Postcard from Hawaii - VIII

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.

We had arrived before check-in time for our hotel, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, so we decided to cruise around Honolulu for a couple of hours of site-seeing and lunch somewhere on the beach. While researching Hawaii before our trip, Youngest-daughter and I had started watching a few Hawaii-based TV shows. One of these was "Dog The Bounty Hunter" so of course we had to find the Da Kine Bail Bonds office. We had little trouble locating it, but didn't see anybody inside. The area of town where it is located isn't exactly the greatest, but not bad like a lot of bail bond offices. The parking lot where they are seen in the show leaving for a bounty hunt is a lot smaller than you would think. There's also a small souvenir shop right around the corner which sells overpriced t-shirts, coffee mugs and other show-themed items. We didn't see Dog or Beth or anybody else, but it was still kinda cool seeing the place in person.

The Mama-woman and Youngest-daughter in front of Dog
The Bounty Hunter's bail bonds office
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.

Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach
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.
Youngest-daughter in our Hilton Hawaiian Village 
hotel room 
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.

View from one of our balconies
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 Atlantis submarine rising from beneath the waves
The sub waiting for us to climb aboard!
Sunken ship
Tons of fish swimming around that sunken ship

 
Turtle, turtle!
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
Waikiki 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.