When chilly winter weather hits Manhattan a lot of us have one thought: let’s get out of here and go to a spot where the sun shines. The result is an exodus to Florida or to one of the Caribbean islands. However, if you’re up for a long plane trip to a sunny paradise then it’s time for you to think about the Hawaiian Islands.
The weather in this magical place is like Acapulco, which is always hot. It’s also not like the Bahamas, where it’s hot one day and cool the next. This can be unsettling when you’re on vacation.
None of these spots has what Hawaii has, namely: a rain shower every afternoon that lasts for about 15 minutes and then disappears. The Pacific trade winds can also kick up in December. This means Hawaii’s graceful palm trees take a brutal pounding. But their supple trunks allow them to bend. So they rarely, if ever, break.
Here are brief descriptions of three Hawaiian Islands: Oahu, Kauai and The Big Island.
Tourists Love Shopping in Busy Honolulu
If you just want to rest and relax perhaps the island of Oahu, and particularly the city of Honolulu, are not for you. Personally, I love it. Because Manhattan residents like to be where the action is, we elected to stay at The Breakers Hotel at 250 Beach Walk. It’s an easy one-half- block walk to Waikiki Beach.
The Breakers is a charming, unpretentious hotel that is built around a swimming pool and has units with kitchenettes that come in very handy for coffee and toast in the morning. For fun, we decided to rent a car and drive to the North Shore to watch a professional surfing competition held at the Banzai Pipeline, which is regarded as one of the great wonders of the surfing world. A huge crowd with long lens cameras and binoculars gathered to watch this event.
The Spectacular Beauty of the Island of Kauai
This is my favorite island because it’s more serene than Oahu and more picturesque than The Big Island. We left all our belongings at our hotel in Oahu and flew to Kauai for four days just before Christmas. It’s a short flight that takes about 20 minutes.
We stayed in a condo owned by a wealthy Japanese family and, upon entering, noticed a sign asking us to remove our shoes. After settling in, our first order of business was to arrange a scenic helicopter tour of the breathtaking Na Pali Coast. This was an event that will stay with us forever.
Our helicopter to the spectacular Na Pali Coast on Kauai
Upon our arrival at Air Kauai we were given Bose headsets so we could hear the pilot’s comments as we traveled down the incredible Na Pali Coast. This segued into soaring, orchestral music as the helicopter turned right and slowly circled the majestic Waimea Canyon. It was such a moving experience I was almost moved to tears.
The Rugged Beauty of Hawaii’s Big Island
This island is entirely different from the other two. Driving in from the airport I thought we had landed on the moon. Volcanic rocks dotted the landscape. The big attraction here is the live Kilauea Volcano that often unleashes a powerful flow of lava with a dramatic, fiery finish that ends up in the Pacific Ocean. Alas, we missed this because our helicopter flight was canceled – the sky was too overcast. That’s life.
Colorful koi – The Big Island
MAY WE SUGGEST…
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This is the first thing I saw when perusing the 50th anniversary issue of the Smithsonian magazine for April 2020. This eye-opening 10-page article (with spectacular photos) is titled, “The Ship in the Ice” and concerns a topic we’ve all been hearing about for years, e.g., global warming.
The pandemic this year has affected all of us in many ways. Two things that stand out in my mind: people definitely need people (to paraphrase the song “People” sung by Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl). The phone, email, computer, TV and all the other digital creations we use DO NOT take the place of human interaction. We all need to see and talk to each other. That said we have also learned that we can work at home very efficiently and handle our normal workload if necessary. Never commute again? I don’t think that will happen, but perhaps we’ll find a happy medium – time will tell.
I have often found that when a person achieves incredible success – after a long struggle – the back-story is almost as fascinating as the achievement itself. That’s why I was interested in, yet another, Andy Warhol write-up that appeared in the May 2020 issue of the Smithsonian magazine.
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