Harleynut Hula


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North America » United States » Hawaii
March 31st 2010
Published: May 8th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY


31/3/10.
Everything booked and paid for. One day to go. Gotta get through this workday. Boy, did it rain last night! I’ll just gulp down the brekky chaff & zip to work in the Nitro. Out the drive, then WHOOSH. The sunroof had leaked and the roof lining was a rainwater tank. A water feature sprang to life from the roof lights, filling the centre console & my crotch. Great. So much for happiness. Call the dealer. Sorry. Call us after Easter. Blow the warranty. Got one of my workers to dismantle the car & de-water it. 4 hours of a/c full heat & it’s dry again. A crazy workday with everything going wrong. Wife needs to print the statements. Now the printer goes belly-up. The demons in beige boxes win again. We don’t need this NOW! Leave work late into the night. Have to come in tomorrow and finish it. It’ll be okay, because we don’t really have to leave for the airport ‘til lunchtime. Murphy, will you please get OFF my shoulder!

1/4/10.
The irony of the date escapes me, for now. Computer geek arrives and simply switches everything off & on. Nobody really likes a smarty
H02 Lahaina grocery storeH02 Lahaina grocery storeH02 Lahaina grocery store

Tell me, where did I go wrong? Here you have a selection of all the major food groups. Probably just add some beef jerky for chewability.
pants, especially me, at $150/hr. The wife frantically completes the monthly statements, then balances & resets the system for the staff to use after Easter. Wow, it’s 11.00. Let’s get the hell out of here! Fast shower at home & shove some handfuls of clothes into a suitcase, inside another suitcase so I don’t have to cart a carry-on. I saw no reason to pack early and what I forget, I’ll buy. I buy lots. Out the door by 12.10 - yes!
150km trip to Sydney airport. Traffic jam. C’mom, move your cab you moron! How’d you like that beaded seat-cover stuck up your giant nose, you @#$&!? SquawJenny suggests I relax. Drop the car at airport parking by 2.00, 11 days for $140 and free shuttle to/from International - a bargain. In the airport door by 2.15. Ha ha, we’re on schedule. Take that, Murphy! Let’s go grab a bite. Check-in doesn't open for 45mins and we’re not getting fed on the plane.
Back to check-in by 3.00. Wow, hundreds of people in front of us! Oh well, we’ll still have plenty of time to relax & check out some duty-free. Why aren’t the lines moving? “Sorry everyone. The
H03 Outrigger Aina NaluH03 Outrigger Aina NaluH03 Outrigger Aina Nalu

This is why you don't give a stonemason Maui Wowie before he builds your fence.
system has crashed. Won’t be long”. Rule 1. Blame someone else. “Sorry for the delay, It’s the U.S. Immigration link. Please stand in line {for the next 4 hours)”. What was the date today? Oh, that’s right. April Fools Day....
On the plane and in the air by 8pm (2hrs delay) and only 9.5 hours ‘til touchdown. Groan. I grabbed an hour or so of fitful sleep on the plane, then woke myself up snoring and looked across at SquawJenny (the wife) who was staring intently at me. “Could you hear me snoring?” I whispered. “Oh, all the plane could hear you and I think the pilot now has ear muffs on as well!” she retorted. Whoops. If the seat would’ve allowed, I would have slid down in embarrassment, but 110kg x 5’11” does not equal airline seat. Bad maths. I’d also opted to keep the seat vertical, in respect to Glen - my 6’4” friend in the seat behind me. Not that the @#$&! in the seat in front of me gave a rats.
Affectionate proposals towards SquawJenny were deflected with death stares, so I put aside ideas of a Mile-High club membership (she’d watched Vegas Vacation too). The
H04 Lahaina Fish Co.H04 Lahaina Fish Co.H04 Lahaina Fish Co.

Great views on the deck over the water. Food was fair & service very average. Maitais? Yup, good-uns!
rest of the flight was just usual “cattle class travel”. B o r i n g. Hey, honey.. er, sorry. Yes, I’ll behave. I’ll just sit here. No, I’m not trying to rub my elbow purposely on yours. It’d be easier to get back to sleep with a “cholesterol”. We’d opted for no airline food, so I couldn’t “raid the fridge” either. Hang on... Chocolate bar in her bag. Mmmm so good.


Round 1...
Groundhog Day?
1/4/10 again. (date line).
Great landing at HNL. Straight into customs. I’d pre-warned everyone of the dangers of sneaking off to pee when we get to customs. I’d kill them If I was left to mind all the bags and watch a 747 unload from Asia in front of us and delay us any more. We were processed within 15mins of entry by a guy who loves his job. Happy, courteous & helpful. Our photos were taken & we were fingerprinted. No arguments from me here. You can use the rubber glove on me for all I care, if it means I don’t have some wacko beside me with a tail full of penny crackers trying to win a one-way trip to
H05 Lahaina Front Street early morningH05 Lahaina Front Street early morningH05 Lahaina Front Street early morning

The best time of the day. Front Street just after dawn.
eternal bliss. We shot straight out of customs and jogged (really, me jog? Ha ha.) over to domestic for our bounce to Maui. 2hrs to take-off. Bang on time. Suck eggs, Murphy!
Who’s the smart traveller who made the executive decision for the 4hr delay between touchdown & bounce, when others questioned the waste of time? Did it save out butts because of the OZ-HNL delay? Pass that oscar over here. I’d like to thank all the little people that made it possible, so “Thanks, SquawJenny” - she’s 5’1”. I make a mental note of 1 brownie point to me. We grabbed a celebratory breakfast in a restaurant, then Glen opted for a Starbucks coffee after. He declared the local brewed undrinkable. I’m not really a coffee drinker, but Hawaiian brewed black is the only coffee I do like - anywhere. No probs and to each their own. I even tried the Starbucks - pass - told you I’m no coffee drinker. We then stretch out in the departure lounge. On with the Ipod for a quick snooze to an earful of IZ.
Great flight to Maui. Complimentary guava juice. Mmm. Hang on a sec. Guava juice... Hey! We’re really
H06 Aina Nalu Infinity PoolH06 Aina Nalu Infinity PoolH06 Aina Nalu Infinity Pool

Good spot to relax. Lotsa daybeds, rec area, spa, etc.
in Hawaii... You bewdy! I was so zonked out from all the rushing that it hadn’t had time to register. A euphoric shiver went through me - or did I just need to pee? We landed on Maui sideways due to the howling winds and quickly made our way to the Enterprise rental yard. I’d pre-booked a minivan through www.DiscountHawaiiCarRental.com and they’d re-booked us to Enterprise. The sales person commented on the really great deal we’d received. 2 brownie points and another oscar to Harleynut. Nearly got blown away walking to the car. These winds were massive! Our car attendant gave us the option of a new Chrysler Town & Country or a Kia Carnival. I explained that as a mechanic, Kia was a bad four letter word and he laughingly agreed. Out the yard in our shiny new Chrysler and we were finally on our way to Lahaina. Another shiver went down my spine. I did need to pee. I took the wrong turn at the first traffic lights, but it couldn’t have been my fault. I’m sure they’d added another road since our visit in ‘07. What are all these people doing? Get out’a my way, stupid! Oh,
H07 Lahaina Banyan Tree ParkH07 Lahaina Banyan Tree ParkH07 Lahaina Banyan Tree Park

The park hosts an artists market each week.
yeah. Drive on the right. Oops...
I pull over about a mile down the road, after dodging some hectic local traffic. SquawJenny asks what in the world is up with me now? Look there! A Harley store! Honey, I’m home... An hour and $300 later, we’re back in the van. I looked as resplendent as a bird of paradise in my latest Maui Harley Davidson wife-beater (singlet). Where’s the mirror? Mmmm, I look so noice! SquawJenny urges me to refocus the mirror and get a move on, or she’ll really reposition it.
I carry on an informative (to me, apparently boring to others) commentary of the local area on our way to Lahaina. I “toot” in the tunnel on the way to Lahaina, to appease the “Little People” (not SquawJenny, the island spirits). SquawJenny groans with embarrassment. Glen & Narelle squint in concentration at their new surrounding, or was that just jet-lag? We do a quick circuit of Lahaina. Mentally note the “$3.50 maitai happy hour ‘til 6pm” at Lahaina Fish Co, then off to Cannery Mall for a couple of basics. I get some coconut rum, blueberry green tea mixer & beer. SquawJenny decides she’d better take care of
H08 Pohaku ParkH08 Pohaku ParkH08 Pohaku Park

North of Lahaina, near Ka'anapali
the shopping. I can’t see the problem, because I’d covered all the major food groups...
Off now to the Aina Nalu hotel, In Wainee St, behind the Wharf Centre. We’d stayed here twice before and do like the place. Strange how one location can just grow on you. Book-in was swift and we slammed our bags into the rooms. We had a 2 bedroom apartment, with a King and a Queen bed. Gave the “guests” the King room, with en-suite and they were really happy with the accommodation. Our room was good too, just with a separate bath/laundry room beside ours. The kitchen & lounge-room areas were roomy and finished well. The lounge-room and bedrooms all featured LCD TVs with cable. We felt fortunate? to have 48 channels (of infomercials) available for viewing. The laundry facilities were also a bonus and we made good use of them them before departing for Waikiki after easter.
It felt soooo good to finally unwind, after all the madness of the last few weeks. I took some mental time out to examine the sensibility of working like a madman for months on end, just to spend another 10 days in Hawaii. After about 7
H09 HonokahuaH09 HonokahuaH09 Honokahua

Small village on the north Maui road that has great banana bread.
seconds of deep thought, I reaffirmed our decision. What am I, nuts? Of course it’s worth it! We changed our attire for cocktails. I was told to dress presentably. Leave the singlet in the drawer. I did get to wear my thongs. That’s Aussie for flip-flops, thank you. Also known as “pluggers”. because the straps plug in to the base. Not “thong”, as in underwear. Nope. No male of any age/weight or any overweight female should be seen alive or dead in b*m-floss, as we call it. That’d be so wrong in so many ways.
We decided to drive the van up near Bubba Gumps, because we were all feeling dead tired. I was not sleepy, but felt so tired that I was beginning to feel like I was observer to my own body movements - eerie. A stroll along Front Street (how’d I get here?) and we settled for Lahaina Fish Co. We’d had good meals here on 2 previous visits and they had $3.50 maitais, as a bonus. We Immediately scored a table on the rear deck rail beside the water and ordered drinkies. That first maitai was like cough medicine to an amphetamine junkie - nectar of
H10 Highway?H10 Highway?H10 Highway?

The north Maui road traffic jam.
the gods. It’d been 3 yrs since SquawJenny and I’d last sat right here and enjoyed one of these. I annoyed everyone by taking obligatory photos (I’m good at that, she tells me), then ordered a meal. Did I say the drinks were good? They’re good, but I stop a 2. Gotta captain the VanShip Enterprise back to base later.
The menu selection had shrunken and also had the portion size, as we found out later. Where were the dachshund-length pork ribs and the pot-stickers that we loved? Bummer. Most of the meals were okay, but not great. Most disappointing of all, was SqawJenny’s shrimp salad. It consisted of lettuce, some tomato, a few tiny peeled shrimp (krill?) and a drizzle of salad dressing. The lettuce was actually one quartered chunk sitting on the side of the plate like a piece of apple. Strange salad. Luckily she’d also ordered an appetizer of seared ahi sashimi sitting on shredded cabbage. The server also omitted my order of squid. Apparently stating “I’ll have the squid.” doesn't mean I was actually ordering it. Time for crop rotation at the servers desk of the Lahaina Fish Co. Such a disappointment, as it used to
H11 Art Gallery view.H11 Art Gallery view.H11 Art Gallery view.

View from back of mountaintop art galley.
be good. We didn’t return and never will. We’ll just vote with our feet.
Now let me get this into perspective for you. I was the only “normal” diner there . The other three have had intake surgery performed (1x bypass & 2x banding). This was the only place we ate at regardless of price that left all of us hungry and the other thee eat like sparrows. It also meant that, at times, I felt like a rolling drunk at an AA meeting.
We then had a brief stroll around Front Street shops, as the others had not been to Maui before. Shortly after, we were back in the Aina Nalu. I showered and hit the sack immediately. I think we were all sawing timber by 8.30.


Round 2...
Ding Ding.
2/4/10 - Good Friday.
The day started early - horribly early. Tick-tock-boing. My body clock’s out of whack, so I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 3.00am! I watched a bundle of infomercials on the TV, learning more than I really need to know about personal hygiene, cooking techniques, ab development, pimple treatment & property investment. I pestered SquawJenny until she threatened me with appendage surgery,
H12 Old Lahaina Luau groundsH12 Old Lahaina Luau groundsH12 Old Lahaina Luau grounds

Very pretty venue. The show was great, the drinks endless and the food plentiful & tasty!
so I develop a new-found interest in the fine art of early morning scenic walking. I take a casual stroll along the back streets, past a seemingly unending array of churches & cemeteries. Surely is a lot of religious people over here, dead & alive! I stare at a large crane or egret perched on an old grave memorial and I’m moved at the beauty of the moment. The bird stares back at me in frozen concentration, with the first sun-rays of dawn illuminating it’s pure white plumage like a beacon to the souls.
I continue my walk, turning down to Front Street up near the Cannery. The walk along the waterfront was so peaceful and picturesque. Early morning workers were casually cleaning sidewalks, packing stock & beginning to cook. More walkers & joggers began to emerge, sidestepping fishermen, cyclists and a few scrounger going through bins. The day gave promise, with little cloud and barely a breeze although I’d never make a weatherman. I noted a small cafe down near the wharf that looked interesting. Further down, I turned up Prison Street and passed some more churches. They’re a God fearin’ bunch over here. They must do a lot
H12 LuauH12 LuauH12 Luau

Me being affectionate, cleaning SquawJenny's ears. Spilt my maiati.
of sinning and repenting! Sounds like the plan to me... The old prison was closed (too early) but I’d toured it before. If you do get a chance, drop in for a look because it’s not often you get to see an old lava rock lock-up. Apparently it was used in the early days to house the brawling & drunken sailors until they sobered up.
I arrived back at the Aina Nalu and then we all went back to the little cafe I saw, to have breakfast. It was called the Sunrise Cafe and it just “tickled my fancy”, just oozing character, like sap from a rubber tree. It’s a tiny, rambling shack of a place, with an open-air room out the back. under an old tree. Directly behind this is the small harbor. Unfortunately none of my companions shared my enthusiasm for the place. SquawJenny flatly refused to sit out the back, so we sat on the front porch. I was comfy and happy - absorbing the morning sight, sounds & smells. We all ordered, with the others selecting a mixture of misc eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc, whilst I had a papaya filled with yoghurt & topped with granola,
H13 Luau SunsetH13 Luau SunsetH13 Luau Sunset

Great sunset. Glad the wind died down.
with a guava juice & coffee to wash it down. Heavenly. Was it just my imagination, or did everyone else eat a sewer sandwich before I’d returned tis morning? They sported frowns & nobody seemed happy, especially with the breakfast venue. Oops. Maybe they’re just tired.
We decided to take the newcomers for a drive to check out the NorthWest Maui road. I smiled in the thought that this should open their sleepy eyes, if only with fear. We cruised up past Ka’anapali & Napili, then were soon in the “thick” of the windy road. Nobody really wanted to stop for viewing or photos, so I just drove slowly and gave my usual boring narration of the area. As we came down to the small valley village with the pretty church (name escapes me), SquawJenny reminded me that she’d seen “that” house near the water for sale on the internet for $400,000. Quoting a famous line from an Aussie classic movie called The Castle, I told Glen to “Tell her she’s dreaming”. Well, that went up like a lead balloon. I’ll just drive...
I stopped on the other side of the village for some “Famous Banana Bread” and some Lilikoi butter. Back on the road again and up THAT narrow hill, luckily only encountering a Jeep right on the top turn. She reversed back for us, with smiles all ‘round. Watch out or we’ll get happy. We stopped at the gallery on top of the mountain and decided to have some of our banana bread, with some coffee from the shop. No coffee. Glen declined, indicating he didn’t like banana bread. Oops. The girls checked out the shop and bought some soaps & trinkets, while we stared at the view other outside. This is going well, I pondered. We took off and I asked if someone could pass me some more banana bread. Someone “sneaked one off” and Glen blamed the banana bread consumption. As much as I tried, I couldn't “let one rip” in retaliation. Childish, I know, but I’m really just a big kid. My mind drifted back to a T-shirt I saw in the Lahaina Yacht Club store. “The beatings will continue until morale improves”. We drove through Kahului and back to Lahaina. The girls hit the shops, whilst Glen and I went to the Harley Hire store and booked our bikes for the next morning’s ride
H16 Pioneer Inn, LahainaH16 Pioneer Inn, LahainaH16 Pioneer Inn, Lahaina

Breakfast meals are ggod
to Hana. We were told that they didn’t open ‘til 9am tomorrow. Hmm.
Wow, 5.30pm and we were off to The Old Lahaina Luau. We’d seen Polynesian fire-walkers and fire-knife dancers in Fiji, but we’ve never been to a Hawaiian luau. We were greeted with leis and maitais and led over to our table. The ground were so beautiful and well positioned onto the waterfront. SquawJenny had booked this and our seating was perfect. We were seated directly behind all the people with backaches from sitting on the ground on cushions. We were in the first row of tables & chairs. Yes! A brownie point for her. I suggested I reward her with an embrace and she could hold my oscar for a while, but decided to behave myself when she gave me “the look”. Our server introduced himself and took our next drink order. Again, I was like a drunk at an AA meeting but, hey, he kept ‘em coming for me. Maitais, margaritas, long beaches, etc, were all good. Mmm. Hard to beat tasty girly drinks containing lots’a booze and decked out with fruit, plastic stick-animals and little nose-umbrellas.
At dusk, it was our turn to the savage
H17 Lahaina Wharf CentreH17 Lahaina Wharf CentreH17 Lahaina Wharf Centre

Relaxing area across fron the Banyan Park
the buffet selection. The food was bountiful and superb. Steak, pork, chicken, fish, veggies, salads, poke - whatever you fancied. Later, our server sat a large plate of mini desserts in the centre of the table and took final orders for drinks just as the show began to start. The show was interesting and the performers were very talented. An excellent story of Hawaiian history, with costumes and dance that identified with the respective periods. There was little of the “embarrass the audience” routines that accompany a tacky MC. Just a “who’s having an anniversary or birthday” couples dance segment. It was over all too soon, with our server coming over to thank us and saying “Wow, I think I felt some rain” to clear out the feet-draggers. I gave him a good cash handshake for looking after me drink-wise and we set off home. This was a great night out for all of us and everyone was feeling good. Oh, well off to bed for the big bike ride tomorrow. I’ve been waiting 3 years to do this again and it’s gonna be great! Anybody seen that Murphy? No? He must have given up for good.

Addendum to
H18 Wood carversH18 Wood carversH18 Wood carvers

One of the artists in the park
Round 2:
I forgot to mention our after-breakfast stroll along the Front Street shops. The women made for the pearl jewelry store like sharks after blood, whilst Glen strolled around looking rather bored, I adjourned to the Artists Market under the Banyan Tree. What a great venue for the display of wares. I was also informed that a part of the sales here are used to assist budding artists. My twisted mind associated with Bud Bundy (Married With Children fame).
I greeted an artist that we’d met here in “07. He uses candle soot to create pictures on paper. In late ’06, the daughter of our friend, had died. She’d had a troubled youth and was on medication to balance her problems. All was well and she’d married a wonderful guy. They planned to have a baby, so she quietly went off medication because of fears of pregnancy complications. Unfortunately, her young husband found her dead in bed one morning. Confused, she’d overdosed. A terrible loss.
Bear with me here. We’d asked her to accompany us to Hawaii in ’07 as a way to get her mind off things to ease her pain and here she was admiring a butterfly
H16 Morning view to LanaiH16 Morning view to LanaiH16 Morning view to Lanai

Looked great with it's cloud hat on
picture that this artist had created. Her daughter had identified with butterflies as a kindred spirit during her illness as a teenager. We left her and the artist in quiet conversation and when we returned, the pair were shedding a tear. On learning of her loss, the artist had insisted that she take the piece with a short message, at no charge at all. She still cherishes the gift and the least I could do is say hello and thank him again. He remembered the episode and enquired as to our friend’s health. Such a nice guy.
After a browse around, I chose to buy SquawJenny an oxide-impregnated, vacuum-formed, laser-blasted, multi-colored glass pendant. I’m never the artist, but always the technician. The woman that I bought it from was traveling to Melbourne, Australia the following week and asked me how the weather was. She also wanted to know if there were any parrots in Oz. I sad we have galahs, cockatoos, rosellas, lorikeets, etc. No, she wanted to see some little budgies and wondered if they were prolific and wild around the streets. I told her that she’d stand a better chance of spotting a kangaroo at a bus stop.
H17 Wharf Centre barH17 Wharf Centre barH17 Wharf Centre bar

Great little bar for a relaxing drink
She then got excited at the prospect of meeting a kangaroo at a bus stop. Oh dear... I asked the purpose of her Oz visit and she said that she was going to meet an Eastern spiritual leader who was doing an Oz tour. She offered me a brochure about it, but I graciously declined, thinking to myself that she could probably save on her airfare by simply astral traveling there at night. I never was much of a love child - just liked kaftans & pachouli oil.
After my artisan escapade, I went over to the Expedia tour booth in front of the Wharf Cinema Centre. I inquired about the hire of Harleys and Helicopter tours. His prices were good and he had a great personality, reminding me a little of a young Eddie Murphy (comedian, not Murphy’s Law). As he wasn’t busy, we chin-wagged for a bit, while I waited for the women. I gave his bike offer consideration, but we eventually decided to go with the HD dealer, being HOG members. We finally extracted the women from the shops and decided to do the car drive north.
Now back on track.....


Race 3...
Gentlemen, start
H18 Lahaina Harley DealerH18 Lahaina Harley DealerH18 Lahaina Harley Dealer

Sad to say I regretted hiring bikes here
your engines.
3/4/10 Easter Saturday.
I awoke at about 3am to a mass of blaring noise & flashing lights. Help! SquawJenny’s called the Fun Police! I leapt out of bed, in confused excitement. Some lowlife’s ripping off the VanShip Enterprise! I was up and out our front door in microseconds, clad only in briefs. Nope, some dipstick had managed to set off his car alarm outside our bedroom windows and all hell broke loose. And you think he frightened me? 240lbs of hyped-up grey-bearded bloke leaping out of the ginger plants in a pair of red briefs can do mental damage you’ll NEVER come back from! I just went back to bed, growling expressions about his procreating cranium. The crew of brain surgeons parked under our window then proceeded to have an agitated discussion about packing the car and practiced door closing etiquette for a couple of minutes. All the while, the rest of Cletus’s six-fingered kinfolk dragged their suitcases down the wooden staircase on the outside end of our bedroom wall. Clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk... clunk, clunk, clunk. Arrrgh! I’m gonna rip someone a new muleopening if they don’t shut up! SquawJenny tells me to settle down, so
H22 Rainy daysH22 Rainy daysH22 Rainy days

Front Street looked ominous. Overcast and dark. Nobody about.
methinks I’ll try to cash in my brownie points. No such luck. We’re going back to sleep, I’m told. I pose the question: How can you sleep with all this? I resort to the old standby - 48 channels of deflationary infomercials. Abs, pimples, blenders, sweepers, zzzz.
A bit later, I catch the weather report for the Hawaiian Islands. Something resembling a giant bathtub plug hole was rotating above the island chain, causing all this wind & the occasional shower. So what’s new? I’m here and I’m planning a Harley ride. I don’t call the Harley at home “‘Ol’ Jet-Ski” for nothing. I’ve had offers of free accommodation from drought-stricken areas of Oz. “Just ride over for a free holiday”, they say. Why would this be land any different? The report mentions some rain on the northern sections of the islands. What the hell. I’ve waited 3 years to re-do the Hana Highway and no sun-shower’s gonna stop me. I’m a hardened motorcyclist with 40 years of riding under my belt. I’ve who’s ridden in more rain-storms than I’ve had hot dinners.
Okay everybody, up and at ‘em. We dress sensibly in jeans, shoes & sleeved shirts. No jackets, it’s
H22 Sunny daysH22 Sunny daysH22 Sunny days

Further south, clouds gave way to blue skies.
gonna be a hot one - I can feel it in my bones. Firstly, we tuck into a hearty breakfast at the Pioneer Inn. The other three had the usual misc egg styles and pancakes, whist I tried a loco-moco. That was solid enough to put (more) hair in my ears! We chowed down and walked to the Harley Dealership rental shop, just a block down from the Wharf Cinema Centre.
We arrived a 9.00am. Shop shut. We waited about 15mins and a guy with a Harley shirt on shuffled past, looking at us weirdly. He shuffled back again 10mins later with a cup of coffee in hand, then disappeared behind the shops. A few minutes later the old wooden doors rattled open, then he proceeded to ever so slowly take out all of the rental fleet, whilst we sat outside and watched the painful ordeal. After this, we entered the shop and stood in front of him at the counter, ready to complete the rental. Obviously this guy HATED being here today and he was going to make it known to everyone. Without looking up, he asked what we wanted. We said we had bike rentals booked and he
H23 HaleakalaH23 HaleakalaH23 Haleakala

Haleakala was hiding above a cloak of cloud.
asked for which bikes, then consulted his paperwork. “I need liscences and credit cards - you first.” as he nodded in my direction, without looking up. I was getting less impressed with each second, but I decided it was his business to @$#% up if he so chose to do. After another painful 20mins and having the keys thrown at me, we left. No instruction on operation (although we owned the same machines, 3 yrs earlier the renter had taken the time to pleasantly discuss the controls, watch me ride up & down the block and wish us a good ride. We were just told to have them back in time tomorrow or suffer a rental penalty.)
We rode off fuming at the renter’s obnoxious attitude, but there was more to come. I looked across to the mirror and I’m sure I caught a glimpse of Murphy on my shoulder. I looked at my fuel gauge and it was just under 3/4 (we were only 5 mins out of Lahaina). Ripped off. We soon encountered a couple of small rain showers in between sunshine, as we made our way past beaches and sugarcane fields, to Kahului and the Hana Highway.
H24 Fuel cap f-upH24 Fuel cap f-upH24 Fuel cap f-up

Back to the Kahului HD dealer to replace a missing fuel cap

The rental ordeal was quickly forgotten and we were beaming with anticipation of the great ride ahead. We saw that Haleakala was shrouded in a halo of fluffy clouds, so fitting for such a magnificent spirit. Narelle glanced sideways and lost her sunnies on the highway before Kahului, so we made a fast pitstop at the big Harley dealership for some cheapies. Next stop was at a Paia gas station to fuel up for our run to Hana and Glen then found a problem with his bike. The Electra-glide has a chrome fuel door on the tank console, with a regular gas cap inside. The cap was gone - missing. The last rider must have forgotten to replace it after refueling and the shop didn’t check the bikes (mine had a low fuel level). Glen had been noticing a strong fuel smell and his bike couldn’t be refilled, because to do so would have created fuel spillage and a major fire hazard in any minor fall. You don’t expect it, but anything can happen. I asked the attendant if they sold gas caps and he said we’d have to go to Walmart, near the airport in Kahului. Blow that, the
H25 Sunny days H25 Sunny days H25 Sunny days

We're on the road again....
main Harley Dealership was in front of Walmart. We mounted up and quickly rode back to Kahului.
I stood at the main reception watching a girl fold clothing stock, until she finally decided to serve me. I asked if they had a rental dep/t and she pointed to a vacant counter beside spares. We waited until a young guy asked us if we needed assistance. I asked if they were affiliated with the Lahaina store and yes, the dealership owned it and his brother was actually the manager. I told him of our problem with the cap, so he called the store to discuss it. After a discussion of brotherly love, he asked us were we sure we didn’t lose it. I we explained again. The talked some more, hung up and told us that if we went back to Lahaina, His brother would replace the fuel cap free of charge.
It was then, that my eyes changed from blue to blood red. I wan’t going to bring it up, but I erupted. I suggested that his brother was probably a nice guy, but he obviously despised his job. I pointed out that I also ran a shop with several
H24 And the rains comethH24 And the rains comethH24 And the rains cometh

So much for sunny days. #@&%! Sarazza frazzle razzadang...
mechanics, storemen, etc and if I had staff like this I’d reassign them to more fitting employment. If I was to return to Lahaina, his brother better have some mates handy because I’d had a gutfull of slack-ass “island time”. I’d waited 3 years for a trip to Hana, spent a bucketload of hard earned cash and that any fool would realize that you have to leave EARLY for Hana. With all their stuffing around it was now 11.30. I asked if they were affiliated Pacific Harley in Waikiki and yes, they were owned by the same company. I pointed out to him that in the last 5 years we had spent well in excess of $4,000 personally in these stores - over $700 in the last 48 hours and as long as my quoit pointed south, I’ll NEVER spend another dime here. I asked to see the poor excuse of a manager here and then “little brother” disappeared, returning with a gas cap. He put it down, mumbled “have a good ride” and then turned to walk away.
We walked out of the shop, hopped on the bikes and started our ride again. A great day damaged because some
H28 Waterfall H28 Waterfall H28 Waterfall

beautiful area, even in the rain
people don’t give a rats. This was by stores that had rescinded the 10% discount for International HOG members, due to a dramatic downturn in accessory and clothing sales on Maui. Hmm, I can’t for the life of me, see why. They’d better hire a fancy financial analyst, or just as their customers.
Back to Paia to fuel up and I was still seething. Fill up quickly and off to Lahaina. )I find out later, that Narelle had asked SquawJenny, if I stayed this angry all day. She told her I’d be over it in a few minutes and I was, happy to be riding again. At the first onset of the hairpin corners, it began to rain. Hang on. I’m getting rain in my eyes. In all the madness, I’d left my trusty RayBans on the gas bowser. @#&$! @#&$! and @#&$! No use going back, as there were a couple of scroungers going through everything on the forecourt when we were there. I growled at the thought of a scrounger doing Men In Black impressions with my $200 classics. Oh well, what next? The rain was stopping, so at least I could see. SquawJenny offered me hers, but
H29 Raging waterfallsH29 Raging waterfallsH29 Raging waterfalls

Noting like my prescence on a bike to open the heavens sluce gates
I’d rather have bruised eyes than ride looking like an effeminate blowfly in her bejeweled Armani's. There’s gotta be a line drawn somewhere... “Well. I offered”, she adds.
We stopped for a photo opportunity at a small bridge that had a raging waterfall before it. The scene was fantastic and we’d put our hassles behind us. Hold my hassles please, SquawJenny. Narelle insisted that I use her new cheapie sunnies. Well, they were unisex. I thanked her and we continued, with the rain getting harder now. We tried dawdling under overhanging trees for some protection and held hope for a reprieve from Huey. We made a stop opposite the Huelo Lookout Food Stall, all diving into the maze of tree trunks, attempting to get some shelter from the heavy deluge. We wondered how many of us could fit in the loo down the hill, but Glen came back and announced that there was a smell in there older than the Hawaiian Islands. Give that a big miss.
We’d travelled only about 5 miles and it’d take us all day to reach Hana at this rate, so we made an executive decision to turn back a the Garden of Eden Botanical
H30 Snacks?H30 Snacks?H30 Snacks?

Huelo Lookout fruit stall
Gardens. We’ll stop there and have some happy-snaps done with the Birdman near the front gate. We turned in and the Birdman was nowhere to be found. The girl at the gate entry told us that someone had gifted him some property and he was going to build a sanctuary for his birds. We felt good for him, but we were disappointed to not meeting him and his birds again. We were cold and soaked, so didn’t feel like stopping here. As we were about to leave, SquawJenny spotted some disposable ponchos for sale in all colours as long as it’s Bubblegum Blue. Not even a Caddie Pink to be seen, not that I’d be wearing it. The glasses were over the line and pink ponchos would be way, way downfield, thank you.
We donned our new weather gear, not really to keep us dry, but to cut the wind-chill factor. We didn’t need colds. I surveyed the scene with dismay, because we looked somewhat like a bundle of escapee bubblegum flavored vacuum-packed chickens. No turkey remarks, or it’s on.
As soon as we moved, the ponchos blew up like blue blimps. Oh, great. Glen and I couldn’t see, so
H31 Hiding in a treeH31 Hiding in a treeH31 Hiding in a tree

Even the heavy canopy didn't stop the deluge from reaching us
the girls hugged us to deflate them somewhat. I made a remark about how this could be misconstrued as fun, kinky stuff. SquawJenny bruised my ribs, but a guy’s gotta try. We stopped at Twin Falls kiosk and had a quick drink of juice. I made a boo-boo. She’s recovering from a stomach bypass and I got sugarcane juice. Apparently a sugar hit from that would send her into a diabetic-like headspin. Sorry, dear. I drank it and it was good. Se wasn’t impressed at all. I was in deep doo-doo. I should be 30ft tall with all the fertilizer I land in. We stopped at the point above the beach before Paia, to check out the windsurfers carving up the ocean. There were plenty of them in the distance and then Narelle spotted a couple of turtles mixing it with the surf boarders immediately below the cliffs.
We’d been lulled into a sense of dry security and had de-poncho'd, so you can expect that it now decided to belt down hard just then. We poncho’d up and took off, stopping at Charley’s for a late lunch. We grabbed a booth and sucked up some coffee & beers. We scoffed
H32 I want In!H32 I want In!H32 I want In!

SquawJenny wants to climb in Glen's pannier bag.
into fish ‘n chips, onion & calamari rings, etc. All bad for you, but tasty. When the rain stopped (hahahahaha) we made our way back to the Aina Nalu at Lahaina. We were all dead-tired, so we hit the spa and the large infinity pool at the complex. They were sooo good and I soaked in slumber for ages in the spa, emerging looking like a giant white prune. Children cried and whale-watchers muttered “Moby”. Gee, I’m such a looker...
After showers and a relax in the a/c, we decided to check out a place for dinner. The walk to Front Street is always a delight, with frangipani trees laden with flowers and mango trees dripping heavily with tons of fruit. A couple of locals were having some neighbor parties and were already in happy mode, adding to the pleasant feeling of the evening. We chose to dine at Moose McGilicuddy's. The place was full and loud, with the younger set strutting around displaying their finery in the usual primitive disco doof-doof mating ritual.
The food & drinks were good and reasonably priced, but Glen made bad food choice with cheesy fries. Soft fries are one thing he can’t consume,
H33 No, Narelle. The other way around.H33 No, Narelle. The other way around.H33 No, Narelle. The other way around.

Ahhh. The comfort of a disposable poncho.
blocking his narrowed stomach. The guy was in discomfort for the whole stay at Moose’s until we decided to walk it off. (drunk at AA, remember?)
We checked out the street scene, with the girls doing some hard shopping. Glen and I perused the scrimshaw shop and the model wooden boat store. In conversation, the woman at the model store told us that her brother makes the boats in Melbourne. I tell her I’ll see him at home then and make my escape. Pity ivory and knives are a no-no to take home, because they have some fantastic carved knives in the scrimshaw shop. A real bloke’s shop and I’m a big fan of sharp, pointy things. I could have studied the craftsmanship in there for hours. SquawJenny had a carb rush and had to lay down for a few minutes on a public seat (only 6 weeks since her op). Passers by tutt-tutt at the drunk woman - ha ha! We called it a night and walked back, the front-yard party still going strong. Great finish to a bad start.


Round 4...
Splish Splash.
4/4 Easter Sunday.
We all had a Sunday laze-in, then Glenn and I
H34 Bye bye bikesH34 Bye bye bikesH34 Bye bye bikes

Nice bikes. Bad service.
rode the bikes over to the gas station to top them up. Even though I’d been short-changed, I decided to do the correct thing for the next guy. We dropped them back to the dealer and waited. What a surprise. He strolled up, coffee in hand and declared in a happy, friendly voice “ You can give me the keys now and collet you receipts later, if you want” Glen and i looked at each other bemused. Was this the same @#&$ we’d had the displeasure of dealing with yesterday? “Here’s your keys. Mail it to me.” I said, flicking them at him and they bounced to the ground. He asked what we were up to today, were we off to church? I just replied “ The last time I was there, the tried to drown me and called me names.”. He sniggered, trying to be pleasant. I was cold to him. I was over this fruit loop, so we just left.
I stopped at the activities booth outside the Wharf Cinema Complex and said hello to “Young Eddie Murphy” again. He asked if we enjoyed our ride yesterday and I gave him the basics. He stood there with his
H35 Bionic mask...H35 Bionic mask...H35 Bionic mask...

This'll look so cool. Everyone'll want to look like me. Here, fishy, fishy. Ha Ha!
jaw open and I told him I was so sorry we didn’t use him. “Two years time, if you’re still here.” I said. “It’s a date.” he replied and we said our farewells. I know he’s a salesman, but he’s still a nice guy. Expedia’s lucky to have him.
We met the girls (they’d been shopping!) and we all strolled back to the apartment in the warmth of a beautiful morning sun. Doesn’t that just take the cake?
Today, I AM going to “church”. My church. The ocean - and to be more precise, under the ocean. I’m in Hawaii and it’s time I donned the headress of my tribe - the mask & snorkel. So far, it’s been windy enough to blow the smile off a car salesman’s face and not the type of weather I’d want, when sitting on a boat - even tied to the dock. You see, I’m blessed with my mother’s digestive tract and my father’s inner ear, may they rest in peace. Did you ever see that episode of The Simpsons, when Marge was on the plane, running furiously from end to end, screaming “Lemme off! Lemme off! Lemme off!”?. That’s me on a
H36 Beach snorkellingH36 Beach snorkellingH36 Beach snorkelling

If you're gonna embarras yourself, at least do it with a decent audience.
boat. Mind you, I did have a terrific day out with Blue Water Rafting in ’07 but we enjoyed an exceptionally perfect day, weatherwise. Their craft also felt like a sports car and not an undulating apartment complex. I did not even contemplate doing THAT, especially after the bike fiasco. As you would have guessed, I don’t do carny rides - period. I get seasick on a soft lounge...
I used to spearfish a fair bit in my youth and do miss the opportunity to snorkel at home. SquawJenny had procured us some “special masks” off the internet. $80 for 2. “What a bargain.” she said. They had a digital camera moulded into the forehead area and 2x crosshairs on the face of the visor. I couldn’t have looked more like a Poindexter If I was wearing a solar calculator glued to a beige latex bathing cap-with fake frangipanis all over. “Well, at least we’ll get some good stills of fish,” I muttered. “They’ll be too busy laughing at the sight of me to ever think about swimming away”. I thought of a great idea to test them out that involved SquawJenny, me, 2x new masks. blue ponchos and the
H37 Black RockH37 Black RockH37 Black Rock

Black Rock? What Black Rock?
shower. “Have fun by yourself!” was not the response I was wanting.
We all gathered our gear and departed for a shore dive up the road somewhere. I had absolutely no idea of where to go, but someone had mentioned a “Black Rock?” on the forum some time ago, so off we went. We passed a local church overflowing with worshipers dressed in their Easter Sunday finery. Some small children bolt out in front of our car, as their parents hurriedly scamper through the church-grounds gate. Did anybody inform them that the “opening performance” took place over 2,000 years ago and the whole show’ll be back by popular demand next Easter? Grab your kids, or you’ll be back for a less-than-pleasant reason next week.
We got to the Ka’anapali area (I think) and I drove around the Whalers Village estate looking for a sign announcing “Black Rock Snorkel Site Here!”. I made a lot of new friends here, because I was driving along at 15mph, studying the area and all my new friends were waving at me from their cars as they accelerated past. I must be #1 in their book, because most waved with only one middle finger. I
H38 LunchtimeH38 LunchtimeH38 Lunchtime

Waterbaby stuff outa the way, It's off to the Barefoot Bar - Hula Grill. How's this for lunch?
enthusiastically adopted this local digital greeting, returning it with enthusiasm.
We gave up the trek for Black Rock and parked at Whalers Village carpark where it announced ‘No parking for beach access”. No problem. I’m snorkelling, not surfing.
We strolled through another shopping mall and down to the ocean. “What a nice place.” I announced, spying a cocktail bar fronting the beach. Maybe later, ‘cos I’m going snorkelling! Off with the Harley singlet, then on with the mask. I might look like a dorky tourist, but I’m a hi-tech one with a webcam for my third eye. Hassle me and I’ll have video evidence! I tore straight in, not waiting for the shock of groin retraction. The water was cool and refreshing, so I set up the fishcam and floated away. I hoped there were no Japanese Whalers around, in search of an albino trophy...
Well, I have to admit that SquawJenny had made a good purchase. The masks didn’t leak, were comfortable and the controls were easy to use. We had the option of video or snapshots at the touch of a button, or was it a blackhead? The water was a little cloudy because of the wind action,
H39 DrinkiesH39 DrinkiesH39 Drinkies

A couple of these little babies really get the blood pumpin'.
but I had a great time flapping around after a couple of fancy fish. I decided to come back to shore to mind the belongings whilst the others had a go. SquawJenny and Narelle put their superhero masks on and waded out. Glen decided that he didn’t want to go in and we sat there together in uncomfortable man-silence. I surveyed the scenery for several minutes and made sure the girls were okay, then laid back to tan my hide - without a whip.
After they’d had their swim, we washed off the sand and adjourned to the Hula Grill. What a great spot, this place was. We ordered some appetizers and drinks. Diet cokes, etc for the others and a maitai for me (good bet wasn’t it?). My drink came out with an ugly face cast into the glass. The meals arrived and we all tucked in, because we hadn’t had brekky yet. I’d ordered a fruit plate and It even tasted as good as it looked and that’s saying something. A nice selection of local fruits, beautifully presented and accompanied with a small pot of pineapple smoothie for dipping. I could probably become a veggie. I lied -
H40 HeavenH40 HeavenH40 Heaven

I could have stayed (drank) here all day.
I like flesh too much. Nothing better than traveling to foreign lands, finding strange and interesting creature, then eating them. SquawJenny ordered ribs (it’s an “Eve” thing), so she passed them to me after nibbling her fill - one rib. I wonder why she’s shrinking & I’m growing?
I could have supped the nectar of the maitai tree all day, but the shops were calling the others. We browsed, felt, smelled, tried, squeezed & admired everything in the village. We had coffee, but not to anyone’s liking so I grabbed the StarVan Enterprise and picked them up out front. We took off back to Lahaina and pulled up at Starbucks, next to Foodland. Glen was happy sipping has favorite brew, so I decided to explore the supermarket. I had a great time checking out the different foods and packaging here. Hey, a Twinkie! They had a good sushi bar, so I grabbed a mixed box. The seafood dept was really interesting, with “anything” poke. Ahi poke, clam poke, octopus poke, squid poke, etc... There was so many varieties. Even looking at the packaged local fish was a thrill, with most being unrecognisable to me.
The small, colorful ones made me
H41 Gump time.H41 Gump time.H41 Gump time.

Show us your big shrimp!
think of my brother. 20 years ago at the age of 44, he had a 4 pipe bypass. Adjusting his diet after, he was encouraged to eat a lot more fish. Not long after, he became quite ill and the cause had his doctors baffled. This was until one of them returned from a seminar in Hawaii with a possible answer. After another test, he was found to be suffering from “reef fish poisoning”. He’d nearly died from what was supposed to assist him. An avid golfer, he worked at a course in Queensland and loved Hawaiian courses. He visited many times to attend “Invitation” events. His last was 10 years ago, when he began to feel extremely ill. He and his wife rushed back to Australia and he was taken directly to hospital. He was severely anaemic, bleeding and they found he’d had a series of mild heart attacks. They immediately gave him a transfusion and he was in for a stem cell transplant. Non-Hodgkins Disease.
He’s still with us, after another transplant 2 years ago. Not well, but still here. He gets so much delight reminiscing about his Hawaiian trips - it’s a special place in his heart,
H42 Sunset timeH42 Sunset timeH42 Sunset time

Such a great view from our table.
so I usually slide our phone conversations towards Hawaii in some way. He called me in excitement a couple of months ago, to announce that his wife had found “pacific onions” at the fruit market. “Hey, young brother”, he chirped. “I’m dining on Maui onion rings tonight! How about that?” I shared in his excitement and he told me that he wished he could show his little(?) brother HIS Hawaii. He thanked me for the CD I’d sent him earlier - IZ’s Facing Future. “Mate, I close my eyes and that guy takes me back there” he said. I quietly thank to IZ for bringing some happiness to his life. Funny how a little multicolored fish can trigger thought.
Back to the apartment for a shower & relax, then we were off to dinner. We chose to dine at Bubba Gumps, so Glen & Narelle “hit the bench” for the cheesy photo shoot. All good fun and the shrimp mascot joined in for added “cheese” - ha ha! The seating was fine and we had a great view of the water, illuminated by gas torches. We had a mixture of foods from SquawJenny’s tossed shrimp cob salad, Narelle’s macadamia nut
H43 Gump shopH43 Gump shopH43 Gump shop

Would a Bubba Gump store closure be classified as "De-Forestation"?
mahi-mahi, Glen’s shrimp New Orleans, to my saucepan of mixed shellfish & crustaceans. All the meals were a good size and very tasty. Glen’s shrimp were a bit spicier than he expected, but he still charged into them. I was “head-down & b*m-up” in my saucepan forever and it was soooo good. I had lobster, crab, shrimp, mussels & clams all over the place. Yum.
The accompanying cocktails were also great, with mine arriving in it’s own shaker. Lucky I’d spent a little time in my youth as a drinks waiter, so I got a “thumbs-up” from our server for not showering the other guests with my drink. He says it happens regularly!
After dinner, the women hit the strip for some more shopping. I was hoping to try some Lahaina shave ice but I was as full as a cattle tick, so I walked back and grabbed the van from where I’d parked it outside the bank near Foodland. I was so lucky to find this parking spot earlier. In the dark, I missed the love-letter from my new friend sitting under the wiper blade...

You think It’s over? In the words of infomercials “But wait, there’s more!”
H44 Aina NaluH44 Aina NaluH44 Aina Nalu

One last look around as the others are packing.



Round 5...
Is still (sort of) alive.
5/4/10.
The second-most baderest day of the whole trip. Even worserer than the rain-ride, because today we depart Maui. Our washing’s been done (SquawJenny was up to midnight), the bags are packed and the checkout completed. I took one last look around the apartment, contemplating dropping my wallet on the floor so we’d have to turn back, but we had to go. I’d left my extra beers on the breakfast bar, along with a few dollars and a thank you note for the housekeeper. I hope she gives them a good home, for their frothy little mates were good to me. Into the van and a last cruise down Front Street made me feel somewhat sad.
We made our way down the highway, admiring the views of the beautiful mountains, beaches, parks and also a huge cruise ship offshore. Then I noticed a leaf or something fluttering under the wiper blade. I pulled over and checked it out. Murphy, you’re a mongrel. I had a love letter from a parking wart on the window, Hmmm. I handed it to SquawJenny, with a sigh and said “Open it up and surprise me.”
H45 Tunnel visionH45 Tunnel visionH45 Tunnel vision

A toot in the tunnel, to appease the "little people".
It was a bit like Xmas, only bad. “Forty dollars for parking adjacent to an ATM for over 15mins.” What? There were eight parking spots and only a couple of cars parked there. A restaurant at the front of the carpark had taken up most of the main carpark spaces for the night, marking it out with “witches hats”. Greedy restauranteurs. I know it was my fault, but it’s a healthy option to blame others.
We stop at a big gas station, where the highway turns inland. I still can’t get used to the “pay first” thing. “Why don’t the pumps work?” I said. “You need to pay. How much do you want?” he said. “How should I know? I haven’t filled it yet.” I said. “How much do you want?” he said. “Take my card until I’ve filled it.” I said. “Can’t do that. Tell me how much you want.” He said. “How should I know?” I said. Now I know why people take the pre-paid fill option when renting. He refuses to take SquawJenny as security (insult!), so I opt for $40 worth and hope for the best, Then I go back and get a credit for the
H46H46H46

I thought about it, but he'd taken the keys. I wann be a mall cop when I grow up, so I ride one of these!
unused portion. Yes, I had tried to use the plastic at the pump, but it wanted a zip code and it didn’t want my Aussie post code. I contemplated running the fly zipper in my pants through it to see if it recognized that zip code - but that would surely incur the Wrath of SquawJenny. Woe betide me if we missed the plane because I was in a Maui lock-up.
We dropped the car at Enterprise, after doing a U-turn and going back to the turn-off. Tip. Pay for a big sign with an arrow saying “Enterprise” if you want tourists to find you easier. Oh, that was Enterprise, because there is a little sign on the back of the fence. Make it easier for the weary and confused, please. My biological TomTom told me to turn around and go back. You missed the turn. Thanks, honey. Straight onto the shuttle and off to the airport.
“I’m starving.” I exclaimed. “Let’s book in and hit that great cafeteria upstairs!”. Through security and up the escalator. Glen spies Starbucks and joins the queue. Jenny follow. Not me, baby, I’m having a decent breakfast, not a cookie or oat-bran muffin! I
H47 Hello HonoluluH47 Hello HonoluluH47 Hello Honolulu

Fast flight - with guava juice!
zero in on the cafeteria doors and “Closed For Refurbishment. Booger King and Pukey Pizza Opening Soon”. Pfffffft. I was so deflated. I loved that povvo little cafeteria. I tried Monterey Jack Cheese here for the first time, in ’05 for my Five-O. A religi-cheeseous experience. I poked my head in the next door. It was a bar, serving fried stuff with a side of fried stuff. I dragged myself back to Starbucks, a broken man. I sat there in defeated depression for a few minutes, watching “Chuck, Veronica and Larry” pull pseudo coffee. Then I noticed a news stand and decided to investigate. Ice cream! For brekky? Hey, I’m on holidays. I need a drinks, so what’s in the fridge? Pepsi Max! My first can in Hawaii. Woohoo, make my caffeine cold and fizzy! (er, I’m a Max addict). Happy Harleynut rejoined the crew.
Fast flight to Honolulu. Our bags were even faster, standing beside the bag carousel. Apparently they caught an earlier flight. I checked the bulletin board and selected “Maholo Shuttles”. $7pp one-way and the guy had us at our hotel in a flash. We were the first off and our bellhop grabbed our bags. This was
H48 Waikiki ParcH48 Waikiki ParcH48 Waikiki Parc

Nice rooms.
nice, for a change. “Welcome to The Waikiki Parc Hotel”, he announced. “We’ll meet you in your room, with your bags”. Although the hotel forecourt is in a grubby backstreet, the foyer and reception were clean, bright and very modern in style. Not a bad looking flophouse, really.
We’d prepaid several weeks before to get a good exchange rate, so our book-in was swift. They told us that they couldn’t put us on the same floor, because of reduced capacity created by the maintenance work being performed. Yikes! No jackhammers, I hoped. SquawJenny had investigated hotel options, then done the bookings and payments online for both parties, so she was taken aback a little when the others were given the higher floor room. “That’d be right.” she muttered. “I did the work, then paid for it on my card and I get a low room.” I suggested I get reception to check for another high room, but she told me not to bother. She was just disappointed that the reception staff don’t think.
Up to the room on the 22nd floor and check it out. Not too bad at all. Good, roomy bathroom, enough storage space, a king-size bed and
H49H49H49

Fair view
a cool, crisp, airy feel. A nice room. We opened the white wooden shutters to check out the view. We went out on the little lanai and checked out the great view of the back of the Sheraton and Halekulani. Oh yeah. There was a view of the ocean over the top of the Halekulani and the Outrigger. You could also see a little bit of beach at the end of the lane between the hotels in front of us. We had a good view of the pool area of the Halekulani and there were distant views down towards the Marina. Not a bad view really, but I’d been spoilt by “The Waikiki Circle” last time.
Okay, let’s do something. How about lunch a Jimmy Buffett’s? Great! I’d better shower and change, as I smell like a polecat. Where’s our bags? I’ll just call them. After 5 mins of trying to figure out the phone (reading glasses in bag), I gave up and decided to go get them, but I was beaten to the door by the porter. He placed the bags and I greased his palm and we pointed out that every other lanai has a table, but ours.
H50 MararitavilleH50 MararitavilleH50 Mararitaville

Can I fit them in my suitcase?
He disappears to get the missing item and I freshen up. We meet Glen & Narelle downstairs and take off for Jimmy’s.
Glen & I had visions of Margaritaville in “Vegas in our minds from our ’08 visit and were enthusiastic to introduce the girls to the experience. Up the escalator and onto the deck area across from the Beachcomber pool. The main area doesn’t open for lunch. Oh. The lunch area had the atmosphere of a bar bistro in a backstreet anywhere but Hawaii. I was a bit disappointed. Glen hated it. A couple of small plasmas playing Carribean music videos and a couple of potted palms was a giant let down. We’d already ordered a round of margaritas, so we decided to just share a nachos and move on.
The nachos arrived and they were quite a spectacle. Corn, taro & sweet potato chips gave color to this mountainous appetizer. They were layered several times with splashes of beans & cheese, then topped with guacamole & sour cream, resembling lava. Sliced jalapenos sprinkled over the “lava” completed the “Mountain of Nacho”! The server announced “I bet you don’t get nachos like this at home.” and she was spot
H50 Waikiki sightsH50 Waikiki sightsH50 Waikiki sights

These trikes look like fun
on there. All that for under $8. Bargain. The margaritas were also good and cost about $7.50ea. We forgot about out poverty surroundings for a while and tucked in. We decided we’d come back and try the main bar at night sometime, but it never crossed our mind to return for lunch. Message to The Big Parrot-head: There’s too many nicer venues open for lunch serving equally good food, to contemplate eating here. Fix up the outside area, because you can’t expect to hang on the teat of the downstairs Margaritaville trinkets shop forever.
We then cruised the shops with me disappearing to check out the International Market. I figured they’d find me id the wanted me. The didn’t and the didn’t. A short stroll through the market grounds reaffirmed my opinion of markets. hardly worth bothering with. I was surprised at how boring this had become. When I came here in ’05, it was a maze of interesting caves and corners, with even a fortune-teller in a mystical treehouse. I was an iconic mix of half carnival, half bazaar. Now, it was mainly a repetitive collection of merchants selling asian junk. It had been so sanitized that it’s soul’s
H51 Hula showH51 Hula showH51 Hula show

Wakky Wakky bands are everywhere. Good fun.
been laundered, steam pressed and put away for safekeeping in a municipal filing cabinet somewhere (much like this amended report). Even that pus-hole of a dingy upstairs bar called Coconut Willy’s was boarded up and roped off. Damn. I was gonna get plastered up there, whilst the others shopped.
Disappointed, I decided to walk through to the back of the markets and check out Pukka Dog. I’d watched a foodie program on cable TV (No Reservations) and the presenter looked like he was in esophageal ecstasy, over one these so-called culinary delights. Another TV con-job. The hot dogs were just a spicy sausage jammed in a bun that’d been warmed up on a hot stainless steel spike. Whatever sauce you wanted was squirted in first. These were nothing special at all because every second gas station counter in Oz has one of these germ-breeders on the counter. Not me, baby...
My phone beeps - message from a RELIGIOUS ENTITY (can’t say god - offend the easterners). Nope, but close. My marvelous missus wants me! I scamper like a frisky colt (me? scamper? Ha Ha!) back to the front street, beside the Margaritaville store and SquawJenny interrogates me for my absence. She passes me her shopping bags and disappears inside the GUESS store, with me in pursuit. I decided to keep an eye on her, because this could cost me a pretty penny in here. The girls “oohed” and “aahed” at the pretty colors, then decided that they didn’t have anywhere near enough handbags and did serious shopping in here like possessed demons. I sat, leaned, groaned, sighed, strolled and stretched beside them - all to no avail, for they were here for the duration. Bored, I placed the other shopping near where Glen was sitting comatose, then strolled out to check out the surroundings. Hey, Taco Bell. Mmmm, sushi.
I observed a couple of the local cops standing back from the intersection, then booking jaywalkers as they walked past. The ethereal phrase passed though my head, but I decided against yelling out to “Dano”. Who says I have no self-control? Instead I pleasantly asked one of them where I could pay my parking fine from Maui. “In Maui.” he snarled at me, obviously irritated at me for interrupting his “turkey shoot”. I was puzzled, for I thought the ticket said Honolulu.
I rejoined the others and we made our way
H54 View downH54 View downH54 View down

that Halekulani pool sure looks good.
through the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Centre. More bloody shops, I mumbled to myself. Hang on. There’s the Harley Shop. I walked in, sizzling like a demon in church, as I thought of my last HD encounter. The others pawed through the stock and I noticed how “cheap” the shop looked. It was like a clearance house compared to the opulent shop we’d visited here on previous visits. Oh, well the stuff WAS cheaper than home and the pleasant cashier was a big step up from Gronk at Lahaina. He told us that things were not too well in HarleyLand. I was aware that The Factory had recently posted massive losses, but he also mentioned that they’d closed their flagship MotorClothes store at the Ala Moana Centre. There was more. The hugely expensive Harley chopper carved from wood that usually stood pride of place, encased in glass outside THIS store had suffered a bad case of borers! So bad that they mightn’t save it. I refrain from sniggering but tick the “Karma got ‘em for me” box in my mind. I admire the HD “shorty” helmets, with their skull & flame graphics - maybe later...
We check out the other shops
H55 Chopper shotH55 Chopper shotH55 Chopper shot

What's the chances of taking a snap of the sunset and a bloody helicopter flies past?
and I wander off (I’m told I’m good at that). I spy a Ukelele shop and I know that SquawJenny was toying with the idea of buying one (she’s a muso’ and I can’t even rattle a tambourine), so I go and grab her. There was the cheap wall ($80 - $400) and then there was the “good” wall. Yikes! “Don’t pick up the $2,700 one, please. Nah, you just buy whatever one you want dear, because you deserve it.” I thought to myself. Lucky for me, she decided to wait. Maybe later?
Back to the room for a shower & change the wife-beater, then she made “The Discovery”. In an apparent lax, casual, uncaring act of stupidity, I’d left one of her bags containing an expensive new belt on the floor - in Guess. Narelle called the store and they’d found it. I went back and picked it up when we went for dinner. Standing there at the counter in Guess, with all the doof-doof music going on and all the trendsetters dressed in plastic finery (incl. plastic boobs), I felt absolutely naked without gold parachute pants on. What was I going to do, when they all broke into
H56 How the mighty have fallenH56 How the mighty have fallenH56 How the mighty have fallen

This was the HD Motorclothes shop in '05. Now it resembles a temporary discount shop.
chorus with “Nah-nana-nah. Can’t touch this”?
Back with the others and nobody could make up their mind about dinner, so we ended up in the food court at the back of the markets. Not a bad choice, as there was plenty of options and a free Hula show. Glen & Narelle grabbed chinese and we scored malaysian. My meal was great and was only $6 for a huge plateful of short ribs, steak, chook, noodles, veggies and rice. A fruit smoothie washed it down. SquawJenny had 3 bites of hers and slid it at me because she was full. Gee, I wonder why she’s losing weigh and I’m gaining it. I feel a need and it comes in a bottle or can with something % on the side.
We all retire early back to our rooms at the Waikiki Parc hotel. I recheck the parking ticket and realize that it’s not a Maui PD jobbie, but a parking company rent-a-rat number. They’d been featured on the Current Affairs programs in Oz recently, scamming gullible motorists and were bogus as far as the law was concerned. I give it the flick and ponder the worst case scenario. They could demand that
H57 Waikiki TrolleysH57 Waikiki TrolleysH57 Waikiki Trolleys

Not a bad way to get to the Ala Moana shops.
I return and face court. Yes! Another Hawaiian adventure. Harleynut’s “Incarceration In Paradise”. James A Michener would be so proud of me. SquawJenny and I enjoy a nightcap of Whalers coconut rum and diet citrus green tea ( a winner room-drink) on our little lanai and then hit the sack.

Intermission.
You’ll find a fine selection of candy, popcorn & soft drinks available for purchase in our modern cafe’.


Round 6...
Glug. Glug. I’m buying.
6/4/10 (sorry, the Aussie calendar, not your weird one).
Thought for the day. Best thing about Hawaii? You can drink the tap water without getting a dose of the Hershey Squirts. Try that in Bali, Thailand, Fiji, Hong Kong, etc. Sure, you can have isolated problems, same as us at home. But you don’t have to fear an ice cube or salad in even a 5 star resort. And you have fun dunnys. Auto-flush. Ha Ha! Mind you, don’t twist around for the date roll, or it’s a cool surprise.
King-size bed and king-size sleep. 5.30am. About the first day I’ve actually slept past 3am. I laze away watching a little TV. Ha ha. No I don’t. I get growled at. I’m
H58 Transport optionsH58 Transport optionsH58 Transport options

Not the way to do it.
asleep, she says. Okay, I WILL watch TV. Usual garbage. So much for U.S. cable. How many news programs does one country need? Usually the same topic, with a dozen opinions. Urgh.
I get up and decide to shower. The shower’s over the bath and is more than adequate in temperature and volume - even on the 22nd floor. There’s a fair amount of room in the bathroom and it has a feature that you don’t see in many hotel rooms. An exhaust fan. It works well for de-misting shower fog and removing THOSE odors. It puzzles me why so many hotels only have a 6” x 6” vent with no fan. They must be designed by single, unwashed, constipated, anorexic architects that love to grow bathroom mushrooms. Had my say and subject now closed (as is the door).
I decide to check what sort of day it’ll be, so I can figure out what I’ll wear. Hey, were on the 22nd floor, so I’ll just stroll out onto the lanai in the nick. Yikes! Half of the Sheraton is hanging over their lanai rails with a cuppa, looking at the Waikiki Parc upper floors - me. I dive back
H59 Salt anyone?H59 Salt anyone?H59 Salt anyone?

Manicure con-job attempt,
inside and draw the shutters. A pole dancer, I’m not. Now there’s a vision to scar the mind... I chuck a pair of daks (pants) on and resume the position on the railing.
Not a bad day at all. Little bit of cloud and a light breeze. I expect the wind’ll come up later, so it’s on with the uniform. Where’s a fresh Harley singlet? Before long, we were all downstairs and checking out the area. This consisted of walking to Starbucks in Lewers Street, at the end of the Royal Hawaiian Arcade. All the others grabbed a grande and parked themselves, but I had itchy feet. I took off and explored the Halekulani, Outrigger Reef, and nearby blocks. I came back to see how they were going, but they were still slurping. Off I went again, returning in about another 15mins. SquawJenny asked where I’d been, as they were waiting. Glen jammed his container into Narelle’s and whoosh! She’d drunk but half and it was everywhere. Okay, lets go.
We walked over to the Galleria and caught a trolley to Ala Moana Shops (surprised?). It was like Little Tokyo in there. The trolley ride was okay, but I felt sort of hard done by and inadequate that I was not asian. When we disembarked at Ala Moana, we hit the food court for brunch. If you can’t find something to eat here, you don’t have a mouth and need an I.V. feed. I’d had nothing today and was wasting away to a l(big) shadow :-)
I cruised the options, settling on some dim sum. A few shrimp gow gee and a manpua, a large, steamed, purple bun with sweet pork filling. A bit of soy and some hot chilli sauce and I was set. Wait, I need a drink. Aha! A pearl tea fruit smoothie drink. I’ll give anything a go once. Well, the gow gee were nice, but the manapua was ONO! I’m a big fan of steamed pork buns at home, but this was way past that. Absolutely delicious. The bun texture was so smooth & fluffy, collapsing at the touch of your tongue, with a wonderful sweet potato taste and that great hit of sweet pork flavor in the centre. Mmmm. That pearl drink was also tasty and kinda fun, with the “thunk” of sweet, chewy, sago balls hitting your tongue. Not bad. I could have
H61 Waikiki ParcH61 Waikiki ParcH61 Waikiki Parc

A viewed from the waterfront
another one day.
After brekky, we entered the hallowed halls of The Shops. The girls were in their “church”. We went up a level (higher prices?). A young female spruiker cornered me and began hustling me about my hands. “You have such rough hands.”. “Your wife would like to be touched with softer hands.”. “Just rub them with this salt.”. “Just wash them with water.”. “Don’t they feel soft?”. “This salt come from the bottom of the Dead Sea.”, she rattles on, polishing my thumbnail now, to show how well her magical papyrus works. My laughing wife takes my photo and says she’ll be in Macy’s when I’m through flirting.
The girl is relentlessly continues with “ I know about the Dead Sea, because I’m Jewish and this is out passover holiday.”. “Im agnostic.” I say. “Huh?” she she snorts. “I’m a fence-sitter. I’ll believe when he levitates past my TV.” I explain. “I can respect that.” she replies, still polishing that nail. “You don’t have to respect it. It’s what I am.”, I growl and pull my hand back because my thumbnail’s about to burst into flame. I ask her how much all these products cost and she horrifies
H62 Waikiki ParcH62 Waikiki ParcH62 Waikiki Parc

Hotel entry walkway
me with the prices. I inform her that she has nothing I need or want to buy, but congratulate her on a magnificent sales pitch. She tells me nobody has ever said her sales pitch was magnificent. “Well, there you go. You’ve had a special day. Happy passover.” I said, walking off investigating my one shiny-as-duco thumbnail.
I join SquawJenny and the others in Macys shoe dept. “Oh, you dragged yourself away, I see. It only takes blond hair and b**bs and you’re gone.” she says. “Blond hair?’ I query. SquawJenny frowns at my humor attempt. “Hey, feel my lovely soft hands and check out my new, shiny thumbnail. It’s not often I get a shopping centre hand job.” I joke. She decides to direct her attention to the job at hand. Shoes. I look over at Glen & Narelle. Both are shopping away merrily. Shoppy, shop shop. I hang around for a few minutes, bored out of my brain. “You know where I’ll be.” I tell SquawJenny, pointing up. “Maitai Bar?” she says. With a “Yup”, I turn to go. “Aren’t you taking Glen?” I look over and he’s up to his elbows in shoes. “He’s happy.” I answer
H63 Waikiki ParcH63 Waikiki ParcH63 Waikiki Parc

Hotel lobby
and hit the trail.
It’s a hard job up at the Maitai Bar, but I feel I’m up to the task. The only other task I have for the day, is to find some UFC T-shirts for my youngest son, back home on Oz. Later. I sidle up to the bar and order a Longboard Lager. Mmmm. Nectar of the beer god. Football’s on one TV, basketball on the other and good tunes are booting out the speakers. Spark up a conversation with a bloke beside me. He’s a floor tiler from West Oahu. He and his wife are shopping. His wife’s shopping and he’s here .Common story in the bar. We have a good conversation and SquawJenny arrives to say hello. She declines a drink and asks If I’d seem Glen. He’d passed by earlier, we’d waved, but he didn’t come in for a drink. She left to continue shopping.
After 2 beers, 3 tequilas and 3 really nice and big maitais, I bid my drinking pal farewell and went off to find SquawJenny. I found her in Starbucks at a seat window. I attempted a blowfish with my mouth on the glass, but only accomplished a slobber. She cringed with embarrassment, so I joined her inside. I was a little merry. Shopping’s fun. I told her I’d see her soon and took off to find these T-shirts. I tried every shop in the area - no UFC fight shirts. I messaged SquawJenny to find her. She was on the trolley already, nearly home. Whupps! The doo-doo felt familiar, but the depth felt a little higher. Hopped the next trolley out of MoanaTown, for Waikiki. I got back to the doom and announced that I’d better have a little sleep, then passed out for a while.
I was woken up about 7.00 and we went to PF Chang’s for dinner, just around the corner. We got an outside table and it rained a little. SquawJenny had cantonese scallops and I had duck sometingorother, fit for royalty. Well, the wife declared hers devoid of taste, akin to a solidified, warm drink of seawater. My duck was cooked in such a strong flavored sauce, that it irritated the mouth and you couldn’t taste the duck. Not inedible, but not a quality meal. Don’t know what the fuss is about PF Chang. The takeaway plate at the back of the IMP was
H65 Kawasaki 1250H65 Kawasaki 1250H65 Kawasaki 1250

A custom 1250cc Kawasaki made from 2x 750cc engines.
way better. Send your cook down there for a while. Chang. We won’t be back. Overpriced stitch-up on the food. The maitai was okay, though. Hey, take it easy. A man’s not a camel, you know.
The rest of the night’s a little hazy, but I think we had another early one. Must find UFC shirts. Must find UFzzzzz... Gotta stop waking up before the roosters. Mmm, chicken.

Now you’ll have to wait a day or two. I’m worn out thinking of all those maitais :-)


Round 7...
Like Crusading Knights, our quest awaits.
7/4/10
Today, it’s back to My church. Okay, suit up SquawJenny, because we’re going in. I think we’ll just check out the water out the front. I don’t think the others are water babies. We grab our Poindexter masks and head off down the alley (er sorry, access walk) to the beach. Beach? I’ve got a bigger sandpit for my dog. Hey, I remember this. When we were at the Sheraton in ’05, we decided to take our first Hawaiian waters dip here. 3 minutes in the water an a catamaran tried to run us down. We decide to check out the beach
H66 RokonH66 RokonH66 Rokon

A 2wd off-road bike. A shaft comes out of the frame at the steering head, drinung a uni joint & bevel gearset. This drives a sprocket & chain down to the front wheel. Crazy!
in front of Shorebirds first. It looks so nice, with the good stretch of clean sand.
Looks can be deceiving, for it was rocky and hard to negotiate, so we went back to the little bit of sand between the Sheraton and Halekulani. SquawJenny lost enthusiasm, so I just went out by myself. The entry was smooth and sandy. No barked toes. I explored the rocky areas out on either side of the catamaran channel. Once out a little bit, there was plenty of fish and some nice colored coral areas. Don’t ask me what color, I’m colorblind - remember? I also saw a bolle-fish (someone’s sunnies) encrusted in some coral. Anyway, I had a pleasant splash about for a while, then came back in to see if the wife was interested. She was still bluffed about the boats. Didn’t want to be run down. I said it was okay, but nope - no way she was risking it. We go back and shower.
SquawJenny and I went around the corner to Denny’s for breakfast. We’d never been to a Denny’s. Not too bad. Wife has oatmeal and I have a lumberjack special. Bad move. I’m not bad on the
H67 3cyl HarleyH67 3cyl HarleyH67 3cyl Harley

Custom 3 cyl Harley Dyna. Great job. Looks "factory".
tooth, but I’m no lumberjack. I polish off a fair portion of it, but shy at the extra plate with pancakes on it. Coffee’s good, but I have to put my cup away from the aisle. I’m trying to finish it and it keeps on filling up. Can’t get used to that custom . I’ll be shaking for hours! We take off, meeting Glen & Narelle at Starbucks. On the way there, I’d spied a UFC poster on the front window of a pizzeria and sports bar. I asked the girl serving, if she knew where we could get some UFC stuff around here. No, but if we come early on Saturday, the first 100 get a free UFC shirt or poster. Great. We fly out 9.15 Saturday.
I’d done some homework on the internet earlier that morning and had the address of ‘Fighters Corner”, a shop that had the UFC T-shirts. It was well out, so we all decided to go and check out Pacific HD’s main store. On “The Bus” for a while and we arrived at the store. It’s out near Nimitz Highway. We checked out the new HD range, some parts & some custom bikes they
H68 WTF?H68 WTF?H68 WTF?

How fast can a lawnmower go?
had there. We were escorted via elevator up to the top floor museum. The owner has a a nice collection of special bikes. A one-off 3 cyl Harley Dyna, a one-off 5 cyl Kawasaki 1250cc 2 stroke, a 2wd Rokon off-road bike, A Harley scrambler, a 750cc Suzuki “Water-Bottle”, etc. The games room had a HD pool table, a HD football table and a HD soft drink machine. I was still irritated about Maui, so no money changed hands here.
Glen & Narelle went straight back to Waikiki, but we had a “quest for the holy UFC shirts” to complete. We found the store about half-way back to Waikiki, courtesy of Iphone GPS. Can’t beat gadgets. Not the nicest area and there was plenty of homeless people, with a few dodgy types floating around as well. I had a eye open and a fist closed, just in case. Into the store and checked it out. Not a bad shop and the guy was extra nice. They had no BJ Penn shirts left (local guy - the world champ), which had the guy in the store more disappointed than us. BJ Penn was fighting to retain his title on Saturday and
H69 Jimmy Buffett'sH69 Jimmy Buffett'sH69 Jimmy Buffett's

Under the"wave", in the dining booth
his order of his shirts wouldn’t arrive until the following week. They did have a BJ Penn hat left and we also bough him some Tap-Out Tees (the brand he wanted). I tried to message him a photo - technology failed, so we chose for him. Luckily he was overjoyed with our selections. $180 later, we caught The Bus for Waikiki - or so we thought. It stopped at the back of the Ala Moana shops. We waited for a bus to Waikiki. Ever one that pulled up was full, or rushed by dozens of people. I was disgusted at the rudeness of the young people (male & female), who pushed past a couple of old ladies to get the few vacant spaces.
I’d had enough of the place. It was overcrowded, noisy & dirty. I couldn’t care about the transfer ticket. This place sucked and I couldn’t see the sense of wasting vacation time here. We walked through the Ala Moana Centre and caught a trolley out front for $2. Bargain. The ride back in was pleasant and fun. Buses on this journey are a hassle. I’ll pay the extra anytime. We went to the room and relaxed, happy
H70 Jimmy Buffett'sH70 Jimmy Buffett'sH70 Jimmy Buffett's

Band was okay
with most of the day’s outing and satisfied with our purchases for our son. Our boy would be happy. We showered and changed for dinner. What happened to lunch?
Tonight, we decided to give Jimmy Buffett’s main restaurant a go. We had to wait about 20 mins in the outside lunch area, then we had a booth table under a mock wave. The interior decor’ was good and the booths were the roomiest I’ve ever been in. I’m no toddler, so I find booths cramp be up, but not this one. Comfort all the way. The food was great and so were the drinks. I honestly can’t remember the actual dinner details, but we all enjoyed the night. I do remember asking If I could have onion rings instead of fries with my meal and they just gave us both, no extra charge.
There was a band performing, but we left about 9.00. They wanted to go. We checked out the Margaritaville shop and while SquawJenny was making a couple of quick purchases for some friends back home, I ducked off to try and buy some decongestant. I’d been fighting a possible inner-ear problem all the trip. I’d been getting
H71 Jimmy Buffett'sH71 Jimmy Buffett'sH71 Jimmy Buffett's

Bar looked great
head-spins, popping ears and a nagging, dry cough. I’d had a doctor check it out before I left and she said there was no problem. My ears are smaller than an elephant, so I suggest she returns to veterinarian sciences. The amount our vet charges for our dogs, I think she’ll ear more, too. When I found SquawJenny again, she was by herself. Glen & Narelle had gone to Macy’s for some late-night shopping. They were true shopping demons, that two. We decided to call it a night and hit the sack. I rode the wild pillow for an hour or so, as my head span around until I fell asleep. Why is it always me who gets sick when we go away? I spent the last day of our ’08 trip to Hawaii in bed, too sick to do anything. Crossed my fingers and toes this time. Ouch. Toe cramp.


Round 8...
Look! In the bar. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No... It’s Maitai Man!
8/4/2010
We decided to go check out to hire a car for a trip up north. I strolled into Hertz and asked about a convertible (Ford Mustang) for the day. The
H72 Shorebirds Bar FanH72 Shorebirds Bar FanH72 Shorebirds Bar Fan

Starts here on the right, with a chain drive coming down through the ceiling.
price was about $180, with insurance. I thanked them and left. Ouch. They king-hit me there. Sounded a mite expensive for this place, so I gave Avis a go, next door. Sorry, no Mustangs there, But I could have had a Volvo. A Volvo? Do I look like I drive a Volvo. Do I look like I want to drive a Volvo? I told the salesman that my bowling hat would surely blow off the back seat in a convertible Volvo. He bust into laughter and gave me a wink. I said my farewells and left. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.
We check out the theme diner behind the Hyatt and sit down for a breakfast. The selection was just fried whatever, so we packed up and left. After a stroll, we came across Denny’s, below the Miramar. In we go for brekky. I had a $2 egg, biscuit and gravy. Not bad. Good value for 2 bucks. We then caught a trolley to Ala Moana. The girls wanted to go to Ross.
We walked over to this Ross place, behind The Ala Moana Centre. Inside, it reminded me of a cross between a $2 shop and a Salvation Army sorting
H73 Shorebirds Bar FanH73 Shorebirds Bar FanH73 Shorebirds Bar Fan

and it goes 'round & 'round & 'round...
warehouse. This place is the pits, but the women just love it. They relish in the sport of exploring, sorting, examining, comparing & fitting. I helped SquawJenny to search for undies, choosing some very attractive numbers. I thought the choices were fine, but she scolded me severely and compared them to frilly shoelace slingshots. I was told in no uncertain terms that my fashion finding skills were not required. I decided to have a browse around the rest of the “House of Ross”. That was completed in about 8 minutes flat. How can women spend so much time shopping? Men make choices, then leave. Simple. I fail to understand the expansion of the exercise.
I bade my farewells to my loving wife (evil stares back at me) and I was off. I walked over to Walmart, buying a snorkel and a six-pack of caramac boxes. In tersting choiced, eh? I’ll leave you to ponder for eternity. It too me about 12 minutes (including a pee) and I was gone. I decided to walk back to our hotel. A nice walk on a nice day. The 3 shopping trolls were still busy in Ross. I was back in no time and
H74 Stand-up PaddleboarderH74 Stand-up PaddleboarderH74 Stand-up Paddleboarder

This guy came in & picked up his dog, who sat on the front for a ride.
I dropped off the goodies in the room. I then went down to the computer room and checked out Waikiki car rentals. I got a quote from the same crew we used to book Maui. It was $59.95 for 24hrs, insurance extra. Good enough for me. It was with Alamo, so I called them and booked their free shuttle to pick me up out the front in the morning. Done deal.
I made a b-line for the Shorebirds bar. $3 maitais, from 12.00 to 5.00. Mmmm. I found an acceptable position at the bar and ordered a beer first off. Next it was a maitais. The view of the water was great and I watched a guy on a stand-up paddle board paddle past with his dog sitting on the front. The dog was loving it, having the best fun because he didn’t have to paddle.
The restaurant area of the Shorebird looked quite good. Not fancy, but very clean & comfortable, with a great view. I looked up and noticed the ceiling fans. I marveled at their simplicity of design, like an old shearing shed set-up. There was a chain drive dropping down from an electric motor mounted in the ceiling at one end of the room. It rotated a pulley, which drove a belt. This belt drove a fan with a pulley, which drove a belt and so on all around the room. Simple and stylish. Alway the technician.
I sighed, thinking how much nicer this would have been with my wife, but she liked to shop (which I found out a looong time ago). I’ve got used to having a drink at nice venues in Hawaii by myself, while she shops. I don’t see the attraction and I guess she’s the same. Oh, well. I guess it’s the same with me and music. She would drive 1000km to see a band and I couldn’t care less about bands. I took a couple of photos, so she could view a digital representation of what I’d been looking at. The maitais flowed cheap, good and fast.
I walked back towards our room past the front of the Halekulani, reinforcing my opinion that this and the Sheraton have two of the worst shorelines in Waikiki. No, they don’t actually have shorelines. They have retaining walls built into the water and when you look over the edge, you see the rubbish
H76 Shoerbirds ViewH76 Shoerbirds ViewH76 Shoerbirds View

Not half bad out front.
discarded by thoughtless passers-by. Old cans, bottles, etc, covered with dirty silt and discolored with age. I wondered why they didn’t clean this up? Were these places that broke that they couldn’t afford waterfront cleaning personnel now and then? It was not a big thing, but it just sat there like an embarrassing stain that nobody wanted to touch. A dog turd outside a restaurant would be a good simile.
I called SquawJenny and she was at the Cheesecake Factory. She was in the line for a table and wanted me to join her, so I made my way over there. We walked in about a minute after I arrives and were seated out the back. I studied the menu novel and chose nachos. We received a message fro the other two and they walked in to say hello, thinking we had a table for 4, but it was only us crammed into a corner. I’ve been to this place a few times before, but this time I didn’t like It. The seating was uncomfortable, hot and noisy. The food was mediocre and overpriced. I just pecked at my nachos, for they were disgusting. Stale chips and it was all
H77 Diamond HeadH77 Diamond HeadH77 Diamond Head

Lookout on the road in front of Diamond Head
refrigerator-cold. Yuk. We left shortly after. The first bad meal here. Yep, it was Starbucks later, I think. It’s just a blur of rums, juices, pineapple pieces, ice and little paper nose-umbrellas...


Round 9...
“Mustang Harley” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
9/4/2010
I get up early and wait for the Aloha Car Rental shuttle. The forecourt of the Waikiki Parc was noisy & smelly, with all the delivery and refuse trucks working the street. Adding to the madness, was a tre-lopping gang manicuring the palm trees on the surrounding streets. It was like a demolition derby out there. Vehicles of all shape and size tearing around madly. Wheels squealing, engines revving and people yelling. What a nuthouse.
Pretty soon, my ride arrived. I ran over to the centre of the road where they were jammed and jumped in. We took off, mounting the sidewalk to avoid the oncoming dumpster truck who was tearing down the street the wrong way. I was glad they were driving. The woman at the wheel was oblivious to it all, obviously seeing it all day, every day. I hung on for grim death and we arrived at the Alamo site
H78 Hmm...H78 Hmm...H78 Hmm...

I bet it sounded like a good idea until it rained.
in no time.
I took all insurance options and a prepaid fill, offered at about 20c/gal cheaper than pump price. Obviously they know nobody uses a tank up. I followed the yellow brick road (yellow line) in and out around the carpark as instructed, until I arrived at the dispatcher’s desk. I gave them the paperwork & keys. “Ah, you want a Jeep Wrangler”, she said. “Nope. Not me. I rented a Mustang”, I replied. Not doing well here, I thought. She took off downstairs to find the correct keys. Another couple of people had now joined me at the desk, looking confused. You think you’re confused. Wait ‘til you check out the dispatcher.
“Here you go. There’s your car in that spot over there. The black one.” she confidently stated. “Check it over and mark any faults on this sheet”. I checked the convertible over carefully and then it tooted at me suddenly. I looked around and a guy was standing in front of a grey Mustang two bays down, pressing the key remote. “Whoops!” said the dispatcher and swapped our keys. She grabbed the check-sheet and gave some basic instruction on how to operate the roof, then I
H79 Diamongd Head TunnelH79 Diamongd Head TunnelH79 Diamongd Head Tunnel

Did you know Diamond Head was hollow? It's an extinct volcano crater.
was off and racing. I messaged SquawJenny to be ready and they were waiting on the Halekulani side for me. Here we go!
We cruised down past the Waikiki Zoo, the Music Shell and the Aquarium, then made our way around the front of Diamond Head. The weather was a mixed pot, but we kept hope. The view was great and we saw a couple rattle up in a small car reminiscent of a dodgem car, similar to the Go-Cars in San Francisco. “And they think a bike is dangerous”, I thought. Glen and I reminisce about our moped adventure around this road in ’08. I tell the girls how a guy on a mountain bike beat me, pedaling uphill here. Those moped had no power at all and even worse brakes, but they were fun!
Next stop was the Diamond Head tunnel. After entering the crater, we chucked a u-turn, as the place was crowded. We stopped on the way out for Glen to get a couple of photos. As we drove past the Diamond Head homes, we were amazed at both the opulence and the number of “for sale” signs. You could call this “Gate Street”, because every
H80 From Here to EternityH80 From Here to EternityH80 From Here to Eternity

THAT beach from THAT movie
second home had an elaborately decorated gate. We had a great time admiring all these extravagances/
We took off on a highway towards Hanauma Bay and stop at a shopping centre on the left to grab some brekky. I also check out a discount store for a cap, to stop getting sunburnt. Yikes! The only two hats left were gayer than Thailand trannies. No way. I’d rather get burnt.
We cruised around the coast, past the Hanauma Bay turnoff because the road was closed. Carpark Full signs closed the road. SquawJenny looked back when we went past and declared that there was heaps of parking to be seen. A few turns later, we pulled up at the Blowhole. I’ve been here twice before and as before, it never let me down. No spout. The seas were rough and there was a good swell, but not enough to develop a blast of water. No matter. The one at Kiama, in Australia works well and I’ve seen that many times. I take a picture of the little beach featured in “From Here to Eternity”, a famous nookie site.
We’re off again, driving along up the coast and, as usual, I get lost,
H81 'Stang crampsH81 'Stang crampsH81 'Stang cramps

Bit squeezy for 4 in a Mustang
ending up at the door of the Marines Base. I bet they get that happening 300 times a day, judging by the cars doing a u-turn out front. I turn back and follow signs indicating King Kamehameha Highway. I decide to look out for the tunnel through the mountain and the Buddhist temple. All the looking in the world wasn’t going to help me. I never found them. I did find a shrimp truck near some ponds, so we pulled up and ordered a feed of.... shrimp!
I told the wife what I wanted and took off to find a toilet. Coffee’d kicked in and I was taking dolly steps. . I walked to a couple of craft shops next door and used toilets. When I came out, I stuck my head in the wood carver’s shop for a moment. Sitting there in all his 12” glory was a little half fruit-bat, half dog. “A French Bulldog!”, I exclaimed. “Yes, a Frenchie” answered the man. “Not many people know what they are. How’d you know?”. “One of my sons has one. A brindle.” The owner then informs me that he and his wife own two of them, a male &
H82 Mac FarmH82 Mac FarmH82 Mac Farm

View to hills over a "bird of paradise" farm at the Macadamia Nut Farm.
female. They went all the way to Australia to buy them and the pair eventually cost them about $8,000 - not including the airfares! He told me that they were the only breeding pair on the island and hoped to make the money back (and more) with their pups. They have giant ears like a donkey and a nose like a pug. So ugly, they’re beautiful - and the dogs were cute too (Ha Ha!).
On my way back to the shrimp truck, a huge rain shower belted down. Oh no! The top was still down on the Mustang and I had the keys. By the time I got back, the rain had stopped again, so I left it down and we got stuck into a plate of garlic butter shrimp. Very tasty. Narelle had coconut prawns and Glen had nothing. He was horrified that we would even contemplate eating anything here, You could catch anything. Bah. Nothing risked, nothing gained. back at the car, I asked the girls if they wanted me to grab the towels out of the boot, but they felt the seats and pronounced them dry. That was until their backsides hit the seats. Well, I offered...
We also stopped at a Macadamia Farm along the way. We sampled Mac-Nut flavored coffee (it’s “The Best”) and tasted plenty of differently-spiced Mac-Nuts. Mmmm. I investigated a “bird of paradise” flower farm on-site. The flowers were beautiful and I managed to take a great photo of the farm, with the mountains in the background. The top went up and we were off again.
Sunset beach was unusually uncrowded and we scored a carpark easily. For the third time up here, I looked longingly at the beach, wanting to take a dip. Nobody was intersted in swimming, so we had a quick look and took off. There was a traffic jam down the road a little, that stretched past Waimea Bay. I tried in vain to gain a park on the hill to stop and watch the people jumping off the rock, that has a sign on it warning people not to jump off the rock, that has a sign on it warning people not to jump off the rock...
Hey, Aoki’s shave ice! In ’07, I was told to watch out for a little shop with people sitting on an old seat outside, if I wanted good shave ice. 18 months after that, we went back. 18 months again and we were back for another tasty treat. There’s another one nearby, but I’d feel like a traitor to change now. The shave ice (with ice cream) was every bit as good as I remembered. I pass on the azuki beans. My body couldn’t cope with the healthy rush - that and I’d probably need a “giant” after a serve of fibre. I managed to make a sugary mess of myself as usual. Gotta’ get down & sticky, if your gonna’ enjoy it. Just ask any kid. The best part is the stuff consumed by osmosis!
I decided to check out the gallery next door, as I’d never been in there on our last 2 visits. Lots of candles. Mainly half-moon hanging candles and the famous (I’m told) Weeping Tiki candles. Apparently the candle melts down inside until it reaches the sunken “eyes”, which are then exposed to the liquid cavity and the resulting wax drippings form “tears”. The wife of the “world renowned candle sculptor” praised the glory of these magnificent wax artifacts.
I looked further into the shop and noticed some polished, crooked sticks hanging on a
H85 Waimea Bay RockH85 Waimea Bay RockH85 Waimea Bay Rock

What did the sign say? Oh, yeah - No Jumping!
rope. I mentioned that they were weird-looking walking sticks. Bad move. I was told by Mrs Candlemaker that they were lomi-lomi sticks, fashioned from guava wood. Good, I like eating guavas, I thought to myself. They were apparently selected for their unique shape (a forked branch) and apparently expertly crafted for their intended healing use. She was apparently a trained practitioner in their ancient art of use. You apparently hang the long bit over your shoulder and stick the short bit under your shoulder bone, making contact with THE SPOT. When you apparently get the spot, it creates waves of euphoria that wash over you. Mrs Candlemaker gave me a stick to try and she showed me how it should be used, by practicing on herself. I stood there with a stick jabbing in my back, watching in stunned disbelief as she writhed, moaned, groaned and rolled her eyes in orgasmic delight. My stick was apparently having a bad day or I wasn’t it’s type, because all I felt was a stick in my back. I couldn’t handle it any longer, so I handed my impotent stick back to her and strolled out, fearing I’d burst into fits of scared laughter in front of her. It was all lost on me. I’m always the technician., I’d apparently missed something. She must’ve had the buzzy one with AAA batteries, I sniggered in thought. Was it apparent to you?
We stopped down the road at the Dole Pineapple Farm for a toilet break and a look around the shop. Gave the dole whip a miss, as I was still full of shave ice. The rest of the drive back was uneventful, with Glen doing a “nodding dog” impression in the passengers sleep, sorry - seat. We encountered a bit of rain on the way back into Waikiki and the traffic was the heaviest that I’d encountered here. We made a quick stop at Walmart for another six-pack of caramacs to take home, then dropped the car back to the Alamo depot, near Red Lobster. We were worn out from our drive and the shuttle dropped us back to the Waikiki Parc quick enough.
After a shower & change, I was on the phone to “Maholo Shuttles” to book our pick-up for the morning. No use booking early. The number connected me to a dodgy message bank, so I decided to give them
H87 Art GalleryH87 Art GalleryH87 Art Gallery

The home of candlewax & lomi-lomi?
a miss. I asked reception about a shuttle and they said that their contractor picked up from 6am and took abot an hour to get to the airport. We flew out at 9.15, so I gave it a miss. “One flat tyre and we’d be stuffed”, I thought. I hopped on the the internet downstairs and called a guy advertising “$30 for a maximum of 4 only. Personal service.” He was booked and gave me the number of a friend to try. I gave the other guy a call and he agreed to be here a 5.30am. Great. Locked and loaded. “I’m so efficient”, I said to myself. SquawJenny asked me how much we were paying. Oops. “Dunno”, I replied. She asked me who this guy was. “You ask too many questions”, I, embarrassingly retorted. I hoped upon hope, that the “masked shuttler” turned up in the morning...
We met Glen & Narelle for a last look around and they decided to call it an early night. SquawJenny and I decided to get a nice meal together for our last night, so we started checking out some sushi bars in the Royal Hawaiian arcade. They were either full or not
H89 Sky DragonH89 Sky DragonH89 Sky Dragon

Funny what you find when you check your photos later. Our last sunset in Hawaii.
that interesting, so we decided to go back to the Waikiki Parc and try “Nobu”, downstairs. They told us we’d probably have an hour’s wait before being seated and it was already 8.30pm, so we gave it a big miss.
We walked down the street and decided to check out “Roy’s”. We waited about 3mins for a table inside (it was a bit cool and beginning to sprinkle). The menu was not extensive, but the options were adequate and varied. The service was great, but the decor was outdated, although clean. The meal was pleasant enough, but the highlight was a simple bowl of unshelled beans coated in flavored oil. Endame. I’d noticed them before, on the “sushi trains” back home, but we’d never tried them. It’s a vegetable and I go to sushi bars to eat sashimi, not veggies. The endame came out as a complimentary dish, whilst our meals were prepared. What a treat. Simple & tasty. I made a mental note to try them again at out next sushi outing back home. It was a one-drink night, because we were to leaving in the morning and I was behaving myself.
Back in the room, we managed to turn the place into a bomb site, with stuff everywhere. We finally had everything packed and we were in bed about 12.30am. So much for an early night. I’d knocked over the remainder of the Whalers rum for a nightcap, so I programmed the Iphone alarm for 4.30am to be on the safe side.


Round 10...
“I’m In the air again”
10/4/2010 & 11/4/2010 (date line).
My internal clock woke me up about 4.25 and I lay there for a few minutes in peaceful relaxation. Honk! Honk! Honk! The Iphone alarm scared the s**t out of me! How does all that noise come out of that little phone? Under the shower and into the clothes in a flash. We were downstairs and checked out by 5.15. We made our way casually to the forecourt and put our bags down. A guy hopped out of a van and walked up immediately to us, asking if we were his fare. We were in the van and away by 5.20! He drove like the devil possessed and we were at the airport by 5.40. I wondered if he had a key to let us in. He unloaded our gear and I turned to pay him, asking him how much. “$7 each” he replied. What a bargain for the service and punctuality. We gave him $35 and wished him well.
We were the second group in a check-in line that didn’t even open until 6.15am. Oh, well time for a last trip on an American automatic dunny. Gotta love those ultrasonic sensors.
Check-ins opened and Murphy was sitting on my shoulder. Every other counter had a skilled operator. We got one that should have had an “L” on her forehead. A “loser” or “learner” - made no difference. She didn’t even know how to put in her password. Why me, why me? Arrgh! Eventually, we were through security, etc and I went off to look for brekky. Glen was having...Starbucks. I looked around and the choices were slim. Then I found Burger King, so I decided to give it a go. I don’t know why, because I wouldn’t have entertained it at home.
Airports are much like highways. You make food choices based on color, not nutritional value. Yellow food is a great example. I get in the car for a highway trip and I IMMEDIATELY crave some yellow food - the staler, the better. Chiko rolls, Spring rolls, Corn dogs, Cheese sticks, Fish fingers, Crumbed sausages, Crumbed drumsticks, Battered saveloys, Battered fish and the magnificent Crumbed Lamb Cutlet. Ah, the Crumbed Cutlet stands out as the “champagne diamond” of yellow highway food. I lament the closing of the little highway cafe’ just north of Sydney, that offered huge crumbed cutlets the size of ping-pong bats. Driving the car north, as greasy fingers tried hopelessly to grip the wheel one-handedly and a crotch full of fried breadcrumbs that missed the mouth. Memories of youth that make the mouth water.
Sorry, back to Burger King. Not having sampled the American version, I opted for 2 Breakfast Bagels. 1 sausage & egg, 1 bacon & egg, plus a serve of mini hash browns. The hash browns resembled potato gems that someone had stood on, but tasted good. Why wouldn’t they? They resembled yellow food. The bagels? Well. Fridge-cold buns and a serving of “egg” that resembled a wobbly cheese slice. It was slightly larger than the bagel, so it was folded over on the edge like a cloth, to make it fit. I guess they make it from powdered egg substitute and cut it into “pages”. It was as tasty as it looked. Urgh! I ate the sausage patty and the “bacon”, passing on the rest of the bagel. My first and last sojourn into the kingdom that is Burger King breakfast.
Into the flight lounge and we boarded about 8.50. We settled in our seats and I dozed off before take-off, with my Ipod playing. SquawJenny tapped me to listen to an announcement. It was 9.00am and the cabin doors were locked. Because of health problems, a passenger had decided to disembark the aircraft at the last minute. We were all requested to disembark, taking all our cabin luggage and belongings. The plane would then be given a security sweep, before we re-boarded. This was not requested by TSS or Airport police, but at the request of the Jetstar pilot. No probs with me. Better safe than a statistic.
A big, loud, blonde, American woman near us complained as loud as she could, kicking her cabin bag up the skybridge like a football, yelling “F***ing Jetstar” all the way to the lounge. What a prima donna! The poor passenger who had initiated all this was laid out on the lounge floor and was being attended to by paramedics in front of everyone. He obviously had cardiac problems and was eventually taken away by ambulance staff. We were in the air with only about an hour’s delay. Amazing to see the passengers who bitched and moaned about the whole event, not caring at all about the poor guy on the floor. Why should they? He was nothing to them. So heartless. Another smaller delay was created later, as we had to divert away from Fiji to clear a possible volcanic eruption. Nobody moaned about that one.
The flight itself was uneventful after that and I must say that I much prefer daytime air travel, to overnight flights. When we landed in Sydney, I hit the Duty-free shop for some cheap grog. 2 bottles of J.D. bourbon for the son and 3 bottles of expensive tequila for daddy. Customs was fast & efficient. We must look so honest & reliable, because we just declared our caramacs and were ushered straight through, as happens every time. We called the parking company and they were waiting before we got to the coach stop.
The luggage was a bit of a squeeze into the Nitro, but we managed, then joined a traffic jam outside the airport. Gotta love Sunday evening traffic in Sydney. We arrived home about 10.00pm and said farewell to Glen & Narelle, who loaded their car for another hour’s travel to their home. Exhausted, I hit the sack to be ready for work the next day. My mind was racing and I managed about 4hrs sleep. Welcome home...
This, my friends, is how real holidays pan out for real people. Forget glossy brochures full of idealistic expectations. I thank our traveling companions for their company on the trip. I also thank all the pleasant people of the Hawaiian Islands that we encountered along the way. A word to those vermin that attempted to “rock the boat”. Just you remember, there’s a modest superhero out there lurking in the shadows, just waiting to strike back - with vengeance. It’s a cute thing called KARMA.

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8th May 2010

morning delight
Sipping my Kauai coffee and reading your blog was a total delight. Thank you so much for passing it onto me. I will save and bookmark it for anytime I need a good laugh. You and Jenny know how to do it right. The only thing "wrong" is you didn't visit Kauai. Now that will be some blog! Hurry back. Jebett
9th May 2010

Mahalo for the "real deal"!!!
Aloha from Kaua'i Harleynut! Hey, a big mahalo from me for the link to your full report - WITH pictures yet! Woo-ha! I enjoyed reading it so much, even the parts that I vividly remember from your oh so short sojourn on TA (boo! bad TA!) -- man, just loads of fun and I've learned even more Aussie slang now - "dunny" is a new one for me now! I've saved your report on my bookmarks just so I can have fun and read it occasionally - you have a gift you know - whether you know it or not - I'd buy and read any travel book you'd care to write!! Oh, and do think about visiting Kaua'i sometime, won't you? It would be a blast I'm sure!!! Malama Pono (take care), Janet

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