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Monday, March 12, 2018

RETURN TO WAIKIKI

This is not a Bing Crosby movie.  That was the 1937 Waikiki Wedding, where he sang Blue Hawaii, composed specifically for this film.  On the record release, this was the B side to Sweet Leilani.

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.


Two views of the Infinity Edge pool, from my room and at ground level.  

I walked to Waikiki Yokocho for lunch at Beniya:


The best unagi (eel) has that special taste, which this one did.  There definitely are numerous bones in this barbecued delicacy, but to take all of them out would be far too arduous, and, maybe unnecessary.  Supposedly, these bones are soft and edible.  All the above with tax and tip cost $31.  A successful unagi meal for me is one where no bone gets stuck in my throat.  A couple of years ago fish bone was responsible for an emergency room visit.

I thought I'd go early to the Honolulu Festival Parade.  This is how the road looked 40 minutes before the start.


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:


Beauty queens:


They're all on Corvettes:


Some increased involvement of South America, and you can probably guess this samba group, having a lot fun, came from Brazil:


More than a dozen dragons:


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 brought a large glass of red wine back to my room to watch the fireworks, and everything exploded right in front of me (I'm on the 30th floor).  At this proximity, you can feel the pressure...and the noise level is deafening.


Most of these shots came from my Sony on a tripod, with the setting to SCN, then Fireworks.  A few were hand-held using the twilight setting.  The last one I purposefully moved the camera, and I actually like it better than most of the above.  Next, the Moon, then, perhaps, Saturn with rings.  Also want a really beautiful green flash at sunset, the one with a cobalt blue core.

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:


I walked back through Waikiki Yokocho and the Royal Hawaiian Arcade food court, and could not identify one outlet where I wanted to return for my lanai lunch.  However, one of the final fast foods was Subway, so I bought an Italian.  I still had a bath to take after I returned, so did not want to get anything hot.  Subway gave me an option not to return.  My lanai lunch:


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:


You might wonder, as I already have an apartment at 15 Craigside a few minutes away from Waikiki, which comes with free (which we pay for by monthly fee) food, why waste money on this extravagance.  Well, when you reach my age, every new day is a gift, and, while I don't have an unlimited spending budget, I have enough for a few dalliances on occasion.  Plus, I save a thousand dollars by not having to fly roundtrip to Hawaii and a whole day coming here, with another returning home.

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