I was really sad to finally drop off my little beater car on Maui and take the last ride out to the airport to catch my quick flight over to Oahu for a short visit in Honolulu before flying out again to New Zealand.
My first day out, I took the bus to Pearl Harbor Memorial. I really can’t get into what happened there, but let’s just say I was crying from the moment I stepped off the bus to the moment I left. I was just filled with a profound sadness and it was a really hard couple of hours. There was an awful “incident” that happened that put me over the edge. However, two wonderful women, who dubbed themselves my “guardian angels” Susan and Tara, helped me get through it and look out for me after it happened. If it wasn’t for them, I really would have been much worse off than I already was. I’m so grateful for their support. Hugs to you both!
Took a hike out to try and see Manoa Falls. Only I didn’t make it to the falls. I did, however, fall. As in fall down. On the edge of the mountain. What’s with all the damn cliffs?! It is a rainforest, so it’s wet and muddy and I took a dive. Well, my feet did anyway, dangling off the side of the trail. I turned, sat and slid some of the way back down on my butt to where I could stand up again. No waterfall for me. Life much more important. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Still the rainforest itself is completely lush with greenery; like a plush emerald carpet covering the trees, shrubs and ground. Freaking awesome. I’d take the hike again, waterfall or no.
Went to Leonard’s Bakery for their famous cream filled doughnuts. I ate 4. In my defense, they were all different flavor fillings! I also chowed down at two of the most famous shops in Waikiki: Ono Seafood and Ono Hawaiian Foods courtesy of Calvin. Super cool dude from Cali. I ate more shave ice and drank local beer and went back for yes, another cream filled doughnut at Leonards! Also had one of the famous Dole Whip (pineapple) cones, which tastes like a cross between icecream/gelato/sorbet.
Popped in the Foster Botanical Gardens for some purity flowers. Passed briefly through the Kuan Yin Temple next door. Then off to the Honolulu Museum of Art. By far, one of the coolest pieces in the place was by Vik Muniz (Brazilian born in 1961, currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY), made these images out of Bosco chocolate syrup on Plexiglass, then photographed them. Super cool! Also, went out to a local joint called On Stage and saw a cool blues/jazz band with Kevin. (with whom I was supposed to couchsurf, but I had already found other accommodations pet sitting for Frances, so we hung out instead at the show!) The place was a perfect dive, small bar, pool tables, tiny stage and the bathrooms waaaaay in the back, also tiny. Overall, one of the best nights out in Oahu.
Tried to go to Iolani Palace, but it was closed. Meh. Tourist here, no closing allowed! Anyway, some fancy schmancy King Kalakaua and his sister Queen Liliuokalani lived there and is now a historic landmark.
Shoutouts to Kevin, Frances (Kingston and Akira, too!), Calvin, Rachael and “the frisbee gang”.
More Oahu to come!