Our complete tour group of 47 got together for the first time for an orientation at a complimentary breakfast held on the floating restaurant Oceania. We met our tour guide, Lani, who was to travel with us from island to island and take care of any problems we might have. The oldest member of our group (around 80) had an early sinking spell and fell asleep during breakfast. Since he was traveling alone, we took him under our wing, calling his room when he forgot to show up for tours he’d paid for. After signing up for a dinner cruise on Kona, he forgot and ate dinner before we cruised. He was a very interesting fellow to talk to, and had led an active life including several inventions and patents along with working as a film technologist with old stars like Mae West and Gary Cooper.
The oldest member of our group (around 80) had an early sinking spell and fell asleep during breakfast. Since he was traveling alone, we took him under our wing, calling his room when he forgot to show up for tours he’d paid for. After signing up for a dinner cruise on Kona, he forgot and ate dinner before we cruised. He was a very interesting fellow to talk to, and had led an active life including several inventions and patents along with working as a film technologist with old stars like Mae West and Gary Cooper. After breakfast our bus took us on a city tour of Honolulu, the old Chinatown, Punchbowl cemetery, garment factory, and beautiful residential sections. The only time on the entire trip that the umbrella unfolded from my purse was while we were walking around the cemetery. Probably the rain God, saying Yankee go home. One of the interesting bits of historic trivia related to us by our driver, that it is very easy to recognize a Hawaiian hippie – – – he acts like Tarzan but walks like Jane.
At the conclusion of this trip I had the driver let me off at a local bus stop and had two Wicky Wicky on two more buses to the Pearl Harbor Naval dock before they closed for the day. Another 25¢ well spent where I met a couple from New Jersey that I spent the rest of the afternoon with. We took the Navy boat over to the Arizona Memorial which is truly a numbing experience. We made our contribution, received our piece of the rock, and were elated to find a direct tour bus back to our hotels for only $1.00.
It got me back by 4 PM and I had plenty of time for sprucing up before the luau on the beach at the outrigger that evening. Champagne led to photo sessions and self portraits in my hotel room that would rival any Neil Simon comedy. I never would have thought smiling into a camera on top of a refrigerator, after running across the room in seven seconds, could be so much fun.
While waiting in line to go out to the luau, I met two personable young teachers from California and we sat together and had a blast. A nice looking “Rocky” obliged us as a picture partner, and got us into an extra pitcher of mai tais for dry spells. We promptly ate all the pineapple cubes in our hollowed out pineapple and filled it with the mai tais. The drought never got to us. We feasted on pork and poi salmon and chicken while the performers entertained us under a big Hawaiian moon. We toasted a couple married only several hours as well as one celebrating their 50th anniversary. After the festivities the girls asked me to join them in their rental car for night spot hopping and fresh banana daiquiris.
Finding parking facilities proved to be a problem until we came upon what looked like a city parking lot. As we wheeled in, a nicely uniformed man ejected from his lighthouse and halted us on two wheels. Without drawing fire however he got across to us that we could not park there because it was a military facility and no one could enter without a military ID. What a great laugh we all had afterward when I whipped out my ID card to their surprised faces.
After exploring several hotels, we went to the Hilton for the conclusion of their disco show, then they dropped me at my hotel. Although not on a tour, they were leaving for Kauai the next day, as was I, and we agreed to get together again while we were there.