Friday, February 26, 2010

On the Way Home

At the beginning of the day, I was faced with 44 hours of traveling
to get home. Yes, I like traveling, but even for me, that's a long time.
My "day" would take me from Christchurch, to Sydney, to Honolulu,
to Dallas, and finally to Grand Junction. A very long trip indeed!
My longest layover (9 hours) was to be in Honolulu. I've never
been to Hawaii before so it turned out to be a real treat. My friend,
Liz, who we travelled with in Peru and Ecuador was staying the week
in Hawaii and was renting a car, so she generously offered to take
me on a ride around Oahu.

Nine hours isn't a lot of time, especially when I had to get back to
the airport to catch my flight to Dallas laster in the day. So, to get
a brief overview, we took off to the north shore. Along the way, we
went by the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Much of the center of Oahu
is rural and mountainous, filled with large farms like this one.

We ran across this fun sign in a small town named Waialua. Just a
sign of things to come.

We saw all kinds of surfers off of Puaena Point and the biggest waves
I had ever seen. They were HUGE! I had heard that the waves on
the north shore were big, but it was way beyond my expectations.
It didn't make me want to be a surfer anytime soon, but if there
are any surfers reading this, this is the place you want to be!

All along the rest of the north shore it was really beautiful. Kind of
like the Hawaii you picture in your mind and not the urban, big
city feeling of Honolulu.

We also drove by a number of fruit stands. We stopped at one and
they had great fruits and vegetables of all kinds. Some of which I
hadn't seen before. Lots of Pineapples, Papayas and Bananas.

Liz bought lots of fruit for her week-long stay and we both had
fun enjoying the smells of all of the fruit, including the Papayas.

As a vexillologist, I enjoyed seeing the Hawaiian flag, blowing in
the breeze.

My brief tour of Oahu was soon over and I had to get back to the
airport. Liz and I said our goodbyes and she went her way and I
went mine. Hers, hopefully a fun, weeklong stay in the islands, and
me, many more hours of flying and waiting before getting home.

I wasn't that thrilled with Honolulu's airport. It reminded me a bit of a
more tropical LAX, built about the same time I'm guessing, but at least
it was more organized, laid back and gave you the feeling of place.
I enjoyed the gardens outside of the gate area. Very tranquil.

Before getting on the plane, I noticed this mural. it reminded me a
bit of the Paul Gauguin murals we saw in the airport at Tahiti. It was
a nice calming scene before getting on a 7 hour flight.

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