Sunday, April 28, 2013



I lost my notes for this, our last full day in Hawaii, but the memories are still vivid so here's hoping I can make them come alive on this page.

Waikiki Time:- Friday, April 12th

This was the only morning in Honolulu we did not have an early call so we enjoyed a leisurely start to the day. I caught up with some reading and writing and we had time to enjoy our coffee made with organic, hand picked berries roasted to medium dark at 423'F. As I type this I'm drinking the very last of the Pau Hana coffee that was given to us as a courtesy when we stayed at the Pau Hana Coffee Plantation at Captain Cook on Hawaii Island, commonly known as Big Island. This is great coffee with no bitterness whatsoever. We enjoy our coffee black so this suits us well. I am thinking of ordering some since we left it too late in our stay to get some direct from Carol while there. It's expensive but oh so good.

The hotel shop was still open when we finished our late dinner the previous night so John bought an extra piece of luggage after checking it out. We had been looking around in the mall and ABC shops. This piece seemed the best buy price-wise as well as for size and convenience. It folds completely flat to store yet can expand to the size of our normal cases by unzipping two separate compartments. The smallest size is suitable to use as a cabin bag. It also has wheels and is easy to tow along. Perfect for our extra shopping. Our lazy morning gave us time to think about how we would use this piece.

Once ready to leave our hotel room we wandered down the street to the Outrigger Hotel and the Shore Bird Restaurant for brunch. We were able to get a window table. Remember there is no glass and there is only the window box between the tables and the beach. We kept to our wheat-free status and had an egg based breakfast. If I remember rightly we both had hamburgers on gluten free buns. I ate less than a quarter of the bun because I simply did not need it.  The most important thing is that we finished by sharing a Blue Hawaiian Cocktail so we could fulfil our promise to Sharron in Christchurch. Sharron is our daughter-in-law, Amanda's  sister. We do not drink much alcohol. John likes the occasional beer especially after mowing he lawns on a hot day. Until recently I could say that my consumption would be less than a bottle of wine in a year. Here I was ordering a very boozy cocktail and it wasn't even mid-day yet. This trip has been a blast.

Original Recipe


  • 3/4 oz. Light Rum

  • 3/4 oz. Vodka

  • 1/2 oz. Blue Curacáo

  • 3 oz. Pineapple Juice

  • 1 oz. Sweet & Sour Mix


Combine all ingredients and mix well. If using ice, mix the ingredients in a 

blender. Serve in a tall glass. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry. It's

 incomplete until you add the blue umbrella

With a little bit of time to fill in we relaxed in the cool and luxurious surroundings of the Outrigger Hotel for a while, pretending we were guests. You walk through the Hotel to get to the restaurant so it seemed to be a quite natural thing to do. Eventually we decided it was time to leave and took a leisurely stroll back to our hotel where we changed for the evening out. This was only our second evening out in the four weeks, the other being our Wedding Anniversary dinner. We are not used to night life. I guess it has something to do with always having lived a semi-rural lifestyle. I'm not going to say anything about growing older.

We were out on the street again in good time to wait for the tour bus which would take us to Paradise Cove. At this time of day we had a slow trip out because of the clogged rush hour traffic but we were quite happy as there was an entertaining guide, different views from the bus and lots of interesting folk to chat with.

On arrival at Paradise Cove we were greeted by friendly people and given a choice of non-alcoholic fruit cocktail or a Mai Tai. John had a MaiTai which is a traditional Hawaiian cocktail with a very distinct flavour and takes some getting used to but it packs a kick so it's not long before you forget that it is different to anything you've had before. I was more discreet after my cocktail earlier in the day. We were also given a fresh flower lei as we entered. The colour designated what area we were to sit in for dinner.

RECIPE FOR MAI TAI (Traditional Hawaiian)

1 oz light rum
1 oz dark rum
1 oz orange curaçao
2 oz orange juice
1/2 oz lime juice
Dash Orgeat Syrup, (almond and rose water flavoured)
Dash simple syrup, (Bar syrup)

Pour the ingredients in this order over shaved ice in a glass and sir with a swivel stick. Don't forget to garnish with fresh fruit and a straw and umbrella in each glass.

Be glad that while these cocktails were well advertised there were also delicious alcohol free cocktails that were even more delicious.

Once we had worked out the seating arrangements we went off to enjoy various activities. To be quite honest we felt a little lost at this point and it took us most of the next two hours to work out what was going on. By then it was time to find our seats for dinner. The activities included things like spear and rock throwing, both using wooden implements. We had to queue and I was pleased to score a perfect shot with my "stone" while my blunt ended spear did not even reach the target. Finally I worked out where to go to learn to make my own fresh flower lei. I strolled over to find they were closing up due to lack of light. Dark comes fast on the heels of sunset in the tropics. We watched some of the tourists go net fishing and canoeing as the sun set. We also watched a handsome warrior skim up the coconut palm and open a bag of fresh flower petals to rain down on guests like confetti. This apparently another charming Hawaiian tradition.

The conch blew a few times and I never did understand what exactly it was for. I think it was to help us time the period we spent at each activity to give us a chance to experience them all. It was also used to tell us the bar was open for our vouchered drinks. We took one look at the queues and went to the shortest one where I got a can of lime flavoured soda and John a can of beer. Finally the conch sounded out over the water again and it was time to see the traditional blessing of the pig for the Lu'au. We took one look at the crowd and worked our way back to our table. There were nearly 1000 people including people off a cruise ship, others on a bus tour like ourselves and many individuals or groups. At our table we were alongside a large family group celebrating the father's 60th birthday. We were pipped at the post  in the wedding celebration stakes by a couple celebrating their 60th anniversary. We were surrounded by people celebrating anniversaries, most on their honeymoon.

I wanted to go to a Lu'au to see something of the traditional way of feasting in Hawaii. Well I missed out on a significant part. Next time I want to attend a family Lu'au. Maybe the little church we found in Hilo will indulge me.

We were called to go forward to serve ourselves buffet style from a huge array of food. Again we had to run the gauntlet of starchy foods but we managed quite well. There were lettuce based salads, pasta salads like mac cheese, taro or poi, chicken, KFC style but not as tasty, raw fish salad, baked or grilled fish in sauce, pulled pork, poi bread rolls, and I'm sure I have forgotten some. To be quite honest the food was a little disappointing and I thought we paid plenty. The chicken was tasteless but the pork was delicious and I wished I'd filled my plate with pork alone. Then there were the desserts. Many were based on coconut like the coconut milk jelly we were warned could have a laxative effect if we ate too much, and various squares of this and that plus fresh pineapple and mango slices. I had something with a biscuit base and a deep coconut cream layer topped with a fresh strawberry. I did not try the coconut juice jelly. My episode with a terrible tummy upset  three weeks previous remained fresh in my mind when selecting food.

As we sat down with our dinner plates a New Zealand concert group took the stage. I did not realise this was the beginning of the show since they were unannounced and was disappointed it was the only time they appeared. They did a good job of short and long poi and stick, (long sticks), dances and a haka.  Not long after the Compére began the proceedings and the non-stop show was truly underway. I videoed most of it but since we were quite a way back from the stage there were many heads in the way. John thought the Fire Dancer from Tonga made the whole thing worthwhile. The jury is still out as far as I'm concerned. There was some delightful hula and some great traditional dancing although all was modified greatly from the traditional forms, I am sure. The same troupe danced the various island styles and had many dress changes. They were as professional and talented as you would expect. I still think we got a better deal at the free publicity show in the Prince Kuhio Plaza  Mall in Hilo. I must have enjoyed it all in spite of some of my criticisms because it was over all to soon. We had time for one last drink and look around before climbing into our buses for the return to Waikiki. There was opportunity for photos with the performers and to collect autographs. But the real purpose was to give people another shopping opportunity. Can you see how cynical I am about touristy things? Of course I appreciate that this is the way most people in Hawaii make a living but it's not my style of seeing the world. Part of our tour package were the complimentary drink on arrival and two drink vouchers each. We headed to the not so crowded bar and John had a beer and I had a glass of wine. John was enjoying not driving while I was simply enjoying our last night in Hawaii.

I spent hours editing our footage to make this video. It's still quite long at 7 minutes and there are a lot of heads in the way. Please leave a comment if you think I should split it into two or three segments.

You read in books about velvety nights. I can say with all honesty, even if it sounds trite, that the night was black and soft like silky black velvet wrapped lightly around us. The moist warm air was pleasant and I enjoyed being out in it after the day-time heat of the tropical sun. We had gone out prepared for a cool evening in comparison with the day. It was pleasant, just right for spending hours under the stars. It was a nice to spend our last night. The atmosphere was casual and relaxed, we were ate traditional Hawaiian food, and were entertained by Polynesian style performers. What more could we ask for? I wouldn't go to a similar show again but I will certainly want to see more local dancing and I'd love to learn to Hula, something I never expected to say. It is a beautiful, graceful dance and I didn't think the hip movement was particularly provocative although it can be as seen in the Wedding Hula. The foot work is secondary to the hands which tell the stories handed down through the generations.

I'm sure we will return to Hawaii. At present you can get deals for as little as NZ $1130 for return flights and 5 nights accommodation in Waikiki. Add a few more dollars and you can up-grade your hotel or stay a little longer. I'd look at staying outside Waikiki next time. Every moment and every dollar was worth the experience even if we did dip seriously into savings that were not meant to be touched.

1 comment:

  1. I don't drink, but that blue cocktail looked scrumptious!
    This sounds like such a wonderful way to wind up your Hawaiian vacation, with so many memories packed in.

    And I enjoyed the video. I didn't find it too long because I felt drawn into it, and caught a touch of the festive mood, even without the help from Ms. Hawaii Welcome Wagon Announcer Lady, ha ha.

    My favorite snips were the slow graceful traditional dances. Very lovely, and it felt the most authentic and even wistfully romantic.

    I can see why you want to go back again. :-)


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