Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
144Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Back on board, and after DH finished up her hamburger, we prepped for the second and final formal dinner- since I wasn't going to backpack with a suit (and had long since given away all of my business costumes anyway), I was using hiking boots as the latest in formal footwear and DH was using a swimwear cover as a formal wrap so we had to have our table mates run a little interference on the way in
We finished up our cruise in Honolulu and after navigating all of the problems associated with having all the passengers disembarking at the same time (the Century folks could really use o good logistics coordinator), we humped our way in to Waikiki to find our new home. Our cruising days are over, at least for now, and I kind of miss it but I don't know why- maybe it's a serious regret that I didn't sign up for the napkin folding class.
Our first must-do in Honolulu was Pearl Harbour. The story of the Japanese sneak attack on PH and the American response is a wow unto itself but the way the memories have been preserved around the site is both emotional and fascinating. It's probably a mandatory pilgrimage site for Americans but its well worth spending a day here for any history buff.
Obama was in town with the self-declared elite of APEC so Honolulu was effectively shut down to ensure that these folks didn't have to deal with any of the problems of the common man (like traffic). Since most of the locals and many of the tourists had fled Honolulu for the duration of the conference, we pretty much had the place to ourselves
We did do the mandatory climb of Diamond Head, an old volcanic crater with spectacular views of the island and ocean. We also took in a couple of cultural events including a luau that DH insisted on going to. It was a bit tough to go from the authenticity we saw in Papua New Guinea to the disneyland version of it being offered in Hawaii (does anyone really need to see tourists dressed in grass skirts doing a butchered version of a hula?). We did see a couple of good shows- probably not a wow experience but good fun nonetheless.
We did have a regular morning wow- Tina, our waitress at the local Denny's was always a good way to wake up. And after breakfast we packed in our adventures around Oauhu
When my week in the non-water penalty box was up, we went swimming with some spinner dolphins and tried out a James Bondish experience on underwater scuba scooters- these things were even more gutless than the above ground sewing machines we were riding but it was a one-of-a-kind thrill and worth doing. It's really difficult to describe so I'll have to include pictures.