Diamond Head and a Luau

We woke up at 5:00 am local time (10:00 am Illinois time) ready to begin another day in paradise. We started our moring with a croissant breakfast sandwich and French pressed Kona coffee for two at the coffee shop located in our hotel. We sat at a huge open window and watched the day begin, the sun brighten the sky, and lots more joggers running by than we would have imagined. It really is beautiful here.

View from the Top of Diamond Head

We decided to go to Diamond Head and do the climb up to the top of the crater. While waiting on the bus to take us to the State Park, a cab driver asked 'who is going to Diamond Head?' Three couples crammed into his cab and he charged us $3 a head. He told us he was the best tour guide on the island and that we should call him if we wanted another cab ride or a tour of other places. He gave us his card, but we never called him back. He was a bit too braggadocious, if you know what I mean. We arrived at the State Park and begin the walk up the crater. The climb is 780 feet up the mountain. A lot of it is pretty steep and some of it takes you through tunnels carved in the mountain during World War 2. The view at the top was breathtaking; literally!

Military Bunker at the Top of Diamond Head

At one spot near the top we were offered the chance to purchase certificates saying we had been here (in case we don't make it back down?). We were told the money was going to some charity for the blind. Just about the time we reached the top, Jeff started feeling the effects of the climb. His left knee started turning to jelly which made the walk down a lot more challenging, but we made it. We stopped at the bottom and enjoyed some shave ice and Gatorade from a vendor who obviously had a good location. Lots of hikers needed refreshment after that trek.

We caught another (different) cab back to the hotel and booked a Luau for the evening. Took a look at the weather forecast in the paper. I guess we'll be OK at the luau.

Same weather Every Day

We walked around along the beach for a while and stopped in a few of the nearby shops. The road along the beach had a couple of beautiful streetscapes.

A Pretty Elaborate Streetscape

Near this streetscape a friendly police officer volunteered to take our picture.

One of the Few Pictures of Us Together

Since we were not yet over our jet lag we stopped at a coffee shop and bought some chocolate covered coffee beans. We had read somewhere in our pre-trip research that you shouldn't eat too many at once, but a small dose, say 5 or 6 beans provided just the right pick-me-up to keep you going. They worked like a charm. We ended up using our magic beans, Most of the Guests Had Not Yet Arrived which is what we called them from then on, a number of times during the vacation. After window shopping, we sat out on the hotel patio and had a bite of lunch, grabbed a shower a little later and got ready to catch the shuttle bus to Paradise Cove on the West shore of O'ahu for the luau. The ride to the luau was very entertaining. Cousin Flo, our bus tour guide, and Aloha Ann, our bus driver, did a great job of making the time pass easily. We even learned what the ABC Stores accronym stands for. Flo said it was 'All Blocks covered' (ha ha). At the luau they had several entertaining events before the meal. We saw coconut brasierred girls teaching hula lessons, spear throwing, coconut tree climbing, nets being ceremonially pulled from the lagoon, etc. For the luau dinner we had some great food; pulled pork, catch of the day, yum, yum! During dinner we were entertained by quite a few hula dance and song performers, including the obligatory 'bring some audience members up on the stge to embarrass them' type entertainment. Fortunately, we didn't get pressed to participate in that part. The bus ride back to the hotel was much less energetic than the ride there. Everyone was stuffed and tired. We got back to the hotel around 9:30pm and were in bed by 9:50pm.

Climbing a coconut tree. Coconut Brassiers are Authentic, Right?