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2024 - January - Day 23 - Waikiki Beach

A very late start today as an over tired Karen didn’t wake up until after 9am. I inadvertently woke her as I wanted to sit out on the balcony to double check that we were still in Hawaii. How lucky are we?


Breakfast using Karen’s now infamous holiday bowl was some Special K we had bought from Target. Not my favourite but just about acceptable and better than nothing.


We had nothing really planned for the day other than a nice long walk along Waikiki Beach, after all there are only a few times in your life you can just do that. The weather was simply beautiful as we set off as it was forecast to be all day.


We started along the beach path which ran out quicker than I anticipated necessitating a walk on the beach to continue. However, the beach was starting to run out as the tide was in. Other people were heading in the same direction so I figured that the path would restart once we got round a hotel on the headland. Well, it did and it didn’t. We were now walking on a wall around the hotel as were lots of others. At this point we cut our losses and walked out through the hotel instead.


It seems that each hotel has a shopping complex inside, some of which are quite large. They all seem to have the same types of shops all catering for the tourists.


Walking now along the road we were passing many designer shops like Gucci and Tiffany’s. Karen struggled with the concept of one shop that had very expensive winter coats on display in the window. Who would come to Hawaii with fantastic consistent weather all year round and buy a coat?


There must have been about 20 of the ABC shops that we walked past. Now I know why everyone here and it seemed in NZ were carrying their reusable shopping bags which seemed to have turned into a cult must have accessory. So much so that you can now buy the logo from the bags on T-Shirts or mugs. I was tempted but made do with a bag as they only cost 25c.


We walked past the famous Pink Hotel which is now part of the Royal Hawaiian Centre and came to The Island Vintage Coffee shop which Karen believes we went in 12 years ago. I genuinely could not remember. We stopped whilst she got herself a coffee and a scone. I had a tea. I caught up with some messages whilst we sat soaking up the sun and the atmosphere.

Then we walked on and arrived at the famous Duke Kahanamoku beach and his statue. He is credited with inventing Surfing which started here. The beach was crowded as was the sea with many surfers catching the decent waves as they rolled in. We stood for a while taking it all in and marvelling at how little some of the pretty ladies were wearing (that was probably just me).


We pushed on further before walking through the International Market Place – which was just another up-market shopping complex albeit with a lovely stream running through it. Pleasingly it had another couple of ABC stores just in case you had missed any on the main street.


There may have been a couple of stores we browsed in but after a while they did all seem to blend into one. We didn’t actually buy anything which meant my rucksack was still pleasingly light.


Wandering back, we now both needed another sit down and drink. What better place than the same table at The Island Vintage Coffee Café again. This time we shared a tea whilst Karen had what she declared to be an amazing Acai bowl full of fruit and yoghurt and other stuff she wasn’t sure of.


After probably hogging a table again for far too long we continued back only to be distracted by coming to a CVS shop masquerading under another name. Karen had run out what we call ‘green stuff’ which is some type of after sun she loves and she was confident she would be able to find it in here and indeed she did. That along with a couple of other things including American toothpaste she swears by got loaded into my now less than light rucksack. There are times when I think I am only brought on these trips to carry and pay for things.


Back on our 31st floor balcony (it is an awfully long way up) I finally opened the tin of corned beef that Karen had bought 3 weeks ago on one of first visits to a supermarket in NZ – just in case. It had since been the source of several bickering’s since as I complained about carrying it everywhere we have moved to since. I was determined it was not coming home with us but indeed not going to be wasted. I had deliberately not had anything earlier and so had a couple of corned beef sandwiches with some bread we had bought the day before. I did think it would have been more appropriate to have been Spam given the Hawaiians ongoing infatuation with Spam.


Eventually after a while and once Karen had transformed herself into going out for dinner clothes, we set out for a walk back in the same direction as we had been to The Cheesecake Factory that we had seen earlier.


Just before we got to it, we came across a band in the Royal Hawaiian Centre playing and  teaching the Hula Dance. It had gathered quite a crowd. We stood and watched and soon found ourselves joining in the everyone as they demonstrated the moves and then played an instructive song which everyone then followed. It was good fun.


The restaurant was busy but we were seated straight away on a great table which was half inside and half outside. We both had the breakfast brioche which was very good. Karen ordered the low carb cheesecake to away to and  eat later.


Opposite was a Macey’s store. I walked round and was ready to leave in under a minute. Sadly, Karen wasn’t as she found the sale beachward rails and bought herself some much-reduced swimming bottoms. This was despite her saying we needed to go straight back to get her cheesecake in the fridge.


Then we came to Duke’s Night market selling all sorts of tourist type trinkets and rubbish. We were tempted by some wood carvings of various Tiki’s but were not sure if we were being told complete rubbish about the providence of them. As they were quite pricey, we walked away to ‘think’ about it.


It was now quite dark but how lovely it was to be able to still not have to think about the weather or temperature as we walked back.


We sat on the balcony for a while listening to a band play some 31 floors below us on a a small stage. For me that kind of sums up Hawaii. It has a charm, feel, look and smell all its own. I like it a lot. I knew I would ever since Mum used to play her Hawaiian music as she did her housework over 50 years ago. It is such a long way from home though as well as being costly to get here and then be here as such. It is also such a hotch potch of people either living or visiting here from all over the world. It is such a beautiful island as well that we have changed our plans for our time here to try and see parts we haven’t seen before we finally start the long journey back to blighty.

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