Friday, December 07, 2007

Oahu: Turtle Bay Resort

4 AM and we get up and carefully examine Kasia. No new pox! We get to go!

We then have a short flight to Vancouver, a not too awful rush to collect luggage, negotiate American immigration and customs, and catch our 8 AM flight to Honolulu. The scheduling was a bit tight, but Mary had researched the turn around extensively -- the percentage of on-time arrivals, the average time through customs, etc., and determined that rushing a bit here was the better option of that or waiting around the Vancouver airport for an additional four hours trying to entertain a four year old. The flight to Honolulu was uneventful, if long (longer for Mary who had to wrangle the kids -- I offered to switch off with her, but Kasia insists on being with Mom, and the seats are three and one, so, the best I can do is try to entertain Tigana from across the isle). The plane hit some air pockets which caused the adults to gasp a few times, but Kasia and Tigana are going, "whee!" and "Again! Do it again!" so not exactly traumatic.

We arrive at Honolulu in the pouring, and I am surprised to find that it is raining inside parts of the airport because although there is a ceiling, there are often no walls. I have a difficult time taking in the concept of a climate where walls are redundant, and wonder momentarily how they deal with it in the winter, and then I remember that this is is winter. The other thing that strikes me at once is the number of individuals in uniform. Of course, Hawaii is an important naval and air force base (actually, a whole bunch of bases, judging by the road maps) but I did get the sense that American society is much more highly militarized in comparison to our own.

We rented a car and drove to the north shore of Oahu, and the third thing we noticed is how polite the drivers were on the roads -- as nice as drivers in Halifax. People would let you in, or give you the wave if you let them in. You don't always even get that in Calgary any more.

We stopped at a little beach on the north shore in the rain to give the kids their first run through the sand, and to watch these enormous breakers crash into the shore. The surfing championships were being held that week along that shore because this is the season for the most impressive waves. Then back into the car and on our way to the Turtle Bay Resort (with lunch en route at my first ever Jack-in-the-box restaurant.)

The resort was great, we got a great room with an ocean view, and took the kids down to the beach. Turtle Bay, particularly in the rain, reminded me strongly of Tofino, only, you know -- warm. We had an early and excellent super at the adjoining Ola restaurant where I had the house specialty (a salom dish) with sea asparagus which I had never heard of before but which is amazingly good. Mary also notes that they made the best Mai Tai ever. The kids surprised us by behaving extremely well throughout supper, especially considering the jet lag, how excited they were, and how long and tiring a day it had been. So, after supper, it was off to bed for all.

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