Scrimp, Splash, Splurge


The taxi to Pearl Harbor cost $40 from Waikiki so we decided to economize and take the bus back home. I shouldn’t say "we" because I protested the time it would take and thought the $30 we’d save wouldn’t be worth an extra hour of winding through various neighborhoods of Honolulu.

It actually turned out to be a nice time to just sit back and talk.  We even met some interesting people.  Ryan and I sat next to a guy from Kenya who is going to school in Hawaii to get his business degree.  We talked for a while about his life in Kenya and what he hopes to do with his education.  He was one of these people who just seemed genuine and kind.  After about 30 minutes I asked him where he was headed and he said Downtown Honolulu which I realized we had passed about 10 minutes earlier.  He said that it would have been considered rude to interrupt our conversation and he explained that people are always too busy racing from place to place just to talk.  (Boy did that make me feel shallow for arguing to take the taxi).  We finished up our conversation and he got off the bus and headed the other side of the road to catch another bus back to where he actually wanted to go.

We also met a guy from Boston who had just arrived in Honolulu two weeks ago.  He just decided after 5 winters in Boston that he wanted to move somewhere nice.  He had never been to Hawaii, but just got on a plane, found a place to live, found a job and was already enjoying life in the much more accommodating climate.


When we made it back to our hotel, which is 30 feet from Waikiki Beach, we were excited to see hundreds of people swimming, snorkeling, and diving off the breakwater into the surf.  We ran up to the room to get our masks, fins and snorkels.  In just a few minutes we were jumping into the waves and looking down at hundreds of colorful fishes.  Roby was especially into it. He saw several fishes just like "Scar" from Finding Nemo.  We also saw puffer fish, large green fish with a bump over their nose, and lots of tiger striped fish.  We were surprised at how salty the water is and how close the jagged coral reef is to the surface.  Ryan scraped up his foot and Cal got too much salt in his eyes so they didn’t last quite as long as Roby, but we all had fun.


After showering for dinner, we were eager to find a good sushi or fish place. We figured we had seen all these great fish, we might as well eat some.  When we asked the Concierge for help we noticed the buffet at the hotel had king crab legs, clams, salmon and other great stuff.  It was a bit pricey, actually very pricey, but after looking at few other restaurants in the area we decided to splurge.  We rationalized it in part because of all the money we saved taking the bus back from Pearl Harbor.  In the middle of the restaurant is a huge aquarium with many of the same fish we had seen snorkeling but also had two large Manta Rays and some sharks.  A woman was feeding the fish while we were eating.  Sue and I got the house special drink which was a hollowed out pineapple.  It came sitting in a dish of dry ice so it had a great effect of smoke bubbling up around it like a volcano.  We all stuffed ourselves.

We could barely walk, but decided to take a quick stroll down the beach just to see the scene.  They were showing a moving on a huge screen down the beach and people were still surfing and swimming.   Not that this is any surprise, but we’re realizing that in Hawaii they really do LOVE to surf.

We all collapsed at 9pm and fell asleep quickly.

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