends, Beverly and David Bandt have always raved about Kuai. Linda’s daughter-in-law, Karen, has a brother Michael, who lives and works on Oahu. Linda’s dentist likes to snorkel off the Kona Coast of the Big Island, Hawaii. What to do?
We asked ourselves, what did we want out of this trip, and the answer was, we wanted quiet, peace and very little hectic moving about. Neither of us likes to do ocean swimming or snorkeling. We are not keen to be up in helicopters, and we did not want to take time for any cruising about the islands.
So we decided that for this first visit, we would not plan to take shuttles to different islands, but choose one and stay there. The choice was the North Shore of Oahu because it offered us a chance to see Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial, and the battleship, Missouri, and we could avoid Waikiki Beach and the active, young life that focuses its energy there.
We found, Turtle Bay Resort, (#3 on map of Oahu to right) located on the North Shore, about a 45 minute drive from Honolulu International Airport and booked our rooms, flight, car rental and an overnight stay at each end of the trip in Los Angeles. Kathryn, of AAA handled all of these arrangements and she was really helpful and stayed in touch with us up to the day we left (which as you will see shortly was a very good thing).
Our flight with Hawaiian Airlines was due to leave from LAX about 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 4. We drove down to the Sheraton Four Points Hotel in Culver City the evening before so we could sleep as long as possible before checking in at 7:30 a.m. No sooner had we arrived than we had a call from Kathryn, our AAA lady who booked our arrangements, telling us that our flight was cancelled and we would be leaving on another at 12:10 p.m. GREAT! We could sleep in.
We decided to go to a local theatre, the Bridge, about 2 blocks away and saw “Chicago”. My-oh-my did we love that movie. The dancing was delicious; it had dynamics that the screen could scarcely contain, and Rob Marshall who both directed the film and helped to modify the choreography originally created by Bob Fosse, has given us a special visual treat.
Kathryn Zeta-Jones and Rene Zellweiger brought sex, verve and danger onto the screen, and the harsh edges of the consuming media of Chicago (and everywhere else) were plain for all to see. Richard Gere was effective as the cynical lawyer who understood how to get his clients out on the street again, and Queen Latifah warmed your soul with her unrelenting exploitation of prisoners who needed “a phone call.”
And when John C. Reilly danced “Mr. Cellophane” one could sense the emotional response of the audience as he expressed so gently and powerfully his sad self-analysis. As a human relations movie, “Chicago” is a harsh commentary. But as a film it is filled with insight into how one deals with the law and the courts in the “old days” it had great humor, cynicism and savvy. And the singing and dancing were just terrific, and bountiful, and sexy, and exploitative and ……all that jazz.
(I learned the morning after I wrote this that "Chicago" has received nominations for 13 Academy Awards including one for Best Picture and one for each of the persons mentioned above, except for Richard Gere. Gere did win a Golden Globe for his performance.)
We had Ben and Jerry’s ice cream before the film and a nice little meal in a local restaurant after the movie and then went to our room, slept well, and got to LAX ahead of schedule. Then, our plane had another delay when a battery aboard failed to show charge. They tested twice, then replaced the battery. So we left LA International about an hour late, but happy to be on our way.
|ARRIVAL AT TURTLE BAY.
First, the entry, open to the street; then the row of flowered trees lining the driveway; ocean view toward the west from our room; then our carbonated cider; we got lei'd at the airport and then again at Turtle Bay.
|We spent the entire first day, just absorbing the beauty of Turtle Bay, the sky above and the sea which transfixed us in its energy, wave action and color. We drove down the coastline for a bit, eating freshly peeled papaya and watched as our fruit stand man peeled a pineapple (what you really need is a sharp knife!) We stopped several times to take pictures of the surf, along Sunset Beach, along the Bonzai Pipeline and near Waimea Bay.
Our drive about brought us to coffee trees, banana trees, a little hen scratching for food for her chicks, and a series of little scenes from around the resort: golf, water, and birds.
A brief word about food: WE ATE A LOT OF IT! I abandoned my Subway diet without a single feeling of guilt, and we just thoroughly enjoyed breakfast buffets in the hotel and evening meals at the golf course, a short ¼ mile walk away.
I had all of the pancakes I wanted at breakfast, along with freshly cooked omelets, fresh fruit, pastry, oatmeal and bacon. I ate as much as I wanted!
In the evenings, we ate baby-back ribs, swordfish, nicely done shrimp, the most tender prime rib I have ever tasted, herbal roasted chicken and a dessert to diet for: half-baked chocolate-chip cookies over ice cream, covered with carmel sauce. We also tried the cheesecake.
And on most evenings, we wandered about the pool just watching the surf retch and spill, illuminated by huge searchlights from the hotel which enhanced the white froth of toppling water, and let you feel that you were dry, and safe, yet still in the sea-action. I drank something called a Lava Flow which was excellent and alcohol free.
|As we checked in, the clerk noted that we were on our honeymoon, (Kathryn had alerted them to that too), so they gave us a complimentary bottle of carbonated cider, rather than champagne (at my request), then put us in a $350/night suite, with a full balcony (lanai) overlooking the northwest side of the bay. It was dark, but we were sure that in the morning, we were going to awaken to a magnificent view. We did.|
|We could not get close enough to capture the surfers, but this picture gives you a sense of their skill. The other pictures we took.|
|Pacific Ocean on the rocks, spewing spray, and rolling with color.|
|Banana trees die after producing first crop; flowers renew.|
|Cardinal is evident; see the dove|
|On Wednesday, we made a trek down to the Polynesian Cultural Center, in Laie, wherein there is a magnificent display of various features among the several “islands in the Pacific” that together are referred to as Polynesia. This 42 acre exhibit has been developed and is run by the Mormons, whose temple is set back from the small highway just before entering the Center. Almost all of the employees at the center, and many of the performers, are from BYU-Hawaii and this activity allows them to earn money to help pay for their education.
They were unfailingly nice, friendly, smiling and relaxed in the company of the thousands of visitors a day who come through the Center. It is the most highly attended site in Hawaii, and after spending the afternoon there, we could see why. And interestingly enough, they have a policy that if you don’t see all you want to see in one day, you can come back, free of charge anytime for the next three days.
We spent a lot of time watching the Canoe Pageant, wherein representatives of the seven nations of Polynesia, (Hawaii, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti, Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Marquesas) slowly passed by, demonstrating in dance and song attitudes and attributes of their culture.
Next we compensated for our decision not to take a submarine ride down into the water to look at fish, by watching instead the IMAX film, “The Living Sea”, directed by Greg MacGillivray, narrated by Meryl Streep and musically scored by Sting.
We were treated to a range of human interarction with the sea, from Coast Guard training missions on the high, very high seas, to surfer scenes riding the Pipleline, to the behavior and location of giant clams, the shyness of large squid and the sensitive interaction between man and the waters below.
The scenes from Jellyfish Lake on the island of Palau were amazing. There, non-poisonous jellyfish migrate each day through a land locked sea to find sunlight to help grow the little garden of algae that they keep within them. Having nurtured the algae, they feed off of it. Pictures of the humpback whale arching in and out of the water were awesome.
We chose not to go to the Luau on the advice of many others before us who said that the food was a little scanty and not so tasty. So, we quietly went to the American Buffet and enjoyed every bite, and the crowds were a lot smaller. Afterwards, we attended the evening performances of Horizons, where more than 100 dancers illustrated themes associated with the various Polynesian nations, and then concluded their dancing with fire batons which truly lit up the night and warmed the spirits of the audience. It was terrific!
On Thursday, we made arrangements to meet Michael, and really enjoyed talking with him. He is another member of Linda’s extended family that I have now met. Michael has a PhD. in clinical psychology, specializes in diagnosis and treatment of autistic youngsters and provides personal, home visits and direction to the parents of these children all over the island. He is energetic, warm in personality, and well spoken. Time flew by and eventually we had to leave to get home for our supper.
Before we met Michael, we went shopping for awhile at Sunset Beach, Surfer Shop, and I got some yellow surfer pants to go with the Hawaiian shirt tht Linda gave me for Christmas. Then a little later in the day, we walked about a shopping center in Haleiwa and happened to walk into a pearl shop. Linda saw a pale, green pearl which she really admired.
I have wanted to buy her something to wear around her neck, and found out that this particular pearl was both an unusual color and size, with excellent luster and very smooth surface. Such pearls are made only by oysters in Tahiti, and the lady explained to us how the color of pearls is a reflection of the differing colors on the interior of the oyster shell. Wherever the pearl begins to form, it will take on the hue found at that spot on the shell
I really wanted Linda to have this pearl, and in the end, she agreed, and put it on with a smile so large, I thought that it would not allow her to even eat supper. We were really pleased over the next two days when, upon entering other shops, two dealers of pearls came up to us, asked to see it and then just raved about its color, texture and the setting which allows the surface to be unmarred. So we felt that we have a good quality pendant that Linda now wears all the time, every day.
|Wood sculpture at entrance to Polynesian Center|
|CLICK HERE TO SEE DANCERS IN ACTION
|LINDA'S TAHITIAN PEARL|
|MICHAEL AND LINDA|
|SURFER SHOP ON SUNSET BEACH|
|DICK, THE SURFER BOY|
|LINDA'S SARONG, AND SURFER BOY|
|SURF IS UP, WE ARE WATCHING IT|
|SUNSET AT TURTLE BAY|
|WAVE, FROTH, SPRAY|
|OUR PLANE, WAITING FOR A BATTERY|
|RED COFFEE BEANS, READY TO HARVEST|
|SURFER BOY, IN OR OUT?|