September 29, 2013 – Honolulu, Hawaii
We arrived early in Honolulu, as dawn was breaking. Honolulu is on the south side of the island of Oahu, so as we approached our pier, at Aloha Tower, downtown, Waikiki Beach, and Diamondhead were to our east, providing a nice view as we slowly edged in to the pier.
Aloha Tower has a shopping center at the base, which seems to be struggling since the last time we were here – probably not enough traffic, as it is off the main tourist track, except for ship passengers.
We headed out, first to exchange something we bought on Hilo, for the correct size, and then to Waikiki which is always a fascinating place to visit. The beach is always packed as are the surrounding hotels and shopping facilities – sadly, the International Flea Market, a great place to stroll and shop at the hundreds of booths, will be closing shortly to be replaced by a condo/hotel project.
We crossed the boulevard to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and enjoyed Sunday brunch on the patio watching the folks on the beach. This is one of the oldest hotels on Waikiki, dating to the 1920s, and many of its original features are still in use, such as the 1200 lb beds made from Hawaiian hardwood. It is a refreshing peek into an earlier, grander time. The brunch was delicious, although I should have asked the price before we were seated – we didn’t have to wash dishes, but came close. Most of you know I am a notorious, unapologetic “overtipper” but not this time!!!
We traveled to the top of Diamondhead, and then inside the crater – many folks were hiking to the summit of Diamondhead, but we weren’t quite up to it (too much brunch). The area to the east of Diamondhead is the most affluent suburban neighborhood in Honolulu, with homes averaging well over a million each, but square footages averaging only about 3000 square feet. Traveling about with a Zillow app open adds a new dimension to a tourist who is always interested in real estate prices.
This may be one of the biggest “team” sport activities in all of Hawaii – there are hundreds of canoe clubs all over all of the islands.
Back to Aloha Tower Brewery for a quick refreshment – and back aboard. We sailed for Majuro in the Marshall Islands at 10:30pm.