Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hawaii ( and a little more)

First off, let me say I POSTED PICTURES! Check out my link to the side. Now for my entry….

Aloha! Hawaii was beautiful! Everything about it is just a little sweeter. I will admit I didn’t like what I saw of Oahu as much as Maui, but Hawaii is Hawaii.
Nearly everyone on the ship woke up at 5:30 Saturday morning to go out on deck to see our approach to the Island and watch the sunrise. I was so happy to finally see land again after 5 days. After all, Hawaii is the most isolated land mass in the world. We approached the Island before the sun came up so you could see the lights from the lines of houses stretching up the hillsides. It was a pretty awesome sight.
We docked probably around 7:15, then we had to go through customs so we weren’t able to get off the ship until about 8:00 or 8:15. I was glad that I hadn’t made any real plans so I didn’t feel like I had to rush off anywhere. A lot of students were going on SAS trips but wanted to buy Japan rail passes (another thing I was happy I had already taken care of). So they ran off to find taxi’s to take them to the travel agencies.
Jess, Jennifer, Izumi, and I decided to just walk to Waikiki instead of taking a bus to save some money. We didn’t plan on Ala Moana center being as far away as it was though. It was made worse because it was so hot out and there wasn’t a lot of shade along the walk. By the time we finally reached the mall all of us were SO thirsty. We made a beeline for the food court. Although part of me wanted some substantial form of thirst quencher I still opted for the strawberry passion fruit smoothie, which is only my favorite drink ever.
After we had all gotten our drinks we decided to try and find a travel agent so that Jennifer could get a JR pass. We found the building on a map and it turned out to be pretty far so we caved in and took the bus. During the bus ride we decided that Jennifer and Izumi would get off to find the rail pass and me and jess would ride the bus back around to walmart to get some shopping done. Not a smart move on your part. We had been told that the bus went in a loop so we thought that we’d be able to get back to where we started, but when we got to the end of Waikiki by Diamond head the bus driver stopped the bus and told us we had to get off (he wasn’t very friendly).
At this point we were much farther away than we had intended. We lucked out though because we were dropped off right at the Okinawa festival. We walked around for awhile, observed the people and took some pictures in front of Diamond head then decided to try and make our way back to the ship. I took some pictures of this surfer statue that I thought was Duke H. (the great surfer), but it just ended up being some random statue. The Duke statue was farther down the beach and by the time we got to it we were so rushed I didn’t even get to take a picture.
We actually got really lucky, we randomly were able to catch a free Hilo Hattie shuttle to the Hilo Hattie store which is located kinda close to where the ship is, anyway closer than we were at the time. It was on a really cute open air trolley and the bus driver also doubled as a tour guide so we got a nice little tour of Honolulu. When we got to Hilo Hattie we decided to walk around the store since we were already there instead of staying on the trolly to the Aloha Tower cruise terminal. We got free shell lays, free pineapple orange juice and even got to see the biggest Hawaiian shirt in the world.
After we got back to the ship and changed we tried to catch the free trolley back to Waikiki but it passed us by so we ended up walking. At first Jess was hell bent on getting back down to the end of Waikiki by Diamond head because there was supposed to be “less tourists,” but by the time we finally reached Waikiki we were so tired and hot, we just wanted to plop down on the first piece of beach we found.
We ended up walking through the Hilton the get to the beach. It is so cool inside. They had this little shopping village that looked like you were in China. I wanted to take so many pictures but I held back. I’m trying to save all of my Chinese pictures for china. They also had flamingos which made me remember the Westin on Maui.
We spent about three hours on the beach. I thought it would have been really packed since it was labor day weekend but it was just average. The lack of people could have been due to the fact that our sun bathing was punctuated by rain showers. They didn’t last more than a minute but it was still somewhat uncomfortable.
Jess and I got back to the ship at about 2000. On ship time was 2100 but we didn’t want to chance getting 2 hours of dock time for Japan. I heard that there was about 20 people that were only about 5 minutes late but they still got dock time none the less.
After spending a wonderful day in Hawaii I had an interview to be photo editor for the yearbook. After the interview I wasn’t to confident that I had gotten it because of my lack of Adobe Photoshop skills and there were still 2 other people to interview. This morning Patrick (the photographer) left a note on my door asking me to come see him. I don’t know if he split the photo editor position, or just created new jobs. I forget my exact title, but my basic job is to collect photos people submit in the yearbook box on the server and choose which ones we use (at least that’s the impression I got). Anyway, I’m still so excited to finally get to work on a yearbook.
It’s so peaceful being out at sea again. To be able to look in all directions and see nothing is surreal. So far the waves have been a little bit rougher than the first half but it could definitely be worse. Everybody pretty much has their sea legs now so no one is getting sick any more.
Speaking of the water, yesterday I was standing on the front deck looking out and saw what I thought was a small bird. I thought I was pretty odd since we were so far away from land. Then I saw another one and another one. I finally figured out they were flying fish. It was a pretty awesome site.
We get to set our clocks back again tonight and then we will completely loose Thursday. Sept. 7 2006 is the day that doesn’t exist. I’m so thankful that we’re going around the world this way. If we were loosing an hour every night I would be one cranky person.


At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey! sorry i haven't mailed you yet, i'm a lil buried in cases. however, i was at starbucks at barnes and had a caramel apple cider in your honor. first sip totally took me back to the cold rain of NYC. But, while I was in Lynchburg, thinking of NYC, I started singing, "Good morning, Baltimore." :) i'll try to write ya soon. i can't wait to see you in January. -Monica


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