America

Hawaii~Honolulu~Waikiki Beach

I had never thought of going to Hawaii before, mainly because it was too far away from Europe and because I already lived in paradisiac islands anyway, so I wasn’t particularly attracted to their beaches. However, destiny wanted me to visit it, at least once, as the flight Victor and I booked to go to LA had to stop in Honolulu (Hawaiian airlines), and the layover would be 12h, more than enough to go and visit the city a little bit.

Welcome to Hawaii~
Welcome to Hawaii~

So when we arrived to Honolulu, we had to go through customs and immigration and the lines were horribly long, even though we got off the plane very quick and walked as fast as we could. After going through more than an hour of lines, we had to take our luggage and check it in again, which took us another long line even though we only had to do the drop-off. I left with the impression that the Honolulu airport wasn’t that good nor ready to receive all those international passengers. Finding the bus to go to the city was another mission that we had to accomplish without the help of good signs… we were both missing Incheon airport! Luckily we speak English and Hawaii speaks English too, so we could ask around and people were incredibly nice (like in the Canary Islands), they all seemed to be happy with their life and work, everyone had a smile on the face. So finally we get on the city bus that takes you to downtown and Waikiki. Since it is a city bus it stops many times and takes about 1h to get to waikiki (30min to downtown) but its as cheap as $2,50

Waikiki first views
Waikiki first views

Anyway, we got to spend 1 really sunny and warm beautiful blue sky day at Waikiki beach. The area is very well built, with a lot of malls and shops, very clean and beautiful. If the Canary Islands had invested more time and money in planning our beaches, we could have been the exact same. The beach was really beautiful, with very blue water and fine sand, and the Diamond Peak sits serenely right there in front of you. Next to the beach and touching the sand, there are some hotels and restaurants, all of them busy all the time. But really, our beaches in the Canary Islands have nothing to envy!

Waikiki Beach, ships, surf boards, tiki bar and Diamond Peak
Waikiki Beach, ships, surf boards, tiki bar and Diamond Peak

After strolling for a little, we decided to eat in one of the restaurants as we were starving since breakfast time. Victor bought me a flower garland (lei) made of real, fresh flowers that smelled like heaven! We sat down next to the beach and enjoyed our watermelon & lemon & lime cocktail while taking some more pictures for our collection, and ordered some food: calamari and toasted tomato hummus for starters, and bbq ribs for seconds. Everything was actually really delicious, and not a tourist trap like I had thought. The price was also OK, we spent $50 including the two appetizers, the ribs ($17) and the cocktail ($10).

eating in Honolulu Dukes
Delicious!
Mimi with Lei
Me with my Lei garland

We still had some time to go after this long lunch, but sadly we couldn’t join a sailing trip that takes you to see the sunset because we would be in a big big rush to get back to the airport. The young owner of the ship, instead of trying to convince us to get on the boat and make some extra money, advised us not to take the risk of missing our flight. I must say it again, people here are nice and look for everyone’s happiness, not for their own benefit. I like that. Another observation though, there were a lot of overweighted people! Must be the combination of good food and slow life~

We went to Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii!
Hanging out at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii!

And that was our romantic layover celebrating our 8 month together! Yay~ Back on the plane, we took some more silly pictures although my right cheek was quite swollen due to an inflammation caused by a new root canal~ I am having the worst of lucks with my teeth T^T This tooth started to hurt 2 days before the trip, but just a little bit. However, as soon as I got on the plane to Hawaii, the pain started to increase steadily, until I could barely bear with it. A few pain killers, gargles with salt and water, and beer (yes, alcohol helps control the inflammation, but you’re not supposed to drink the alcohol though), I was feeling much better and able to eat, but my cheek was still swollen and I had a weird smile on my face.

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Before the flight, when the Lei was still alive and my cheek still swollen
20150522_164929
The lei almost dead
Unfortunately, the Lei didn't last the 5h flight to LA
Unfortunately, the Lei didn’t last the 5h flight to LA

Versión en Español

Nunca había planeado ir a Hawai, quizás porque está demasiado lejos de Europa o quizás porque ya vivía en una isla paradisiaca. Sin embargo, el destino quiso que visitara Hawai, pues nuestro vuelo de Corea a Los Angeles pasaba por Honolulu y paraba por 12 horas.

Welcome to Hawaii~
Bienvenidos a Hawaii~

Al llegar a Honolulu, tuvimos que pasar por aduanas y las colas fueron largas y lentas. Tras esperar más de una hora, conseguimos salir, pero nos comunicaron que teníamos que recoger nuestras maletas y volver a registrarlas en el aeropuerto, así que recogimos nuestro equipaje y nos dirigimos a la cola rápida del “drop-off”, solo para darnos cuenta de que la cola era igual de larga que la normal. Finalmente, encontrar el bus que nos llevaba al centro tampoco fue pan comido, pues el aeropuerto está muy mal señalizado. Me pregunto cómo es posible que sea un aeropuerto internacional con tanta afluencia… pero bueno, por suerte en Hawai se habla Inglés, así que al menos podemos comunicarnos con la gente y todo el mundo es extremadamente agradable (como en Canarias). El bus es un “City bus” que para muchísimas veces pero sólo cuesta $2,50 y tarda media hora para llegar a “downtown” (centro) o 50 minutos para la playa Waikiki.

Waikiki first views
Waikiki primeras impresiones

Al menos pudimos pasar un día precioso en la playa Waikiki. Hacía ya mucho calor y humedad, pero la brisa marina hizo el día muy agradable. La zona está bien planeada y construida, con varios centros comerciales de alto estandar y tiendas de primeras marcas. Se nota que ha habido inversión. Si Gran Canaria hubiese tenido mejor planificación, creo que no tendría nada que envidiar a Honolulu, pues las playas son igual de bonitas, con sus aguas azules y finas arenas.

Waikiki Beach, ships, surf boards, tiki bar and Diamond Peak
La playa Waikiki: barquitos, muchas tablas de surf, cabañas hawaiianas y el Diamond Peak de fondo.

Nos sentamos en la terraza de un restaurante en primera fila de la playa. Compramos un collar de flores (Lei), cuyas flores estaban bien fresquitas y olían de maravilla. Pedimos un cocktail de sandía, limon y lima, y algo para comer. Todo junto nos costó unos 50 dólares, y para la calidad y la localización, nos nos podemos quejar. Pensamos que sería una trampa para turistas, pero nos gustó mucho el sitio. De entrantes tuvimos calamares fritos (como a la romana) y un hummus con tomates tostados. De segundo solo nos cupo un plato de costillas con sabor a mango.

eating in Honolulu Dukes
Ñam ñam!
Mimi with Lei
Yo con mi Lei

Aún nos quedaba tiempo así que dimos varias vueltas por la playa y nos apeteció montarnos en un barquito que ofrecía una excursión para ver el atardecer por 1h, 30 dólares. Sin embargo, nos preocupaba no llegar al aeropuerto a tiempo así que le preguntamos al dueño de la barca y nos recomendó, muy sinceramente y sin ánimo de lucrarse, ir al aeropuerto. La gente aquí realmente es agradable y parece feliz. Otra observación no tan positiva es que vimos muchísima gente obesa. Debe ser la mezcla de buena vida y comida junto a pocas preocupaciones.

We went to Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii!
En Waikiki

Y así se pasó nuestra parada en Hawaii, coincidiendo con nuestra celebración de 8 meses juntos. Ya en el avión, nos tomamos unas cuantas fotos más y me di cuenta de que mi mejilla se había hinchado bastante. Durante el vuelo anterior me había empezado a doler mucho un diente, tanto que tuve que tomar medicinas y hacer gárgaras con alcohol o agua con sal (remedios caseros que leímos en internet). Aunque parecen una tontería, funcionó bastante bien, pues dejó de dolerme.

20150522_165030
Antes de volar, el Lei aún estaba bien, aunque mi mejilla empezaba a hincharse más y más.
20150522_164929
Aterrizando, el lei ya iba medio marchito
Unfortunately, the Lei didn't last the 5h flight to LA
Desafortunadamente, el Lei no sobrevivió las 5h a LA.

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