Upon our arrival at Honolulu International airport, we gathered our luggage and stood outside the Thrifty Car pick up and waited and waited but no bus. After about 20 minutes, a rival company, after seeing us wait as he went by 4 times, agreed to take us to Thrifty because he went right by the place. Thrifty is not just at the airport but at least ¾ mile away. As it turned out, I made the reservation for 2 days later by mistake (I won’t go into it) but they had a car available, a dirty one but upon complaint we received a clean on, a Ford which was a very nice car and very quiet as compared to my Camero. The directions to return the car were confusing also and I had to ask directions. Next time we go to Oahu, I am renting an Avis or Hertz no matter what the cost. Life is too short to deal with the hassle.
We check in to the pink exterior Royal Hawaiian and have a room slightly facing Diamondhead in the newer tower.
The next day, a special tour has been arranged to tour Pearl Harbor, guest of Admiral Dixon Smith with his executive assistant Stanford Yuen hosting. The tour was not just out to the Arizona Memorial, but also included a close-up of Ford Island, the shipyards, the mothballed fleet, active ships, the USS Missouri, and memorial to the USS Utah. At the USS Arizona, the class presented a floral tribute on behalf of the Class of ’61. Among the highlights of the tour were a view of the aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson (the ship that buried Osama ben Laden at sea) and we saw a nuclear submarine return to port. We passed Hickam Air Force Base on Ford Island and a series of mothballed ships. And at the USS Arizona, evident of oil rising from the sunken tomb is clearly visible.
That evening we walked about a mile up Kalakaua Ave. to the Tiki Bar and Grill overlooking Kuhio Beach for happy hour and some light pupu (hors’d oeuvres).
The following day about 11 of us played golf at the Navy Marine Golf Course. After making my excuses that I was playing with rented clubs and had only played 9 holes this year, I parred the first hole and shot a respectable 94 after three triple bogies. Meanwhile, Judith had lunch at the Willows restaurant, a favorite meeting place since 1944.
That evening some of the class boarded the 65 foot catamaran for a two hour boat ride along the coast. To the right of the left photo below, the brown Sheridan and Pink Royal Hawaiian can be seen.
The following day, Thursday June 9th, we visited the Iolani Palace and Chinatown. The Iolani Palace has been beautifully restored and the history of the royal family was rich in power and intrigue.
The guided walking tour of old Chinatown was another chapter in the rich history of various ethnic groups coming to the islands to contribute their labor. Lunch was at the New Empress restaurant at the Chinese Cultural Plaza.
To be continued