April 8 – We caught the 10:20 ferry and Kelly dropped us at the airport. Kelly had no problem making the 2:10 back. We got a wheelchair and went to the Air Canada lounge and had some lunch. We had a long wait til our flight at 5:45 but it’s a nice place to wait. We were able to use a wheelchair to the gate. The flight was on time and smooth. We had booked a taxi from Charley’s Taxi and were able to get it ok. We checked in at our hotel Aqua Pacific Monarch. We had rented Room 1604 for 12 nights from VRBO and it worked out very well. The lady who owns it is actually from Coquitlam. The room had everything we needed and has a nice little balcony. We really only needed to buy a few supplies – toilet paper, paper towel, soap and shampoo. The scooter had been delivered to the room and is our great friend until we get back to Vancouver.
April 9 – We were going to go to Eggs n Things for breakfast but there was a huge lineup. There was a lady giving out menus for ShoreFyre so we checked it out. Actually just down the street from our hotel. Breakfast was good but not particularly inexpensive so for most of the breakfasts for the rest of our stay we just had toast, juice and coffee in our room. We went to Food Pantry just down the street for supplies. We then boarded the bus to go to the terminus to get a handicapped pass for Larry. The pass is $10 and is good for four years. When you are going to use it you get a $6 montly sticker to put on it. Maureen just purchased a day pass ($5.50) for each day we used the bus. It has a great ramp for the scooter and made everything very easy wherever we went. This particular ride was about 45 minutes and it turned out it was very close to Costco. We caught another bus that took us right there. Larry stocked up on Crown Royal.
We discovered Kings’ Village after we got back – we could see it from our room – and found Rock Island Café for $6 MaiTais for Happy Hour. We also discovered they have a wonderful market there Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 4 pm to 9 pm. We bought some Malasadas for the next day – baked jelly donuts with a variety of fillings. There was also amazing fruit and other great looking food. Also some interesting little shops. Maureen’s sister had given us some coupons so we used one of them for an appetizer at Flour & Barley and shared a pizza for dinner. It was a nice walk back to the hotel. There are lots of musicians playing on the streets.
April 10 – Today we took the bus to Ala Moana Centre and Walmart to get a new small suitcase. We were successful! Maureen also got another pair of her favourite sandals at Hilo Hattie. We tried the MaiTais at ShoreFyre today - $6 and pretty powerful. This became our new favourite happy hour place with Derek the waiter. We went to Dorako in the Royal Hawaiian Centre for some excellent sushi for dinner.
April 11 – More walkabout today. We found Hard Rock Café for lunch and then on the way back stopped at Food Pantry for a BBQ chicken, frozen corn and potato puffs for dinner. This gave us chicken for sandwiches the next day too! You can definitely spend a fortune on eating out here.
April 12 – Walked to the zoo. It’s showing it’s age but is still a good zoo. We saw a couple of elephants and the tail of one of the tigers. It was a pretty warm day so most of the larger animals were inside in the shade. We ate at the zoo for lunch which we found to be a ripoff – a 6 inch cheese pizza for $7.50. People were feeding the birds their scraps and then wondering why there was bird crap everywhere! We went to Cheeseburger in Paradise for dinner then a walk along the beachwalk after. People watching here is great!
April 13 – Today we walked along the beachwalk almost to Diamond Head. Without the scooter we wouldn’t see very much of anything. It’s such a big help! We picked up dinner from the Market at Kings’ Village – Pad Thai, fried rice, skewer of each orange chicken, lobster, and bacon wrapped sausage, spring rolls. Tonight we were treated to a big storm – lots of lightning and rain.
April 14 – We didn’t discover until we got on the bus how really bad the storm was last night. We had decided to go to the Costco in East Honolulu. The trip there took about 45 minutes – supposed to be 35. We could see the traffic was beginning to build on the highway. There was huge downpour while we were waiting in the lunch line at Costco. Thankfully we were under cover. We went to the bus stop right across from Costco. We could see the bus. It took her about 30 minutes to get to us. Then it took a further hour to get past the traffic backup. We were the only ones on the bus that whole time. We got a good look at the mess caused by the rain the night before. Mud and debris everywhere. People’s houses were flooded and everything ruined. As soon as we got past that, an almost full bus load of people got on and it took a further 30 minutes to get back to our hotel. On the news for the next few days they showed the devastation on the island of Kauai – over a foot and a half of rain in some places north island. They figure it will be at least a couple of months to return East Honolulu to its former state.
We went to Atlantis Steak and Seafood for a nice dinner.
April 15 – Today was a lazy day with not much happening.
April 16 – We picked up our rental car at 1 pm for our drive to the Polynesian Cultural Centre. As part of Larry’s role as a Travel Agent, we were given a two night stay at the Courtyard Marriott right beside the Cultural Centre and general admission/luau/show at the Cultural Centre. It was a nice drive with some beautiful views and beaches along the way. The hotel is beautiful, only 3 years old. We walked over to the Hukilau Market and had a great dinner at Pounders. Our server, Emma was from Utah and was a lot of fun.
April 17 – We met with three of the hotel staff for a quick tour and a nice breakfast in the morning then it was over to the Cultural Centre. We toured all six mock villages – Samoa, Tonga, Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand and Fiji. Each is staffed with people from the actual islands, some are students from the nearby Brigham Young University. Laie, the town where the Centre and University are located, is a dry town. There is no alcohol available at anything in the Cultural Centre either. There is a procession of canoes down the river in the afternoon. Each Island is represented on a raft-like canoe and each group does a dance. Very difficult for the person poling the boat as it is rocking all over the place! The luau began just after 4:00 and was very good. It was a buffet. They uncovered a roasted pig at the back of the stage and carved it up. The entertainment was very good too. Then at 7:30 we were seated in the theatre for the Ha Breath of Life show. It was excellent! The dancers are very talented and the fire/knife dancers were fantastic. A great day!
April 18 – Back to Waikiki with a brief stop at the Bonsai Pipeline. The waves weren’t huge but we got some good pictures of at least one surfer who caught a wave. We stopped at Costco on the way back to fill up the gas tank. Panda Express for dinner.
April 19 – Laundry day today and cleaning up things a bit. We went to Tanaka for an excellent Teppan-style dinner. Very good entertainment.
April 20 – Checkout at noon. Roberts Hawaii was supposed to pick us up at 12:35 but since the driver didn’t start work until 12:30, that was impossible. After about a half hour wait he arrived in a vehicle with a lift for the scooter. We picked up some others along the way then we went to the ship Carnival Legend. She was docked at Pier 2 because the Westerdam was docked at Pier 11. We found that we would be moving at midnight to Pier 11 because the Pride of America was due in and Pier 2 is her dock! We went to Nashville Waikiki for happy hour – a short walk away near the Aloha Tower. We had been to this bar years ago when it was downtown. It was a bit rough then but is quite nice now. Pretty good MaiTais too. When we got back to the ship we bought the Cruise the Vineyards wine package (5 bottles). It turned out to be quite the fiasco. The dining room didn't have a particular wine that we had wanted. Then the Steakhouse had it instead. A bit of a mess! We also ended up having our internet refunded because the service wasn't as great as they had made it out to be.
April 21 – We had a great sleep! After a nice breakfast, we went for a walkabout of the area. We found the King Kamehameha statue and the Hawaii Five-O headquarters! Then we walked in the other direction to Chinatown. Kind of an out of this world place – very busy, smelled like fish with lots of stuff for sale. We also saw them loading a young pig on a tray onto a truck – clearly going to be part of a luau! Back for a light lunch. Went back to Nashville for a drink before we sailed. Much closer now that we're at the proper pier. We set sail about 6 pm.
April 22 - Nawiliwili, Lihue, Kauai - We had never been here before so we booked a shore excursion - Wailua River and Fern Grotto. We were boarding a bus that couldn't take the scooter so we asked where we could park it. The women who told us where to park it found us when it was time to board the bus and put us right at the front! We drove to the lookout over the river as well as the Wailua Falls. There were lots of chickens at the top! We then back-tracked a bit and went to the river cruise. The boats were quite large and filled with cruise ship passengers. There was singing and hula dancing along the way. We went as far as the Fern Grotto. Larry couldn't walk it so Maureen went and took pictures. There was lots of debris around from the recent rains. The Fern Grotto itself was severely damaged in the hurricane of 1992 but it has now recovered. The entertainers from the boat performed the Hawaiian Wedding Song at the Grotto. We then got back on the boat and back to the bus. After it dropped us at the ship we decided to walk into the little village along from the pier. We had a bite to eat there and checked out the little shops. Then back to the ship!
April 23 - Kona, Hawaii We had been here before so when we found out it was a tender port that couldn't take the scooter ashore we weren't too upset. Spent a nice day on the ship. Maureen went to the cooking demonstration.
April 24 - Kahului, Maui We walked/scooted ashore and checked out the little bit of shopping nearby. We also scouted out where we were meeting our friends for dinner. Larry had booked Greg and Sherry a trip to Maui and they were leaving today so we arranged to meet them. Very nice to see them!
April 25 - Hilo, Hawaii We rented a car here. And Enterprise does pick you up! We got the shuttle from the pier to the car rental place. Our first stop was Ataksuka Orchid Gardens. Amazing blooms! The chocolate orchids were blooming too so it smelled incredible. The we went on to the Kilauea Volcano - $25 for entry into the National Park. We saw all the sights we had seen before except this time we were able to see some lava spouting. Little did we know that on May 3 there would be a major eruption with over 22 fissures opening up between the national park and Hilo. We came back the other way, lunch in Hilo at a place we'd eaten at before then along the road up the other way. A narrow winding road that had some beautiful views of bays and rainforest. We then went back to Enterprise and got the shuttle back to the ship. This is our last stop in the islands. It's back across the Pacific for five days to Vancouver.
April 26 to May 1 - at sea We busied ourselves during these days reading, playing bingo, going to game shows, a couple of lectures by Nancy Caruso the Marine Biologist, listened to music at the Red Frog Pub. We also went to the Steakhouse for dinner on the 27th and the 30th. Excellent food and service!
It was so nice to arrive in Vancouver. Five days is a long time to see virtually nothing except a few dolphins. We found that Kelly had missed the ferry but Aaron had walked on an earlier one. He and Tonye met us downtown to help kill time until Kelly arrived. He found us and home we went. The weather has definitely improved since we left. We also found that one of our duty free bottles of vodka had broken. It was in the suitcase. Larry sent an e-mail and we will be getting reimbursed for that.
Our next trip will be to a family reunion in Saskatchewan at the end of June. Happy summer!