THIS WEEK'S JOHNNY JET 2/12/2003
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Aloha! Don't I wish I was still in Hawaii. But I had
to come back to reality sometime and better sooner than later, otherwise
we all would've been broke. Since the weather wasn't that great we
did run around the island (like a chicken with its head cut off) to show
my Dad around. Because of that, I had a lot to write about so here's
the rest of our Hawaiian trip...
As I mentioned last week, staying at a great hotel can make all the difference in the world. Comfort, safety, location, amenities, you name it. The Sheraton Moana Surfrider does that and more. It even teaches you Hawaiian or tries to because Hawaiian is not an easy language to learn. If you are perceptive, you will notice three times a day they change the elevator rugs which give most visitors their first introduction to the local language (Besides: Aloha, which equals "Hello and Good-bye" and Mahalo , which means "Thank You"). For those of you have not been to Hawaii, don't get nervous thinking everyone speaks a different language. Believe me; you will be lucky if you hear one conversation in Hawaiian. Unfortunately, not too many locals even know it.
We left off last week after climbing Diamond Head and hanging out on the beach. Those two activities (if that's what you want to call them) sparked up our appetites. After our miserable experience at Sam Choy's, I wasn't taking any more chances. So I asked my Dad what he wanted to eat and then I went to the concierge to see where she would recommend for a good burger. Just as I thought: " Cheeseburger in Paradise ". I had been there a few times, but only to the one in Maui, never in downtown Waikiki. We walked the few blocks there, sat down, drank and ate and... It’s just okay. Nothing special. The one in Maui is much better, especially in terms of decor and atmosphere. But if you want to go: Cheeseburger In Paradise 2500 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, tel. 808.923.3731
After dinner we took a drive to Aloha Tower to show my Dad and Nancy around. Just in case they may want to go back since they were staying longer than us. I figured it was a safe time to visit since I knew all the shops would be closed. I'm no dummy. Obviously, Amber wasn't too happy because she really needed to get her fix. No worries she did have fun not buying anything and just walking around, listening to a live band and checking out the ships. The highlight was when my Pops made the BIG mistake of putting a quarter in one of those " rate your romance machines ". Ha-Ha-Ha.
The next morning we got up early , had breakfast, and since it didn't look like a great beach day we jumped back in the car. This time we tried to beat the crowds at Pearl harbor to see the U.S.S. Arizona. If you are in Honolulu then you probably know this is a must stop. It is run by the National Parks Service and they do a great job. First of all, there is NO charge. That's right it's FREE. Free to park and free to see the memorial. How many times do you see that? We arrived at 9:30 and had to wait in a 10 minute line for security and then get our tickets for the film (the mandatory) and shuttle boat. We had to wait forty minutes before it was our turn to start the official tour. That was just enough time to check out the book store, see the exhibits in the museum, watch some History Channel movies , and meet some survivors . They were on hand volunteering their time to give visitors their first hand accounts and to sign books. Meeting them and listening to their personal stories really hits home, especially for those of us who weren't around in 1941. Then it was time to see the twenty minute film and get on the 5 minute shuttle boat ride to the memorial . Obviously, the whole experience is very emotional . Standing over that sunken ship and seeing oil droplets still rise to the surface takes you back in time to that quiet Sunday morning of December 7, 1941. In case you have been living in a cave, it was a day in which the Japanese surprised attacked our nation and took 2,390 lives (half of them were from the battleship Arizona). You know, we have come a long way when the Americans and Japanese can go together in peace and pay tribute to the fallen heroes. Pearl Harbor , 1 Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu, tel. 808.422.0561
! Another must and another better get there early.
We took our chances and didn't go until mid afternoon and we had no problems,
but I hear on busy days the parking lot does fill up and they will close
it until parking spaces open up. So keep that in mind. The beach down
at the bay is beautiful and the waters our full of sea life. However, the
coral is not too pretty, but
the fish are
. It cost $1 to park, and
$3 to enter
. They now have a 7 minute mandatory movie on Hanuama Bay
(they stress not to stand on the coral). Once you walk down the hill
or pay the 50 cents to ride
($1 up) you will find a very helpful information desk, bathrooms,
. What you won't find is food stands, so bring your own or buy it
at the snack bar on top. Feeding the fish is a no-no which makes
it more of a challenge to see them in schools. Not to mention it takes
the fun out of hearing Amber Airplane scream under water after getting the
fish food stuffed down her bathing suit. Speaking of big fish, is this
? Just kidding Dad! Oh boy, I'm in big trouble for
posting that picture. Let me patch things up and show you a different
my Dad snorkeling
. Still looks like a Manatee to me! Oh... now I did
it. I am all done. If you don't get an email from me next week
that means my Dad has sat on me. I'm only kidding! Gosh, where's
your sense of humor? Besides, who am I to talk? I'm mini-Manatee.
Hanauma Bay Nature Park; The park is open in the winter from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and in the summer from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays). If you are not planning on renting a car, no sweat, they have tours from downtown Waikiki that pick you up and drop you off and include snorkel equipment for $15.
After snorkeling we took a right out of Hanuama Bay and drove about
2 miles up the winding coast to the
. It wasn't blowing like it did
, but it still was a great place to spot whales off in the distance.
Next to the blowhole, on the right is a
that they used for a very famous movie. Do you know which
one? I had no idea but when my Dad saw it he said "Hey, that looks
like the beach in "From Here to Eternity", and sure enough it was.
You go Dad! (That should make things better). We drove back home,
I mean to the hotel, got dressed and walked across the street to the Sheraton
Princess Kaiulani Hotel. There we were treated to a Polynesian Journey
dinner show called
. The food at the all you can eat buffet wasn't that good but the show
was awesome. Everyone enjoyed it. The music, costumes, and the
traditional dances were all great. The best part was watching this
whip these torches around his body like he was Kung Fu.
After the show we got to
meet the cast
and would you believe
tried to run off with Amber Airplane? Luckily, the
came around the corner. The Creation Dinner Show is at the
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
Dinner is $62 per person and includes buffet and Mai Tai cocktail.
Or you can go to the show and just have a tropical cocktail for $32.
After dinner we walked down Kalakaua Avenue (the Main Street) that has every high end shop in the world (Tiffany, Gucci, Prada, Dooney and Burke.... you name it). They even have more moderate priced ones like Macy's, Banana Republic, Nike Town and about 3 dozen ABC stores. (Don't get me started on ABC stores, but can any one tell me why the heck they have one every block? They have more ABC stores then Seattle has Starbucks. What's up with that?) Forget about the ABC store, Amber Airplane was in heaven because these stores don't close ‘til late: 11pm. I gave in and went shopping. My favorite was the new DFS Galleria which has a giant aquarium that you can walk through. Not only that, but they sold every Hawaiian product you could imagine. They even had an Aqua Massage . You know we had to spend $10 for the 5 minute massage to check it out. It was neat, but I won't be doing this one again for a while.
On our last day we just sat on the beach and relaxed. We did way too much in too short of a time, but it was great showing everyone around. Next time I'm just going to sit on the beach and chill out. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we did go on the 1 hour catamaran ride . Cost was $15, but if you are a return visitor it's only $12. The guys who run it are cool and very much laid back. They will even let you steer the boat . We only had one bump going out while riding the waves. No worries, no sea sickness here. They even have $1 Mai Tai's and soda. The best part was stopping a few hundred yards from shore and jumping in to the warm refreshing waters of the North Pacific. Ahhh... don't you just love Hawaii?
We took the red eye home (11:30pm), yes I hate them. But it sure beats taking the 1pm, especailly when all you want to do is soak up the sun for as long as possible. The plane was only half full in coach so I was hoping we would each score our own row. About 5 minutes before they closed the door I jumped in the middle seat of the only empty row left (it happened to be right in front of us). Only a few people were trickling down the aisles and I started to get excited because I had a good chance of getting a good nights sleep. Then just before they closed the door, I saw this one dude jump on. My smiles went to frowns and I had the feeling my luck just ran out. Amber Airplane who was hunched over the seat behind me was saying "Don't worry there is no way he’s going to be assigned to your row". I said "Yes he is, I can feel it". She said "no way, no way". He started getting closer and closer as he looked up at the row numbers. My throat started to swell and my heart beat became more rapid. Please, I thought, please let him be sitting anywhere but here. He walked by the row and I as turned around to high five Amber... I noticed that he realized he went too far. He started back tracking and sure enough he was in my row. UGGHH! I spent the whole night tossing and turning sitting straight up with the darn arm rest in my back. So close yet so far... Just like Hawaii .
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TIP OF THE WEEK:
The Fruit That Might Be A Traveler's Best Friend
Pass by the fast food when you're traveling in favor of nature's ingeniously packaged banana. The potassium in bananas can take away leg cramps.
Some research indicates that bananas are also helpful in fighting jet lag. Their tryptophan (an amino acid) helps promote relaxation and drowsiness. On long flights where sleep is desirable, forego your after dinner drink in favor of the fruit, or learn to enjoy the pairing of brandy and banana.
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