Waikiki – My Hawaiian Diary (Part Two)   Leave a comment

Dream trip or not, there are still compromises to be made and one of ours was that the hotel in Oahu would be very close to, but not on, the beach. That was going to be a treat we’d enjoy later in the trip. The brief part of downtown Honolulu viewed from our shuttle is a far cry from what I imagined as we see the ‘not-quite-so-nice’ section which, unfortunately, every city has. We pass the harbour with its gargantuan cruise ship as we continue along Ala Moana Blvd and soon the landscape changes as palm trees, flowers and finally a quick glimpse of the beach comes into view.

At the hotel on Kuhio Ave, I’m anxious to freshen up and start exploring but we spend a few minutes taking in the view from the balcony; the mountains to our right and the city straight ahead with the moana (ocean) just behind. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel – known locally as the Pink Palace – is on the beach just off to the right.

Within 5 mins of leaving the hotel, we reach the world famous Waikiki beach. Finally, we’re here! We wander towards the shore and dip our feet into the Pacific for the very first time. It’s early evening but the ocean is buzzing with swimmers and surfers that can’t tear themselves away. We stand and stare, drinking it all in because it’s almost, but not quite, paradise. The fact that the other side of Kalakaua Avenue is lined with hotels, restaurants and gift shops that stretch for about 2 miles takes a little bit of the shine off.

At Kuhio Beach Park, a man runs past us wearing nothing more than a pareau and, with his torch, begins to light the torches that are scattered along the beachfront. At the Hula Mound, I am mesmerized by the Polynesian dancers performing a live hula show. I watch as they do that ‘figure 8’ kind-of-move with their hips and think to myself, I can do that! My hips start to move from side to side like a pendulum but it soon begins to look like I’m trying to wiggle my way into (or out of) a pair of one-size-too-small jeans. The female dancers are so graceful and pretty in their grass skirts and floral head, wrist and ankle wreaths. The male dancers, also wearing the wreaths, are not too hard on the eyes either as they strike a pose with their spears. Lacking the finesse to compete, I decide that I must practice in the confines of my own room and leave the entertainment of the tourists to those that do it with the best of natural rhythm.

We wander further along and stop to admire the Duke Kahanamoku statue. The Duke was a 5 time Hawaiian Olympic medalist in the early 1900s and among other things, was known as the Father of Surfing. I recall a story I once heard about him losing a finger in a fight with a 10 foot eel and how he dragged himself to shore with the eel still attached (eeew!!).

The sun is a magnificent ball balancing precariously on the edge of the world. If I had a long enough stick, I’m sure I could just nudge it and watch it fall over the edge. With it slowly disappearing before our eyes, and with traditional Hawaiian music wafting over from the hula show, outlined in front of us are tiki torches, palm trees and a rack of surfboards waiting to be grabbed, waxed and ridden. I feel so envious of the people that, whenever they feel like it, can just ‘catch a wave’ and ‘hang-ten’ in this glorious place. Imagine spending your days in and by the ocean – ah, bliss! I know for a fact that if I lived here, I would so be a kindergarten dropout!

Next stop, Pearl Harbour…

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Posted June 12, 2012 by Jaclyn in Holidays, Memories, Travel

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