Aloha from Paradise

Trip Start Nov 26, 2006
Trip End Dec 20, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Sunday, December 3, 2006

A 5-hour flight from Los Angeles took us to the island of Hawaii and Honolulu, the islands biggest city. The first day was very nice and warm but it was cloudy and slightly drizzling. We were booked into a hostel virtually on the legendary Waikiki Beach, a place where we spent most of our time while in Hawaii. During the days we brushed up on the tan lying on the beach and in the water, while in the evening we went for romantic strolls in the sunset.

Yes, Vaipoea, we know that the best pineapples in the world come from Tahiti, but we can guarantee you that the pineapples in Hawaii are not so bad either!

Hawaii is in many ways just another Pacific Island where you find traces of the same cultural elements as in New Zealand, Fiji, and New Caledonia - all places we have had the chance to visit previously. Tourism is highly developed in Hawaii, however, one thing absent is the nuisance of street sellers and people who want to frame you or offer services you do not want. This makes the Island a more relaxing place where you can truly enjoy a relaxing time and your privacy - contrary to places like Bali and Thailand.

In these days the USA and Hawaii commemorates the 65 years which have passed since the attacks on Pearl Harbour (December 7th 1941). We visited Pearl Harbour and the USS Arizona Memorial, one of the battle ships sunk by the Japanese which killed nearly 2000 American soldiers. This sunken ship is to this day the graveyard of more than 900 US soldiers. This was actually the event that catapulted the US into World War II. The memorial built just above the sunken ship is an eerie place to visit, and it is a special feeling being present knowing what lies beneath. While in Pearl Harbour you become a part of the history, and survivours from this fatal day walk around the area sharing their 65 years old memories.

After three nights in Honolulu, it was time to move on back to the mainland. After 45 minutes on the way to Chicago, the Captain announced he had to make a 180 degrees turn and go back to Hawaii, due to technical problems. Five hours later, and after having collected our luggage AND checked it in again, we were back on the aircraft. Then it happened again. The Captain announced that another indicator light had been lit, and we had to leave the aircraft again. It was just like taken from an episode of "Lost": The Island did not want us to leave... But all was not bad, because this time American Airlines booked us into the Marriott Waikiki Beach Hotel for another night on the Island. If the Island wants us to stay, we are not going to refuse.

Tomorrow we will try again, and go back to the airport, attempting to get to Chicago...

STOP THE PRESS! Upon trying to leave Hawaii again on Wednesday, the designated aircraft had a malfunction while taxing onto the runway. So we had to return to the airport...again... Let this be said guys: do not trust American Airlines!
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