Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Royal Hawaiian

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Waikiki, Hawaii. Waikiki used to be the beach where Royalty surfed. Nice, gentle, predictable waves... The Royal Hawaiian Hotel was pretty much the only hotel on the beach and up and down Waikiki, there were coconut palms in profusion. The low lying area surrounding Waikiki was fairly swampy. Since then, Waikiki has filled up with high rises and shoping areas and the swamp (much to the chagrin of the native ducks) was drained via the Ala Wai Canal.


Clint said...

I think I might have been more likely to enjoy Waikiki when it was a swamp. It's a bit too overpopulated for me these days. Of course, I've only seen it in pictures and from the airport, but it looks to me a lot like Chicago's Gold Coast with palm trees.

The hotel, on the other hand, looks like it'd be a wonderful place. That, I'd like to see.

So, is Oahu your home island? How much travel is there between islands for Hawaiians? How many Oahuans, say, never see Kauai, or the Big Island?

The Wayward Hawaiian said...

Well, I can't speak for current times but when I was a kid, it was pretty inexpensive to fly between islands. People had relatives on different islands and popped in to visit every now and then. I'd guess they still do. I still have not been to Niihau but outside of that... The Big Island is my favorite because it reminds me of Oahu back in the "old days."

Clint said...

I guess this is yet another way that Hawaiian life is so different than what I'm used to. I was almost 30 before I stepped onto a plane, and most every trip before my Hawaiian trip was a road trip. I'd never had to fly. I've always driven everywhere, so the idea of flying with any kind of frequency as part of day to day life just seems foreign to me.

Still I hope someday to see each of the islands, though my understanding of Niihau is that outsiders simply aren't allowed. I doubt I'll ever see that one.

The Wayward Hawaiian said...

It's funny, growing up on an island gives you a much different sense of distance. A 30 minute drive when I was a kid was a really big thing. Everyone would thing, oooh, that's really far. I think I drove for 30 minutes getting to work this morning and considered myself fortunate, given the rain. When I head home, I routinely drive around the island to see the areas that are still at least a little bit like it used to be (no wall to wall homes, no malls, just beach, turtles, surfers...).

Holey moley batman, there's some huge thunder and lightening going on outside. Hope the house doesn't slide down into the canyon given all the rain! Something's banging on the window. Sounds like pea-sized hail. Oh, there go the flowers... No flower pics for a bit... Fingers and toes are crossed; how stays put.

My understanding of Niihau is the same as yours; You need special permission to go. The residents are Hawaiian and still speak Hawaiian. I checked out the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niihau
and it sounds like not too much has changed.