Hawaii and the Philippines 1998

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Note: This travelog was written in 2013, so many details have long been forgotten since we took the trip.

v Thursday, January 29, 1998: We flew to Honolulu via Minneapolis/St. Paul and arrived the evening of January 28, checking into the Outrigger West Hotel. The next morning, we took a tour to the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.
The memorial is built over the water, reachable only by shuttle boats.
Here's the view from the memorial facing back toward the island of Oahu.
This is the view looking out of the memorial to the left.
It's very sobering to see the ship itself just under the surface. The sea is slowly covering it with coral and seaweed, and the fish consider it a reef.
Flowers were tossed into the water to honor the dead.
The inside of the memorial is especially beautiful.
We passed this striking pair of buildings on the shuttle ride back to our hotel, and we photographed them again when we came back nine years later.
We spent the afternoon on the beach in front of the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, where Debbie spent many summer days in 1983, and where we stayed in 2007.
There was plenty of good people-watching on the beach.
This is the quintessential photograph every tourist must take when they're on Waikiki Beach.
Here's a shot of the beach in front of the Outrigger. After this, we walked to the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center and bought a coaster from the same kiosk where Debbie had bought a beloved silk-screened t-shirt a decade earlier.
Our hotel was a couple of blocks back from the beach. Our balcony faced a side street, but there was an outdoor hallway outside our front door that faced the beach. We had perfectly clear skies when we watched the space shuttle Endeavor fly overhead.
Suddenly, there was a huge clatter on the street below. It was the day after the Chinese New Year, and several dragons were on the street, headed into Denny's. It was great fun to watch.

Friday, January 30, 1998: We took a full day circle island tour the next day. Our route headed counter-clockwise around the island. Here's a view from the slopes of Diamond Head with Koko Head in the distance.
Here's the beautiful area of Aina Haina.
We stopped briefly to look at beautiful Hanauma Bay.
We had another photo opportunity just above Halona Cove Beach. We took a photo from this exact same place nine years later.
This was toward the north east side of the island.
At one point, we stopped at a cafe and gift shop where we probably got a snack and souvenirs, but there's no proof or memory of this.
We stopped on the North Shore, most likely at Sunset Beach, for a quick photo op.
We visited Waimea Valley and Adventure Park, home of Waimea Falls. We watched a cliff diving performance.
The park is home to numerous peacocks along the walk that stretches along the valley. From here, we drove to the Dole Plantation where we took exactly zero photos, but bought a bottle of pineapple wine. Our bus got stranded on the way back but we made it back to Honolulu in the middle of rush hour.
We headed down to Waikiki again to watch the sunset.
Of course, we returned to the familiar stretch of sand in front of the Outrigger Waikiki.
After the sun went down, we had dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise down the street, ...
... then took one last walk back up the beach.

Saturday, January 31, 1998: We took a shuttle to the airport and checked in for our morning flights to Manila via Osaka. We visited the beautiful garden at the airport and took a self portrait.
While waiting for our flight to Osaka, the announcement that the flight was ready to board was given in English, and the two of us stood up to stand in line. Next, the announcement was given in Japanese, and the entire rest of the room stood up.

Sunday, February 1, 1998: We crossed the International Date Line on our flight to Japan. After a three hour layover where we managed to buy a hotdog and Cokes, we were on a flight to Manila. This photo was probably taken somewhere over Japan, since we arrived in Osaka at 3:30 PM.
We arrived in Manila at 9:30 PM and took a taxi to the Mandarin Oriental Manila, shown here in a photo from the hotel's website since we took very few photos in Manila. Remember, this was in the days of film photography.
Here's a photo of the hotel lobby, courtesy of the hotel's website.

Monday, February 2, 1998: The next morning, we had room service breakfast in a room that looked a lot like this one, complete with fancy personalized stationery. Tom went off to his business meetings in Makati while Debbie stayed at the hotel. Debbie visited the hotel gift shops, purchasing a set of Philippine coins, a local map, and some postcards, then got a sandwich from the cake shop and had a Kit Kat or two from the mini bar.
We also took a ballpoint pen with us from the hotel room, and are still using it as an occasional letter opener many years later.
That evening, we walked a few blocks to Ayala Center, a larger shopping mall. We ate at Pho Bac Vietnamese Specialty Restaurant, and had Diet Coke, spring rolls, pan fried beef, spare ribs, and something mango, according to our receipt. We realized later that we have no idea what type of animal the spare ribs were from. We bought a 12-pack of Diet Coke in a grocery store in the mall on our way back.

Tuesday, February 3, 1998: We started our day with muffins and iced tea in the hotel's cake shop for breakfast, then Tom headed out for work again. Debbie had a sandwich and tiramisu take out from the cake shop and spent the afternoon at the hotel pool, shown here in another photo from the hotel's website.
This photo was taken by Debbie. The hotel was in the heart of the Makati district surrounded by traffic, ...
... but the palm trees surrounding the pool gave it a tropical, private feel despite the city sounds all around.
That evening, we had a very nice dinner in the hotel's upscale Chinese restaurant, Tin Hau, shown here in a hotel photo.

Wednesday, February 4, 1998: Here's a photo we took from our hotel room. Debbie flew home on Wednesday via Osaka and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Tom worked the remaining three days, then returned on Saturday via Tokyo and Detroit.

** THE END **

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