Wednesday, October 04, 2006


The picture was taken at a Macadamia Nut Farm. There was a pond, complete with turtles, frogs and lilly pads. This is Hawaii.

Traveling has it ups and downs. If you've not traveled lately via aircraft this mode of travel is invasive to one's self being/peace of mind, somewhat degrading and abusive. Right off the top at Sacramento Municipal Airport for not stepping in the right direction and not putting the an article in the right order in an examination tray I earned a tirade from an eager for promotion, foreign born security guard with no patience at 6:30 a.m.. Knowing that airport police would be called if I voiced my even stronger point of view, I shut-up, did his thing and not my thing, and departed the security check muttering to myself.

"Hi Folks, this your captain. I sense that the more irritating and irrational airport security is the safer you feel. The prohibition of pointy objects, liquids and gels adds to your comfort level. Your crew is willing to go the extra mile for you. Guess what we're going to confiscate now . . . YES! Your wristwatches!"

#2 Our assigned seat were initially apart: Candace was seated one seat away from a window seat and I seated across the aisle in the middle row. We asked for another assignment at the first opportunity and got two bulkhead window seats. Had we not reacted as quickly as we did (I had checked the assignments using a Boeing 767 seating chart I found on the Internet while waiting to board) we would have been stuck with those assignments.

#3 Flight attendants had let a first class passenger 3/4 of our overhead compartment for a piece of luggage that should have been checked (it was way oversized). Despite our complaints, the luggage remained. The laptop and two pieces of carry-on luggage were stored across the aisle and to the compartment in back of where we were sitting.

#4 Candace is allergic to gluten (in plain terms, wheat). A gluten free meal was ordered when our airline tickets were purchased. During the meal service Candace was told that the airline no longer provides speciality food for passengers.

In general, being in an commercial airliner is similar to being one of the cattle in a cattle car. You're herded, you're fed food that fatten you up for market, and in general prodded about. Flying used to be fun. Today it is a difficult means to an end. Moooo!

#5 Would you believe that we walked nearly a mile from where we debarked the aircraft to where the baggage was being unloaded? It was, however, nice to stretch the legs after a five hour flight. I'm sorry for the elderly (okay, okay, those more elder than the two of us) who had to walk such distance.

#6 A Chrysler convertible was booked for our stay. Each of the five Chrysler's on the Alamo lot were in poor condition - lots of scratches all over each of their bodies, convertible tops in less than good condition and filthy dirty. Even though they were all 2006 models, they looked like they had been through the war, the war of Hawaii tourism. Citing that I had paid good money for a convertible in lieu of an economy or mid sized vehicle, Alamo to their credit issued an "up-grade" to a VW convertible. Good thing we were alone because all of the small bags fit into what VW calls a trunk with the two larger bags taking up all of the back seat. The top on the VW had to be put down in order to get those two bags loaded! Had we traveled with two of the kids a decision would have had to been made, "Let's see . . . bags or kids? Kids or bags? Okay, bags! Have fun in Honolulu kids!" We laughed over that scenario.

#7 After an hours drive north we came to our hotel, Turtle Bay Resort located on the extreme north end of Oahu. We were given a room . . . and you might have guessed, it was not to my liking. A move to the top floor to a fairly recent remodeled room was to our satisfaction.

This morning Candace started to make coffee using the in-room coffee maker only to discover that coffee from the previous occupants was still in the basket along with a small amount of coffee in the pot. A call to the desk asking for another pot was made. Thirty-five minutes after the call there was no delivery of a clean coffee maker. I called again to say that we were still waiting for our coffee maker and added, "Don't you think that it's time for a complimentary caraffe of coffee to be sent up?" Five minutes later one arrived. Ten minutes later another caraffe arrived. We drank both. It's nice to kick off the day with a "high wired" act!!!

Food is expensive. A cheddar hamburger is $13 a clubhouse sandwich $13.50, bacon and eggs $14.00, pancakes $11.50, an entree of nut crusted chicken $24.00 being the least expensive item on the dinner menu. We didn't come to Hawaii to save money but we also didn't come to the Island to spend it all, either! In traveling up and down the coast we have found that most fairly decent restaurants come with similar pricetags. Where the locals eat remains to be seen as places to eat on this end of Oahu are few and far between.

Literally pooped we flopped into bed at 10:30 Pacific time last night having been up since 3:00 a.m. (also Pacific time). I remember Candace talking to me and then going into the bathroom. About then I literally died. I don't remember anything until first light this morning.

This morning was a walk on the beach and to a WWII bunker south of Turtle Bay. No one was up, the beach was ours. Up the hill from the hotel are the remains of radar equipment that spotted the first wave of Japanese fighters on December 7, 1941.

We drove south and stopped to shop at several places. It's interesting that most stores do not open until 11 or 12. For example, the Polynisian Cultural Village - a museum, opens at noon. It's $40 a person to tour the village and another 40 for the luau.

Lots of Japanese tourists populate the island. Apparently the Yen is very strong and traveling to the USA, especially Hawaii, is a bargain for them. Notably, their caucasian escorts are fluent in Japanese. It was strange to hear honkies like myself speak fluent Japanese. I tried to converse with one of the escorts, a blond fellow, in Pig Latin but he didn't understand a word I was saying. Well, that made two of us.

Here's the view outside of our room. In the lower section of the bay that you see is a habitat for 5 turtles. Real deal. Turtles on this part of the Island are making a come back as it was not long ago that they were nearly extinct. As sit here writing Candace is on the beach watching the turtles and taking pictures.
Here's Top Down Candace (that would be the car's top down). Don't you just love this little car?

Candace is serious about doing that human in a cage thing while they lift you down into a pool of sharks, complete with cow meat tied to the sides of the cage. Sometimes I think that I have married a complete nut case when she wants to do something like this. Who in their right mind wants to be human chum for sharks?

Did I mention that Candace also wants to jet ski in the ocean, take a helicopter ride over the island, go horseback riding, shop like crazy in Honolulu, visit the hotel spa for a massage and maybe go parachuting?

What I want to do: Find the nude beach, drink beer, look at Japanese cuties, snorkel around fish smaller than I am and who have no teeth, eat some really great food that's worth the expense (as opposed to eating really expensive food equal to the quality of Denny's), eat some really cheap, bad food, get some of that Hawiian sun (but not too much, Mom) so that I'm darker when I arrive back home (how else am I to prove that we really did travel to Hawaii), ride for hours along the Hawaiian coastline with the top down on the convertible and pretend that I really need to decompress. hahhaa. Decompress? It's been decompression for the past 15 months but it's fun to pretend that I need a rest.

Candace says that when I needed decompression from the rigors of the work environment I never took any time off let alone vacations. True. Now that I don't need it I've got plenty of time to decompress from nothing. Where's the logic?

While about 75 Japanese tourists toured a trinket shop we ate lunch outside. We found a real deal 40 minutes south of the hotel where one can actually buy a burger and fries for a mere $6.50! It was like we had died and gone back to Redding!! After eating I joined the Japanese tourists in the shop. I bought a hat to wear in the rental car to keep from further adding damage to an already sun damaged complexion.

In spite of the initial hassles, it's great to be in Hawaii. Traveling as we're traveling now is not an endeavor that is frequent for the Watson's. It's time to take the "in" out of infrequent and get with the program of seeing this world that we live in.

If I can find a way to survive airline travel the Watson's will become frequent flyers.

Time to stop this nonsense of Blogging and get out into the real world. Aloha for now. Posted by Picasa


Max said...

Dad, you're a modern day airport rookie: watches, phones, coins, and guns should all be put in your carry-on before it's your turn at the security line. You'll often have to remove your shoes and jacket as well...

My rental car suprised me last night as well, the rain seeped in when it was parked over at a friend's house tonight, soaking my seat.

Have fun, and spend very little time updating your blog! Mine won't
see much of an update, if any, until I return to Seoul.

Bob said...

I did all of that before I passed through the metal detector. All of it. I was not doing business in the order that this guy wanted it to be in. I suspect that he was O.T.R.

Sorry about your rental. You'd enjoy the little VW that we've rented.

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