My wonderful AAA gal had set me up with all the tours I wanted to take, and she spaced them out so that I would have a tour one day, and the next day I’d be on my own. It worked out beautifully. On my “no tour” days, I did a lot of exploring in Honolulu.
You could certainly tell us tourists; when the mornings were around 65 degrees, we would walk around in sleeveless dresses, shorts, t-shirts; in short; summer clothes. The native folks were bundled up in sweaters and coats.
The condo I stayed in had a gorgeous view, and I was able to see lots of rainbows (a common and beautiful occurence in Hawaii). Each morning I had a cup of delicious Kona coffee on my little balcony (or lanai, as they call it) and I watched and listened to the birds.
What I called the “bottle birds” greeted me each morning with their signature call that sounds like they are burbling in a bottle. It was always a great start to the day. Also there were white doves who often soared past my window. There were also beautiful white cranes everywhere.
I sort of fell in love with the trees and flowers in Oahu; it was a lovely thing to hear the palm trees rattle with every breeze. Speaking of palm trees, here’s a funny thing I heard about the coconut palms. As nearly each street in Honolulu has rows upon rows of them, the city makes sure that all coconuts are removed from each tree. Want to know why? If they didn’t do this and a random coconut fell on someone’s head, the city would have to pay the doctor bills!
Another wonder is that there are rainbows nearly every day. Most days it was warm and sunny, but always with a lot of puffy clouds here and there. Often there would be a short and light sprinkle of rain, not even enough for us tourists to raise an umbrella. I privately called this atmospheric condition “sprinklets.”
Almost without exception, most visitors were in pairs or groups. I only met one woman around my age who also was on her own. We agreed that it was a great way to travel, meaning we could do what we wanted when we wanted. There were visitors from all over; China, Japan, France, New Zealand, Australia and more.
On some of the tours I took, there were many areas to see and there were time limits to each stop. I made sure that I memorized a few of my fellow travelers so that I wouldn’t miss the bus. So in my head I chose a few people to watch for, and I named them to myself so that I would remember them. One of my most memorable ones were “Fruit Salad Head Lady” (she had her hair in several elastics; each clump of hair was a different color), and “Crazy Clown Leg Guy,” who had a massive tattoo of Stephen King’s “It” clown on his right calf. Sounds funny, but it worked for me!
Just being in Honolulu was a thrill. I never in my life thought that I would travel this far from New Hampshire. It didn’t take long for me to feel right at home, though. Everyone I met was kind and welcoming, and I learned quickly to say to all “aloha” which means love and appreciation (and much more) and “mahalo” which means “thank you.”
Speaking of thanks, thank you all for reading this travelog. Mahalo!