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Waikiki Vacation
5 December 2009

Waikiki

We went to Hawaii on vacation!

Even though we live here, Hawaii is still a nice place for a vacation.  This time we went to Oahu.  Our niece, Jaclyn, is a talented athlete and she was attending an all-star softball camp.  That provided the perfect opportunity for a family vacation.

For us, going to Honolulu is like a trip to the big city.  Kailua-Kona is a medium sized city, just large enough for a Walmart and a McDonalds but not large enough for a night life or any serious shopping.  For any of that big city stuff we have to fly to Oahu.  It's amazing how many people, buildings and cars are packed onto that island.  Luckily the island is surrounded by ocean so there are plenty of beaches for all those people.

President-elect Obama was visiting Oahu the same time we were.  He was staying at a rather fancy beach house while we were staying in a rather plain room on the 15th floor of a hotel.  He took his kids to the zoo, only a block away from where we were staying.  Several secret service agents and a horde of reporters followed him everywhere he went but they generally left us alone.

Surfer

We accomplished several things on this trip that we've always wanted to do.  Valerie has always wanted to hike up Diamond Head and we found time for that.  Magnificent views from the top.  We even saw some whales out in the ocean.

I've always wanted to try surfing some of the world famous Waikiki waves.  We didn't get any good pictures which is fine because I didn't catch any good waves.  I caught a couple waves just nothing worthy of a picture.  Mostly I just paddled around and tried to not look like a kook.  I injured my foot on some rocks which was the best part because I could limp around for a couple days afterwards and tell everyone that I hurt my foot while surfing at Waikiki.

I've also always wanted to watch the big surf on the north shore.  They get some absolutely gigantic waves there during a good winter storm.  No such luck while we were there.  We got a winter storm complete with rain but only average sized waves.  We were having a picnic on the beach when the rain chased us back to the car.

Dole Maze

Another stop on our trip was the Dole pineapple plantation.  We grow some delicious pineapple on our Kona coffee farm so I was hoping to learn some tricks from a real pineapple plantation.  Unfortunately the visitor's center has a huge gift shop but not much in the way of actual pineapple farming information.

The Dole plantation has a giant maze and that was a lot of fun.  It's advertised as the world's largest maze.  It certainly is large.  There are eight checkpoints hidden in the maze.  It took a couple hours to find five of them then it started to rain.  It was a gentle rain at first but quickly grew into a downpour.  It's amazing how easily you can get lost in a maze if you're running for cover.  By the time we found our way out the downpour was over and we were all completely soaked.

The softball games were the main reason for our trip to Oahu.  Those girls can pitch that ball astoundingly fast.  It's certainly not little league, some of the girls will probably pick up college scholarships.  I'm not normally a big baseball fan but watching their games was a lot of fun.  They are very good players so there's all the strategy, suspense and action of a pro game yet there's no crowd so you're right up close to everything.

It was a fun vacation.  Most Hawaiians go to Las Vegas for vacation but I'm glad we decided to stay in Hawaii instead.  Of course after a couple days of being in the big city it's nice to get back home to our quiet little Kona coffee farm.

Softball Out




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