Elvis, of course, also sang this song in his 1961 movie, Blue Hawaii. Also Can't Help Falling in Love and Aloha Oe. Rotten Tomatoes reviewers slammed the production with a 17% rating. My friend Dennis Miyoshi said this was his favorite film. But he's from Kauai.
What I'm getting to is that, on the spur of the moment, I called the Waikiki Sheraton and was able to get a Kamaaina (Hawaii residents--aliens are termed malihinis) rate, which came with free parking, so I drove here. A ten-minute ride. There are 1636 rooms. As a Lifetime Platinum member I asked for a Diamond Head view. Good thing when I checked-in I ask about the fireworks, for I learned that the Infinity Edge pool view was ideal.
I walked to where the paraders were congregating:
Said hi to Clarke Bright, Bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band. They come to 15 Craigside twice a year. When he was at the University of Hawaii a long time ago he worked for the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute.
Some of the groups were large. I would say this blue team, walking to the starting point extended for at least a quarter mile. Here their beginning and end:
I have a special spot to watch the parade. I lean over the newspaper stand. It is next to the Sheraton Waikiki, close to the stage where the commentators sit and expand, where each team stops to entertain. Note also that this is the location of Waikiki Yokocho, where I had lunch:
Then the parade began:
The lead band, of course, the Royal Hawaiian:
Featured was Nagaoka City, for they are presenting the fireworks tonight:
Half an hour into the parade, I had enough, and went to the Leahi Club Lounge for a free "dinner":
I have two more Waikiki meals left. My Leahi Club Lounge breakfast, which was simple:
I then went for my traditional walk across Waikiki Beach:
Starwood properties dominate Waikiki Beach, with the Sheraton, Royal Hawaiian and Moana/Surfrider. However, they have no distinctive restaurant in Waikiki. Looking the other way from the "hut," which I'll later identify:
See that pier to the left? And the "hut" at the end? That is where I took those earlier photos of Starwood hotels and Diamond Head.
My Blue-bar Pigeon came by to say goodbye: