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Published: June 23rd 2017
Geo: 21.3069, -157.858
After the Big Island the ship did dock at Lahaina in Maui for a day but since we were planning on returning to Maui after spending some time in Oauhu, we didn't go activity crazy and just wandered through the town. There were a couple of historical sites (including the jail which gave DH a little policing jolt), the usual souvenir stands, and a surprising number of high end art shops (just who comes to Hawaii looking to spend tens of thousands on a piece of artwork.). I did, however, find some inspiration in a shop selling surrealist photographs- if Martin W falls short in his duties and we return home destitute, I think I'll utilize my newly discovered, somewhat feminine, artist (read Photoshop) skills in order to create some similar wow-type photographs and sell them to tourists adjacent to a cruise ship docking point (with DH right by my side selling painted seashells).
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. The dinner was completed with some sort of Baked Alaska extravaganza which apparently is common to most cruise experiences. It seemed to be one stumbling waiter away from serious trouble but the staff seemed to like it.
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 a Christine L and spent the day on Waikiki Beach suntanning and checking out the surfers- you have to love a city that has a fabulous beach area right downtown- almost a key definition of civilized. So why wasn't I in surfing with the other dudes- a bad case of swimmers ear forced me to try out the much discussed American medical system- what a difference vs the vaunted Canadian system. I was in and out of a walk-in clinic with all of the appropriate drugs within 5 minutes (a little lighter in the pocket book but you can't have everything). The only downside was the requirement to stay out of the water... in Hawaii... an island paradise surrounded by water... with a ton
of activities predicated on getting wet!
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. We spent a day touring the island on scooters- why is it that these little sewing machines with wheels are so much fun to ride but so embarrassing to be seen riding? DH wasn't super keen on riding these death machines through traffic but she does look pretty good in a helmet that's bigger than the bike itself.
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.
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