Musings on Five Weeks Spent In Hawaii

Ala Moana Beach
Ala Moana Beach

After being here on Oahu, Hawaii for 5 weeks our time here is fast coming to an end.
I thought I’d share some of my observations of Hawaii while I’ve been here.

The Beaches
We have loved our daily swims and will miss that the most we move on to New York. My joint equal favourite with Sunset Beach would have to be our local beach at Ala Moana. We haven’t had any temptation to go back to Waikiki since we moved to our apartment.
I love the atmosphere at Ala Moana. It is a family beach and the majority of people there are locals. The locals love to have BBQ beach parties. On weekends they settle in for the day under big canopied shelters (like a tent without the sides) with their picnic lunches, portable BBQs and ice boxes (in NZ we call them “chilly bins”). The bay is sheltered by a coral reef so the water is really calm. I swim 100 metres out and then just relax and people-watch, while doing a few strokes. The water is extremely buoyant so you don’t have to do much to stay afloat – either that or I’ve just got very fat! Families and friends swim and play in the shallows and many people do stand-up paddle boarding. After my swim I bike a few hundred meters out to the point and watch the surfers ride the waves. My “close second” favourite beach is Lanikai Beach and Waimea Bay is a gorgeous fourth.
I nearly forgot to mention that dozens of Chinese brides and brooms have their wedding photos on Hawaiian beaches everyday. They both wear white and it is quite a sight to see them posing for photos alongside the lightly clad beach goers.

Ala Moana Beach
Ala Moana Beach
Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach two
Sunset Beach
Lanikai Beach
Lanikai Beach
Waimea Bay
Waimea Bay

The Accent
It’s a curious thing but to my New Zealand ear Hawaiians sound a lot like Canadians!

The Cultural Diversity
I don’t know why but I wasn’t expecting to see that many native Hawaiians here. In fact a large proportion of the population are either Polynesian or Polynesian-Asian. This gives Oahu a much more “Pacific” flavour rather than a U.S one.
Wikipedia tells me that Chinese sailors came here in the 18th century and, as they brought no women with them, they married the local Hawaiian women. Thus people of mixed Chinese-Hawaiian ancestry make up a third of the population!

The Police Cars
The police cars look very retro and rectangular, like something out of the 70′s. And the Fire Dept. trucks and fire hydrants are bright yellow, not red like where I’m from.

The Roads
I expected all US roads to be in good repair but the roads here have heaps of potholes, even the highways! Maybe it’s something to do with the volcanic soil. I don’t know but the the roads remind me a bit of Cambodia!
What has surprised us is that almost no cyclists or motorcyclists wear safety helmets here! We’ve never seen never seen anyone pulled over by police for it either.

The Weather
It showers here most days. The clouds constantly gather in the mountains and there are rainbows in the foothills every day. Often there are the finest sun-showers but when you look up you can only see blue sky! The tiny droplets must be carried by the wind from rain clouds in the hills. Given that it is an island it shouldn’t have surprised me that it is quite windy here. It does help keep the temperatures comfortable but it can make the water a bit choppy at beaches other than those protected by reefs or groynes.

My Pet Gecko
Our apartment has a cute wee gecko that chirps to let us know that he or she is there. It moves around but is seldom seen unless you pull back a blind and catch a glimpse before it scurries off. Very cute. We don’t have them in New Zealand.

The Flowering Trees
I’m in love with Hawaii’s flowering trees, especially the Frangipani and glorious red Poincianas. Glorious!
Frangipani two

3 thoughts on “Musings on Five Weeks Spent In Hawaii

  1. Great post! We are from Hawaii and loved seeing the pic of our home beach, Lanikai. Too funny that you are reminded of Cambodia when driving our roads. Maybe I’ll send a link to our city roads folks as a gentle reminder to get moving. Thanks for the wonderful reminder of home!

  2. Pingback: Calm the nerves | Vegetarians Abroad

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