Friday, March 21, 2014

Hawaiian Vacation

Katie and I recently spent thirteen days in Hawaii. The trip was a
combination vacation/child care, which meant a chance to spend time with our grandson Christopher. We've been vacationing in Hawaii together since the 1980s. On this trip, Chris's dad was in Germany on business most of the time, so we were able to stay in his condo in Honolulu.
Katie was born and grew up in Honolulu, so when we go, we spend a lot of time visiting various family members. As we've gotten older the family has dwindled down to a precious few.
View from condo patio looking downtown.

View from patio looking toward Pearl Harbor
Honolulu is a big crowded city, but the people still have the aloha spirit. We drove our grandson back and forth to school, his choir practice and Aikido and all these activities happened during rush hour. When driving in the horrendous traffic though, there was no road rage, horn honking or problems merging lanes.
There were plenty of activities we liked doing right in the city, like walking over to Chinatown in the morning for breakfast noodle soup .

Or visiting the Honolulu Museum of Art.

Having a Latte at a coffee shop at Hawaii Kai Marina
We had plenty of opportunities to get out of the city and enjoy the island of Oahu.

One day we crossed to the other side of the Island on the Pali and visited Kailua.


We swam at one of the many beautiful beaches.

 Just outside of the north shore town of Haleiwa we ate garlic shrimp from a local funky graffitied food trunk. It was delicious.

Walking back to town from the garlic shrimp feast.

Katie had a chance to get together with old friends from junior high and high school. They met at a Chinese restaurant with spouses and we had a many course meal while the five friends reminisced.  Since we were the only couple from the mainland, we were the guests of honor and donned with leis.

On the second to the last day we hiked up the old tram tracks on Koko Head.

It was a grueling hike, but the view from the top was worth it.

I'm always in awe of the plants in Hawaii. Little spindly plants that we nurture in our homes on the mainland are growing wild in Hawaii and are the size of houses. Katie and I toured Foster Gardens near the the condo, where we saw numerous specimens from all over the world.  

Christopher's dad, Peter, finally returned from Germany and we had a great meal at his favorite Vietnamese restaurant.

Our time in Hawaii was wonderful, but the trip home was on a par with one of Dante's levels of hell. We took the red-eye flight home from Honolulu to Phoenix and  then drove two more hours to Green Valley.