Hawaii 2010 - Oahu

Our winter vacation begins on the island of Oahu. We spent two days and three nights on
Waikiki Beach. Our hotel was at the southeast end of the long string of big hotels on
the beach between Ft. DeRussy and Diamond Head. This picture was taken from our hotel
room and shows a typical day on the beach in this tropical paradise.

A close-up features the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, a.k.a. the "Pink Palace". An
older hotel, it has been remodeled and is very modern inside now.

Mary enjoys the beach at Waikiki from the grounds of the Pink Palace.

This was a really fun thing to do ... you can see us in the middle
of this outrigger canoe, riding the surf on Waikiki Beach. If you're
not a surfer, this is the best way to get up close and personal with them!

We pose with Duke Kahanamoku, probably the world's most famous surfer. He was
a champion Olympic swimmer, an actor, and is credited with bringing surfing to
the east coast of the U.S. He reigned as the king of water sports until he was
beaten in the 1924 Olympics by Johnny Weissmuller. At the time, Duke was 33
years old and Weismuller was 20. The baton had been passed.

While in Honolulu, we visited the National Cemetery at the Punchbowl Crater,
final resting place of many fallen heroes of the US military.

Buildings in the city of Honolulu cover up most of Diamond Head
these days in this shot taken from the entrance point of the
Punchbowl Crater, looking back toward Diamond Head.

Our driving tour of Oahu brings us to the back side of Diamond Head,
the side you never see in the tourist brochures. There we found this
beautiful Red Crested Cardinal, a common sight in the Hawaiian Islands.
(Thanks to the Hawaiian Audubon Society for all wild bird IDs.)

A drive to the north side of Oahu brings us to the region of "big surf",
Waiamea Bay. There is nothing as big as Mavericks in California here today,
but a few guys are out taking advantage of decent surf and a lot of warm sun.

People are quietly enjoying their day and hardly seem to notice the
nearby surf at Waiamea Bay, pounding the shoreline just 50 yards away.

Just a half mile up the beach from Waiamea Bay is the famous "Banzai Pipeline"
beach, a.k.a. "The Pipe". A few surfers are out here too, as moderate waves
give non-expert riders a good feel for what The Pipe can really deliver when
the swells come in to the beach. Wish I could be here to see the really big surf!

Even kite surfers are out in the turmoil just east of Pipeline.

Now let's move on to Maui ...

Click for Maui pix

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