Hawaii Diary 2006
   
Diary of Linda and Roger's trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2006




11/16/06 Linda and I left for Honolulu, HI this morning to attend the American Contract Bridge League Fall National tournament. We used the Cloud 9 shuttle to the San Diego airport for $90 two people round trip. We flew via Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu, a 5-1/2 hour flight. The cost of the flight was $533 each. Many bridge players were on the flight; conversing with them made the flight shorter and more enjoyable. Got a good look at this large 800,000 plus city on our shuttle to our hotel. I have never seen so many high rise hotels, restaurants, and Japanese people in one city. We and the French’s ate a teppanyaki style dinner at the Kobe Beef Steak House near our hotel in Waikiki, which was excellent.

11/17/06 The bridge tournament was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village - a huge beautiful lush complex with many towers, shops, ball rooms, restaurants, running water features, and vegetation. Unfortunately we couldn’t get into this hotel and had to stay at the Holiday Inn about a ½ block away. The Holiday Inn was $133 per night with free high speed internet and coffee. The Hilton was about $175, no free internet, and coffee packets were $3.75 each. Marvin and Alice had a room here and it was really nice with an ocean view. I played bridge with Marvin in the 2 day qualifying Life Masters Pairs. We qualified for the final day after having a good 2nd session score. We had dinner at a close by Vietnamese restaurant which was good and quite reasonable priced. The food in Honolulu is very good and only slightly higher priced than the main land.

11/18/06 Played the 2nd day of the Life Masters Pairs with Marvin doing about average both sessions. We ate at the Outback Steak House between sessions. I got really tired the 2nd session because it was so late and of course the 2 hour later time differential in Honolulu.

11/19/06 I played with Linda today in the stratified open pairs event. We did terrible the 1st session but had a 60% game the 2nd session. We and the French’s had dinner between sessions at Keo’s, a Thai restaurant where I had sashimi grade seared Ahi fish which was excellent. The weather here has been wonderful with no rain, temperature ranging from 72 F. to 85 F. with really pleasant trade winds most of the day.

11/20/06 Marvin, Alice, Linda, and I took the # 58 city bus to Diamond Head Park, an extinct volcanic crater. We all walked the trail to the top, about 1.4 miles one way from the bus stop. The elevation gain was 550’ with lots of steps and dark tunnels. The hike took about 1.5 hours up and a ½ hour down. The view from the top was excellent and very beautiful. We had to wait about 45 minutes for the return bus. After resting 3 hours we and the French’s headed via bus to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel for a Luau. The hotel and the ocean side sunset was amazingly beautiful. The Luau included 3 drinks of our choice, a great buffet dinner, and Hawaiian entertainment complete with hula dancing and Hawaiian band. The roast pork and the coconut pineapple cake were to die for. The cost at $80 each was quite expensive, but we all thought it was worth it.

11/21/06 We and the French’s had breakfast at the Fort De Russey military base Hale Koa Hotel this morning. I had a Continental breakfast which included fresh papaya which is oh so excellent in Hawaii. Linda and I played a two session pair game today. We wanted to play the Mini Blue Ribbon but they couldn't find a qualification for Linda so we couldn't play it. We had a great Chinese dinner at the Shanghi Bistro between sessions.

11/22/06 After breakfast Marvin, Linda, and I took the B bus down town. We toured the beautiful restored Iolani Palace where the last king and queen of the islands resided before they were ousted from power. The palace was quite impressive, paid for by sugar and pineapple plantation taxation. We did an audio assisted tour. The workmanship on all the Koa wood banisters, furniture, and trim was amazing to me. Next we went to the Foster Botanical Gardens. The trees were beautiful and huge. I was dead tired after 4 hours on my feet so we walked another ½ hour to China Town for lunch.

11/23/06 John Strauch, Bette Wrona, Virginia Hasting, Linda, and I took the city bus to Manoa Falls trail. The trail was in a lush rain forest with huge trees and vines. It was about a two mile round trip, 500’ elevation rise, slippery wet uphill hike to the small falls. John, Bette, Linda, and I had a turkey dinner at the Outrigger Reef Hotel where John and Bette were staying which was right on Waikiki Beach. It was all good; mashed garlic potatoes, macadamia nut dressing, cranberry sauce, but the salty turkey was inedible.

11/24/06 Had breakfast again at the Hale Koa Hotel with the French’s. I had the pineapple fruit boat with oatmeal. The pineapple and papaya is to die for in Hawaii. We four entered in the bridge team knock out event in the NABC but got knocked out the first round. We entered the team board a match in the evening and also did dismal. This is the worst tournament from a master point standpoint that I have ever had. The LM Pairs was the only bright spot I had. We ate at the Hale Koa Hotel restaurant between sessions which was quite good.

11/25/06 We and the French’s did a Waikiki two hour historical walk this morning put on by the ACBL. It was done by a volunteer Hawaiian who was an excellent speaker. He really knew Hawaiian history and was also very knowledgeable about politics, with a conservative slant. Afterwards we took a walk on Waikiki Beach and we stopped at a beach shop to have a cool Pina Colada smoothie. I slept and did computer work all day long. We all ate at Fisherman’s Whorf Restaurant (no similarity to San Franciso) tonight. I thought it was bad and would not ever go there again.

11/26/06 Linda and I got up early to do a 120 mile circle island tour with E NOA Tours. The cost was $70 each. We left at about 7:30 a.m. in a mini bus that was very comfortable and had good AC. The guide CB was very good and actually sang some karaoke. Expertly narrated, this tour included a stop at the 1,800-acre historic Waimea Valley Audubon Center. Enjoyed its lush gardens, Hawaiian cultural sights and tranquil beauty. Highlights Included: Slopes of Diamond Head, Kahala (Beverly Hills in Hawaii), Hanauma Bay, Halona "Blow Hole" Lookout, "From Here To Eternity" Beach, Sandy Beach, Makapu'u Lookout, Waimanalo Hawaiian Homestead, Nu'uanu Pali Lookout & Valley, Rain Forests, Byodo-In Temple, Windward Coast, Ko'olau Mountains, North Shore Sufing Beaches, Waimea Valley Audubon Center, Pineapple and Agriculture Fields. Got back about 5:30 p.m. We braved the heavy rain and went out for our departing dinner with the French’s to Canoes restaurant at the Ilikai Hotel on Waikiki. The Pacific Rim upscale cuisine was truly excellent. The opening scene of Hawaii Five-O was filmed here. We ate out doors even though it was raining. It was an excellent last evening in Hawaii.

11/27/06 Our plane left the Honolulu Airport at 1:55 p.m. and we arrived home in San Diego at 9:00 pm. local time. Our luggage took at least one hour to get out to the carousel. Cloud 9 shuttle was active and we got right on and were home by 11:00 p.m. Linda conceded that she liked this trip in spite of the cost. Next time I need to work in the following; snorkel at least twice, kayak in the surf, visit Pearl Harbor, and visit the Cultural Center operated by the Mormons.




Last updated on April 23, 2009