Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hawaii - Oahu! Final days...

With only a couple days left of our "Islands Vacation" it was time to hit the beach - Waikiki! Jack had never been to Oahu, so, of course had never seen the "famous beach", a must see, if your ever going to Honolulu!  I had only received one request for a souvenir, and that was from my son Aaron, who is a fan of Spam.  He asked for a Spam T shirt.  I had looked for one on the Big Island without success, but hadn't fret over it, thinking that Oahu would really be the island that would have it anyway.  I had shared with Susan that I was on the lookout for one, and that put her "on it!"  Everywhere we went, we asked sales folks for it.  Each one shook their heads, but would make suggestions as to where we might try finding one.  We had first tried the Flea Market (no luck) then many shops all along Waikiki.  While we didn't find the T shirt, we did enjoy the shopping and sightseeing, stopping for a drink at the famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel.  Jack even learned the difference between a $500 Panama hat and a $15,000 Panama hat...smooth as a piece of silk... The sights were fun too, everything from a lady walking her 8 dogs, to a Tiki carver, to a man playing a didgeridoo, to the variety of surfboard lockers, upscale hotels, restaurants, sand, surf and bikini clad babes!  Wonderful!

Our evenings were fun-filled as well.  Susan & Miles volunteer as ushers at the local theater and managed to snag us a couple of tickets in time before they were all sold out, so we got to see a wonderful performance of "Rent" while we were there.  They are also on the "inside track" of a local jam session that's been going on for about 20+ years in a woman's home.  Her husband used to play in a band, and she converted her attic into a wonderful lounge complete with a few tables and chairs, an area for the band, a small kitchenette for punch & coffee and hosts musicians and guests on Thursday and Sunday afternoon/evenings.  She's quite old now, and her husband has passed away, so her son has continued their tradition and wonderful local artists come and grace their home with their music.  We enjoyed listening to some terrific jazz and a great vocalist for several hours one sunny afternoon.  Afterwards they took us to an "old style" Tiki restaurant, La Mariana Sailing Club for some nostalgia and great food!

One of the things I had seen passing each day was the top of a Japanese Temple that intrigued me.  I asked Miles what it was and he told me it was at a cemetery below the freeway we were on.  I asked if he would mind if we stopped at it (I love unusual cemeteries).  They had never actually been to it and were up to the adventure!  What a great find!  It turned out to be several things - the Oahu Cemetery & Chapel that was founded 1844, a Buddhist Cemetery and the Kyoto Gardens that housed the Kinkaku-ji Temple (which is the top I kept seeing) and the Sanju Pagoda.  We ran into a very nice gentleman who was working on the two buildings and pond, who explained all about the place (even gave us a beautiful brochure) and how it's being renovated to bring it back up to it's former beauty. I really enjoyed the excursion and showing my hosts a spot that they had never seen in their own city!

All to soon our Hawaiian Vacation was coming to an end.  All that was left was the Spam T shirt!  And guess where we finally found it?  At a cook's store in a mall!  What a hoot!  Well, that done, and lots of hugs and even a tear (mine) and it was time to go...for now.  One thing for sure, it won't be another 25 years before we meet up again!

...back on the mainland, trying to catch up!  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:

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