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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Hawaii Bound & Here On Oahu!

Yesterday's thirteen hours of flight time from BWI to Honolulu went by surprisingly fast. My travel companion (former college and teammate at Bowling Green State University), Jodie Smith, and I had only two legs for the massive trip. The first leg was from BWI to Seattle—Alaska Airlines flight path, and the second one from Sea-Tac to Honolulu.

The most interesting thing we've encountered was the people put in our path, starting with the fantastic and friendly flight attendants on our last leg and our row companion, Gretchen, a resident of Oahu. Frankly, our entire 36 hours of being in Hawaii have been all about the people we've met. I hope to return and share some people-put-in-our-path stories, but here is one example from this morning.

On my last family trip (and only) to Oahu in 2019, "The Best Daughter" sought out a friendly coffee shop on the main strip in Waikiki called the Sunrise Shack. It became a favorite of my beloved family coffee drinkers, Bill and Olivia. Of course, I had to take Jodie there to get her morning coffee. No worries about me; I don't drink coffee, but instead, I had a cup of tea in our hotel/Airbnb room before heading out for the day.

After leaving the coffee shop between a hotel and a shopping area with an ABC store, I wanted to purchase some ocean/reef-compliant sunscreen and a bottle of cold water. Our plan was to walk/hike to Diamond Head from the strip of Waikiki - about 3+ miles. As I got my phone to check the distance and walking directions, Troy from the Outrigger Hotel asked us if we needed help. At first, we said we didn't need anything, in that we were getting directions to Diamond Head. He then casually asked us if we had already purchased our timed entrance tickets, to which I answered, "What, we need tickets?" We learned that people who come to the entrance without a time ticket are turned away.

At the outdoor/breezeway desk, Troy flipped a cellophaned paper for Diamondhead's new entry system with a QR code to order Diamondhead tickets. It was easy peasy and a life-saver since we would not be turned away at the entrance gate after walking the 3+ miles to the trailhead.

Our hike was grand (we hiked over 13 miles today - after 13 hours of flight time yesterday), our meals were delicious, and the warm Pacific waters soothed our souls. I like to think travel is my kind of therapy. And from the looks and languages the world over converging in Hawaii, I suspect many others feel the same way!




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