People keep asking me when I am going to write about my impressions of Hawaii and what I did the whole time I was there.
As most of you know, I spent three weeks over the Thanksgiving holiday with my grandnephew at his home in Ewa Beach on Oahu; pronounced eh-va, as I was quickly told when I arrived.
Hawaii, or at least Oahu, is a combination of the ordinary and the special. Tina Taite’s daughter, Lani, told me to take the No. 42 bus to the USS Arizona war memorial. I did that, but I stayed on the bus all the way through Honolulu to Waikiki Beach. The 42 ran about two blocks from my grandnephew’s home so it was easy.
On the round trip, I saw freeways that were just like the freeways here in California. I saw older housing developments that could just as easily been in Fairfield. Then, as I went through Honolulu, it appeared that at least half of the traffic was tour buses. When I got to Waikiki Beach, it was almost all tour buses and tourist stuff.
On Oahu, there is a lot of conversation about, and pride in, “The Bus.” They go anywhere and everywhere and it’s very inexpensive. A monthly pass costs $30. An annual pass for seniors is only $30. As a result, many folks don’t own cars. They just ride the bus. They even have a bus that circles the island. A full day tour is only $35. I didn’t take it because I was spending time with Wes, my grandnephew.
They also have an unusual way of numbering homes and streets. Subdivisions are identified by the street they are on and the range of house numbers in the subdivision. A street or block would just have a range of numbers like 250-290 with no other street name. Different, but easy to get used to.
The weather was great. I expected a lot more rain, but I was told that Ewa Beach is on the leeward side of the island and that the windward side takes the moisture before it gets to Ewa Beach. Temperatures were down to about 75 at night and about 85 during the day. It was very pleasant.
After three weeks of that, I was in for a surprise when I got back to California. I had taken a light jacket in the event the weather was cool. When I got to Oakland, the temperature was only 38 degrees. My little jacket wasn’t nearly enough.
People told me that because the red volcanic dust is almost impossible to clean up, folks don’t wear shoes in the house, so I bought a pair of sandals before going to Hawaii. Friend Marilyn Manfredi told me there aren’t many things that look worse than an old man in shorts wearing sandals and long black socks. I left my socks at home. I left my sandals on the porch and I enjoyed going barefoot again.
Gee, I have run out of space and really haven’t told you anything about the trip yet. In the next couple of columns, I’ll tell you about the interesting things I saw and places I went. Then I’ll talk about the food adventure.
Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.