My Trip To Hawai'i
Decmber 19 through December 29, 2002
In celebration of birthday number 60 of my parents, and because I won a
free trip, our family (parents, Debbie and Jake, Goldy and myself) went to
Hawai'i for a few days and then a cruise. Following are highlights from my journal.
After getting up at 4am, Goldy and I went to O'Hare to catch our 6:30
flight to Dallas. That was easy. The next leg, a more-than-7 hour
ordeal, was not. The film was Blue Crush, how appropriate, about
surfing in Hawai'i! But it was all worth it, to step into unnatural 80
degree weather in December!12-20-02
We shuttled over to our home for the next
three days, the Hilton
Hawaiian Village, .
In addition to the hotel, the surrounding property is supposed to be
a little village. It includes the beach, several shops, restaurants,
a park, 2 pools, and a collection of sea animals. We ate dinner at
an Italian restaurant, then spent the evening exploring and resting
and taking in the warm beach air.
My father's coworker's brother is in the army, and lives at the Schofield
Military Base on Oahu. It was arranged for us to get together. He picked
us up and drove us around, pointing out some of the island's highlights.
The most fascinating was when we saw Pearl Harbor. We took a tour on the
a real WWII battleship, including the site of the surrender signing.
That evening we walked around the area of the hotel, saw several
exciting shops, even a mall!
Today we truly relaxed. Most was spent at the beach. Read, swam,
sunbathed, walked, ate, etc. Not much else notable.
We went to the Bishop Museum
today. Learned all about Hawaiian history and culture.12-23-02
We arrived at the harbor in midafternoon, and met Debbie and Jake.
boarded our home for the next week, the Norweigan Star-.
We spent the day catching up, exploring the ship, and enjoying the Pacific
This ship, with 14 stories, boasts a 2-1 passenger to crew ratio. It
features 4 pools, 5 bars, 10 restaurants, a theater for shows, a movie
theater, a library, game room, internet cafe, health club, spa, and much
more, especially breathtaking views of the ocean and our ports of call.
Our first port of call was at Hilo, a town on the east side of the Big
Island. The four of us went on a Volcano Biking Adventure.
Four hours worth of biking, resting, and checking out volcanoes, craters,
and a lava tube flow.
12-24, 25, 26-02
The law says that any ship not registered in the US cannot have a pure US
itinerary. The Star is registered in the Bahamas. So the closest
non-US destination was Fanning Island, in the Republic of Kiribati.
The next three days were to be spent sailing to and from Fanning.
Unfortunately, the combination of stormy weather and a broken engine
caused us to not go ashore at Fanning. So these three days were
essentially spent at sea.
But we made the most of them, swimming,
reading, relaxing, watching a movie, a show, the ship's comedian, the
ship's lecturer on Hawaii, playing games, and of course eating.
In addition to all the nonsense above, the broken engine caused us to miss
our stop in Maui. All tours, including our luau, were then cancelled.
Instead, we stopped at Kona, a town on the west side of the big island.
Being too late and too short for any tours, we walked around the area for
several hours. I got a haircut.
Today, on the island of Nawiliwili, our tour was horseback riding. After
a 30 min bus ride, we walked and trotted for almost 2 hours all along
the beautiful, natural beach. My horse's name was Ace.
As our plane back to Chicago was at 5:30, we took another tour today. A
bus took us to several historic and cultural points in Honolulu, including
the only royal palace on American soil.
But the highlight was seeing the memorial for the USS
This white structure was directly above where the USS Arizona Battleship
went down on December 7, 1941. All the names of all the sailors who
perished, and even some who died recently and were buried there, were
inscripted. One could look below and see outlines, sometimes more, of the
boat. It was moving.
We took a direct flight back. Film was the
crappy Serving Sara. Great to be back in the cold!