We figured out the time zone difference from Indianapolis to Hawaii was 6 hours. Once we hit the ground, it was time ti seek out our rental car from Hertz. After that was settled we headed to Waikiki and the Hilton Hawaiian Village. What a beautiful setting. Lots of beachcombers up and down the beach. Music was playing from the Tropics Bar & Grill, which gave the air of a grand continuous party. The smell of food permeated the air and drew in those who were hungry.
So much is here at this Waikiki place: Louis Vuitton, Dior, Maui Clothing Company, Benihana, Tropics Bar & Grill, Maui Divers Jewelry, LeSportsac, Polynesian Culture Center, Cartier, etc. I could go on and on about the shops here.
This is the place where they film the new Hawaii Five-O. Book ‘em, Dano, actors Alex O’Laughlin (McGarrett), Scott Caan (Dano), Daniel DaeKim (Chin Ho), Grace Park (Kono) are the leads in this new show. This island loves the show and the locale in Waikiki.
Once we settled into our room, we decided to join the crowd on the beach for a walk. We were so hungry from the long flight that we did our search and found a quiet place, the NY Deli.
On Monday, we awoke to a text from our dear bride about joining them for breakfast in the rainbow tower. It was there that we met Misty’s parents, Cathy & Elmer. Once breakfast was finished we checked out and had the valet bring our car to load up and head to Bellow Air Force base and the private Bellow Beach. Yes, we had our OWN beach. Despite a few Portuguese man of wars, we still found time in the Pacific Pool.
Before we arrived at the beach, our guide and husband to be, Travis, took us on a tour of island shops. I was so glad to have someone with us who knew the island and gave us our own personal tour. We visited Matsumoto’s Shaved Ice, a local favorite with their own T-shirt brand.
When we arrived at dark we had the opportunity to meet with the entire group; Misty’s parents, Cathy & Elmer stayed in the same suite with Onda & I. Next door was Pam & Roland, Travis’ parents. They were joined by Pam’s sister Debi and her husband, Mike. There were a total of 15 people, including my wife and I.
Assorted throughout the campsite was Renee, Josh, Wendy, Mandy & Jonathon.
On Tuesday, we made the most important trip to Hilo Hattie’s and received a shell lei when we ealked in the door. The day before, as we drove by, there were the local Polynesian girls doing the hula on the side of the road at Hilo Hattie’s. We also drove the island during the daytime as well. You can actually drive around the island in about an hour and a half, except for rush hour in Honolulu, which has five lanes bumper to bumper. Stay away! Stay away! And gas was minimum $4.08 per gallon.
On Wednesday, the wedding day, we were all up so early for the wedding. Everyone had to be seated on the beach by 7:30. Misty arose at 2am to head off to get her hair & makeup done. I awoke at 3:30am to join her at the salon. She donned her Vera Wang and headed off to the beach with Travis for some pre-wedding sunrise photos. Once finished, we readied for the wedding. Beautiful setting, with Captain Howie doing the honor of the ceremony. He blew the conch shell for about 3 minutes. I thought he might turn blue, but he still had enough air to conduct the event. He told many stories with many nuptial illustrations. What a beautiful setting for a wedding.
Once the wedding was over, poor Misty had to retire to her cabin to sleep. I heard Travis say that he tried to wake her but she was comatose. Out cold! Once awakened, we had the non-traditional cake cutting and toast on the beach.
As the day progressed, Onda and I took our leave and headed out to Hanauma Bay. This bay is amazing. It is open out to the sea, BUT, it is a safe harbor for small fishes as the large predators cannot get into the bay. It is protected by coral. It is a beautiful beach, with snorkelers viewing the colorful sea life. The beach had some “friendlies” in the mongooses. I understand that mongooses were brought to the island to rid it of rats. Not doing enough research, the Hawaiian government didn’t realize that rats were nocturnal. Not so with the mongoose. Cutest creatures though. Sharp teeth!
Thursday was the day I was so looking forward to as we headed off to breakfast at Anna Miller’s, the off to Pearl Harbor. At Pearl Harbor, I could feel lots of emotions inside, as I was a veteran of the Vietnam era war. My father was a WW2 veteran, and our Hancock County, IN has a Pearl Harbor survivor of its own. They showed us a movie of the event, which was so moving, then we took off to visit the USS Arizona, buried under the water where it was sank on December 7, 1941 in the surprise Japanese attack.
After Pearl Harbor, we headed off to an evening luau at the Germaine’s Luau. We arrived in time to get our tables, which were reserved for us, then I headed off the capture the sunset. OMG, it was great to see the sun disappear over the horizon. God gives us these little glimpses into His created beauty, and I am so thankful for these moments.