An Account of my Trip to the Island of Oahu in Hawaii11:37 AM
This is a much belated account of my trip to Hawaii.
PART 1: Pre-trip, Airplane, and Hotel
For many days, I could barely wait to depart for that glorious state. I even kept a small note pinned to my desk, a countdown of the days left until I went to Hawaii.
The actual departure was not nearly as glamorous. The night before, I had not been able to get to sleep for pure excitement, and I spent the majority of my sleeping hours tossing and turning, too enthusiastic about the upcoming trip to sleep. A taxi arrived to take us to the airport early in the morning. I bid farewells to the unlucky members of my family who would not be accompanying me (meaning my dad and sister) before going into the car.
At the airport, my mother kindly purchased me a blueberry granola yogurt parfait, which I devoured. Soon after we boarded the Hawaiian Airlines plane and settled down for the nearly six hour flight. Inside, the plane looked much like an international carrier; there were three rows of seats--two on either side, and three in the middle. My mother and I had two seats with a window view. Sadly, the window was obscured by the plane's mammoth wing. This misfortune seems to accompany us to whatever airplane window we are so fortunate to sit by.
At least I was comforted by the fact that the airline would be serving food to us. In fact, the food was not bad for your typical airplane food. We were served hot pasta with an excess of liquidy broth-like sauce, a salad with dressing, and a packet of cookies. It was mostly delicious.
When we landed, we were greeted and given Hawaiian leis, made with real flowers. I still have them, actually. They are in my room. A car took us to our hotel, the Hilton Hawaiian Village, a giant resort with six different towers, sixteen restaurants, and countless shops, all on a beautiful stretch of Waikiki Beach. I was very proud to stay in a hotel that had "Pacific Ocean" on its resort map. We were staying in the Tapa Tower.
At first, the Hilton Hawaiian Village was a little intimidating--it was large, after all--but soon my mother and I were able to find our way around it.
PART 2: The Bus, Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum, and the Honolulu Academy of the Arts
I had done some research prior to going to Hawaii on good historical sites to visit in Honolulu. Because the city of Honolulu is connected by a large and efficient public transportation bus system called, simply, The Bus, it was fairly easy to get around wherever we wanted. Thus, we were able to visit many museums. The first historical site we saw in Honolulu was the Iolani Palace. The Iolani Palace is a striking and beautiful place. It was home to Hawaiian royal figures like Queen Lili'uokalani and is now a museum. The Iolani Palace was very progressive for its time; it had electricity at a time when the White House and Buckingham Palace did not, and had its own generator to make electricity. We learned about the history of the Hawaiian monarchy and how Hawaii's kings and queens lived through visiting this site.
We also visited the Bishop Museum, a renowned museum in Hawaii. Although it did have some interesting artifacts from Pacific cultures, I would have liked to see more content in the museum--we came at a time when its Hawaiian Hall was closed, so we were not able to see as much of the museum as we would have liked.
The Honolulu Academy of the Arts is an excellent museum. It had a variety of artworks, in-depth explanations, and a wonderful audio tour. The Academy of Arts is also a great place to visit just for the beauty of its fountains, gardens, and courtyards. (It has a wide variety of restaurants as well!) Visiting the Academy of the Arts was a wonderful experience.
PART 3: SunRise Rehearsal and Event
You might be asking: Did I come to Hawaii just for the history and resort? Actually, I did have a large purpose for coming to Hawaii--performing at Sun Microsystem's SunRise event for its company. I made three appearances, the first answering interview questions, the second on a technology panel, and the last for the closing of the event, reciting a poem I had written specifically for the event.
Of course, it was a giant event, and all giant events need rehearsals. Thus, I spent Monday rehearsing. I was not needed for the entire rehearsal, so I was able to spend the rest of my time eating, talking, and resting in the private trailer Sun provided for all the performers. I met many talented young people, like Jasmine Lawrence, Bianca Ryan, Ethan Bortnick, and David and Catherine Cook, who were also performing at SunRise.
PART 4: Coming Back
I was very nervous about coming back, as I knew that Halloween was the day after I arrived--and I still hadn't figured out my costume! In addition to that, I had two videoconferences on Halloween and I had a mid-term test in written Chinese that Saturday, which I had not prepared in the least for. However, I forgot about all my worries on the flight home, mostly because my mother had kindly rented me a personal entertainment player, on which I could watch movies of my choice while she watched the spy movie Get Smart on the airplane TV. (Honestly, my mom watching a semi-stupid action movie on an airplane is not really that irregular. She watched the Incredible Hulk on the first flight.) I ended up watching two movies on the plane, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Nim's Island, both of which I enjoyed, although I wish that Prince Caspian had stuck more to the book. I also probably ruined my eyes through watching a couple of movies in a row.
Landing in Seattle was a happy event. I was eagerly anticipating giving Adrianna her Hawaiian present--a small wooden pocket mirror with "Hawaii" carved on the front. And although I still didn't know what I would be for Halloween, I knew that at least I would be able to brag about my trip to Hawaii.
P.S. I ended up being an Eskimo for Halloween, because I had a coat trimmed with fake fur as well as matching boots, and I decided that the costume would be warm and convenient.