Friday, October 12

Day 277 — Waikiki Beach

[for Thursday, Oct. 4]

waikiki beach — oct 4

Our first full day in Hawaii was spent mostly gawking at how beautiful the island is. Our gracious host Mel drove us up the east coast to take a gander at all the smaller beaches, as well as the famous blowhole and some other landmarks. The sky was impossibly blue, the weather impossibly perfect, the ocean impossibly beautiful.

The narrow highway wound in and around hills and valleys, but kept the beach always within sight. There's something calming about always being able to look up and see blue. It's too bad some stupid vodka company stole that phrase, because it's fitting.

Amber had a surfing itch, so we headed back down to Waikiki, where Mel said even the locals go to learn to surf. Amber rented a board ($15 for two hours) from a ridiculously tan and frizzy-haired man, who kept coming back to try to sell the rest of us surfing lessons. The beach was crowded, but we managed to find a patch of unoccupied real estate on which to park our towels. We slathered on sunscreen (I was a little too conservative with mine) and I kicked back and alternated between staring at the sky and soaking up the warmth and taking photos of unsuspecting strangers.

It didn't take long before it was time for me to get in the water. I like to put it off until the last second, when you're sweating and you can feel your skin sizzling from the heat and the rays. I padded down to the water on the softest sand my feet have ever touched, and let the waves coax me out. It's really true: The water is blue and gorgeous and clean, but it still tastes salty as as can be, so the instant you get a little on your lip, you get the urge to down a 2-liter bottle of spring water.

I floated and waited for the waves to roll in so I could jump up and let them wash past me. I could have stayed out there for hours. If I'd had the foresight to buy one of those tacky neon pool floats, I would have. But instead I made it back to shore, munched on some iso peanuts, and shooed the pigeons.

A few hours at the beach and we were starving. We ducked into the very touristy Cheeseburger in Paradise on the Waikiki strip. I had some sort of double-shot mai tai, and realized that I don't much care for mai tais (the previous night I'd had a pomegranate mojito, which was yummo). We bickered about splitting the tab and then walked back to the car. But not before getting distracted by a giant banyan tree, which Amber and Courtney climbed all over before we realized that the damn thing was a bathroom for the local homeless population.

Jetlag caught up with us and we crashed early at our headquarters: Mel's aunt and uncle's house, which is in suburban Honolulu. It came equipped with pomegranate and breadfruit trees in the back yard, plus a dog and a cat to play with, and lots of lizards and rude birds. We picked a pomegranate and squealed when ants came crawling out. We picked another and sliced it open, only to realize it wasn't nearly ripe enough. Then we got a fruit tray from the grocery store. Which I don't even think we ended up eating.

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Anonymous jag said...

My brother just got transferred to Hawaii in July and he's STILL talking about how gorgeous it is. We hope to get over there in the next year or two.

Fri Oct 12, 04:20:00 PM  

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