Monday, October 12, 2009

Fun at Waikiki

In July 1983 we moved from Japan to Hawaii. How fortunate we were to have four wonderful and interesting places to live in a row; Virginia, Germany, Japan and Hawaii.

Peter A. was fourteen-and-a-half and Leif was eight-and-a-half.

When we arrived, we had to wait for quarters (for you civilians, that's a dwelling, place to live) and lived for a few weeks in the Hilton Hawaiian Village right on Waikiki. Our room was on the eleventh floor, which was fine until the Great Oahu Blackout of July 13th, when we discovered that walking up and down that many flights of stairs was no fun and quite exhausting, plus no air conditioning, no water (it all has to be pumped up there) and no restaurants open weren't much fun, either. I've written about the blackout before.

What WAS fun about it was that in the evening, everyone was out walking and being sociable because there really wasn't much else to do, and although some parts of the island didn't get power back for two or three days, we only went without for a day.

The rest of the time we stayed at the Hilton, there was a lot to enjoy. Waikiki is beautiful but as beaches go it's not even in competition for the best of Hawaii. That didn't keep us from enjoying it, as the boys are doing in this photo. They had a good time setting it up as a kind of trick photo. Leif is nowhere near as little as he looks here.

We enjoyed trying out lots of restaurants, and the boys were quite fascinated with a fancy drink that had dry ice in it so that it was pouring out mist all over the place. We explored the shopping centers, which were quite a hit after spending six years in foreign countries where the shopping was lots of fun and often exotic, but where they couldn't read the labels. They especially liked the Ala Moana Shopping Center and the Longs Drug stores, which stocked plenty of things like toys.

We also found the video game parlors, where we spent a lot of amusing hours together, and took a spectacular (and somewhat hair raising) helicopter tour over the island.

There was a parrot in one of the hotel lobbies that talked . . . when it was in the mood. When we were going or coming from the hotel, the boys liked to stop by the parrot's perch and see if they could get it to talk. Once in a while, they did.

It was a happy time for us. I hope Leif remembered it.

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