Going to O'ahu

3:00 AM! Really too early to get up normally, but we got dressed and killed some time by loading an antivirus program on Joyce's laptop while we waited for the cab to arrive to take us to the airport. We had been planning this trip for several months and had everything ready to go. Because we've done a lot of traveling by motorcycle over the past several years, we found we only needed one carry-on bag apiece besides Joyce's purse, Jeff's fanny pack and a camera bag. Sign on Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport We won't be checking any luggage at the airports for this trip. The cab arrived at 4:00 am and we set off. Awake - no; off - yes. Got through the baggage check with only a couple small snags. They made Jeff take his netbook out of the carry-on bag and re-scan his stuff, and they stopped Joyce for a pat-down (really! Does she look like a terrorist!). After that we had an hour to wait until boarding time. The flight to Atlanta left on time at 6:05 am. We watched the sun rise during the flight and arrived in Atlanta at 9:30 am.

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Our connecting flight, according to the terminal television screens left from Gate E10. So we walked, and walked and walked, (hey I thought we were flying to Honolulu?!) and walked some more and half an hour, 4 moving walkways, and 2 escalators later we found E10. Now I seriously need some carbs. Never so happy to see the golden arches! A short wait and we boarded the flight to Honolulu. The plane was huge. Two rows separated a pair of seats, a the center section 4 seats across and another pair of seats at the other side of the airplane. We were seated in a pair of seats on the very left side of the plane. What a spectacular view. After passing through the clouds we saw some snowcapped Rocky Mountains, lakes, desert, and at last the Pacific ocean.
Looking out the airplane window Looking out the airplane window Looking out the airplane window Looking out the airplane window

We were about half-way now and more than anxious to see, touch and smell Hawai'i. We arrived at the Honolulu airport and were both greeted with a beautiful flower lei.

Joyce gets Lei'ed So does Jeff


Waikiki is the tourist capital of the world! An Alime Tour bus took us to our hotel, the Mauna Surfrider which is right on Waikiki beach. The driver gave us a bit of a narrated tour of some of the things we were traveling past. He mentioned that there were lots of convenience stores all over the place called ABC stores where we could probably find just about anything we needed. He pointed several out and indeed, they were just about on every corner.

ABC Stores Were Everywhere

We got to the hotel, checked in, and checked out our room. We had a view of the beachside patio with its majestic Banyon tree and a view of Waikiki beach just beyond the tree.

Huge Banyan Tree

The hotel had wide open doorways and window openings that were never closed while we were there. It was all just open to the beautiful ocean breezes.

Mauna Surfrider from the patio

For dinner, we enjoyed a wonderful ocean view at Dukes, a couple of doors down the beach. The food and service were excellent. A local musician entertained us there while we watched our first Hawaian sunset and drank our first of many Mai Tais. Dinner at Duke's

After dinner we wandered over to our hotel and enjoyed more live music until 11:30pm Hawai'ian time. It was 5:00 am in Illinois. We finally crashed after being up for 26 hours.