Friday, September 12, 2008


And we're off! It's the start of yet another dive vacation. Starting off slow and easy, we flew to Honolulu this morning. That's five hours in the air. After one day in Hawaii we'll have 13 hours to fly to Bali, via Guam.

In a flash of extraordinarily poor judgment, we decided to take the shuttle bus to Waikiki. It worked really well for us on a previous visit, but in retrospect, that's because then our hotel was one of the first to drop off, where this time we were closer to the Diamond Head end of things, which was one of the last. So we sat on the bus a long time.

The good news was that when we arrived at our hotel (the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani), they upgraded us to an ocean-view room. About the time she said upgrade, I blurted out “Sweet!” and she paused, typed a few keys, and upgraded us to a suite. So a random homophone paid off! We were on the 28th floor in a corner suite with a nice view of the ocean and beach.

Since we had all that time on the bus, we spent much of it reading tourist brochures, and decided it might be fun to check out Cirque Hawaii. It appears not to be actually affiliated with Cirque du Soleil, but some of the acts were definitely either copies of the real thing. Parts were kind of cheesy (group jump rope, even in black light just isn't all that thrilling). But it was a fun way to spend the evening.

Then we strolled down the street (they were having a kind of street fair/block party) to our dinner reservation at the Hau Tree Lanai restaurant. Tasty dinner, and Danny the sommelier was very helpful and friendly. He pointed us to a very tasty French wine that went well with both of our main dishes: a filet mignon and the avocado-and-crab encrusted mahi mahi.

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