The Hawaiian Islands of Oahu and Maui
Trip Start Nov 16, 2005
36Trip End Apr 11, 2006
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I flew from Auckland to Sydney at 4 pm on 23rd Feb - changed planes with 20 minutes to spare - and arrived in Honolulu at 9 am the same morning having traveled for 12 hours, so I gained a day on this part of the trip. When I arrived Pauline, Katherine and Carolyn greeted me with a lei - for those of you not familiar with this custom, it is a garland of orchids put around your neck as a sign of greeting - a lovely idea. It was a beautiful sunny morning in Oahu and as I was not tired the girls took me for coffee to one of the Army golf courses, which has Sam Snead memorabilia everywhere - he has donated many of his personal treasures to this club - it was fascinating to see. After dropping off my bags I was taken on a tour of the south coast of the island. I was surprised at the lush vegetation and how green the island is everywhere we went. There are wonderful beaches with lots of surfers and mountains in the background
You are never far away from the famous Diamond Head, which juts out into the sea from Waikiki beach. My 'guides' took me everywhere - the Dole Pineapple Plantation, Pearl Harbour and the Arizona Memorial, the city of Honolulu with all its hotels and shops, the restaurant where the TV series intro to Hawaii 5-0 was filmed, a famous Blow Hole where there was a Whale and a large turtle - in fact, we went out all day, every day! I bet they were glad to get back to normal when I left so that they could have a rest and do some serious retail therapy - Katherine's passion!!
We had intended to climb Diamond Head, but the day we had planned for this trip turned out to be wet and too dangerous to go climbing - what a shame
On my final night, we all went out for dinner - we were on the top floor of a hotel and had marvellous views of Honolulu at night - it was a lovely finish to a week that went by all too quickly. My hosts made sure I got to see as much as possible and I had a fantastic time thanks to Carolyn, Pauline and Katherine - thanks friends!
2nd to 9th March - Maui - another Hawaiian island!
My friends took me to the airport and I set off on Hawaiian Air to Maui - it is only a short hop and I arrived at 10.30 am to be met by Shirley and John (long-standing friends from Long Island, New York) with another lei. They stay on Maui from Jan to April each year - some people have a tough life!!
Their place is in Wailea - a gorgeous part of Maui - beautiful flowers, gardens, a pool and hot tub, decent weather - what more could you want?? A golf course, maybe? That was all arranged for me too
The rest of my time was spent with John, our very courteous and patient chauffeur, touring the island. I saw a wind-surfing tournament, went to the most famous golf club on the island, Kapelua, where they play the Mercedes PGA championship - green fees $185 plus tax - I bought a lovely t-shirt and visor - their motif is a butterfly. We had brunch at a very scenic spot looking onto the water near Kaanapali - there were lots of whales off shore but you could only see the spray from their blowholes, as they were too far out in the sea.
We then went to Lahaina, which is an old port with lots of quaint shops and the largest tree I have ever seen - it takes up a whole block - we visited the museum there, where an art show was in progress
There is a wonderful drive - the road to Hana - but we did not take it - as usual time ran out on me. Maui is a very pretty island with lots of colour and wonderful flowers and trees. It seems to me that the majority of the people, who stay here for the winter, come from the West Coast of America. The cost of living and golf is quite expensive in Hawaii, on the whole - everything has to be imported - the climate is the big draw, especially in the winter and, it is a very relaxing place - the people are very friendly and make you welcome.
All too quickly I was on the move again - I had to catch my flight to Chicago. A big thank-you to John and Shirley for making the most of my time on Maui and for being such great friends - we had great fun together.