Hawaiian Honeymoon - Oahu - 8/4/98-8/6/98

8/4/98 - Arrival

Airport in Oahu We were married on August 1,1998, and decided to wait several days before embarking on our honeymoon. This worked out nicely, as we didn't have to scramble to pack alongside all other last minute wedding preparations. One bit of preparation that paid off was our purchase of a Hawaii discount coupon book. We flew to Honolulu via Los Angeles on United Airlines on August 4, 1998. We were given leis upon arrival to the airport. We hopped into our rental car and drove to Waikiki, listening to a Rush classic album side on the radio.We crusied the Waikiki strip and missed nearly missed the hotel, as it only had a small sign which was being blocked by a van. A bellman directed us around the corner to their parking garage. He met us in the garage, because he had seen a rental car like ours overshoot the garage entrance, and ran over to make sure that we had indeed found our way. That was just the beginning of the great service we were to receive at the Aston Waikiki Beachside Hotel.

We checked in, and the bellman showed us to various rooms, in case we wanted to upgrade. We chose a room on the second floor. Although the hotel is across the street from Waikiki beach, there are no other buildings in the way, so we had a nice ocean view. Our second floor balcony also proved to be a great spot for people watching, and Honolulu definitely has some interesting people.

As we were a honeymoon couple, we were entitled to a free bottle of champagne. Having been awake for 23 hours, we asked for a raincheck, which he agreeably accepted. He said all we would need to do was ask for the champagne when we were ready, and it would be delivered. He left, and we went right to sleep.

8/5/98 Pearl Harbor and Haleiwa

Dole Plantation, Oahu

Lucille, Craig, Stephanie, and Spotsy
We got up at 6 am, and grabbed some items from the complimentary continental breakfast buffet in the lobby. We brought the food up to the lanai.

After breakfast, we drove to Pearl Harbor. We had slight trouble finding it (and ended up at the live naval base) but we were courteously directed to the memorial. It is very efficient and you don't have to waste time standing in line. You purchase a ticket with a time on it, and you are free to wander the grounds until your time arrives. The grounds are quite beautiful, and there are plenty of plaques and maps to study. At the appointed time, we were allowed to enter athe movie theater, and watched a short film about the history of Pearl Harbor. It was quite moving. We then boarded a ferry which took us out to the memorial. It was very quiet and solemn. Although it was not a "fun" way to start our honeymoon, we were both glad that we went and paiod our respects.

We then drove up to the North Shore to visit my grandmother's cousin, Lucille. Lou went out to Hawaii over 50 years ago to teach school. She has been offered millions of dollars from hotels and commercial agents who want to develop her land, but she and her friend and neighbor Eileen signed paperwork so that it will eventually belong to the state of Hawaii. There is a plaque on cliff behind her house which commemmorates this generous gift. The last time that I had seen her was when my parents and I visited in 1990.

I tried calling Lou from Pearl Harbor but she wasn't home. She was expecting us, so we decided to make the drive anyway. On the way we stopped at the Dole Pineapple Plantation. You can see pineapples growing on their plants. They look so adorable when they are small. We ate pineapple ice cream, and looked at the Pineapple Maze, though we didn't try our luck at it. There was a sign listing mileage to all major cities. We tried calling Lou from the plantation, and she was home. So we made plans to meet at her house.

We drove the rest of the way to Haleiwa, which, in the autumn months, is teeming with surfers tacking the Pipeline. We got turkey, bacon, and provolone subs from Kau Aina. We ate while watching spear fisherman on the beach. We then went to Matsumoto's for shave ice and souvenirs. Shave ice is like a gourmet snow cone. The ice is finely shaved, and is not gravelly at all. I had enjoyed Matsumoto's shave ice 8 years earlier on my first trip to Hawaii, and I told Craig that he had to experience it. Matsumoto's is a family business that was established in 1951. There was a line that stretched to the back of the store. When you entered the line, they asked you two things...what size and whether you wanted ice cream or azuki beans at the bottom of the shave ice (we opted for neither). There are signs all around telling you that those are the only questions to answer at first...do not tell them a flavor at that time. It seems rather like the "Soup Nazi" on Seinfeld, but actually they worked like a well-oiled machine. When we got to the front of the line, they asked what flavor you wanted, and they put the syrup onto the shave ice. I opted for rainbow, a mix of strawberry, lemon, and raspberry. We then took the shave ice outside and ate it on the grounds of Matsumoto's.

Then it was off to Lucille's. Though I had been there once before, it was a bit confusing. She lives in a small town, but on a highway that circles the island. The house numbers are high and it's hard at times to tell which direction the numbers go. When we found it we went inside. Her house has a beautiful screened in porch that overlooks the ocean. She took us next door to see her neighbor John. His yard is immaculate, complete with swimming pool and a gazebo that is featured in postcards. Lou swam, and we dunked our feet. While looking out at the ocean, we saw several dolphins. It was amazing.

On our way back to Honolulu, we stopped at a small record store (of course!) Then we swam at sunset on Waikiki (probably not the best thing to do what with sharks and all, but the view was gorgeous and we hadn't had a chance to swim all day. Although we didn't know it at the time, this would become a tradition for the trip. It seems we would always be back at the hotel from our day's activities just in time to catch the sunset, even without trying.

We walked down the strip to Cheeseburger in Paradise for dinner. We had amazing cajun chicken sandwiches and onion rings, and listened to some live music. After that we went shopping on the strip and then returned to the hotel. At the desk we inquired about our champagne. Our favorite bellman, without even asking for our name or room number, said that it would be right up. It arrived several minutes later. We drank it on the lanai, while watching the people on the street below. It was an interesting show, with tourists, prostitutes, and every other imaginable walk of life.

Looking upwards from USS Arizona Memorial

Shave ice from Matsumoto's

John's gazebo, also seen on postcards

8/6/98 - Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

Hanauma Bay

View of Waikiki from atop Diamond Head
We awoke at 6 am and again ate the continental breakfast on our lanai. We then went to Hanauma Bay. The weather was a bit overcast and there were several showers. But the bay was beautiful. It contains a coral reef that is the home for many tropical fish, and you can easily see the fish even wading in the water.

Then we began our drive up the Eastern Coast. We stopped at the Blow Hole for some photos. We ate lunch at the Rainbow Bar-B-Q (teriyaki beef, rice, pasta salad, broccoli, and ice cream). We then drove to Diamond Head and hiked to the summit. It was very hot and dry, and we were glad that we had brought water with us. The hike is very exposed to the sun, and there are many steps.

Then we went back to the hotel and watched the beautiful sunset while swimming at Waikiki. We then returned to Cheeseburger in Paradise for burgers, fries, and drinks. We walked to the shops and embarked on our mission to find Steve H. the tackiest Hawaiian shirt in existence. We found a small marketplace which had lightbulbs hanging from the trees. We entered and had drinks and listened to the band at Coconut Willy's. We then went back to the room and had snacks and drtinks on the lanai.

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