Our Trip to the island of Oahu
May 2 - 9, 1999
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Click on one of the red place names above or on the names below.
Our tour "group" consisted of RoseMary, Dennis, our daughter Anita, her husband Darrell, their three kids, Michael, Chantel and Ryan and Darrell's grandmother, Myrtle (Fritzie) Fritz. Darrell and Anita made the travel arrangements for us through Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays.
We stayed at the Waikiki Beachcomber, which is just across the street from the beach. Our 21st floor room gave us a wonderful view of the mountains on the north and the beach on the south. What a way to wake up in the morning!
In my opinion, the sound of the Hawaiian language is the most beautiful language I have heard. Every letter is pronounced and always(except for W) sound the same. W is usually pronounced as we do, but is pronounced as "v" in certain words - Hawaii and Ewa come to mind.
Obviously a week isn't enough to learn a language that is spoken by few. Neither is it enough time to learn local history or ancient customs. One of our guides, a native Hawaiian, told us that the language and history are not taught in the public schools at all, even though US history and English are.
As they say in Hawaii Mohalo (thanks).
- Waikiki and Honolulu are cities like New York or San Francisco - but with great beaches.
- Bring $MONEY. We averaged $150 - 200 a day for the two of us, besides lodging and airfare. You can get by on less, but not if you do any of the many activities available.
- Sidewalk hawkers and vendors abound.
- That guy with the birds wants to sell you polariods for $12 a shot.
- That person isn't just being friendly (no, not that one with the short skirt and see-through blouse, she's a little too friendly. The other one.), she wants a donation for her church.
- Worst of all are the tour and meal coupon hawkers. A Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays or other tour group tote bag helps keep them at bay. Their tours aren't discounted as much as your tour provider can get.
- Food is expensive at Waikiki - even at the corner food store and McDonald's (combo meals for $8 or so). We had a snack suitcase with granola bars, and other stuff. Bottled water for the day trips was helpful too.
- Not all hotels are equal. Ours was nice, but didn't have a tub, only a shower and small enclosure - caters mostly to Japanese trade (and I'm not being prejudiced, just truthful).
- Ask about the hotel phone system before plugging in your computer. Digital phone systems aren't kind to analog modems. Having run a computer help desk, I've seen the results!
- Photo tips:
- Buy film and disposable cameras on the mainland! Consider getting an underwater disposable camera as well.
- Make sure you are familiar with your cameras and film. I always use ASA 400 in my cameras, but somehow we ended up with disposable cameras that only had ASA 200. Several of my late afternoon and early morning shots were too dark for my taste.
- Use disposable cameras on the beach. Sand can ruin your good camera!
- Advantix cameras with their wide-angle setting are nice. Again, 400 ASA film!
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