Tuesday, April 9, 2024


 Hawaii was a special holiday for me. The first time I went to Hawaii, I enjoyed the trip and seeing everything. My earlier vacation a year before was Alaska and I was comparing the islands to Alaska. My second trip to Hawaii was a nightmare in that some of the things that happened was totally outside of Hawaii's control. I had a good time and good memories that far outweighed the disasters. I fell in love with Hawaii. 

Part of the old Dole Pineapple plantation tour

In my opinion, a great way to explore the Hawaiian Islands is a combination of a Cruise and a hotel stay. For both of my vacations, we went to O'ahu and stayed for several days before we boarded a cruise ship which sailed to Maui, the big island Hawaii, and Kauai. Not everyone is keen on a cruise but it does allow you to travel to all the islands. Each island definitely has it's own personality. 

O'ahu is where Honolulu is located with the famous Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head area. The traffic is mindbending in Honolulu during the day. We rented a car and drove all over the island which feels wild for those of us from the mainland. I got excited with unlimited mileage and I guess mentally ready for a 500 mile road trip to discover that O'ahu is 44 miles(71km) long, 30 miles(48km) across with 227 miles (365km) of shoreline. 

Being from a rural area, the first thing we did was drive away from the city. There is no telling what sort of nightlife is in Honolulu. When we got back to the hotel, we went to bed. If I did not have such frail people traveling with me, I would have ridden the bus all over the island. I did ride the bus some when I was picking up or dropping off a rental car. There is a certain bit of absurdity that we stopped at Walmart and K-Mart while visiting the islands.

What is unique about Hawaii is that the locals really seem interested and protective of the tourists. One time when I was on the bus, the doors opened for some people to load up. I'm standing there looking out the window not paying any attention to anything and a college student who is sitting taps me on the shoulder. He wants me to sit in his seat. I say I'm fine. He is insistent I move to the seat. Sitting in the seat, the bus starts up. The college student is standing there reading his book. I gaze at the new passengers. One is a man who is obviously strung out on some sort of narcotic. 

We went to the Highway Inn which is a restaurant in Waipahu, O'ahu, Hawaii, US. I had watched Guy Fieri visit the restaurant on Diners and Dives on the Food Network. He made it look so good.

Our dinner had pipikaula which is a dried marrinated beef. It was good. I'm not a big meat eater so I don't get too enthusiastic about any meat. The pork lau lau was good. It was pork belly (we call it fat back meat) and butterfish wrapped in lu'au and ti leaves. We liked the lu'au leaves. Lu'au leaves have their own flavor much like collards, turnip or mustard leaves have. Poi is made from powdered taro root. We did not like it. I can see where it is a comfort food for those who were raised eating it. I come from a part of the world where we eat foods that people who come from other parts of the country or world do not want to even try.  So I don't want to insult Poi. But it is an acquired taste. There was a nice serving of rice. 

 Like everyone, I like the foods I am accustomed to eating. We eat a lot vegetables that are not so common in other parts of the United States. We stopped one time to get lunch and I was so excited. We were going to get potato salad and macaroni salad with our sandwiches. That is when I got the Hawaiian specialty of potato, macaroni salad. It was mashed potatoes with macaroni, mayo, pickle relish. It was still pretty good although it was not what I expected. 

We stopped at a house under construction that was built on a bluff. You had a great view of Honolulu. If it wasn't so hard to get your dogs into Hawai'i, I might be living there. You feel at home in Hawaii. One tour guide on the big island in Hilo, Hawaii, Hawaii, US lamented that so many tourist and rich people have moved there that their children have a hard time being able to afford to live there. 

If you love to people watch, you are truly in paradise. We stopped at one beach and the young woman who had left the beach and was entering the parking lot stood at the end of the trail and just beamed with pleasure from the fun she had had. 

Across from the hotel where we stayed, a young man worked a coffee stand. He was a local and obviously enjoyed talking to people who came from all over. We talked spam which is a dubious spiced ham in a can which people associated with the United States and live in Pacific Islands eat. Spam is well liked where I grew up. I remember eating cooked spam with sliced tomatoes on a sandwich. My dad particularly liked Spam. He was first diagnosed with congestive heart failure after eating an entire can of the salty meat along with saltine crackers for lunch the day before. He would take a sister of mine to hair shows and a can of spam was packed to help stave off the hungries.  

I realize there are a bunch of letters I can knock off with my Hawai'i adventures. So stay tuned, I'll continue this drivel and a few facts in future posts. 


  1. The young college student who had you change seats reminds me of the Latin countries I've been in, where local folks seem to watch out for you. I rarely see this in the US and it always surprises me. I look forward to hearing more details about Hawaii, since I've never been there at all.

  2. Amazing- the food sounds delectable!

  3. I lived in Honolulu for six months in total in 1989/1990. I was there doing training with YWAM. I have wonderful memoires from my time there. Great climate. Friendly people and such beautiful scenery. Maybe, I'll get back there again one day. Thanks for bringing back such fond memories.

  4. When my husband was in the Coast Guard, he was stationed in Honolulu.


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