Day 12 – Holiday in Honolulu

Day 12 and our third day in Hawaii we woke to find ourselves pulling into Honolulu. We would be spending two days in Honolulu and had planned to just play it by ear. Ideally we would have liked to have visited Pearl Harbour but much of it was closed on Sunday’s, and as we later found out a large convention was going to be in town on Monday making most tourist attractions in Honolulu a no-go. However it was easy to fall in love with Honolulu and set in motion a plan to make a return trip to Hawaii in the future.
A gorgeous hot Hawaiian day, we began it by grabbing a bus into town and making our way to Waikiki beach. Martin had been here before, but for me I was getting my first glimpse at this paradise. Perfect golden sand beaches and beautiful blue skies, and of course…tourists everywhere! People lounging on the beach or playing in the waves,surfing, swimming, body-boarding, paddle-boarding, catamarans, yachts and kayaks, with fancy resorts and hotels stretching along the coastline, it was all a brilliant collage of what I had imagined Waikiki Beach to be. And I was happy to note I wasn’t the whitest person on the beach.

Waikiki Beach


I look grumpy but really I'm not

It was a lazy day, and totally perfect. We spent a few hours basking in the sun reading, waiting for our skin to become so unbearably hot there was nothing left to do but immerse ourselves in the cool pacific blue. Backwards and forwards we went. Wandering a further along we went and explored the International Market Place and a nearby mall, both beautiful in design with open spaces and lush vegetation. Browsing at the many, many island jewellery stands of shells and pearls, Hawaiian knickknacks and keepsakes. Martin brought a shark tooth and a bone carving necklace and I splurged on a pearl ring that I had dreamt about for a while. What better place to buy a pearl than in Hawaii. I went to a small little booth called the Pearl factory where I handpicked an oyster and had it opened in front of me by the lovely sales associate who ironically enough was named Shelly. I then chose a ring setting with a traditional Hawaiian Maile Leaf design and had the pearl set into it; a great little souvenir to remember Hawaii by.

The International Market Place


Inside the mall


Martin - exhausted!


The Mall - upper level


Looking out from the mall


View from the mall


Digging for my pearl in the oyster I chose


Shelly making my pearl ring

Backwards and forwards we went between the beach, the sea, and the shops, lapping up the energy of the beautiful, vibrant city, until finally it was time to head back to the ship.

Statues of Royalty


The mall at night - photo's don't do it justice

Drunk on the wonderful day we had had we somehow ended up on the wrong bus and found ourselves walking dark unfamiliar streets, having overspent on the money we had taken with us and only a vague idea of just where we were headed. The one consoling thing was the Zaandam wasn’t due to leave until the next evening, but still it rattled us a bit that again our sense of where we should be had been wrong. But of course we made it back to our room. No harm done, and another adventure etched into our brains.

The dog waiting for us in our room when we got home


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