|Love & Light and everything bright...|
23 Jan 2011
Updated Apr 30 - Visit to state capitol
Also see - spa project completed, first Gardenia bloom...
FROM HAIKU, MAUI (HAWAII)
Weekend Trip to Honolulu
HAIKU, Maui, Apr 30 - My younger daughter Emily and her husband Vic were in Honolulu this weekend for a business convention. So Elizabeth and I flew over to spend some time with them after the conference.
Elizabeth used a chance on a sunny Sunday morning to record a short video. She wanted to give you all an idea of how beautiful a drive we "have to endure" every time we go into town (Kahului). Unfortunately, some of the video is quite rough, with lots of wind noise in the background which I could not edit out. We apologize for it but hope you will still enjoy the scenery...
Closer to the airport, which is about 14 miles away from our home, we also took some still pictures...
... from which you can see the city of Kahului with the Puu Kukui volcano and the Iao Valley in the background.
Upon arrival at our Hilton Hawaiian Village hotel, we came across this Japanese bride and groom who were about to take off in their stretch limo to Happiness Everafter.
"One of many (such weddings)," a nice Hilton female greeter told us as she escorted us to our check-in lobby at the new Grand Waikikian resort.
During our walk to the lobby, I said to the greeter that I felt like a minority here, given the number of Japanese tourists we were seeing around us.
"You are," she calmly replied.
The Grand Waikikian lobby was opulently appointed with several beautiful wood carvings (two middle shots). Even our room had a "work of art" waiting for us on our bed. A maid had made a creative sculpture out of the towels (right).
We walked around the grounds of the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the man-made beach with a lagoon in front of it.
The most prominent among several towers was the Rainbow Tower (left). No, we, the Rainbow Shower dwellers, did not get to stay there (Emily and Vic did). We were booked in an apartment in a Lagoon Tower, which is apparently reserved for the owners of Grand Hawaiian Vacations. I have no idea why we were chosen for such a lavish treatment as we do not own a condo here or anywhere in the Hilton world. But we did enjoy the perks that some with such ownership nonetheless.
We continued our walk along the main drag of Waikiki. Elizabeth was adopted by a grand Hawaiian "Mama" on one of its sidewalks (left). Not far from there, I took a picture of this big Nike recycling bin (middle). We even saw a parade of bikers )right). Most of them looked like aging hippies, probably 55 and over, with pot bellies, and long graying hair (those who still did have hair). No helmets, of course. I thought of some of my friends who are also Harley fans and told Elizabeth how much fun they would have riding through here. Alas, getting a bike to Hawaii could be a bitch, at least based on my moving experience (see Lessons from My Gold-plated Move, Mar 2009).
Here are some views from the 34th floor of the Grand Waikikian. As part of the "perks" as "owners," we attended an afternoon session there on Hilton global condo ownership. The best part of the presentation was the views we enjoyed during the break and the massages afterward. I had to chuckle inwardly, thinking back about the splendor of the Rainbow Shower in comparison to the sun, beach and more urban living that this concept of ownership offers. Some people just don't know how to let go. The lady who did the presentation, for example, was completely baffled by the idea that I never go on vacations, yet always feel as if I am on vacation.
"When people ask me - 'is this trip work or pleasure?' - I usually reply, 'what's the difference?'"
She seemed to have a lot of trouble grasping the point that answer.
The following day, all four of us took a trek to the top of Diamondhead Crater, an extinct volcano that's one of the best known landmarks of Honolulu. For Elizabeth and I, it was the second time in five months that we have climbed it (Hawaiian Thanksgiving, Nov-Dec 2008). For Emily and Vic, it was the first time. The views were spectacular. Unlike back in December, we were able to see not just the Waikiki coastline (top left) outlines of Molokai, Lanai and Maui islands in the distance to the east.
Back at our hotel, we enjoyed a land and marine bird shows. First these African flamingo mingled with ducks on the lawn.
We also watched the warm water penguins getting their lunch in the nearby garden.
Spa Project Completed, First Gardenia Bloom
HAIKU, Maui, Apr 30 - As you saw from an earlier travelogue, construction of the spa (Jacuzzi) began a week ago at the Rainbow Shower. The weather presented an interesting challenge to the construction crews who are building a pad for it. I admired their perseverance and determination to complete the job on schedule despite what most people on mainland would have considered "inclement weather."
As if welcoming the new companion to the Rainbow Shower, the nearby Gardenia bush also gifted us its first flower of the season (middle). It had a beautiful fragrance. There are dozens of more buds on the bush. So you could say that we will be able to enjoy spas with natural perfume, as befits a place called Rainbow Shower.
And that's all she wrote on this Friday, May Day, another rainy day here at the Rainbow Shower. Enjoy your weekend!