Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Surf N Turf

Vandalism In Paradise

I can't believe that some low-lifes actually spray painted this tree!

More Signs of Confusion

The Beach at Haena; Looks great!

However, when you back up you will notice the posted signs. What do they say?

Francis the cat; he hangs out at the local mall in Hanalea, as the shop sign attests.

[photo below] A keen sense of observation will disclose that this visitor is likely a recent participant in the Surf School. There are lots of people walking & limping around in similar condition.

[photo below]

This is the mysterious object on our counter next to the sink. We en’countered’ something like this in 2010 when we were in Hervey Bay, Australia. Turns out that was an electrical outlet [see the Hervey Bay post in my blog’s archives]. This one is not. It has two vents and a lid that comes off, but is not a deodorizer, soap dispenser or anything that we can think of. Does anyone have a clue as to what it’s function might be??

A Hawaiian phone booth; this one is only good for short calls.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

No Such Thing As A 'Bali' Flop

We are now in Princeville, Kauai, which is located at the north end of the island. Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island, and is to the north-west of Oahu. Also called the Garden Island, this part of the north coast, where we are now, can experience annual precipitation amounts ranging from 400 – 600 inches. As one local cheerily put it, this is the ‘rain’ part of ‘rainbows’, which are very common here as well. All of this ensures a lush tropical environment.

Below: the scenic valley, just outside of Hanalei Bay. The same scene a few minutes later as a shower strikes.

Because of its natural beauty more than 70 Hollywood Movies were shot on the Island. The most famous movie made in the area was probably South Pacific. In specific, Hanalei Bay is home to Bali Hai, and the famous beach seen in the movie.

Bali Hai [where the sky meets the sea] in the

background of beautiful

Hanalei Bay.

Hanalei Bay is also where Peter, Paul and Mary are supposed to have stayed when they wrote the song Puff The Magic Dragon [who lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist of a land called Honah Lee]. Unfortunately this is a good story, but untrue.

Below is the beach, pier and backdrop seen in George Clooney's latest movie; the Descendants. We also recognized local str

eet scenes and even the restaurant, Tiki Pizza, used in the movie.

Below: Bali Hai Sunset

Signs of Confusion

A local road sign – done up Island Style.

A Local Character in Hanalei.

Below - Me; biting the hand that feeds me.

There are lots of wild and colourful chickens wander

ing all about.

They are

called the Brazillion Chicken; probably because there are a Brazillion of them on the Island!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cheeseburger In Paradise


in Paradise

OK; so we know that a REAL MAN would NEVER order a drink with an umbrella in it, but what is the protocol when the food comes with an umbrella in it?

This is the dilemma presented when the food arrived at the well-known Waikiki restaurant, Another Cheeseburger In Paradise. It is owned by Jimmy Buffett [pronounced Buff-it, or is that Buff-eh?] His restaurant chain is named after his song, but truth be told, the lyrics are ‘

Cheeseburger IS paradise’; not ‘Cheeseburger IN paradise’. But it does show what a good marketing slogan will do for you.

Anyway, the joint was packed, and as good as we remembered; right down to the waiters in grass skirts!! On the menu; Me – the Traditional Cheeseburger (a guilty pleasure) with Rings; for Jean – a Shrimp Salad – (sensible). Both dishes were pronounced ‘excellent’.

The Rarely Seen Smiling Tiki

Most Tikis have no smile at all, like the guy at right. Even the ones the locals claim are smiling, seem to me like they are


rather than smiling. There i

s no doubt about the Smiling Tiki – he is the real deal!!

Grandpa Out For A Spin

One of my favourite cars; this one is a 1964 Mustang. In 1967 I owned a

1966 Mustang, and still consider it the best of the line since it had a nicer interior. However, could you imagine a better place to own a convertible?

Great Feats!

Me; on the sun-deck.

Sunset at the Pier at Waikiki


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Have You Tried A Ford Lately?

Day Two in Waikiki and we are off to see the Ford Island Air Museum. This is the museum on the island in the middle of Pearl Harbour. It opened to the public in 2006, and we have not seen it. Oddly, since we now both volunteer at the BC Aviation Museum, we look at museums through the eyes of the operators of the Musem, rather than as a patron.

The air museum occupies a former Army air-force base and currently has two hangars in operation; the original tells the story of the Pacific War from before WW-II, to the attack on Pearl Harbor, and on to the turning point of the Battle of Midway and Guadacanal. It has excellent aircraft from the period, all displayed with a great deal of effort to be authentic to the times. For example, there is a Japanese Zero fighter, sitting on the deck of an aircraft carrier, about to launch the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Hangar two is more contemporary, with many jets and helicopters from the Cold War era.
It also holds the restoration shops, storeage area, and a very interesting collection of partially restored aircraft.

The hangar doors even bear batt
le damage from that fateful day of 7 December 1941.Harbor. Others include a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber as a participant in the Doolittle raid on Japan, and a Grumman F-2F Wildcat on Guadacanal. We got many good ideas on how to present displays from the visit.

stored vintage aircraft.

Even more interesting is the boneyard of stockpiled restoration projects out behind the hangar, which I inspected by tip-toeing into an out-of-bounds area. There I discovered many American and Japanese hulks; all awaiting restoration.

Signs of Confusion

Right; An authentic, unrestored sign from the base in World War II.

You might think that this is a typical information sign, (you know, no food or drink, no smoking, etc), but close inspection reveals a remind

er that this is America, after all!

Below: Me, bestriding Ha



My Close Brush With Fame!

So I am hanging out in the hallway just off the lobby of the Mariott, Waikiki Beach while my wife is trying out some clothes in the dress shop, when who walks by but some tatooed Dude carrying a box of Carona Beer, accompanied by two young women.

And I think to myself, 'Hey, I know that guy from somewhere'.

So I am trying to remember from where I have seen this guy, and suddenly I remember, this is the big guy from the show Auction Hunters. Now if you don't know this show, don't fret; it is a low-life reality show about two guys who go to auctions where the contents are up for grabs to the highest bidder. I am embarrassed to admit that I have watched the show.

I am looking at the big guy when he walks about 5 feet in front of me, lifts his head, meets my eyes, and nods.

So, I casually say as he strides by "Out here to do a shoot, eh!"

This was, I thought, a clever bit of deductive reasoning, since he was followed by an entourage of about 12, including two men lugging those elaborate shoulder-hoisted cameras and a Sound Man [are rest unsound in some fundamental way?] with one of those fuzzy, shag carpet boom mikes. The Sound Man swept by soundlessly, the Video Guys were a sight to see, the Key Grip had the room-key, the Grip had a firm grasp on another box of beer, the Director pointed out the way to the elevator, the Stuntman slipped on the carpet, the Extras just shuffled along and awaited instructions, and the Best Boy.... well, I hope that someday he grows up to become the Best Man.

'Yep' the Big Dude elaborated.

And then I remember, when in the States, do not use the 'eh' in conversation; it's a dead give-away. Just like asking for vinager for the fries, a double-double in the coffee, saying 'sorry' when some rude lout cuts into line ahead of you, using the word 'nickle' when referring to the price or a denomination of change, or mentioning hockey of any kind.

'Well, good luck with it.' was my snappy rejoinder.

'Thanks', he intoned, and was is gone, making a beeline for the elevator.

Right behind him was the other, cleaner-cut dude in the program, who made no eye contact. Therefore, no witty exchange exchange ensuedwith him.

There it was; another chance encounter with celebrity. I can hardly wait to catch the Auction Hunters, Hawaii episode on a channel near me.

Hawaii Holiday

Winter, good as it was, is an ideal time to seek out some sun and heat, and what better place than Hawaii? We have been to Waikiki before, but we are here for just a short stop (4 days), before heading out to Kauai.

Fortunately for us, we flew to Hawaii in Business Class, which is a real treat and makes the flight so much easier. It was our first experience with the 'pods' and we thoroughly enjoyed them. Unfortunately, we did not sit together; Jean was settled in the favoured spot just aft of the front bulkhead, and I was relegated to the last spot in Business Class. You must feel for me; I was the last served, the last to be given the warm hand towel, and the last to be favoured with a bowl of real peanuts, (not some sort of Rice Cracker experiment that went badly awary). I really had to tough it out, but I hung in there!! Dinner was great (salmon, with an excellent mescalin salad, roasted vegetables and a creamy rice dish; chocolate cookies and ice cream for desert), and the service was impeccable.
It was a very smooth and enjoyable flight except for the fact that there was a medical emergency shortly after take-off. A passenger in the back complained of not feeling well, with the result that he was hauled off to Business Class, and put down on a pod where he could be worked upon. And I do mean worked; the call for medical assistance in Business Class was responded to by no fewer than 1 doctor and three nurses. All this was going on across the isle (aisle) for me, so I was treated to a live floorshow between servings.

I counted no fewer than 3 bags of IV fluid pumped into his veins, and just to vary the pace he was given oxygen, a variety of 'tabs' (tablets in the jargon) of varying strength and type, judged by the lively debate that preceded each lashing. And, as the 'coup de grace' (in a manner of speaking), the performance peaked with a bottle of fresh oxygen, hand delivered by a steward.

Now I don't wish anyone ill, (he apparently already was), but my concern was the muttering that in the event they could not stabilize the patient they might have to hustle back to Vancouver. He looked pretty stable to me; slapped down in one of those pods and with an arm-cuff on one and an IV drip in the other. In fact, as the flight proceeded he rallied to the point where he could ask for an ice cube. Then it was a drink of water. Next it was a coke. Now a headset. Then he wanted his movie resumed. Now it was time for a cracker. Next, bread. I think the jig was up when he weakly pleaded that a bit of salmon and a glass of chardonnay might do him wonders.

In fact, I had to wonder if the whole incident might not have had a subtle motivation to it. I mean, the guy did manage to make the entire flight in Business Class, and he had the most attentive service on the entire flight. And as for the medical staff, they had to turn away offers of help, even from a group of Japanese Tour Group, who spoke little English but thought they could give it a whirl in any event. At least the guy seemed to come out of it o
k; when we landed he bounded off the flight while the rest of us waited. We last saw him in the airport lounge explaining to all that 'this had happened to him before'.

Meanwhile, we got to our hotel, the Hyatt Place, Waikiki, at 8 pm, just in time to get out for a walk. It was warm, humid and ...... crowded!! We were last here about 7 years ago in Oct
ober, and it was nothing like th
e peak of winter. Anyone who could figure out a way to escape the chill has beat it off to Hawaii. There is no single demographic; young, old, married, single, young children, Americans, Aussies, Japanese, Canucks - you name it. All are represented.

Meanwhile, our hotel is excellent, nice rooms, a great breakfast, free wi-fi, an exercise room, laundry, a bar / cafe, and our room is very big and well appointed. Now its time to get on with it!!

A local, with friends,(those are birds in his hands) and,
the beach by the hotel in t
he early morning (a major beach restoration is ongoing at the moment)