This is the place. The place most people consider the ideal holiday destination. And, most of the traveling public are here. There seem to be a lot of different types of tourists here. They are obvious by what they wear, how they are reacting to their surroundings, how big their eyes are. .
Some folks have been here dozens of times. It may be in fact the ONLY place they have ever taken a vacation. They have seen the place grow and change for the last 20 years. It changes relatively slowly so unless they search their memory from the first time they were here they might not be conscious of the different surroundings.
There are people that have always dreamed of the prefect vacation and that would be in Hawaii and where more iconic than Waikiki. There was a fellow on the plane yesterday coming to Waikiki to celebrate his 50th birthday. From their level of excitement I don’t think they had ever set foot out of TO. For the most part this group of holidayers wander around completely overwhelmed by what is going on around them.
Young people are here to make the ‘scene’, account for another hefty section of the vacationers. I’m not a nightlife person any more so I can’t say for certain but wandering around today there seems to be sufficient number of bars to keep all that are here occupied until early morning.
It is Saturday and the waterfront has a goodly number of locals taking advantage of a day off to enjoy one of the main reasons for living on the island, the ocean. Several of the public picnic tables were occupied by 8am and the BBQ’s were being fired up ready for the crowd to arrive for lunch.
It seems to be an easy place to bring kids. There were a lot of kids on the plane yesterday and the beaches and promanade are crawling with families with young children. The water here is not too rough and even though kids still require minding it is not like some places where a single wave could scoop up a child and wash them out to sea. There are plenty of ice cream shops placed just far enough apart you could make it most of the way along the ‘boardwalk’ by coaxing the kids from shop to shop.
What all this makes for is a highrise jungle the length of the beach. There are few building less than 20 stories but not many. The streets don’t seem to be too crowded but the sidewalks are overflowing. Not like, say, Hong Kong where it is hard to find 6 square inches of space to walk on, everyone there walks with purpose and it is quite organized. Here the walkers are in a vaction haze, there is little convention, sometimes you pass on the right, sometimes on the left, sometimes you have to move over, other times the folks coming towards us make the adjustment. There is an abundance of places to eat, none of them cheap. People are here on vacation and they have to eat so the prices reflect that fact.
It’s not really my kind of place to travel to but it is not the worst place I have ever been either. It is good place to stop mid Pacific to break up the flight to the Southern Hemisphere. We have just over 24 hours here. We had an alright sleep last night even though it was off our body rhythm. This morning we walked along the entire length of the beach and then had a good swim in the ocean parallel to the beach where the local triathalons are held. And to keep our minds occupied while swimming the local government provides saltwater fish to watch. Saw several humuhumunukunukuapua’a, Hawaii’s state fish, a spotted box fish, a few needle fish, and the highlight, a very calm, cool and collected turtle swimming about 2 feet underneath us.
Easy place to have a holiday. Everything a person could need while taking a break from the day to day at home. Just not much of departure from what our western world has to offer so maybe not so much from which one can add to their worldly knowledge.