Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Woke at 6:15am. The sun is shining! I must be sleeping well to rise so early!
I made some coffee and worked on the blog. Around 10am I decided to go out and do some shopping for souvenirs. The air is warm and humid and the streets are filling with people. Within an hour, my shopping is done and I am feeling pretty good about that!
At 11:20am, my DH and I are waiting for the trolley to take us to the Hilton for our noon submarine launch. The scheduled departure time of 11:25am passes. At 11:35am, I call the Hilton Atlantis Adventure and inquired to the arrival of our trolley. “Five minutes,” the lady said. As we wait, I speak to a woman from Australia who is also waiting for the Atlantis trolley. She, her husband, and two young boys are in Hawaii for 10 days. Her kids have already done all the water activities (surfing, paddle boarding, and snorkeling and they are looking to travel to other islands. “Maui,” I suggested. “I’ve haven’t been there but you can catch a plane and go there for the day. Ask your hotel concierge.” Her face lit up and she thanked me!
I have a confession. This is my fourth trip to the Islands. My first trip was for business sometime in the late 80’s (no one was blogging back then and I have pretty much forgotten the whole experience). For my second trip I went to the island of Hawaii with my sisters sometime in the mid-90s. My third trip was to the island of Kauai in December 2001 (my girlfriend flaked on me and my then-boyfriend DH filled in for her — a much better companion, I must say). Yep, I’m not a newbie here but the wonder of the place has not faded for me!
In a couple of minutes, the trolley arrives. In a few more minutes, we are at the boat launch for the Hilton Atlantis Submarine Adventure. The ride to the submarine is rough! We are walking around the deck like a bunch of drunkards as the boat lists to and fro. We are sailing to the dingy that indicates where our submarine will surface. Then we see it — at first it is just a strange coloration in the water, than the white sub pops up and appears to bob on the surface. We pull up alongside and watch the previous tour crawl out the same hole that we will be crawling into.
Overall, the submarine ride was terrific! Here are some pictures:
The young man narrating our tour was funny and kept us on our toes. “Hey look, there is a whale!” he exclaimed as the sub rises to the surface. Everyone in the sub turns aft with their cameras at the ready! “Yeah, it is a whale of a dingy!” Ok, he got me…
After the submarine ride, we are back on the boat and sailing for the mainland. The ride is still rough and there a number of people who appear to be sea sick. My DH and I head for the top deck where the open air has a calming effect on my stomach. Also, keeping my eyes on the horizon seems to help quite a bit. We also saw two sea turtles as they came up for a gulp of air!
We arrive back at the Hilton Hotel around 1pm. My DH and I decide to grab a quick snack at one of the best locations on Waikiki beach, the Topics Bar and Grill. Here we shared a juicy grilled fish sandwich (on toasted Hawaiian sweet bread) and nursed two tall cool glasses of water. The view is spectacular, the breeze is gentle and cool and we could have sat here all day! And we did — for the next two hours, at least.
Around 3pm, we walked back to our hotel to check email and grab a nap before our 6:15pm reservations at Duke’s in the Outrigger Waikiki hotel. We are told that this is the best place for fish, and they have a salad bar too!
I stayed at the Outrigger Waikiki hotel on my first trip to Honolulu and I remember dining at Duke’s often since I worked late hours. But what is there not to remember about Dukes! There is the great food but also the view of Diamond Head, the sunsets, and the cool and fruity drinks laced with rum. I have my fingers crosses that they will seat us on the lanai, under one of those grass umbrellas. Alas, those tables are saved for guests, but we got a table close to one! When we arrived, we were seated immediately. Our waiter appeared just as quickly.
We started with the all-you-can-eat salad bar. Everything was fresh and bountiful. My favorite item was the Macadamia Nut Muffins, I had two!
For dinner, I ordered the swordfish served “Duke’s style” — grilled with a basil and garlic sauce. My DH ordered the Macadamia Nut Crusted fish. Both dishes were excellent!!!
Of course, when at Duke’s, you must order the house dessert called the Hula Pie! This mound of pure decadence consists of Macadamia Nut ice cream on a chocolate cookie crust and topped with deep dark chocolate sauce, more Macadamia Nuts, and whipped cream. One taste and our diets flew out the window like flakes of coconut on a cool Hawaiian breeze…. Ya, just like that!
After dinner, we walked about twenty yards, took off our sandals, and took an evening walked on the beach. The tide was high and the lights of the hotel were in full bloom.
We noticed fireworks in the distance and walked until we got a closer look. It was the Hilton and the fireworks were part of their luau offering. After the fireworks, we found our way to the Hilton hotel lobby and sat in their red rocking chairs overlooking their fountain and pool. You know, I like the Hilton!
We returned to our hotel around 10pm. I downloaded all the pictures of the day and plugged in all our electronic devices. My DH and I crawled into bed still feeling the sugar rush of that Hula Pie. I don’t remember much after that.
Quote of the day: “You know, I could stay here all day!” — DH at the Tropics Bar and Grill with me and his iPhone.