Friday, February 6, 2009

Hawaii

I flew from Manila to Guam and then changed planes to get to Honolulu. When I was boarding the plane in both Manila and Guam I was really excited to be going to the US. The strange thing is I was looking forward to getting to Denver and was looking at Hawaii as just a stop on the way and was not really looking forward to my time in Hawaii. I have to be one of the only people in the world that looks at the paradise of Hawaii as just a pit stop.

I think I cleared immigration in Guam but never got a stamp in my passport so was not sure. I did not go through immigration on arrival in Honolulu but had to clear customs. Since I had been to so many countries they seemed interested in going through my bags but only looked in my carry on. The customs officer had me power up my laptop and looked at some of my pictures. Little did he know what he was setting himself up for, I could have spent hours showing him all my pictures. Most of my friends and family are bored after a couple of minutes of me talking and showing pictures of my travels let alone a complete stranger. I guess scaring the customs officer with a boring travel story is a new way of clearing customs quickly.

I am usually not so quick to start up a conversation but since I have been so long in places where I figured most people would not understand me I was ready to talk to everyone. I did not seem to have conversation but rather just seemed to talk at people and everyone that came in contact with me seemed to suffer from this. The poor guy that picked me up at the airport, the guy at the check in desk, the people on the elevator, anyone was fair game. It took me a couple of days in Hawaii to return to my normal reserved self.

After a day of just walking around Waikiki beach and being stunned by the prices of food I took a public bus to the Arizonan Memorial at Pearl Harbor the following day.



I think I enjoyed the film prior to going to the memorial more than the memorial itself. I must of heard all of the details of Japan attacking Pearl Harbor when I was in school but have seem to forgotten so found the short film really interesting.

Returning from Pearl Harbor on the bus passed by the statue of King Kamehamema. I remember this from the old Hawaii 5 O TV show and was happy I was able to see it even though I did not get out of the bus.

I spent most of one day walking from my hotel to top of Diamondhead and then back again. I walked all the way around Diamondhead. I walked along the northeast side of Diamondhead to get to the entrance to the crater and returned via the southwest side of the old volcano. I found the views from the top of Diamondhead well worth the 25-minute walk/climb to get there. This picture of Waikiki is from the viewing point on Diamondhead.



The day that I went to Diamondhead was the first really pretty day that I had while in Hawaii and I really enjoyed the return walk along the ocean. I stopped and sat at different places and beaches along the way. I found the guys standing with paddles on the really long surfboards interesting since this is the first place I have ever seen this sport.

I think that Waikiki beach is as pretty as any of the beaches I have seen on this trip but would be wonderful without the crowds. My plane out of Honolulu was in the evening so I hit the beach in the morning one last time prior to checkout time in the hotel. I spent the rest of my time prior to heading to the airport just people watching on the beach.

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