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Sunday, July 17, 2016

REFLECTIONS FROM WAIKIKI

Today, my reflections from Waikiki.  No need to fly all the way to Hawaii for me.  I caught the bus for $1 to stay at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.  I remember when it first opened.   I had just entered high school, and that was more than 60 years ago.

Kaiulani herself was heir to the throne, might have been the most beautiful of any Hawaiian princess and passed away at the age of 23 from inflammatory rheumatism. The hotel was built on the grounds of her mansion.  She is interred at the Royal Mausoleum, very close to 15 Craigside.

After my $1 joyride last Saturday, I needed a more reflective adventure.   Not too long ago this #4 bus would have taken me just about to the front door of the hotel.  It does still stop through the University of Hawaii.  Unfortunately, there was a route change, and I now need to transfer if Waikiki is my destination.  Be careful, though, you can't lug a real suitcase into The Bus.  However, if smaller than 21"x14"x9", probably okay.




I could have stayed home and saved $165, plus my meals at 15 Craigside would have been free.  I could have booked a room across the street at the Westin Moana Surfrider, (first hotel in Waikiki--1901) but the quoted price was $400:


Actually, the view of Waikiki Beach from my Princess K 25th floor room was okay:


This is one of the only Sheratons in the whole world that does not have a Club Lounge for free cocktails, etc.  However, they did give me a nice room and certificates for breakfast and lunch.  I asked the concierge what was the newest and best place to have dinner tonight with a sunset.  She suggested Sky, where you can dine with the stars above you.  My experience in Bangkok convinced me to go there.  It is located just below that rotating restaurant in Waikiki  That Blue Bar Pigeon which followed me throughout Europe last year was waiting me.  Not a bad place if you don't mind a lot sun, and if it rains....


What Sky is is a nightclub, where even at 5PM they play heart-pounding electronic dance music.  Lot of people, but most around the age of 30.  Anyway I got an indoor table and ordered a Heineken with kalua pig lomi salmon sliders:


I then walked over to House Without a Key, Pearl's favorite place for a drink.  Kanoe Miller danced and I had a martini:


That second floor in the background is La Mer, Pearl's favorite restaurant.  As her birthday was this week and she passed away seven years ago just around now, I also heavily considered trotting up for dinner, but with the potato chips and sliders, I'll make these plans next year.  Diamond Head, of course, is in the other direction:


That white spot in the top left corner is the Moon.  I then walked to the Moana, where I took a photo of my PK room:


Who buys these items on the sidewalks of Waikiki is a puzzlement.  Then tonight, I think in celebration of RIMPAC, there were fireworks right outside my lanai:


This morning I had my free breakfast buffet, which was $25 for normal people:


Okay, but not outstanding.  I then walked on the beach and looked back towards the PK:


I never noticed this statue before, but here is the Queen Kapiolani, for which this large park was named:


She was the one who was evicted when the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown and passed away in the same year as Princess Kaiulani.

This is the 45th year of Roy Sakuma's (here with Jake Shimabukuro, who got his start in Roy's Studio) Annual Ukulele Festival, held at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand.  He was 23 in Year One.  Having dropped out of high school at 16, he eventually found a job with the Honolulu Parks and Recreation Department, and talked them into sponsoring this event.  Their boss was the mayor of Honolulu.  The show draws from the world and is free.  Here, his wife Kathy with Mayor Kirk Cardwell:


Across the street on Sunday is the art show on the fence of the Honolulu Zoo:


A walked by several ABC Stores.  Know how many there are just in Waikiki?  In a 1.5 mile radius you'll find 34:


After my large breakfast, I just picked up a free stir-fried edamame, which I shared on my lanai with pigeons:


This chocolate pigeon came right up to me to be fed.

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Hurricane Darby at 105 MPH and Tropical Storm Estelle at 65 MPH continue to head toward Hawaii:



Darby might bring some winds to the state, but Estelle is projected to move north.

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