Hello Friends and Family,

O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, 1973, Part 1

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

A couple of years after my trip to St. Croix, I took another trip thanks to my employer's recreation club sponsorship of an excursion to O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. They chartered an airliner, reserved hotel rooms, and ground transportation — making the trip much easier to plan and much cheaper than booking it all myself.

Little did I know how that trip would change my life. When we deplaned at the airport, it felt so warm and welcoming that it felt like I was coming home — perhaps I was Hawaiian in a previous life. Every trip to the islands after that has evoked that same feeling of homecoming — I love it.

This is the view from my hotel — you can see Waikiki Beach, Fort Derussy (the short, green building offering accommodations for military personnel), more hotels, and Diamondhead Crater standing prominently in the distance.

We stayed at the famous Hilton Hawaiian Village, first opened in 1955 and now the largest Hilton Hotel in the world. The resort sits on 22 acres of beachfront property, featuring the largest swimming pool in Waikiki, more than 22 restaurants, shops, exotic wildlife, and botanical gardens. It has probably grown a bit since my first visit but it was pretty extensive even at that time.

This is the Rainbow Tower which was where my room was located. It was built in 1968 so it was pretty new at the time of my visit. I really enjoyed it.

Any fans of the TV shows Hawaii 5-0 (original or second version) or Magnum, P.I. (either version) will surely remember seeing it on those shows.

The view from the other side of the hotel includes the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon in the foreground, the Ala Wai Harbor (the largest small-boat and yacht harbor in Hawaii), and Ala Moana Park beyond that. This was a wonderful jogging route for me each morning. I found it interesting that many of the small boats moored here were live-aboard vessels.

Panning a bit further, one could see a marvelous rainbow touching downtown Honolulu. Rainbows (or ānuenue as they are known in Hawaiian) are very common here. Even the nickname of the University of Hawai‘i sports teams is "Rainbow Warriors".

Looking down from my Rainbow Tower vantage point, I could check out the section of Waikiki Beach that fronts the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Beautiful white sand — although in recent years, they have had to import sand from other places (Australia comes to mind) to replace sand lost to the waves.

Just off the beach is a short pier used for docking pleasure craft — both private and commercial.

The ocean is not deep here — must be some of that sand that formerly made up the beach.

And here is the obligatory photo of surfers — what set would be complete without at least one?

Someone made a really nice sand castle on this spot. Although because Fort Derussy is in the background, this might be more properly called a sand fort.

Although the ocean is just a few steps away, many tourists seemed to enjoy lounging around the pool (why not in the pool?). My way-out guess was that they had cute young girls in bikinis serving drinks to the patrons. Just a guess.

And every time you turned around, there was entertainment — local folks singing mostly Hawaiian songs while accompanying themselves on bass, guitar, and especially the ukulele.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com