Somewhere around day 10 of a trip my will to vacation deserts me, and I just want to be home, sleeping in my own bed and cooking my own food! John and I were both ready to come home, but we thoroughly enjoyed our last half day in Oahu. Bob and Kim had not yet hiked Diamond Head, so we went out there with them early in the morning after yet another stop at Leonard’s Bakery. Sweet Baby Jesus, I don’t need to eat another malasada ever again, but this is what happens when you travel with hummingbirds – they gotta have their sugar! The weather was much nicer than when John and I hiked Diamond Head at the beginning of our trip, and it was amazing how far out you could see.
The folks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village were kind enough to give us a 1 pm check out, so we had plenty of time to do some last minute shopping and get everything miraculously shoved back in our bags. The Honolulu Cookie Company has a store at the Hilton, and we daily availed ourselves of the free samples. Oh man, those are some seriously divine cookies, esp. the chocolate-dipped ones. Naturally we brought quite a few home with us! We said goodbye to Bob and Kim and headed over to Dukes Waikiki for a late lunch. Lunch is definitely a great time to try Dukes. The menu is slightly pared down, but so are the crowds – we got a great table overlooking the beach.
On our way back to the hotel to catch our airport shuttle, we spent an hour or so at the excellent little US Army Museum of Hawaii in Fort Derussy on Waikiki. The museum offers very interesting displays on the military history of Hawaii, US Army action in the Pacific, and a special section honoring Kauai native General Eric Shinseki, the first Japanese-American to become the Army’s Chief of Staff.
After one last stroll on the Waikiki Beach and one last cat nap by the pool, we caught our shuttle to the airport and endured the 9.5 hour overnite flight home, with the special added bonus of a 5 hour delay in Washington DC. ugh.
Hawaii was not on my Bucket List (it was John’s idea to go) but I truly loved Oahu, and Hawaii has definitely left its fingerprints on my soul. I will never forget the smell of plumeria on the tradewinds, the beauty of vivid rainbows that you can see end to end (they’re not kidding about that Rainbow State thing!), the striking juxtaposition of dark, jagged volcanic mountains and the vibrant cobalt blue of the South Pacific, and all the flora and fauna unique to this little paradise. I will forever love potato salad with macaroni in it, coconut syrup on my pancakes, haupia, drinking out of tiki mugs and glasses, buttery, garlicky shrimp and pineapple juice in my iced tea. America is blessed to have this star on our flag! I’m already looking forward to a return visit to Oahu, with a definite side trip to see the volcanoes on the big island.
Aloah oe, and mahalo for coming along on this journey!