Love & Light and everything bright...

23 Jan 2011

Updated Aug 14, 2010, adds Back Home in Maui...

Surgery, Oahu Summer

Elizabeth's surgery takes us to Oahu at height of summer vacations


Surgery, Oahu Summer

Elizabeth's surgery takes us to Honolulu amid summer vacations

HONOLULU, Oahu, Aug 14 - One reason we took that California trip when we did was because we knew that after Elizabeth has her (elective) surgery on Aug 12, she would not be able to travel anywhere for about six weeks.  So our trip to Honolulu this time had one main purpose - visit to Queen's Hospital, not exactly a typical tourist destination.

We arrived in Honolulu the day before the scheduled surgery, which gave us a chance to join in with thousands of other summer vacationers in Hawaii's capital.  You can see Elizabeth enjoying her first ever shaved ice, rainbow color, of course, at what is probably the world's largest flee market.  It spreads all around the Aloha Bowl football stadium.

Our hotel room at the start of Waikiki strip offered wonderful views, as you can see.  If you look carefully, you can even see Diamondhead peeking slightly behind one of the highrises in the rightmost shot.

On our way to Ala Moana mall, where Elizabeth wanted to cash in on some freebies at Victoria Secret (right), we saw a little sailboat "swerve" as it caught the wind out of its dock (middle left).

At the mall, we were pleasantly surprised to attend a free concert by a local brass band.  There was even an operatic soprano who performed with them in a couple of numbers (green Hawaiian dress above).  Her voice was nice and she had the (large) look of an opera "diva."  Here's also a brief video I recorded of their performance of "Kamehameha Waltz" ... (Kamehameha was the Hawaiian king who ruthlessly united the islands by killing his weaker opponents).


Hawaiian Brass Band & Soprano - Kamehameha Waltz (Aug 11, 2010) [1:21 mins]

Breakfast in Kailua

When we got to the Queen's Hospital on Aug 12, everything was still pitch black, as if in the middle of the night.  Hers was supposed to be the first surgery of the day.  Since they were planning to use a highly-automated robotic technique to perform it with minimal external invasiveness, the doctor told us he expected it to last 3.5 hours.  So after they prepped Elizabeth for a couple of hours and I saw her off to the operating room, I drove to Kailua on the north shore of Oahu to have breakfast there with a friend.

As I have never been to Kailua before, I was pleasantly surprised with its beauty.  I was also surprised that its beaches were so wide and calm in contrast to the north shore of Maui, which is rugged with wind and high waves most of the time.

After breakfast and a brief tour of the town in which President Obama grew up and is now vacation home of many celebrities, I drove back to Honolulu.  I took a different route back through some more rugged mountains.  It still took only about half an hour to get back to the hospital.

This time, I was able to take some pictures of it and see just how beautiful Queen's Medical Center is from the outside, and not just inside.  As it turned out, Elizabeth's surgery went so well that the doctor only needed two hours to do it.  By the time I got there, she had just been wheeled into her room, which offered the panoramic views of Honolulu in the two right frames.  Of course, she was in no position to enjoy them at that point. So now she can, when she reads this travelogue along with all of you.

Waikiki Walk

Fast-forwarding to the next day (Fri Aug 13), I went out for a walk on Waikiki beach while waiting for a call from the hospital to come and pick up Elizabeth.  You can join me, if you wish...

The rightmost shot is that of Hilton Hawaiian Village, a gigantic highrise hotel complex in which we are staying that looks like anything but a village.

The rightmost picture above is that of a "floating bar" at Waikiki Sheraton.  There is about a 20-foot drop between the pool and the ocean level below.  Yet in this shot, the pool looks to be connected to the ocean.

The (pink) Royal Hawaiian hotel is my favorite on Waikiki beach.  I last stayed there five years ago before it was renovated (in 2008).  It is the only place in this maze of highrise hotels that still retains some charm of the "old world" Honolulu.

Elizabeth was eventually discharged after dinner on her second day at the hospital, only 18 hours or so after surgery.  In the old days, they would have kept the patient at least three to five days after major surgery like this.  Now, her doctor said she could fly home the next day.  Yeah, right.  Fat chance of that.  Wonder if the doctor or his wife would try it so soon.  Which is why I insisted we stay at least one more night at our hotel in Honolulu before flying home on Saturday (today).

Back Home in Maui

HAIKU, Maui, Aug 14 - We are back home in Maui now.  Elizabeth was a real trooper during our transfers from hotel to airport, on the flight over, and during the ride home.  Elizabeth also had a first full normal dinner since Tuesday night (four days ago!).  So she is clearly on the mend.

Ever saw a cooler looking babe, only 50 hours after a major surgery?

Welcome-home Morning Rainbows

HAIKU, Maui, Aug 15 - We are getting spoiled.  I can't remember how many times we have arrived home from a trip to be welcomed by gorgeous morning rainbows.  None of them were quite as spectacular as this double rainbow this morning.  It was so large, that I could not fit it all in into a single camera frame.

So here are four of them next to each other.  I'll also try to splice them together.  Maybe like this...

(click on above image to enlarge)

I've also noticed a beautiful large tree on a neighbor's property in full bloom this morning.  We had never noticed it before.  You can see it above zoomed-in in its cloudy and sunny splendor.


And that's all for now from the Rainbow Shower so far in August. 

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