Aloha from Waikiki

This blog comes to you from our balcony at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach hotel in Honolulu. Yes, we’re spending Easter in Hawaii this year. An extravagance, to say the least, as we also have a European trip in July!! Who could resist those airfare specials with photos that tease with those 2 words starting with ‘s’ ? Sun, Sand and Shopping! Yes, that’s 3 but shopping has to be included. As I was saying, one day late last year an email popped up with relatively cheap fares so I did what every impulsive (or perhaps nutty) travelling shopaholic does….purchased 2 tickets. Even better was the fact Easter public holidays and Anzac public holiday fell in the same week giving extra time off work.

Our balcony overlooks Waikiki Beach and the views are not too shabby either. Listening to the rush of the water as it breaks onto the beach whilst lying in bed is very relaxing. Watching the sunrise from the balcony is pretty good, as is the people watching. How does anyone living with these views go to work every day? Working from home would definitely be my option.

Sitting on the balcony, sipping wine with iPad resting on the ‘book seat’ one of my sisters gave me as a gift is a great way to write this blog. I glance down every so often to marvel at the turquoise colour of the water, see what the beach goers are up to, muse about the surfers sitting patiently on their boards waiting for that big wave in the flat ocean as I go back to my writing I am serenaded music and singing that emanates from entertainers in the hotel bar. Ahhh, the joy……

The first day was spent wandering around Waikiki, the only money spent was on food and drinks. Day 1 of 7 called for restraint, there would be plenty of time for shopping and , anyway, this was also to be a time for relaxing and catching up on more chapters in my book. Hmm, this blog is being written on day 3 and not a line has been added to my book, let’s not write it off yet, 4 more days to go!!!

What has been interesting on this trip to Hawaii is the new fashion trend among tourists here. What do you think the new trend would be? Perhaps a haircut, nail colour, a type of swimming costume? No, wrong on all counts, it’s……wait for it……couples in matching outfits. Admittedly this is not a new phenomenon but these past few days we’ve seen many of these couples. It may be the Hawaiian dress and matching Hawaiian shirt for him or Hawaiian dress and matching shorts for the gentleman; one gentleman, without partner, had the matching shirt and shorts….a very attractive look. Ty calls this fashion statement (used lightly) ‘bobsy’ as in the bobsy twins. Several other couples have everything matching right down to their shoes. Not sure about you, dear reader, but I wouldn’t leave the house wearing the same patterns, colours or shoes as Ty, unless it was a fancy dress Hawaiian themed night ……hmm….even then I might draw the line.

Break for a minute whilst I’m entertained by a group of hula dancers.

Ok, back to the task at hand……

The weather is hot although when those trade winds really blow no amount of hairspray will keep the hair in place. Today was one of those days when a shaved or bald head is a blessing. Fingers crossed, the trade winds stay away or lessen for rest of the week.

Breakfast at Duke’s is something to experience at least once during the stay. An interesting item on the breakfast menu at the moment is Piña Colada Bread Pudding. Probably should’ve tried it but decided against it. I’m not that adventurous with food and Ty doesn’t like bread pudding!

After a day spent splashing in the surf, lying on the beach and watching a few surfers catching waves, with a little shopping thrown in, we decided to try out the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. On our previous trips to Hawaii this place has been on our list but the line has always been huge. This time we waited till almost 8pm thinking the lines may be shorter……not so! Well if we’re ever going to do it now is the time. Ty had to weave his way between the groups of people milling around outside to get to the desk. The must have accessory for the 50 or so people waiting was the Cheesecake Factory buzzer and soon we would have ours which came with a l hour and 20 minute wait time. Now, for the next decision, where do we wait? People were sitting, standing, crouching outside on the street, in the entrance to the Hawaiian Village walkway and along the undercover walkway. There were no vacant seats, or indeed space to stand. A walk was in order and would pass the time. After 45 minutes we headed back to the area beside the restaurant, miraculously finding a seat. Finally, exactly 1hour 20 minutes after booking our buzzer light up with a shrill. Was the wait worth it….yes it was, the food was very good. As is generally the case in the US the wait staff were extremely friendly and polite. Some statistics on The Cheesecake Factory – I know you’re eager to hear them! It has 171 tables, can seat 580 and opened in 2003. Their menu is extensive, not necessarily healthy as the portions are large. I ordered fillet of baked salmon thinking I was choosing wisely and received 2 fillets….unfortunately one was wasted ‘cos I prefer small meals…..the salmon was tasty. Importantly they had the wine I liked on the menu so that was a plus for them. Did we get to try a slice of cheesecake? No, by the time we finished the main we couldn’t fit in dessert, unfortunately. Another time……….

For now it’s time to struggle, I mean stroll back to the hotel and collapse into a chair or onto the bed, an end to what has been one busy day in this laid back, relaxation type holiday!!

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