A weekend in Honolulu

A weekend away to Honolulu July 2017

I heard of a reggae festival on Oahu called the Rayjamah Festival. It seemed like a crime to not attend, especially being in a reggae rich environment. I got ticket for Friday,  a round trip flight, and hoped my boss would let me off for the weekend. Since the island is so small, it is common for people to island hop or leave for short periods of time. I gave over a month’s notice and it was easy-peasy to take off.

I’ve mentioned the transition from Dallas to Kauai before and I will say it again, ITS HARD. Dallas is so fast paced and go-go-go and Kauai is a sleepy island. To have the opportunity to take off and go to a place that go-go-goes again, is super exciting. The flight is only about 30 minutes so it’s easy too. I didn’t rent a car because I foolishly thought that it would be easy to get around. And for the most part – it was.

Once I got of the airport, I walked into the beautiful sound of honking cars, a slightly odd smell you only find in the city, and NOISE! It was fairly easy to find the bus stop and navigating down to Waikiki. A man sat down next to me who had the Star of David tattooed across his face in rows. He told me he is a musician and invited to me to go to a hill with him to play music. I thanked him for his invite and offered for him to come with me to the festival. He said he doesn’t like to spend money to listen to music. We had a nice chat, he blessed me on my journey and got off the bus.

Waikiki. How do I even describe such a place? The streets are lined with skyscraper apartments and hotels, the sidewalks are crammed with people carrying shopping bags or taking pictures, and cars are blaring their horns.  You know when you kick sand on an ant hill and the poor little buggers go everywhere? That’s how it felt walking along the street. Just chaos.  I wandered through an open air mall, trailed behind a group of tourists through the city and sat on a park bench and admired the beach. It was every bit as magical as I thought.

I had an whole afternoon to goof off before the concert and then I was meeting up with an old friend whom I haven’t seen in close to ten years. After sitting on the bench and people watching, I went to the zoo. Holy heck, it was the best thing of the whole trip (almost). Since I was on my own, I was able to dilly dally at my own pace and really check out everything. To read about the Zoo Experience, click here.

Lucky me, the zoo was only about a block or so away from where the music festival was. Once in, I found a spot to sit and watched a whole bunch of bands. What is cool about the festival was when I got back to Kauai, I heard all the bands I just saw on the radio. That doesn’t happen very often in Dallas – as it is much more mainstream radio then there. One of my favorite bands is Soja. One of their tracks has a fella named Chris Boomer singing on it. HE WAS AT THE SHOW. I cried. The sweet song came on and I started bawling my face off. Music provides a release that I don’t realize I need until I am there. During the song this mother comes up to me with her son and starts talking and asking me to take pictures. I tried to not be rude, but I was crying and in the moment and didn’t want to miss this particular treat. When I look back, I think she was trying to be wing-woman for her son. The show was absolutely amazing. If you ever get a chance to check out Rayjamah Festival, I would strongly suggest it.

After the concert, I got an Uber and met up with my friend who was at Whiskey Dix. It is a country bar on the top floor of a restaurant that was mostly military. It felt as if I was transported back to Texas and it was tons of fun! Once the bar closed, my friend handed me a helmet and told me to hop on the back of his street bike. It was nice to finally sleep.

The next day was going to be an adventure of exploring Oahu. There was a bunch of things I wanted to check out and we started at the Pineapple Plantation (did I mention I am allergic to pineapples?). For about $10 there is a train ride around the plantation that gives all kinds of information on the history of a pineapple. Next, we ran his errands. First stop is at the vape store and he talked to them for quite some time about different flavors. Then we went to the mall where he wanted to window shop and buy a hat. The mall was crowded and 3 stories tall. Perhaps it was because it was a weekend but it was packed. There was so many people that we couldn’t even walk without bumping into someone.  We stopped at the food court (he wanted burritos) and had lunch. He discussed us going to dinner and a movie that evening. There was a movie he really wanted to see. Do I want to see the 7:15 show or the 10:30?

Wait…what?

I thought we were on an adventure to Oahu and exploring and having fun; he was treating it as a “couples weekend.” Once we got back to his place, I asked if we could take the car so I can start taking photos out the window. He told me that he didn’t have a car. WHAT? If he would have said that at the very beginning, I would have rented a car. When I first asked him, he said to not worry about it, he has transporation.  He wanted us to take a nap because he was tired, and I said no. I called an uber and told him that he could join me, or not, but I am going out exploring. Not wanting to be left at home, he came with me. By the time we got to the beach, the sun was going down and he didn’t want to hang out near the water because he didn’t really like it. We went to Disney Resort and had mai tai’s on the patio and watched the sunset. Well, I was frantically taking pictures and in awe.

Once the sun went down, he wanted tacos, so we went for tacos.  When we finally got back to his place, he wanted to watch movies. When a situation gets uncomfortable, I have a fantastic way of avoiding it all and I  just went to sleep. The next morning he asked if I wanted to go to brunch. Heck yes! Mimosa’s here I come! Oh, silly me.

His idea of brunch was a ramen house. We had noodles and he wanted to take photos of his bike in an abandoned commerical area. I told him no. We went back down to Waikiki and he decided he wanted to have a beer and pretzels from Hooters. So we hung out there for a bit until  he wanted a quail egg and we wound up in China Town.

I was super excited because it was on the list of things to do. I drug him up and down the streets and took pictures of everything. He was a bit impatient and didn’t want to stay there for too long. He thought it was time for another beer and we went to a place he wanted to.

Do you see a pattern here?

My weekend away to Honolulu was absolutely hijacked by someone who didn’t listen to a word I said, interrupted me every time I spoke, talked nonstop about his motorcycle, and did what he wanted with no second thought about if I wanted to.

The best part of the whole weekend was learning so much about my travel preferences. It seems as though the weekend was a waste, but I got a fantastic story out of it (my coworker told me every time he was bummed about something, he would think about my story and laugh). The one thing I can say – always have a car or a mode of transportation. If I wasn’t so dependent on him, I would have been able to get away more and experience the island. Unfortuatly, it was also Comic Con weekend and rental cars were scarce and highly expensive.

Have you been to Oahu? What do you suggest for my next trip?

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