A long long time ago I went on my first trip to Hawaii. My cousin loved the beach and when we were planning a trip she suggested we go to Hawaii. I told her that I was not interested in travelling all the way from New York to Hawaii if she was going to sit on the beach and not go see anything. She promised she wouldn’t. So of course, she did. We stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach (the pink hotel on the picture above) and once we got there, my cousin stayed there. I, on the other hand, explored the island.
This was the first time I went off on my own somewhere. I was only in my early 20’s. I had always been afraid to do things on my own, and insisted on having a companion before I went anywhere or did anything. But somehow, Hawaii gave me courage. I took the bus to downtown Honolulu. I went to the shopping mall. I saw the government offices, which interested me because everyone was so casually dressed, unlike NYC. I went to Pearl Harbor.
This is the U.S.S. Arizona memorial. The ship was sunk during the Japanese attack on the harbor, which started the American entry into WW II. When I was there the memorial wasn’t quite as developed as it is now. Even so, it was very moving. There are still men buried under it in the ship.
When I think about Hawaii now, it seems unbelievable to me that I was able to go there not once, but THREE times! I couldn’t afford to go there today. Everything has gotten so much more expensive. Or maybe it’s just that I have other priorities today than I did when I was 25. I still think about it all the time, though.
The second time I went to Hawaii I went to the island of Kaui. It was amazing. We stayed at the Coco Palms hotel, which was where they filmed Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii. Sadly, that hotel is gone. It was destroyed by a hurricane. It was a beautiful place.
While we were on Kauai, we went to a local bar where people hung out and danced the hula, and listened to Hawaiian music. I think it might have been the place in the George Clooney movie, The Descendants.
Anyway, I have very fond memories of Kauai.
The second time I went to Hawaii we also went to Waikiki as well as Kauai. We stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki
The third time I went to Hawaii, I stayed on Waikiki beach again. We stayed at the Moana Surfrider Motel, home to a famous banyan tree.
From Wikipedia: “In the center of the Moana courtyard stands a large banyan tree. The Indian banyan tree was planted in 1904 by Jared Smith, Director of the Department of Agriculture Experiment Station. When planted the tree was nearly seven feet tall and about seven years old. It now stands 75 feet high and spans 150 feet across the courtyard.”
The Moana Surfrider Hotel on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
Oh my. I am suffering some severe longing to go back to Hawaii now!
Not me, but someone else also longing to go to Hawaii!
A Mai Tai drink. Another reason I loved Hawaii! 😀
Aside from the lovely hotels, beautiful beaches and tasty drinks and food, the reason I love Hawaii is that the light is so beautiful there. It is something hard to describe, but the way the sun shines on the islands just makes you feel like you are in paradise. Add to that the smells of flowers which grow freely everywhere –
And the famous Hawaiian Lei – flowers strung on a string to be worn around your neck.
Another thing I love about Hawaii is Hawaiian music. The Hawaiians invented the ukulele and the slack-key guitar. Keola Beamer is one of the masters of slack-key.
Ukulele music – the famous “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” cover by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole
And I couldn’t do a post about Hawaii without mentioning my guy, Jay Larrin, who sang for many years at the Sheraton Waikiki lounge. I just love him – he’s a beautiful person.
and “suck ’em up” – Hawaii is paradise!