Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Final impressions from Hawaii

A few final thoughts on our trip... when we visited Honolulu and Maui in 2005, we had no idea we'd be returning to the Aloha state again so soon. Well, late last year when we began discussing taking an anniversary trip, we talked about the possibility of a return visit, since we had enjoyed our previous trip so much. K's friends had just moved to Kane'ohe, and my friend Bill was still in Honolulu. We figured we could visit them for a couple days and spend the rest of our time doing something else. Since we hadn't gotten to see the Big Island (especially the volcano) during our 2005 visit, that's what we decided on. We had really liked Maui in 2005, and we'd go back there in a heartbeat. We enjoyed the Big Island as well, but it was definitely different from Maui. In some aspects, it met -- and even exceeded -- our expectations. We might make a return trip sometime with the kids; we found lots of things to see and do that they would have enjoyed. The black sand beach at Pololu would have been a great place to spend a half-day or so, maybe with a picnic lunch ...

Visiting Honolulu for the second time in less than two years was kind of neat; we stayed right up the street from where we had stayed the last time, and everything felt really familiar. I've now been to Honolulu -- twice -- more recently than I've been to Ruidoso, New Mexico, which has always been a frequent vacation destination for the Whiskey family. But we might finally be heading back to Ruidoso this fall.

Oh, by the way... you've seen how long it has taken me to post the Hawaii blog entries, and how many photos I've posted... that's precisely why I never got around to posting a trip report or photos from our 2005 trip!

Lasting impressions

One thing that really made an impression on me on both trips is Hawaii's climate; the coastal locations are just so pleasant to be around. It never gets too hot, and there's always a nice breeze. I really enjoyed the open-air environment at many of the places we went -- hotel lobbies, restaurants, even some of the airport terminals! Although the birds can be a bit of a problem at the outdoor restaurants, we saw very few insects anywhere we went.

K at the all-outdoor airport in Kona.

We had never seen anything like it!

I'm pretty sure I could handle life on the islands, if it weren't for the sky-high real-estate prices! Houses and property are damned expensive there. We're used to getting a lot of value for our housing dollar here in north Texas. In Hawaii, we'd be lucky to get a QUARTER of our Texas home's square footage for the same price! It's probably safe to say that we won't be moving out there anytime soon. But if we should ever happen to win the lottery...

Uniquely Hawaiian

I enjoy travel because I enjoy seeing new and different places. Things that are unique and different from what I'm used to at home always make an impression on me. Here are a few such things I took note of during our 2007 Hawaii trip.

Check out these Hawaiian-attired "restroom people" in the Honolulu Airport! Someone better tell that dude he forgot his pants...

The airplanes look different, too.

It's not every day you see road signs encrusted in lava...

With only 12 letters to work with in the Hawaiian alphabet, you end up with some interesting place names -- and lots of apostrophes!

The gardens around our hotel were home to lots of these critters...

Japanese "lucky cats" (maneki neko) were seen at several restaurants and businesses.

Back to Texas, back to reality

Beginning with my next entry, we'll be back on the scene in Whiskey country (north Texas and surrounding areas). I've accumulated a small backlog of material during the time it has taken me to post all the Hawaii stuff, so there'll be no shortage of stuff to talk about. Until next time...

np: Waylon Jennings - cover of Bob Dylan's "Don't think twice"

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