I guess I should blog a bit on my current vacation to Hawaii. For those not privy to the story, I'm down here for the UW vs. Hawaii football game that will take place tomorrow evening. I took advantage of Alaska Airlines's introductory fares a few months back when they started new service to Honolulu from Seattle... for a little over $200 round trip, it's hard to say no.
Thursday morning we went to the airport to fly to Hawaii. I must say, I was surprised how many Dawg fans were at the airport. Apparently the lack of any bowl games the past few years has a lot of the die-hard fans ready to take anything they can get, even if it's an end-of-season game against Hawaii. We had probably at least 20 on our flight who were "obviously" going to the game, and probably others who weren't so apparent.
The flight was rather uneventful. I guess it went by pretty fast, but I wasn't the most comfortable, and started to get a bit of a headache by the end of the flight which didn't help matters. The plane was very nice and new (probably one of the newest Alaska Airlines planes I've ever flown on), but still was just a single-aisle 3-by-3 plane, that doesn't really scream "sure, take a 6 hour flight in this aluminum tube". Either way, it wasn't so bad.
We made our way to Honolulu, and as I stepped off the plane, didn't notice the heat so much as the humidity. Temperatures were probably in the low 80's, but humidity about 80%... suprisingly tolerable. I've determined that humidity is fine, as long as it isn't accompanied by blazing high heat. We got the rental car and headed to the hotel in Waikiki.
We were all hungry (myself, my sister and her friend), and were wanting some food. I figured we could just go to the hotel and then find something from there, but Amy insisted on finding a Zippy's and getting "real" food. After winding through the tangles of streets that they call Honolulu, we finally got to it and had food. Food good. I approve.
After making it to the hotel, the rest of Thursday was pretty uneventful, besides the obligatory post-flight nap time. Our hotel, the Aqua Waikiki Wave, is not glamorous, but it's big and right in the middle of everything. It's right behind the International Marketplace, and well located to just about anything you could ever want. We explored a bit, before we went to dinner with some of Amy's friends at Angelo Pietros, what I would describe as the closest thing you can get to an Asian Italian restaurant. It was mainly pizza and pasta, though the pasta definitely had an Asian flair to it, rather than being strictly Italian. I had spaghetti with clams, and it was, however, very good eats. After that Amy's Hawaiian friends all started showing up in droves as we spent a few hours at Senor Frogs. (Well, *they* spent a few more hours than I did, but that's besides the point. Fortunately it's only 3 blocks from our hotel, and I could just walk back when I got sick of them all. :))
Friday morning, Amy slept, as expected. I got up and drove out to the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor. I'd been there the last time I was in Hawaii, which was nearly 15 years ago, and wanted to check it out again. It hasn't changed much in 15 years. In fact, I decided not to wait the hour delay before I could take the boat out to the memorial, and decided to just head back. I stopped at Hilo Hatties for my fix of random Hawaiian junk and souveniers before swinging back by the hotel to pick up Amy who was finally up and ready to go. We got lunch at Bubba Gump's at the Ala Moana mall... I had probably some of the best fish and chips (mahi mahi) I have ever had. Food good. I still approve. We then went back to the hotel to rest for a few hours, and eventually get ready for the evening's dinner and festivities.
Long background story shortened to a few sentences... my sister Amy got really involved with the Hawaiian crowd when she was at the UW, so she has about 20 friends from Hawaii, half of which have since graduating moved back to the islands. This UW/Hawaii football game has sort of become a UW reunion for a lot of them, so it's been pretty well planned full of group events. Not a bad thing, I get to tag along and enjoy it. I actually have met most all of her friends before at various times in the past, though don't ask me to match faces to names for most of them. :)
So we went to this dinner that they had organized at the Natsunoya Tea House, which is apparently a long-standing institution in Honolulu, for a full Japanese dinner with tons of tasty food. There were 22 of us having this full family-style feast. It was tasty... mostly. :) More good food. Yet again, I approve.
Closing the evening was planned karaoke. I disapprove. I wasn't going to go, but I did for a bit. It was painful... painfully boring. Is it just me who does not understand the appeal of karaoke in the slightest. I don't really want to hear people sing bad versions of good songs. I think it would have been more fun if it were my friends, rather than 20 of Amy's friends, most of whom I don't know very well. I made the most of it for an hour or so, before leaving to head back to the hotel. Fortunately with enough of her friends, Amy can get a ride back on her own.
Waikiki is abuzz tonight, as I attempted to park in this micro-sized hotel parking garage which was completely full. I had to park in the garage on the next street over, which was sufficiently a pain in the neck, and about 20 minutes that really started to make me grumpy at 12:00am when I just want to get back to my hotel room and relax and sleep. But I finally made it back, found time to blog a bit, and now it's time for bed. This vacation is going to seriously mess with my internal clock, I say.
Tomorrow is the big game, much pre-game tailgating is planned, so it should be good times. But I should be awake for that, and that won't happen unless I sleep now. More tomorrow.