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Old 6 Mar 23, 08:51 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
CFB in search for the elusive humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa Vancouver, Hawaii, Settle single thread.

INTRODUCTION.

I use a rather different approach to Trip reporting. I will be taking the first 20 or so post lines in order to firstly stick to single thread reporting and secondly in order that the whole trip will read as a continuous ‘storybook’ from start to finish, uninterrupted upon completion. As always, I will always be filling it out ‘live’ and again as always, will endeavour to answer any and every comment within the day.

I confess that whilst initial updates to such threads can be scrubby due to tiredness and time shortage, I repeatedly return to them in the hours, days, weeks and months that follow, refining them, removing duplication of words adding to perception and hopefully, humour, adding photographs, correcting Grammar etc.
Hopefully by around August, I will have a final, polished product!

Each day, I will retitle the thread to reflect that days adventure and the # number, also adding a further advisory post in order to bump the Trippie back up to the top. Does that make sense?

The vacation commences on 19 March 2023 and will be taking in the following.. Vancouver, Oahu and Seattle.


This is a link to my PRE TRIP REPORT. for the vacation.

https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1238910

I simply use the pre trip in order to create the vacation, adding and altering things as I go along and editing the pre trip as the planning ‘pads things out’. It is in effect, my working copy for planning.

Edited at 02:18 PM.
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Old 6 Mar 23, 08:57 PM  
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Pumpkin Pie
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Join Date: Sep 15
Originally Posted by cornishfrogboy View Post
UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

I use a rather different approach to Trip reporting. I will be taking the first 20 or so post lines in order to firstly stick to single thread reporting and secondly in order that the whole trip will read as a continuous ‘storybook’ from start to finish, uninterrupted upon completion. As always, I will always be filling it out ‘live’ and again as always, will endeavour to answer any and every comment within the day.

Each day, I will retitle the thread to reflect that days adventure and the # number, also adding a further advisory post in order to bump the Trippie back up to the top. Does that make sense?

The vacation commences on 19 March 2023 and will be taking in the following.. Vancouver, Oahu and Seattle.


This is a link to my PRE TRIP REPORT. for the vacation.
https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...1238910&page=4
I simply use the pre trip in order to create the vacation, adding and altering things as I go along and editing the pre trip as the planning ‘pads things out’.
You are very organised (March 3023)!

Have a great trip. Looking forward to the report.
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Old 6 Mar 23, 08:57 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
Day 1. The arduous journey from Penryn to Heathrow, Sunday 19 march 2023 .. or ‘The Wheels on the bus go round and round’, by Mad Donna.

After Flybe went bust (yet again) and our flights were cancelled, we had to make alternative arrangements… National Express alternative arrangements.

PACKING PRIOR TO DEPARTURE (A serious bit)

Well, packing commenced a few days before we were due to leave home. I am a vociferous and outspoken proponent of the virtues of Handbaggage only. We are flying out with BA (albeit through an American Airlines codeshare ticket that saved us £90pp over the best price of BA),
BA allowances are generous with both hand baggage and a carry on bag.
Whilst on this occasion we have an allowance of Hold Luggage on our Long Haul flights, we chose not to use it for the following reasons.

1. Speed over the ground from the moment we leave our home, Coach- Bus to Hotel- Bus to Airport- Check in - Arrival and exit etc etc etc.
2. Speed through immigration and customs on arrival as no baggage reclaim.
3. Savings on our later, short haul flights.
4. We simply don’t need that much luggage in any case and in addition, have ample room for purchases.

We are flying out with BA..
On to Honolulu with Air Canada.
To Seattle with Alaska Airlines.
Home to LHR with AA.
The only weight limits anywhere are 23kg with BA, both Hand and carry on bags.

With the above in mind, here is my luggage… (and the ends of my toes in my second image)… It is my trusty ‘Roxy’ suitcase, as I am rather in touch with my feminine Side 😎


That bag contains (all pre ironed and very tightly rolled)..…
Reefs and Sand Shoes (for the Beach and Snorkelling).
Mask and Snorkel.
Box with Satnav and Olympus TG-4 underwater Camera plus assorted leads.
11x Shirts, Polo, Collared, Tee etc.
3 x Cargo Shorts
1 x Levi’s.
1x Dress (not mine).
7 x Underpants (mine).
5 x Socks
1 x Swimming Trunks (Bay watch ‘Hoff’ specials in red)
1 x Washbag, Shield Soap for shaving, Toothbrush, Razors etc etc.

You will note that there are no Towels. I also still have a fair bit of room left that may be taken up by Levi 505’s coming home… space, which I have no doubt that Mandie has her eye on.

In addition to the above, I will have a small, soft backpack that will contain my A5 Documents folder, my IPad (for updating the trip report) and also, anything that I might purchase.

My backpack, A5 Folder and Baseball Cap to .. replace the Fatface one that fell off my head whilst on SW Infinity Falls on Day 12 of my vacation last Easter. I miss that Baseball Cap and here is the last known image of it, around 5 seconds before it came off my head, never to be seen again, despite the best efforts of several kind Dibbers at the lost property kiosk on subsequent days..


Mandies packing? She is rather private and will not divulge!

Sunday morning and I was awake, alert, excited (I couldn’t think of another word beginning with ‘A’) and generally ready to start at 0530. Mandie was not. Time for a bath!


I picked up a message from KarenG that warmed my heart (I have one), offering the use of her driveway in Exeter if it helped us with the journey to LHR. Regrettably plans are all in place, but it reminded me of just how kind and generous, some DIBBERS can be.

TRAVEL AND ARRIVAL AT LHR.

The National Express journey to LHR was.. an experience.
We were picked up on time from Penryn Bridge.. about 250 yds from our home.


And the long journey commenced. It was very long indeed, 7.5 hrs to Heathrow Bus Station, the (free) Train from T2 to T5 and then the 423 bus from Stand 6 (£1.65 on tap and go) to the Premier Inn. The stop is the second one out and is called the Thistle Hotel.

Check in was accomplished with the normal Prem Inn Polish (in both efficiency and Nationality). It was dinner on the meal deal £53.98 for the pair of us! Now to the..

FOOD REPORT!

We were shown to our table in a very busy restaurant (I guess that they have a captive audience of overnight stayers, pre or post flight).

Standard Premier Inn food, promptly served and well cooked… this is where my food report may start to disappoint the gourmandisers (I got that word from the infamous CBGB bar awning in New York). I was a tad hungry!

For starter, I had 5x Piri piri chicken wings.. excellent, although the actual Chickens may well have been flightless with these undersized limbs. (Do wings count as limbs?).

I only just remembered to photograph them.. nearly.
Mandie had Calamari that I managed to sneak into shot as she doesn’t like me photographing food.

For mains, I had a 8oz, rare Sirloin Steak (which was around 7.5 oz when you cut the fat off.. very good, though with just a £2 supplement. Mandie had the same.

I almost forgot to photograph this bit..

For dessert, I had the Chocolate Caramel Sundae and Mandie the Sticky Toffee pudding (£2 supplement for a third course, which is clearly a bargain).

It was a bit bigger, but by this time I had eaten the Flake, the whipped cream and the Cadbury’s Caramel Buttons x5. You will simply have to use your imagination.

The Cider was also lovely, a Bulmers, with Condensation running down the sides of the glass and tasting very strongly of Apples, namely Somerset Redstreak, Tremlett's Bitter and Jonagold Apples to be exact.. with perhaps just a hint of Haze to provide that bit of Zest. There was perhaps 2mm of froth on top when served, that rapidly dissipated in the few seconds before it disappeared down my open throat .. Mandies Coke was rather nice, I am reliably informed.

So.. £53.98 + £8 and with a breakfast to come! This is truly excellent value as well as carrying my heartfelt and unreserved recommendation, (that I feel sure is crucially important to the Whitbread Mandarins).
And now it is to bed in order to watch Nick Knowles visit to Death Valley at 2100, followed by Arsenal’s glorious 4-1 victory on MOTD.. without Mr Lineker.

Good night!

P.S Nick Knowles was a little flat, but Arsenal… as Magnificent as that Pint of Bulmers!

Edited at 11:37 PM.
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Old 6 Mar 23, 08:58 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
Day 2 flight to Vancouver and the long awaited reunion. Monday 20 March 2023… or ‘Leaving on a jet plane’ by John Denver.

As is normal when excitement takes over, I was awake early.. 0400 early and working out how not to awaken Mandie. A heavy bout of Candy Crush did the trick and before I knew it, 0700 was with us and I could give Mandie a nudge.

Our scrap clothing (shirts, leggings etc) were consigned to the bin and it was breakfast at 0830 (Breakfast at Prem Inn as opposed to Tiffany’s, who don’t actually do Breakfast in any case). We had nearly a whole day to kill before our flight at 1711 hrs.

Breakfast was standard, decent Premier Inn standard, no great queues and a pleasant experience. There are no photos as most/all know what a Prem Inn Breakfast looks like.
One downer was that I always start with the Fruit Salad with Compost on top and then, Strawberry Yoghurt on top of that. Some fiend had stolen all of the Grapes from the Fruit Salad. Needless to say, I was devastated as I normally get to do that!

The journey to departures was an absolute breeze, as we reaped the benefits of going hand baggage only..
423 Bus (£1.65) to T5, up to departures, boarding pass produced within a minute as there were no queues and then straight to Security.
The bag drop queues were rather large and once again, I felt utterly vindicated in my decision to travel light. We simply looked and smiled… rather smugly.

Security was a breeze also, no questions, bags straight through the XRay and neither of us required to stand in the booth with our hands above our heads, like when entering a Prison establishment.

Then it was Duty Free viewing as we waited for entry to the Premium Plaza Lounge at 1400. A Couple of bottles of Tarquins Cornish Gin were purchased for our forthcoming Hosts.

THE LOUNGE.
The Plaza Premium Lounge admission took a few minutes, but once in, we found practically every seat taken. The views are fantastic (as are many others in the T5 General departure areas for free) and it was relaxing.. but as a light drinker (one glass of wine) , I struggled to find value in a lukewarm Cambodian Chicken Curry with Rice and a couple of bread rolls as well as a tin of Fanta. £70 for the pair of us was in fact, lousy value, imho. As Roger Daltrey famously sang.. ‘We won’t get fooled again’. 😩


The somewhat murky view.


The architectural highlight of an otherwise rather drab experience. Their own, professional Photographers should be congratulated, as the Lounge looked nothing like their Photographs.

Next time, we are in agreement that we will give this Lounge stuff a miss. It simply ain’t our bag, Baby!

THE FLIGHT.
A B777 ER it was, as advertised.

Boarding was as always, a drawn out affair with the majority of pax standing around the gate entrance, despite repeated requests from staff to go away and sit down until their boarding group was called.
We politely/naively waited until Group 6 was called and eventually reached our exit row seats to find that all overhead bins were full in the vicinity. Most seats were also taken, even though we were in the first dozen through the gate when group 6 had been announced. Lesson learned.

It was an uneventful, pleasant flight with excellent cabin service as well as frequent snacks.

Main course (for you food lovers), was a rather Turgid Hunters Chicken with supposedly Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans, (nothing special), followed by Blackberry Apple Crumble with Custard and a pot of gritty Couscous stuff with Carrot in it? Mandie would not let me photograph it and thus, you are all doubtless disappointed.
The poor and deceased (or diseased) Chicken looked well hunted before death and indeed, had been ripped to shreds by whatever caught it. 5/10 for that.. and I normally like (outbound) Airline Food.

IFE was excellent and with a vast selection of films that I never watched, contenting myself with 3 x Aerial Americas that I had seen before (Hawaii, California, Virginia) as well as several hours of Angry Birds until completion of all levels available. I never slept at all!

Highlights through the cabin window (in the exit door) were few, but I got these two thrilling shots..

The ice shelf in Hudsons Bay.


The Canadian Rockies.

Then it was belts on and prepare for landing. It was a descent through cloud, smooth, good landing with a short taxi to gate.. then chaos.
I had to venture rearwards to recover our baggage. This should have been easy, but everybody became a ‘Sheeple’, standing up, blocking the aisle and impatiently waiting to get off.. even though we were 40 Rows back from the exit door and many minutes from disembarking. I too had to remain standing as I could not get back to my seat.

Eventually we were off, through the automated customs declaration booths and in the queue for Arrivals. I must say that the automated arrivals was simple, working really well. The queue moved quickly and unlike our experiences in the US, the questions at Immigration were cursory in the extreme. They had no interest in our ETA at all, no Retina Capture no Fingerprints either.

We were out, past baggage reclaim (just starting to deliver) and Bill was spotted in seconds. He hasn’t changed a great deal in 34 years at all. From exiting the Aircraft door to leaving the Terminal was around 40 minutes.

ARRIVAL (at Jen and Bills).
We are staying at White Rock, a suburb. The reception was warm and the wine nicely chilled. 34 years rolled away in typical ex Military style as we discussed the intervening years.
All too soon it was to bed at Midnight in a ‘guest apartment’ within Jen and Bill’s complex and a good nights sleep..
I woke at 0400 and again at 0600 as is par for the course with me after a Long Haul. Mandie would appear to have done considerably better. It is now 0700 and a new day awaits.. and contrary to predictions from cynics, it isn’t even raining!

Edited at 08:23 PM.
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Old 6 Mar 23, 09:01 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
Day 3 Our first ever look at Greater Vancouver, guided by Jen and Bill. Tuesday 21 March 2023..

Our day started at 1000. As previously stated, we are staying in the guest suite of the block of Condo’s in which Jen and Bill live. We met up and were very soon out on the road.

Bill and Jen had decided to show us around the area in which they lived, giving us a true perspective of real life in the area.. and this seemed a brilliant idea!

First stop was Fort Langley, a total surprise to me. Fort Langley is a former fur trading outpost of the Hudsons Bay Company situated on the large, Fraser River and it reminded me very much of the Main St of Venice FL… only on a rather bigger scale. It was historic, quaint, pretty and a surprise.


Fort Langley Community Hall


Fort Langley, Main St, like Venice main street.


A very old Railway Carriage.

And then lunch..


At the rather lovely Wendell Bookstore.
The food was absolutely wonderful, Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas and .. a Bee-sting Cake that I sneakily photographed just for ClaireNJ

.
A 🐝 sting is clearly a Cake, but the Cream layer was infused with Honey. Fantastic!

I had in fact just made a difficult choice out of many alternatives, as can be seen from this image of the Cake display.
Eat your heart out, ClaireNJ!

After a look at the Langley Fort Bridge over the Mighty Fraser River.. We were once again, on our way.. to a Vineyard.

Chaberton Winery in Langley, was a proper Vineyard with a rather nice shop and tasting experience..


Now we are no wine experts, purchasing in the £5-£7 range at Asda, and are generally attracted to a nice label, although we do have an integrated Wine Chiller in our Kitchen with spooky blue lighting, so are not complete Peasants… but this stuff was rather nice.
I have seen Wine tasting on TV and knew just how it is done.. but there was no swirling round, gargling and wastage by spitting, just sipping and to be perfectly honest, admiring some rather nice Wine! We moved on..

What was becoming increasingly apparent was the size of what I had interpreted as Vancouver. The urbanisation is huge in area, interspersed with Deciduous Trees, Conifers, Woodland, Farmland, Blueberry Fields, Golf Courses, Vineyards and the like. Some of the newbuild houses going up were magnificent and others .. tacky as well as ostentatious. There was certainly a lot of urbanisation going on, although informed planning consent did seem rather lacking, when compared with the hoops we must leap through in the UK.

We drove to White Rock, Bill and Jen’s home town. I was soon to learn how the place got its name.. there was a huge, white rock on the Foreshore!

A huge white Rock on the Foreshore, regrettably now painted, due to graffiti and vandalism. We were on the shores of the Pacific, looking across water to the United States.

White rock had a very long foreshore with an impressive, wooden pier… the longest in Canada, Mandie Reliably informs me!

An impressive, long wooden pier.

This is a view of the very pretty and clearly prosperous, White Rock.

White Rock from the Pier.



White Rock also had a railway line running along the length of the Foreshore and round to eventually after many miles, Vancouver. We were soon treated to a train, a huge train that rumbled along the single line at a Stately 12 MPH or so, pulled by 3 huge Locomotive Units. I guess that this freight train was 500 yds or more long.

We then moved on again, returning to Bill and Jen’s to get ready for the night’s entertainment, NHL Ice Hockey!

The Rogers Arena is situated in Downtown Vancouver and is home to the Vancouver Canucks, who were to play the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Getting into town was a matter of driving into the area and parking up, two metro trains and then a very short walk to the Arena. That sounds simple, but the driving was clearly rather complex, nothing like the standard American grid of Avenues and Streets. I was simply glad that I was a Passenger!
The Metro was accessed by preloaded cards, of which Jen had several, tap to enter through automatic gates and tap as you leave, quick, modern, clean(ish) and efficient.

The arena was large, 19800 large and in two tiers. We were right at the top of the upper tier and the view was magnificent. There was all of the razzamatazz that one might expect at a North American Sporting event, over the top, brilliantly set, great lighting and simply impressive in itself.


The brilliant build up.

We stood to attention, had a good, solo as well as unaccompanied renditioning of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ , followed by ‘Oh Canada’ and the scene was set!

The game commenced, fast, aggressive, occasionally violent and simply a fantastic spectacle. Mandie simply marvelled that Bill and I had been privileged to play the game whilst stationed at Medicine Hat all those years ago .. (once they had taught us to skate).
We omitted to mention that our efforts were in no way comparable and simply at a vastly lower level as we concentrated on simply staying upright, yet alone occasionally chasing the Puck..


An image of the game. Unfortunately, a still frame cannot recapture an NHL Hockey league match.

One thing to bear in mind, fellow DIBBERS, is the Cash versus Card conundrum that we all frequently face. The arena was strictly card only.. and I had cash. Thankyou, Jen for the foot long dogs!

The score? Oh yeah, 4-3 to the Golden Knights.

A lasting memory of the event, was the Community aspect of what we had witnessed.
The Anthems and the respect shown to both.
The entertainment, with an 11 year old lad performing a couple of songs before this very large audience.
A lottery draw with a $198,000 accumulated total being split between the winner and a local Community Project.
Several mini events on the Ice involving underprivileged and disabled Children with fund raising.

Remembering that Hockey is the Canadian National Game, just like Football in the UK, the two bore no resemblance whatever. The Hockey was simply so ‘inclusive’ in comparison to Football.

Then it was an orderly exit and a reverse of the journey in. Mandie and I were tired.. very tired, but we had just had the most fantastic, amazing and enlightening day, seeing areas that in probability, are rarely seen by UK visitors to BC as well as gaining insight that would otherwise be absent.

Tomorrow.. we go downtown!

11635 Steps.

Edited at 11:45 PM.
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Old 6 Mar 23, 09:02 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
Todays report may be (marginally) sub standard. I was initially sat in a departures lounge at 0600 and was a tad tired. By the time we reached our Hotel and I completed it, I was a tad more tired 🫤

Day 4. A second day in Vancouver with Jen and Bill. Wednesday 22 March 2023… or Down town by Petula Clark.

I still hadn’t kicked the jet lag and was up at 0400. Breakfast time and we were up, out and round to Jen and Bills for Breakfast.. and a play with Arthur.

Arthur, an amazing rescue dog.
I could actually get to like dogs!


Vegetarian Sausages, Maple Syrup, Pancakes and tea. As a committed and lifetime Carnivore, I had to ungrudgingly concede that they were as good as any Sausage that I had ever tasted!
Soon enough, we were out to Downtown Vancouver, a 45 minute drive away from White Rock.

It had been a considered decision to not research Vancouver, relying instead on the better judgement of our friends. I did not therefore know what to expect, but had trust…
First we went to a viewing point where we captured some brilliant views of the City below us.


A ‘group’ shot.
Then it was a drive down into and through the City itself before heading across to Stanley Park, a pretty area that is just across the water from the City Centre.

Driving through the City.


And into Stanley Park for a stroll.

The Bridge to North and West Vancouver.

We then were taken to Granville Market, a Bohemian Area, full of Arts and Crafts, as well as a food area reminiscent of the Farmers Market in LA on Steroids.
This was a lovely area with great views across the water and somewhere that I would very much recommend. It was an Oasis, serviced by Water Taxis between Granville Market and Downtown.

Entering Granville Island.

The Market had endless variety of food, of very good quality, both as ingredients and also from stalls as ‘Eat Now’ to be taken outside to a seating area.

We also purchased some cakes to accompany our evening meal, later in the day… but ClaireNJ will just have to be patient and wait for the images.. 😹


We drink a coffee whilst watching the Water Taxi berthing. It is the boat with the awning.

All too soon, it was time to return to White Rock, a difficult drive for Bill in what was now, very dense traffic. The Roads of Vancouver could maybe best be described as largely a traditional US grid, but with a spaghetti of U.K. type roads winding through it. I was rather glad of our able Chauffer and his trusty, GPS assisted assistant!

Soon we were back, a quick freshen up and up to our Friends for a rather special BBQ.

There was Wild Salmon and this tasted markedly different to the Farm Bred stuff that we get in the U.K.. better!
There was Bison, BBQ’d and cut into strips, sat on a bed of Mixed Leaves, Blueberries and with a Dressing of equal parts Olive Oil and Balsamic, along with Thyme, Dijon Mustard, Garlic and .. Maple Syrup.. absolutely delicious!
There endeth my food sermon for the day!
I haven’t suddenly become a ‘foodie’, this was just different, delicious and worthy of comment.

Then it was the Cakes!


Claire, It really was worth the wait, wasn’t it? We divided them all into four, so that we could sample the lot. Amazing. You would have been in 🍰 🎂 🧁 Heaven.

2300 it was.. and time for bed.

CONCLUSIONS.

What do I think of Vancouver and area?
Stunningly beautiful, beating even San Diego. Yes, I know that the quality of the City will inevitably decline as you move away from the amazing harbour (and the money), but it does exactly the same in San Diego. The only City that I have thus far visited where this seemingly does not occur is Boston.


Bill and Jen have asserted that we should return and look to the many other attractions in BC. I feel it inevitable that we will, as it is very clear that we have merely scratched the surface of an absolutely fabulous area.
The emphasis is clearly on Nature, with some of it quite literally being on the City doorstep. Mandie and I really, really want explore more of what BC has to offer.
Bears? Wolves?, Salmon Spawning? Sasquatch ?, Eagles? Whales? We have simply got to return and see them all… and maybe then drive down later to San Francisco.🤩

9253 Steps.

Edited at 10:31 PM.
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Old 6 Mar 23, 09:03 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
Day 5 An early flight to Honolulu and settling in at Waikiki Beach. Thursday 23 March 2023.. or ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole (I am afraid that I cannot spell that, having had to copy and paste.. or pronounce it. ‘Israel’ is such a tongue twister.

0400 and the Alarms rang. Bill and Jen came round and said their goodbyes, before Bill then drove us to the Airport, arriving at 0530. We truly have had the most amazing ‘catch up’.

Vancouver Int was a breeze, security, pre entrance USA clearance and then to gate. 25 minutes in total.
Now a confession.. We had hold luggage.. but only because Air Canada requested volunteers to place their Hand Baggage into the hold.

FLIGHT TO OAHU.

Air Canada it was, a Boeing 737 Max 8

12 hours before flight, we had been able to book our seats. We tried this after leaving Jen and Bills and before going to bed. There were just 2 seats available for free and 14 rows apart.. not ideal, so we decided to try our luck on check in, next morning.

I woke at 0300 (still jet lagged) and made a decision. I would PAY! for a couple of the remaining good seats. This really impressed (and shocked) Mandie, as I shelled out $164 Ca (£101) for the pair of ‘preferred’ seats, next to each other across the aisle.

The aircraft was really impressive, clean, well ventilated and seemingly rather spacious for a ‘single aisle’. We had purchased practically limitless legroom for the 6.5 hour flight.. in addition, there was a previously unknown bonus!

Mandies aisle seat. Note the legroom.

Preferred pax get food for free, whilst the peasants (just kidding) , have to pay.
Basically it was snacks.
I had an Open Salmon Sandwich (excellent) and two monster kitkats. They had 8 fingers in each!


Mandie had a BBQ wrap, Pringles and Humerous 😁.


The flight was good, very good and soft drinks were regularly dished out. Angry Birds made the time.. err.. ‘Fly by’.

Soon, we were on approach to Honolulu. I looked out of the window and got the first disappointment off the whole vacation thus far..

I didn’t pay for weather like this! As we landed and taxied, the rain was running down the window. This would never happen in Vancouver (my newly adopted favourite City).

We were soon through the Airport (pre cleared at Vancouver) and waiting at baggage reclaim, an experience that I normally avoid like the plague and am now unfamiliar with the huge complexities of.
The suitcases were up very early, probably because we had only handed them over as we went through the Air Bridge at Vancouver. We were on the move!

WAIKIKI arrival.

We were soon out and were at the Bus Stand, close to the Airport entrance. The no20 arrived, we paid our $3 cash each into the auto till by the Driver and were on our way to the Hyatt Place, Waikiki Beach, a 45 minute journey in the ‘Bendy Bus’. We passed through the dock lands and Chinatown. Vagrants were very much in evidence, with numerous ‘benders’ and plenty of people lying on the sidewalks.


The ʻIolani Palace (Hawaiian: Hale Aliʻi ʻIolani) was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi beginning with Kamehameha III in 1845.


With homeless living against its boundary wall. A classic example of the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have nots’ for whatever of many possible reasons.
Even in Honolulu, Social issues and deprivation appear to abound.

Eventually, the bus dropped us right outside of the Hyatt Place Hotel!

Check in was easy and we soon found ourselves on the top (14th) floor in our Room with an Ocean view and Balcony.


The room was exactly as described and in no way disappointing.We have ‘Dun good’ at £1011 for 4 nights with complimentary breakfast. By Waikiki standards and bearing in mind the Breakfast, Ocean View and Balcony, it was an absolute bargain, just 80yds to the Beach.

We were hungry and we were tired. Poke Bowl? Shaved Ice? Seafood Restaurant? Nah….. Denny’s was just 100 yds away towards Diamond Head.

I had a Chicken Skillet and Fries with bottomless Diet Coke whilst Mandie went for A Bourbon Skillet and bottomless Sprite. We know how to live on the high line! The good food can commence from tomorrow.


My typically delicious, low calorie Skillet.


A blank space, replacing Mandie’s Bourbon Skillet as she now refuses to let me photograph her food.

$45 paid and we were out of there, out and looking at a bright blue Sky.

We walked down the 100 yds or so to Waikiki Beach and took the following images..


Royal Hawaiian Hotel?


A Banyan Tree.


Diamondhead.

At this juncture, tiredness had caught up with Mandie and we returned to the Hotel… until I realised that it was Sunset and simply had to return to Waikiki Beach, to take these beauties.



I am increasingly understanding why Hawaii is described as paradise. I am really looking forward to at least partially escaping from People, when we travel North.

That’s it for the night. It is now 1910 and I have a ‘weary’ coming on.

Tomorrow it’s… Pearl Harbour!

10630 Steps

Edited at 09:48 AM.
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Old 6 Mar 23, 09:06 PM  
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#8
cornishfrogboy
Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
Day 6 Of Pearl Harbour, treachery and eventual, inevitable glorious victory. Friday 24 March 2023… or ‘War’ by Bruce Springsteen.

This will be an appropriately somber post, hopefully showing respect for those who died on that day. I could in fact write 10 times as much, showing dozens more photographs.. but this is a travel forum!

We were up early and after showers, down to breakfast.. The restaurant is clean, but the menu limited, Portuguese Sausage, various Eggs and French Bread, Fruit Loops, Fresh Pineapple with Yoghurt, Orange and Apple Juice etc. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either. It was served on good quality plastic.

It was a number 42 bus, from just round the corner from the Hotel and a $3 fare each, for a direct route to the Pearl Harbour Memorial Centre.
The journey took an Hour and I would describe it as bone jarringly unpleasant.
The bus stop is right outside and it is a simple matter to walk in.. in our case at 0900.

We were using our Go Oahu Cards for the first time and they worked just fine

Our first stop was the USS Bowfin, a highly successful WW2 Balou Class Submarine. A quick scan of the Go Oahu and we were in, up the gangway and aboard. We had complimentary audio tour hand helds and were treated to a great commentary as we walked through the extremely cramped boat.



The USS Bowfin.
en.wikipedia/wiki/USS_Bowfin

Once off, we moved to the reception area for our trip to the USS Arizona. Our trip, booked through the National Parks website was to take place at 1200. As it was only 1100, we watched a brief film about the day of Infamy before being permitted to come forward early at 1145.
We entered a Lecture Hall where we were advised that we would be visiting the grave of 940 Sailors and Marines. Irreverence, phone use other than as a camera, frivolity and other stupidity would not be tolerated.
en.wikipedia/wiki/USS_Arizona_(BB-39)

We exited the Lecture and embarked on a large Motor Launch for the journey across the Harbour.




We also were approaching the ‘Mighty Mo’.

Disembarkation was simple and we were soon on the famous viewing platform, showing respect for the brave men who were treacherously murdered on that day.





The names of those that died on that day, plus those that have been interred since.
Useless fact.. The Marble degrades and stains over time.The wall has thus far been replaced… twice.

Our half hour time slot was up, we were called back to the launch and we were soon returned to the memorial centre. It had all been extremely respectful as well as moving.

Time to move on. We went round the right side of the Pacific War Submarine memorial building as the signs indicated and were soon sat on a Coach, crossing the half mile Pontoon Bridge to Ford Island.
En route, we were warned to not point our Cameras at anything other than Museum Artefacts, as we were entering an active, military facility.
This bus repeatedly runs just a single route… Memorial Centre- USS Missouri- Aviation Museum - Memorial Centre.
This clearly means that if you intend doing both attractions, then the Mighty Mo comes first!

Missouri is big, 57,000 tons big. The 10,000 ton HMS Belfast in the Pool of London is thus a mere Minnow in comparison. It is also the location where the Japanese Forces surrendered, thus ending WW2, whilst at anchor in Tokyo Bay.
en.wikipedia/wiki/USS_Missouri_(BB-63)





A plaque placed at the site of the signing of the Surrender Document.

This fascinating tour, was again a GoOahu experience.

We waited for our bus, pushed on and were soon at the Aviation Museum.. another Go Oahu attraction!

This is clearly a Museum under expansion, with plenty of exhibits at various stages of restoration.


A Mitsubishi ‘Zeke’ (Zero)

.
An extremely rare Aichi ‘Val’ Dive Bomber.


The legendary B17, ‘Swamp Ghost’ , an Aircraft that sat in an isolated Swamp in Papua Guinea for 60 years before recovery.
en.wikipedia/wiki/Swamp_Ghost

Mandie had been extremely tolerant, but now it was time to go.

We returned via the Coach to the Memorial Reception Area and from there, were soon on a 42 Bus back to Waikiki.. $3 each.

We got off short, at the Hawaii Army Museum and near to the Hard Rock Cafe. The wait was less than 10 minutes before we were seated.
The food was excellent and the Memorabilia awesome, with Guitars used by Elvis, Eric Clapton, Duff McKagen and many others.
We had a Nachos to share, Burgers with Pineapple and Mango, non Alcoholic Drinks, truly excellent at $87





We then walked back to our Hotel, passing a Macy’s, where I purchased a pair of Levi 505’s at $49 and Mandie, some Sun Cream.


Again, the sunset was stunning, rather different to the harsher, brighter colors of the evening before.



I would remind fellow DIBBERS that every image thus far shown has been taken by IPhone 13 or 14. My underwater camera will in probability only be used.. underwater.

14738 Steps.

Edited at 10:38 PM.
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Old 6 Mar 23, 09:07 PM  
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#9
cornishfrogboy
Thread Starter
VIP Dibber
 
Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
Day 7 A big Volcano and a voyage. Saturday 25 March 2023.. Or ‘When the lights go down in the City’ by Journey..

An early start today with an 0600 Alarm, a Complimentary Breakfast (mainly Pineapple and Yoghurt mixed, washed down with Orange juice) and we were out for our 0720 pick up, taking us to Diamond Head Crater. This was again on our Go Oahu tickets and the pick up within 50yds of our Hotel Reception.
We were the final pickup point and were in the bottom of the Diamond Head Crater within 15 minutes. We had been given a very thorough briefing by our Driver and were ready to go immediately after taking our complimentary Water Bottles. We were told that the pick-up would be 2 hours hence.


The hike is steady, with sloped concrete paths and where appropriate, steps. The route is tightly controlled and there is no wandering from it for safety reasons and in addition, to protect Flora & Fauna.

Nothing too strenuous, plenty of birds and plants to admire, before reaching the summit, where there was a derelict Military Observation Point.. that observed nothing during the Pearl Harbour attack.
These are the images that we took from the top!






All too soon, it was time to make our way back down, remarkably finding this much easier than going up (strange, I know).

Whilst waiting for our pickup, Mandie found a Cat.

Although I strongly suspect that it is in fact, a Cougar.

We also saw an ITrolley, heavily disguised..


Pickup arrived dead on time and we were back in our Hotel by 1000. Now for the afternoon activities…A Sail on a Catamaran with ‘Makani’, another Go Oahu booking.

Makani Catamarans are based in Kewalo Basin, a pretty harbour, around 2 miles from our Hotel and close to Ala Moana Shopping Center. This can easily be accessed by the nos 20, 42 and in our case, 23 Bus ($3pp of tortuous pain on the buttocks).


An overview of the location of the Kewalo Basin.


A close view of the location of the Makani check in booth.. and Catamaran. Very easy to find.

We arrived early, so it was time to visit the Ala Moana shopping centre Food Hall (huge) and try a large $8.99 Dole Whip (me) and a small £6 Shaved Ice (Mandie).


I have never eaten any Dole Whip before, not being a partaker in anything Disney (and such is the fuss over them on the DIBB, that I naively thought ‘Dole Whip’, a Disney creation).
This was a real one in real Hawaii and my expectations were high! So high that I could not resist a ‘lick’ before photographing it.
It was absolutely, stunningly delicious! 11/10
Mandies Shave Ice? It collapsed before she had time to eat it. To be honest it was no different or better than a Slushie. 4.5/10 at best.

It was now time to walk to Makani
via the Ala Moana Regional Park. I think that you might agree that it was rather special!



On arrival at Makani, we were wristbanded and were soon aboard the immaculate, large Catamaran, along with 30 or so others.
We selected a position on the Web Netting, forward of the cabin area and with a large bolster behind us and this proved a wise choice.
There then followed a comprehensive safety briefing before we departed.



I posed elegantly in the bows of the ship.

But was warned that I would lose my baseball cap, If I didn’t put it on backwards for safety. After my recent loss in Seaworld, I could not let this happen!

Almost immediately, I spotted a magnificent Sea Turtle.. to the utter amazement of the others on board.. other than the three crew, who later told me that there were always a couple of Sea Turtles in the Harbour.

A magnificent Sea Turtle (I promise), in a bad photograph.

Then we were all at Sea.. Sea that was the strangest Turquoise Blue and that through which, we could still see the bottom at 40’.



Another Sea Turtle was spotted (but not by me).


All too soon, it was time to return to port. It had been a great few hours. Whilst the Crew had raised the Jib, they had left the Mainsail furled, due to rapidly changing Wind Conditions.
Only one person had been Seasick and the Ship had behaved impeccably with very little movement, due to the extremely narrow, twin hulls slicing through the waves and in addition, the good size of the ship. (Boats are Submarines).

I must further add that the ‘Sickie’ had clearly been drunk on boarding and had then consumed more Alcohol in the bar, making an utter and total fool of himself in front of his family. Drunkenness is never pleasant.. and he wasn’t even a Brit!

Having landed, we now faced a conundrum.. do we
1. Get a Hawaiian Cultural input with a Poke Bowl from the very nearby Ala Moana Centre, eating it in the sunshine at Ala Moana Park? or..
2. Walk to the Red Lobster and have some Seafood with bottomless Cokes and lovely, delicious, Air Conditioning?

The Red Lobster, it very clearly had to be, with the bottomless Coke and Aircon winning the day as we were both feeling the heat a little. Hawaiian Culture could wait for another time.


I went for the Seafarers Feast, Lobster Tail, Garlic Shrimp, Coconut Shrimp and a Skewer of Scallops with Baked Potato and Slaw.


Mandie went for Skewers of Garlic Shrimp and Scallops. You will note that I slyly got a Photo whilst she was distracted.

3 Pints of Diet Coke each and it was time for the Bill.. $85. In Waikiki terms, a bargain and we were now fully rehydrated!

Then, it was a no20 bus ($3 pp) back to our Hotel. We know how to live!

Suddenly, I had this bright idea! I would put my trunks on and go for a sunset swim😀. Mandie did not agree that it was anything like a good idea, so I went on my own.🙁

Down to the Beach it was then.. where I changed my mind and watched the Sunset instead.



I went out onto one of a few concrete bars that stick into the Sea and presumably limit Sand movement along the shore line and there met a Charming Lady of Chinese Origin. She had moved to Waikiki two years ago and lived close to the Zoo with her husband in a 200’ Apartment. She had previously lived near Presidio in SFO , but had moved out, sickened by the rapidly increasing Crime and effective Decriminalisation of it by a useless, Liberal Mayor who seems intent on defunding the Police and disbanding them. She asserted that after a lifetime in SFO, she now felt unsafe to walk its Streets, once away from the Tourist Areas.
An interesting conversation and a subsequent look at the antics of Mayor London Breed upon my return to the Hotel!

en.m.wikipedia/wiki/London_Breed

I take her point!

16301 Steps.

Edited at 07:05 AM.
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Old 6 Mar 23, 09:08 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Join Date: Nov 10
Location: Falmouth
Day 8. A further voyage and a Luau with food and.. stuff. Sunday 26 March 2023.. or ‘Highway to the Danger Zone’ by Kenny Loggins.

Well it was up early once more and a no20 bus to Ala Moana Beach.. with our pre purchased Hilo Cards at $9.50 each from the nearby ABC Store. This gives unlimited use for 1 day, ‘tapping’ as you enter the bus.

There then followed, a gentle stroll to Kewalo Basin along the Sea front, where we were to once again sail with Makani Catamaran.. after a Dole Whip at $6 and a Slushie.. sorry! a Shaved Ice at $6 from a food stall right next to Makani.

At this time, Mandie realised that she had lost her Holo Card.
Cash it would be then for her.

The 2 hour trip, commencing at 1100, was even better than yesterday.



The wind was steady and the sails were soon up. This was thrilling.. and pretty fast!

The two hours rolled by and at 1300 we were stuck at Kewalo Harbour with nothing to do before our Luau appointment at 1645.
The luau was to take place at the Aloha Tower, around a mile away and towards the old dock land area.. an area where Vagrants are plentiful.

The walk took us half an hour, through an increasingly seedy district with an ever increasing number of homeless. To be perfectly honest, I was utterly underwhelmed.

We arrived at the now derelict Hawaii Maritime Center, a former Museum.

Next to it was a former Tall Ship, the Falls of Clyde.

The Falls of Clyde was a tall ship Oil Tanker, the last in existence and has been moored here since 1963. It is believed to be going to a new home in Scotland for refurbishment.. a challenging tow!
This Ship had clearly seen better days!


We noticed an elderly couple, sitting by the entrance of the Museum and feeding some Zebra Doves. Every so often, they would catch one. They then unravelled human hair from around their claws, pointing out other Doves that had lost some toes, due to the hair restricting blood supply and eventually causing those toes to fall off.

A pair of Zebra Doves.

They then took me to a tree and pointed to something very rare indeed.. A White Tern sitting on its egg.

A White Tern does not build a nest, laying its single egg in a depression on a tree branch. It then carries out an amazing balancing act through incubation.


This is an unashamedly borrowed image, showing a White Tern and it’s egg.

That is my Ornithology Lecture for the day!

It was time to eat and we located an Irish Pub called J Doran’s in a rather seedy, run down shopping area with numerous closed shops and just a few blocks away, across Nimitz way and by Walmart.. Our expectations were low, but we ordered a Coors Lite, a Bottomless Diet Pepsi and a 14 inch Pizza, half Scampi and Half, Pepperoni etc

It was absolutely fantastic! I like my Pizzas more than most and this was off the scale.
The Bill was $35. It was so good that I gave the (lovely) waitress a $50, such was the quality and value of what we had eaten.. a 45% tip!
A later look at J Doran’s on Tripadvisor showed that we should not in fact have been at all surprised by what we had eaten. On to the Luau.

We were an hour and a half early, in the rough area of Honolulu Docks, albeit we were on what passed as part of a University Campus (on recess). We had clearly messed up!

We hung in grimly and eventually things cranked up with more people arriving and the check in of guests commencing.
We had a cheap plastic bead thing placed round our necks before we were sat at our table.. with 6 people who had been on our Makani Catamaran trip, the day before.
In addition and not too far away was the drunken sailor and his family, again all from yesterday. He looked rather drunk on this occasion also!
The Luau began at 1730 with a Coconut Tree Climbing demonstration.

The climbing was followed by the Show itself.The show was a series of Dance Routines reflecting the Cultures of various Pacific Islands. Although our seating position was lousy, it looked pretty good.



There were Hawaiian Cowboys (which was rather broke back Mountain and confused me a bit)


Some hot girls that I never once noticed.


And some fire dancing that was difficult to photograph, but thrilling.. with no accidents.



DRINKS.
We had two vouchers each for Beer or Simple Cocktails (otherwise $8) . More complex cocktails had a $10 supplement on top…


Like this one! You don’t get much here for $18.. or $30 if served in a Dead Pineapple!

FOOD.
The buffet was of Chicken, Maui Maui and Pork. IMHO it was dry and unpleasant.. and I am being kind.

The show finished at 1945 and we all left. Most got onto Coaches.. but being Go Oahu tickets, we had no such luxury. We had to catch a bus.
The area was dark, squalid and had plenty of vagrants. We had to walk out of the vicinity and onto a main road. To be honest, it was very unpleasant. Would I do this attraction again? Not on your life. It is simply in very much the wrong place.

Eventually and after half a mile of walking, we got onto a main road, where we caught a no20 bus, back to our Hotel.

Tomorrow, we leave Waikiki for North Shore.

14514 Steps.

Edited at 08:41 PM.
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