The TSA decided to flex its muscles last night and pissed off a plane load of people. All in the name of keeping the USA safe of course. One can’t complain about such actions or we will get ourselves in some sort of hot water and even if innocent will be delayed indefinitely or maybe permanently. Having done the unusual for us and checked bags, we arrive at 1.30am and begin standing around the carousel with a crowd to wait for the bags to appear out of the little holes. We wait, and wait, and wait. One of the attendants with a radio approaches the group and announces the TSA has chosen to randomly check our plane’s bags and it should be shortly that the bags appear. A complete hour after we arrive, the bags start to appear, we’re talking 2:30 am. We are lucky our bags pop up in the first 10 so we can get out reasonably fast in comparison but I am still quite ticked. I will think twice about checking bags next time through the US.
Another day in Honolulu. And this time it is the Memorial Day weekend and the place embodies all that I abhor in a place to travel to. It is not even maxed out on vacationers and the place is way too crowded. We went to have breakfast yesterday and had to bypass the first two establishments we tried because there was a line up too long to wait in. We ended up ordering food at a McD’s computer because there was another line at the tills. The car traffic does not seem to be too bad but we do not have a car to test it out. The foot traffic on the promenade is bad, we have to weave our way in and out of slow folks and try to keep to the edge of the walk so the faster ones can get by. The beach is packed, you actually have to look for a spot to set down a towel. This beach is huge stretching for miles and in spots twenty yards deep. It is relatively expensive, caused by supply and demand of course. They will tell you it is because it is an island, which is partly true, it is an island and they have you captive so they can charge what they want, not the reason they imply that they have to import everything because they seem to get most of the stuff from one island or another. The character of the place is that of any large NA city excepting it does have very nice ocean front exposure. We are only here as stopover in our travels and it is ok for that. Everyone has different reason and wants for places to vacation but it is not some place I would come for my travels.
Today I see a better side of Honolulu. We cross the literal bridge and wander along the ‘locals’ beach. I am quite sure we are the only tourists in among thousands, well maybe a thousand Honoluluites, Honoluluians, maybe?. It’s Memorial Day. On this day every year there is tradition to do with lanterns. The people gather at this beach and build lanterns, they adorn the lanterns with the names of people that have died. Ones they miss I presume. At 6pm these lanterns are lit and sailed out into the ocean. Not sure of the entire ceremony but it has something to do with very large outrigger canoes paddling in formation as they are out practicing early in the afternoon while we watch. There is also a huge temporary stage set for the official proceedings of the evening. Hundreds of folding chairs are set and ready for the folks with the proper credentials and at noon when we walk by people have already staked out their viewing tarp just outside the fenced area.
This is real nice beach. It is long and wide and sandy. The water is calm, protected by a reef quite far from shore. It looks good for a distance swim, I think if one swam the whole length and return it would be at least 4 km.
When the locals show up for a day at the beach they come prepared. With 10′ X 10′ shade tents, beach chairs and mats, tables for a days worth of food, bbq’s, coolers and any other thing we might need for a week long car camping trip. There are hundreds of these encampments lining the edge of the beach and onto the grassy section on the other side of the promenade. Very few people have just a towel and a bottle of sunscreen like we might have when we go on our beach outing.
If we are passing through Honolulu again this is the beach I will head to. I think it would be our private playground on a regular weekday. Might have to share on a weekend thought. Maybe we would get feed by some local family feeling sorry for the unprepared tourists.