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Saturday, May 30, 2015

MY WAIKIKI VACATION

Say you're from Toronto (left) and want to take a quick Waikiki vacation to get away from the chill or freeze, depending on the season.  Coach roundtrip airfare would set you back $850, business $3000 or first $2000.  Yes, Kayak.com actually has a Delta first class option a thousand dollars cheaper than business class. Then there are other transport, hotel, food, etc.  Plus, you lose a day getting here, another returning home and are wasted for a few days after that.

While I live six miles from Waikiki, I decided to spend Friday night there.  Why?  Someday soon I'll stop going round the world, and calculated that it would be a lot more economical to just visit our local resorts.  As a platinum member, Starwood usually upgrades me, and this time I got really lucky:  a fabulous suite at the Waikiki Sheraton, where when I look down from one lanai, I see the ocean

No real beach, but beautiful reefs.  My room appears right over the water.  I started with a small snack they provided, including champagne and beer:


Then I went to my second lanai, where I have an incredible view of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head:


Note the beginning of Waikiki Beach just outside the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.  Tomorrow I will walk all the way to the end, and on the way back, pick up something to eat for my aloha lunch on my lanai, for I'll still have most of the champagne and bottle of Asahi beer.

My bathroom was antique and gold plated, with a giant bathtub:


The problem is that the hotel was built 44 years ago and these fixtures are now really old and do not work that well.

My platinum membership allows me to use the Leahi Club, where they serve beer, wine and other goodies.  Natsuki at the desk (that's her to the left) arranged a table for me at Wolfgang's, quite a feat for such a late arrangement on a Friday.

I first stopped by Restaurant Suntory to check out my bottles:


I looked at the menu and saw that they featured Miyazaki beef.  If you don't know anything about authentic Japanese wagyu beef, click HERE.  Note the price is $58/pound.  I will need to include a stop in Miyazaki on my next Japan Rail Pass journey, except that Miyazaki is located just east of Kagoshima, which is 843 miles from Tokyo.  In any case, I will need to drop by Suntory soon to check out their Miyazaki beef.

I then went on to Wolfgang's, located next door from Suntory on the third level of the Royal Hawaii Arcade, which is adjacent to the Sheraton.  I sat next to a giant bottle of Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon (note size of my iPhone), so ordered a glass of it.

I ordered way too much:  rib eye, sauteed spinach and Caesar salad:


Forty five minutes later:


Understandably, I was supersaturated, so decided to only have that bone on the plate and take the rest of my meal back to my room.  Perhaps lunch on Saturday?  So I just used Fred's technique and had the best finals bites of this tasty steak.

Here are views of Waikiki at twilight and night, with the third photo looking straight down from my room to the pool:


I woke up at sunrise:


I then went up for breakfast of miso soup, rice, orange passion juice, cappuccino and very special dish:


Anyone ever have steamed orchid in mint soup?


Nah, even I knew that was just decoration.

I had a pleasant walk on Waikiki Beach, my room is on the 21st at that left protuberance, and some of the views were spectacular:


I bought my usual make-up lunch to have with the hotel champagne:


If you look closely, I am having Kentucky Fried Chicken.  You learn something every day.  I placed the Asahi beer and Sheraton champagne in the refrigerator, but did not realize it was a freezer (how many hotels have freezers?).  The beer bottle exploded and the champagne was completely frozen when I attempted to use it.  Pahaha Wai on the above bottle means bursting waters.  Korbel is the only California champagne.  Others can only be called sparkling wine.

Further, I just microwaved the KFC, and heard funny sounds.  If I had opened the box, I would have noticed the aluminum foil wrapper over the corn.  The corn was cold.    There must be a hundred surfers out there.  To my right are another 25, with a departing aircraft carrier


That is the USS Carl Vinson.  This ship is 35 years old.

I'm spending these few moments completing this posting because I had too much champagne and had a Peet's coffee, for my freshman roomie, Jim, said this is the best coffeeshop in the world, and there happens to be one in this Sheraton.    Or maybe he only said better than Starbucks.

But before I end my one day Waikiki vacation, can't help sending my absolutely final Waikiki Beach shot:

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Andres is now a Category 2 hurricane at 105 MPH:


However, so far away, and so cold the ocean, that, even though the track is straight for Hawaii, Andres will dissipate before reaching the Hawaiian Islands.

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