Saturday, November 26, 2005
And why do they use those interstate highway signs -- what state do they think you are going to motor to?
We had not been to Oahu/Honolulu since the '60s - what a shock! I can say with certainty that Hawaii has left Oahu -- at least the Honolulu side of the island. This is Denver at the beach. You have to really look to find the grand old Royal Hawaiian or the venerable Moana. They are thankfully both still there, but hidden behind lots of "noise". Their grand entrances can hardly be found.
And Diamond Head. It is solid city right out to the end. And Waikiki Beach. Solid people everywhere -- but the people watching is still supurb. The "old" Hawaiians who taught a generation to surf in front of the Outrigger are gone -- apparently a rift with management. Now we have the fresh-faced, suntanned, corporate geeks instead.
Thankfully, the north end of the island still looks like Hawaii should. Laid back, a little rumpled, friendly, and just the way it should be. Only an occasional resort is creeping up on it. The nine hole golf course at Kuhuku is still there. Can't find it unless you know where to look, and the locals told us not to tell anyone where it is. Walking only, but, oh the views! Maintained like many "muni's" on the mainland, but none have views like this.
Since we were there on Veteran's Day, we had to venture up to Punchbowl for the festivities at the National Cemetery. What a setting for such a somber place. The speech was inspiring, the fly-over chilling and taps...
Yes, we road tripped as much as you can on these small spaces, but somehow it didn't really feel like a road trip at all.