Sunday, April 26, 2009

Waikiki 2009

Before my company was sold we had a sabbatical program which would give you six weeks off after six years of service. I had planned to use mine to go to Nepal for a climb. After the sale, the new owners simply paid out the sabbatical as cash. Michelle and I decided to use the cash to go to Hawaii. Neither of us had been, and although Nepal would have been more of an adventure it was a great vacation.

We spent three days on Oahu, three on Kaui, and four on Maui. I will write a post for each island. Today Oahu.

We arrived late on Saturday, checked in and got two upgrades by luck. Our room was on the 17th floor with an ocean view at Ohana East in Waikiki. We had a late dinner and brew at the pizza joint adjacent to the hotel.

On Sunday Michelle and I went our separate ways. She had always wanted to swim with the dolphins, but I had no interest in such things. Instead I made my way to Diamond Head for a hike. Diamond Head is a short hike with some steep sections at the end. There are a boat-load of tourists who take part, so beware. I was surprised that they had not improved the upper portion where you have to climb through a gun turret. No big deal for me, but difficult for some larger folks. The views from the top are well worth the trip. Nice views of Honolulu and the other islands like Maui in the distance.

I spent the afternoon at Waikiki Beach. Waikiki is very crowded and the water is full of long board surfers. Even though the beach is small and crowded it is beautiful.

That evening we took part in Germaine's Luau. The Mai Tai's were the best I had all week. The pork was delicious and the show was pretty good. I didn't know what to expect in a Luau, but it sure wasn't what we got. Nothing bad, but it is simply a bunch of picnic tables and buffet style serving. Our host who traveled with us on the bus was very entertaining and made the experience way fun.

On Monday we took a beach day. We spent a bit of time just hanging out on the beach. I snuck a few Big Swell IPAs in my bag. Big Swell is truly a Hawaiian IPA. Nice and bitter, but mellow like the islands. We rented a water tricycle and peddled our paddle tires around the bay.
We had dinner and drinks at the famous Duke's Waikiki. We got lucky and found a table overlooking the beach. A fun place and the food was okay.