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Home again, home again, jiggity-jig...


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I'm back from Hawaii. I'm still fairly out of it, after being up all night on an empty stomach in a cramped plane (those seats should by no means be allowed to recline, because people take advantage of them to crush my knees) despite napping earlier.


We squeezed so much into two weeks. Pearl Harbor (I was disgusted by the lack of reverence shown by 95% of the American tourists) snorkeling tours, helicopter tours, a Road to Hana tour (google it. It's Satan's road.) and I even went parasailing, which was, suffice to say, something else.

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I bought a pocketknife with a scrimshawed handle. I wanted the big Bowie Knife with the topless mermaid impaling a great white shark with a trident scrimshawed on the handle, but it was two or three decimal points out of my price range.


I went parasailing, which was...something else. Hooked into a harness and launched off the back of a small boat to a height of four hundred feet and dragged around for ten minutes, including a simulated freefall where they stopped the boat and let me sink and just before my feet touched the water they gunned it and I shot back up. Very cool. I think the guy driving the boat was kind of a maniac, and him and the other crewman spent a lot of time eating pastachios and flicking the shells off the back of the boat - or trying to, about 75% of them failed to clear the landing platform.


Some snorkeling, including in Molokini Crater, a volcano that just started to peek its rim out of the sea before it died. There was a white-tip reef shark and an octopus to be seen, if you could go all the way to the bottom and keep up with Linda, the professional undersea photographer who took about 150 shots down there.


We did a tour of the Road to Hana which, if you'll Google it, is really the road to HELL! dozens of hairpin turns and one-lane bridges. We were in a big tour bus with my family and a couple from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, though the wife was originally from West Seneca, right near us. The tour guide was really funny, cracking jokes and telling anecdotes and such. Then we flew from Hana in a helicopter piloted by a crazy German guy named Guernot (who goes way back with Derek, our tour guide - they once sailed a boat from Oregon to Hawaii, got marooned halfway when the boat took on water and the engines stalled, with no food and only a bottle of whiskey to live off of. It's a wonder Guernot was not eaten.) who referred to the airsickness bags as "souvenir goody bags".


Two luaus, the Drums of the Pacific which had a fire-dancer (his torches went out and he said, "Anybody got a light...?" and he had to ask like six different people before he found somebody with a lighter) and the Old Lahaina Luau which a liked better because it was tiered so you never had anybody's head in your way.


We stayed at two resorts - The Westin in Kaanapali (Kaanapali Beach is where the movie Blue Hawaii, starring Elvis Presley, was filmed) and the Grand Wailea. The Westin was friendlier and had a better breakfast buffet, the Wailea was very ritzy and too many rich snobs were staying there. Too many trophy wives with disfiguring plastic surgery. The statues of mermaids were the only females who looked realistic.

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