The Big Hawaiian Trip: Mr & Mr DMark Report Back On Their First Trip To Hawaii

First of all, thank you all for your suggestions on my earlier thread Hawaiian Tips Needed. I took a print out with me and followed quite a few of your tips!
Here is a follow up on our adventure:

The Big Hawaiian Trip

To begin with, let’s talk about weather.
The Governor of Hawaii was being asked to declare the situation a natural disaster to get Federal funding due to the flooding caused by the torrential downpour over the islands during the week we were there.
On the upside, we still have plenty of suntan lotion to hold us over in Las Vegas until mid-August.

But let’s start from the beginning. At 2:30 AM on Thursday, Hawaiian Airlines whisked us off on a six hour flight to Honolulu and we arrived, sleepless and excited, to be greeted by a lovely woman hired by our travel agent who sweetly embraced us and put purple leis on our necks. Oddly, we were the only people on the entire plane to receive this traditional accolade and as I went to the restroom, one guy said, “See, he got one” and everyone stared at me. Now, in a men’s restroom, having the entire crowd staring at you as you pee while wearing a flower necklace is a bit odd, even for me. I felt like all that was missing was my tiara, but I gamely finished business at hand and went out to our shuttle and off we went to Waikiki. Our driver told us we were lucky the sun was shining as it had rained the day before and they predicted it might rain again. Little did we know.
So we arrived at our hotel, Pacific Beach, and slipped the clerk a few bucks to upgrade our room and it was truly wonderful – ocean front, with a view straight out of a travel brochure. Of course, not having slept for 28 hours, we didn’t really get to view much before taking nap one, of three, that first day.

Honolulu is a big city in a great location. Like all big cities, traffic is a bitch and there are some gritty corners here and there, but at least on Waikiki, they had an army of people cleaning those streets good enough to impress Germans. We never saw a scrap of paper on the sidewalks or the beach. There was shopping galore. Oh, and something called ABC stores. They are kind of like 7-11s on the mainland, just more of them, and I mean, lots and lots of them. They make Starbucks on the mainland look rare in comparison. Sometimes on one city block, there would be four or more ABC stores. If I won the lottery, I would open a chain of stores, call them DEF and place them next door, just to help poor Hawaiian kids learn the alphabet. The ABC stores charge $6.99 for a six pack of beer, and $5.99 for a six pack of Coke.

At any rate, between naps we walked across the street to the beach. It was sunny and nice, but we were tired and said, “We have all week to get sun, let’s just look around today.” We found a nice gay bar, Angles, and right below it was a fantastic restaurant called Seaside that had two lobster tails, with sides of potatoes and corn, for only $16.95. Also Mahi Mahi done Cajun style and it was only $12.95. Great food, good price, nothing fancy, nice mix of locals and tourists.

Speaking of tourists. I am old enough to remember when Japanese tourist traveled in packs, with some lame leader holding a flag, and the poor group looked terrified and very tired. Well let me tell you, those days seem to be over. It seemed that almost half of the tourists in Honolulu were Japanese, and most were young, in pairs or in small groups, having a great time and not shy whatsoever. Slamming down beers, dressed like anyone their age in California, they just were having a grand old time and it was great to see them just having fun and going off on their own. We even saw elderly Japanese couples who were obviously not a part of a tour group venturing into restaurants off the beaten track. I was impressed.

The next day was overcast, so we walked through the Honolulu zoo. Nice layout, quite a selection of animals – from fish to lizards to apes and lions and tigers and bears oh my. Then we came to a field and there was a cow. Amidst all of these exotic animals, a single cow in a field. I thought, “Well, now I know why milk is so expensive here – this appears to be the only cow in Hawaii.” On Maui, milk was going for $6.59 a gallon. More about Maui coming up.

That night we found another gay bar, Hula’s, and it too was fun and, surprise surprise, directly below that bar was Teddy’s Bigger Burgers. What a fantastic place! If anyone wants to open a franchise of Teddy’s on the west coast, they will beat Fatburger and In and Out as the best burgers around! Somebody really should call Teddy and get him to franchise!

The next day was Saturday. Cloudy and windy and to make the day just perfect, I had bone chills, aches and pains and spent most of the day in bed. Luckily, I felt better on Sunday just in time to catch the flight to Maui.

Arrived in Maui, overcast and windy, and waited for almost two hours for the shuttle bus to Kaanapali. The ride took another hour and fifteen minutes due to traffic, but we got to see whales off in the distance and the drive was really beautiful. We got to Kannapali Villas and went to our condo. We lucked out, had another great view of the ocean from our patio and the apartment was really very nice, despite it being a somewhat older complex. We were quite happy in that apartment. Good thing too. We spent most of our time in that apartment.

Sunday – overcast, windy, light rain at night.
Monday – drizzle, cloudy.
Tuesday - drizzle, cloudy, windy.
Wednesday – no rain, but no sun either.
Thursday – SUN! We dashed off to the beach. Got into the water! Swam! Laughed and splashed and took photos. Should have applied suntan lotion to legs. Burned skin, didn’t care.
Friday – MORE SUN! We had enough lotion on us to grease a pig. Back in the water, walked up and down the beach, this was the Maui we were expecting.
Saturday – sun went away again. Cloudy, windy.

While we were in Maui, we had ample time to do a luau, go to Whaler’s Village, a small mall with shops like Tiffany and Rolex (and yes, an ABC store). Some restaurants on the beach. Also went to Old Lahina – a beach town with restaurants like Bubba Gumps and Hard Rock Café. We tried several restaurants in Maui – Kimos, BJ’s Pizza, Leilanas, Cheeseburger In Paradise, Hula Grill, Castaways. They weren’t cheap, but in all fairness, they were not outrageous either. You would pay the same in a decent restaurant in Las Vegas. The only problem was the food in every restaurant was almost the same – mediocre at best, and a very limited selection. Not one of those restaurants would last a month on the mainland.

We had planned on doing lots of other things while we were in Maui, but the weather played a major factor in us not doing it. The Queen Mary II pulled in while we were there and got some great photos and briefly spoke with some of the crew while we were having lunch.

On Sunday, we left Hawaii (it was sunny and beautiful that day) and flew back to Las Vegas.

So, impressions of Hawaii:

Really nice people. Every Hawaiian we met was courteous and friendly – although almost every one said, “you are from Las Vegas?! That is where WE go for vacation!” One woman said, “You are the first people I have ever met from Las Vegas who have come here!” I cannot say enough how nice the locals were, and they felt bad we got stuck in that weather while we were there.

Hawaii really is as beautiful as on the postcards. The photos we took on our two sunny days in Maui look wonderful. The hotel in Honolulu was perfect; the condo in Maui was great. We did go next door to the Westin Resort that was selling timeshares. Nice apartment – they wanted $68,900 for a 1/52 share! It wasn’t THAT nice, trust me.

Maui – I fully understand why someone would want to move there. Peaceful, beautiful, laid-back. However, I personally would go stark raving mad if I lived there; the one, crowded highway with a speed limit of 40-45 miles per hour; supermarket prices that are ridiculous; a nightlife that is veritably non-existent. Granted, the weather sucked, but it did show me that even without that weather factor, Maui has some limitations that would not be a good fit, at least for me.

Honolulu – I would definitely like to go back there. Yes, the beach at Waikiki is jammed full of tourists, but I am sure there are other beaches a short drive away that would be quite nice. Plus, because Honolulu is a large city, the prices are more competitive, the selections are wider and you have the best of both worlds – beautiful beaches and a big city life.

All in all, it was a wonderful 25th anniversary trip for Mr. and Mr. DMark. Thanks again for all of your tips and suggestions, and we hope to visit again someday! Aloha!

So glad to hear you enjoyed your trip. It’s kinda funny – whenever I try to explain various things about Hawaii to people (ABC stores, the prices, the throngs of tourists, the ethnic mix, the rainbows, the different pace, etc.), I always have the feeling that people just don’t really get it.

For future reference, I think the best time of year to visit is late April or early May – main tourist season is over (rental prices go down, not as crowded) and the weather is perfect (out of the rainy season, which it sounds like you caught in, but not yet summertime temps).

Once every ten years, we get weather like this. Consider yourself lucky! :stuck_out_tongue: We tell tourist that rain is how the gods bless us. This is partly true because on many islands drought can be a problem, but we would have made it up anyway. :smiley: Did you guys experience our liquid sunshine? Surprised to see that rain doesn’t always come from clouds? Or are the cloud so thin they are virtually invisible? Or is the rain coming from distant clouds? :dubious:
Of course, our uncle (the Japanese one)claims that the gods are just peeing on us! :rolleyes:

Now you tell me.

But despite the weather, we really did like the trip although I seriously doubt we will ever go back to Maui for reasons I mentioned above. Honolulu, however, could be fun - especially with those rare days of sunshine we have heard about.

Yes! We did experience liquid sunshine…I think it was the last Saturday and we were at Whaler’s Village for about the tenth time and it suddenly got sunny for a bit and, at the same time, I was getting drenched. Could see no clouds, but ducked for cover anyway.

Regarding the gods peeing on us, it seems the gods had all just come from a beer bust the week before and we pretty much spent the entire ten days treading water in the almighty urinal. However - if that means we are lucky, there might be something to it. The day after we got back, we went to a local casino for some real food and on the way out, I won $1,500 on a dollar machine, and ten minutes later, my SO won another $1,500 on a similar machine! So maybe Hawaiian godpee really does bring luck?

It rains in Hawaii?
I didn’t think that was possible.

At least you got lei’d and lobster tail!

Maybe you guys should write a Gay Travelog thingie for Gay Bars in Great Locations.

Oh, and the cow in the zoo is priceless. What a WTF moment, huh?
Thanks for sharing! If anything, I live vicariously through dopers.
Now I can say I’ve been on Big Fat Gay Hawaiian Vacation.

Yes. The cow was most certainly a WTF moment…I mean, we had just seen elephants, lions, giraffe, rhinos, apes…and then a light brown cow, all by itself, in a big field. It seemed to be a quite happy cow - perhaps the winner of a California happy cow contest retired in Hawaii?

The Gay bar/good restaurant connection might not be a coincidence…one thing I have learned about my Gay/Lesbian brethren is their love of value and good food…in other words, we might have disposable income, but we ain’t stupid when it comes to forking over bucks to eat.

Both Gay bars we visited (Angles and Hula) had wide open walls facing the ocean - Hula’s had a killer view as well. Prices were decent and they were crowded all day and night and it was a fun group, and quite a few non-Gay people would wander in and stay for awhile anyway. They even have a Gay catamaran ocean tour on Saturdays for only $20 that we were going to do, but as mentioned, I had to get a fleeting flu that day so…next time.

Glad you enjoyed your vacation, DMark.

This amused me greatly.

Well, in my defense, your plans were already made. I didn’t want to say anything that might be a downer.

Ahhhhh - glad you had a great trip. Brings back MANY memories from my trip there in Jan/Feb 05.

We hope to go again this summer, or early next year.



(dons factoid hat)
Actually, Mount Wai’alae on Kauai (feel free to correct my spelling, those in the know) is the wettest place on Earth. Furthermore, I was behind a tour group one time and overheard the guide say (paraphrased, as I don’t remember the actual numbers) that while Waikiki gets somewhere near 30 inches of rain a year, Manoa valley (a few miles inland) gets upwards of 300.
(factoid hat off)

True…we wanted to be there for our 25th which was Feb 28, so yeah…even a heads up probably wouldn’t have changed our plans…and again, it sucked that we didn’t do hardly any of the water fun things we had planned, it was great to see it all. And some truly beautiful flowers, lots of geckos (not one tried to sell us insurance) and to see the whales popping up in the distance was amazing.

If you do, indeed, get back to Oahu sometime you have to go to the North Shore. Now that’s Hawaii. HUUUUGE surf in the winter time; very placid, mellow surf in the summer.

:dubious: It ain’t, although it is very wet.

Good to hear you had fun, even with the rain.

As for ABC stores… My friends and I had a theory. There’s really only ONE ABC store, but it was dimensional gates scattered throughout Waikiki. They all look, sound and SMELL the same. At least 7-11’s have the decency to sometimes change a little; ABC stores always were exactly… the… same.

I’m happy you guys had fun, though. Did you get the chance to have a decent plate lunch? If not, you really gotta go back and “go local”. You’ll see Hawai`i in a totally different light.

DMark, thanks for bringing back memories! You see, 15 years ago, I used to be one of the people in front of a back of Japanese tourists, although I usually dealt with them in pairs. The Pacific Beach was one of my favorite hotels, and not just because they’d occaisionally let me slip into their hot tub. Do they still have the 3-story tall aquarium in the lobby?

I sympathize with you about the rain. I still remember a group of tourists I was looking after who had rain on every day of their vacation. Every day, I’d cross my fingers and tell them it should be better tomorrow; every day it wasn’t. They took it in stride and quite pleasant about it. On their last day, one of them said to me, jokingly, “So, think it’ll stop raining tomorrow?” I looked rueful and replied, “That’s what I’ll tell the people coming in today!”

Hawaii really is a remarkable place. It’s impossibly beautiful and the people really are genuinely among the nicest I’ve known. I wouldn’t choose to live there again – the economy finally got to me – but I’d visit again in a heartbeat.

I’m glad you and your wife had a good time.
Former kama’aina

I stand corrected, although I might point out that my information was simply out of date. I don’t know when it changed, but according to Kidz World (I assume that, because this is a commonly asked question, that will be acceptable as a cite, rather than finding some government cite):

Regarding the plate lunch…we did see the hamburger patty on a bed of rice, with two fried eggs on top of the patty, smothered with gravy and, well…we were not all that sure Blue Cross Blue Shield covered us for massive heart attacks in Hawaii.

I like your theory of ABC being dimensional gates…it did seem like you walked through one and came out the exit door and met Harry Potter entering another ABC store behind the alley.

And regarding smell…all of our clothes have this, this musty smell to them…maybe the humidity got to them, and then jammed into our suitcases…whatever, we had to wash everything again here in Las Vegas even though we had (ample) time to do laundry while we were in Maui.

He will get a kick out of that comment…heehee…(It is Mr and Mr DMark)…and he was quite disappointed to find out that when a guy was hanging ten, it didn’t mean what he thought it meant.

About the Japanese tourists…so is it my imagination, or have the Japanese tourists gotten braver and venture off on these trips on their own? Seriously, we only saw one large group at the Pacific Beach and it looked like they were getting a quick daily briefing. At any rate, the Japanese were all very friendly as we shared elevators and they seemed to be dashing off in pairs or even on their own.

And yes, the Pacific Beach still has that great aquarium! We had breakfast there every day, though not the buffet that was so-so and over-priced for two Las Vegas boys who know better about buffets. But the regular breakfasts from the menu were priced decently and were large enough to keep us full until dinner. The Pacific Beach is a great hotel, in a great location, and if anyone ever goes there, it is worth the extra bucks to get one of those ocean front rooms…killer views!


It is very rainy today.
rainy” as in duck could drown.