When I flew to England for the first time in May 2008, I saw so many beautiful shades of green, I decided my favorite color should be green, rather than blue.
Today I flew to Hawaii.
Now what do you think my favorite color is????? 🙂
The flight from Seattle to Honolulu was pretty uneventful, which is a good thing. I’m a little nervous about flying over water, but I think I can get used to it. It was pretty cloudy just off the coast, but cleared up to where there were just some little cumulus clouds here and there. The flight was about five and a half hours.
Here’s my first view of Oahu, approaching from the north/northeast, I think.
Our pilot told us that this new runway at Honolulu International Airport is an alternate landing site for the space shuttle (!). I looked it up on the Internet and found that it is called the Reef Runway, was completed in 1977, and was the first major runway constructed entirely offshore!
We flew past the airport and circled around to approach from the west. Here’s a view looking over some of the many houses near the beach. (Look at that water! Sadly my photos really don’t do justice to its beauty).
I first checked in to the Ala Moana Hotel. It’s a pretty fancy hotel, and is adjacent to a big shopping mall. I’m in the Kona Tower on floor 10, but I had some difficulty getting up here as it’s necessary to insert the room key into a slot in the elevator to get to floors 5 and up. Long story short, I rode the elevator up and down with probably some people wondering what in the world I was doing. Eventually I figured out the system and made it to floor 10. I have a pretty nice view towards the ocean.
I then went for a walk. I meant to just go down to the nearest beach, perhaps not the mile or so down to Waikiki.
However, I think I wound up paralleling the beach for a while before I realized it, and while I was walking in a straight line south (I think! I really need a map), the buildings were too tall for me to tell if I was getting closer to the beach or not. About to give up and go back, or look for a map, I started to see people with swimsuits. Then surfboards. I figured I had to be getting close. I was in the shopping district of Waikiki, so there were people everywhere.
Then I saw the beach. Stunning Waikiki Beach, in so many ways.
Here are some photos from my walk.
Here’s a close-up of a Hawaiian Hibiscus, the state flower.
There were also some bird-of-paradise flowers here in a park.
Below is a surfboard rental place. I had never seen one of these before. I caught a glimpse of the ocean through here, and then walked around and saw the beach.
There it is! Finally! And it was well-worth the walk down there. Oh so beautiful.
But what’s the first thing I ALWAYS have to do when I see a beach? Get in the water!! Admire later!
And then I looked up and around and admired. A lot.
I thought Florida’s water was blue. Florida has nothing on Hawaii! While I have seen photos and videos of bright turquoise blue water, it’s nothing like seeing it with your own eyes.
My new favorite color, the color of the tropical ocean near the shore. 🙂
World-famous Waikiki Beach!
As you can see, everyone else in Hawaii loves it too.
I had never seen so many people along a beach and in the water before.
The water was quite warm, which was good, as I got wetter than I intended.
I meant to only dip my feet in, but the tide was coming in and a couple waves quickly swept up to my knees!
Wow. I can’t wait to come back and spend more time around here!
Ok, now here’s a photo of a cute little bird I saw hop up next to me, probably looking for food.
I had no idea what it was, but a quick Google search of “Hawaii red head crest bird” yielded the desired result.
This is a Red-Crested Cardinal, native to South America and introduced to Hawaii.
I thought it was quite beautiful.
Before I left the beach, I got “Waikiki Sunset” flavored shaved ice. They serve the shaved ice in great big cups. This flavor was a mix of passion fruit, strawberry, and something else, I think mango.
A nice security guy saw me trying to take a photo of my giant shaved ice when my spoon fell on the ground. He offered to take my photo, and said I should give the sign for “Aloha”. I think my hand should be more horizontal (looks like I want somebody to call me…), but there you go.
One of the countless shops. I think I know where to go to look for some good flip flops now!
I saw many metal bands around the palm trees. I tried to find out what they’re for, and from what I can tell, they’re put there to prevent rodents from climbing the trees and knocking palm fruit (e.g., coconuts) down on people’s heads.
And here’s the state flag of Hawaii, next to a US flag, reminding me that while it feels so surreal to be here, I really am still in the US. 🙂
And know I’m going to finish my recently delivered Hawaiian Pizza from Round Table, and then get settled for the night and go to sleep. I have to be up extra early as I need to be at the air force base to fly to Kwaj by 2:30 or 3 am. I think the flight leaves between 5 and 5:30 am.
My next update will be from Kwajalein! So long to the US for a while!