After 5 short days and nights on the "Big Island" paradise of Hawaii, it was time to head back to Oahu for our last hours in the islands. Hawaiian Airlines took us and our luggage back to Honolulu Airport right on schedule and for whatever reason, this time Avis was a bit friendlier and much faster so we only waited about 20 minutes for our rental car.
After driving around town for a while and sometimes finding places we remembered seeing on Hawaii Five-O, it was check-in time at the hotel so we gratefully (being the driver of the car, that is how I felt anyway) headed toward Waikiki Beach. Even on a Sunday, Honolulu is very crowded and busy just like any other large tourist city. You'll need a good amount of patience and a laid-back attitude if you plan to drive in it.
Checking in at the Hilton Hawaiian was a bit of a challenge. It is a very popular destination, for good reason, but that made it a patience-trying affair driving the car along narrow streets lined to the edges with shops and what seemed like thousands of people running around willy-nilly anxious to spend their money. I finally just stopped the car near the check-in entrance, unloaded our luggage onto the hotel property and dropped off the girls to get us checked in while I found a parking place. After about 20 minutes, I was able to get a parking spot and return to the check-in line to find the Mama-woman 2 people from the front of the line. Fortunately, check-in went smooth and we were in our room a few minutes later.
We were not disappointed with our room. It was huge! Very clean, the decor was nice, the beds comfortable and it had 2 nice balconies with good views and cushioned patio furniture. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the room, sitting on the balcony with a cold drink enjoying the surroundings, exploring the hotel property and walking on the famous Waikiki Beach.
The next morning we were scheduled to see what was beneath us under the water in a submarine! The Oahu Atlantis Submarine Tour is rather expensive, about $125 per person, for a 45 minute dive, but who knows when we will be able to return to Hawaii, plus it's a pretty cool thing for the Mama-woman and Youngest-daughter to see and say they did so I broke out the credit card. It was actually pretty darn neat so I think it was worth it.
|The Mama-woman and Youngest-daughter in front of Dog |
The Bounty Hunter's bail bonds office
|Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach|
Youngest-daughter in our Hilton Hawaiian Village
View from one of our balconies
|The Atlantis submarine rising from beneath the waves|
|The sub waiting for us to climb aboard!|
|Tons of fish swimming around that sunken ship|
Depth gauge - we went on down another 10 feet beyond this
|After a particularly inquisitive fish came up to |
Youngest-daughter's window and stared at her for a while, I
asked her what it looked like.
|Back on the ocean's surface, we cruised by Diamond Head|
on the way back to the beach
The rest of the day was again spent relaxing, shopping the many, many interesting stores and hanging around the pool and Waikiki Beach. It was to be our last full day and night in Paradise as the big iron bird taking us back home would be leaving the next afternoon. That night from our balcony, we watched a great luau show below us. We had perhaps the best seats around to watch the announcer telling jokes, performing tricks, embarrassing some of the paying tourists, Hawaiian musicians playing "authentic traditional" Hawaiian tunes, hunky Hawaiian guys swallowing fire and beautiful Hawaiian maidens doing the hula. When the show was over at midnight, we went to bed and let the sound of the waves lull us to sleep one more time.