Link to Profile Semperoper, Dresden Sieg (auf dem Siegesäule), Berlin Brandenburg Tor, Berlin Skyline, Frankfurt am Main

Friday, April 27, 2007

Go There #003
Wailana Coffee House and Cocktail Lounge, Waikiki (Honolulu, Oahu)

This place is popular with Tourists, probably because it is one of the few places on Waikiki Beach where you can get breakfast for two for under $20. It's right across from the Hilton Resort Complex, so I can understand people looking to save a few bucks. By the way, they get more than their fair share of locals, so it is not just a tourist haven.
The draw for me was that it was probably going to be good if as many as 30 people at any one time were willing to wait 10 to 15 minutes to get in just for breakfast. There are occasionally a few open seats at the counter, so you don't always have to wait if you can handle counter service ... The Partnerin likes booths, so we waited. I kind of like the 1970s feel to the place ... makes me think of Five-O.
But it was worth the wait. Here you see in the foreground the Scottish Bangers breakfast (yes, I couldn't restrain myself from digging in before taking the picture) and in the background the Irish Breakfast. For roughly $9 each, you get eggs and meat, hash-brown potatoes, juice, toast, and a drink ... this, by the way, is health food in Hawaii. They don't have Spam on the menu, but you can ask for it if your really want it. It's one of the few places in the world where the locals make me feel anorexic (Nebraska was another).

And they are open 24 hours if you are still jet-lagged and twelve hours off your schedule.

The food is good and the price is reasonable in the local scheme of things ... go there!

Wailana Coffee House & Cocktail Lounge
1860 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 98615

Sorry, no GPS, so no Coordinates, but it is right across the street from Fort De Russy and the Hilton so you can't miss it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Some Things are Probably Better Left Unexplored

No offense to this international chain, which I still visit from time to time for a relatively healthy and fast lunch, but sushi is one of those things I leave to people who specialize in sushi.

This is What a Commercial Airport Should Look Like

We were driving up a particularly steep hill, and the Partnerin, obviously forgetting where she was, asked "What do the locals do when it snows?"

This is the waiting area at the local commercial airport. They do have screeners and security and all that, but they did seem a little bit friendlier, probably because they are in fresh air and sunshine on most days. One wonders what they do on a really rainy day ... if they have those in Kona. The Partnerin told me she experienced a rainy day in the town of Kailua Kona while I was at the airport flying one day, but I think I could have kept a running count of the raindrops I saw in three weeks if I had really tried, which is a long way of saying that I don't think they get many rainy days at this airport.

Frankfurt still has the aircraft parking spots where you walk across the tarmac and clmb up stairs to the plane, but almost always at the end of a bus ride from the terminal (by the way, Fraport, why do you make me walk all the way to the farthest gate in Terminal B just to put me on a bus out to the plane). Anyway, here you are always within 100 yards of your aircraft ... no buses necessary. This, by the way, is an International Airport, and they do process things as big as 747's on their way to distant lands. Hard to believe, no?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Life is a Beach

More "Magnifient" and not so much "Desolation" in this one.

American Grafitti
Hawaiian Style

This is really fun to check out ... the land around the Kona coast of the Big Island brings to mind Buzz Aldrin's "Magnificent Desolation" comment about the lunar surface. But as you drive along you see all this grafitti "written" in white stones. This stuff goes on for miles, and there are literally thousands of these little messages -- millions of white stones arranged on black lava flows.

Here is a close-up of a particularly deep thought ... someone was here on 4-7-2007.

But the one you may or may not be able to see reminded me of Sal de Traglia's post about Flat Stanley ... forgive my artwork, but here is Stanley in Hawaii.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When the Going Gets Tough ...
The Tough Go Tropo

"Honolulu Center, Cessna 827 level at 10,000." I haven't flown in this airspace since 1987, so old habits die hard ... Honolulu Center became HCF Control three weeks ago. Oops!

I am not the only one on frequency who makes the mistake, as two others report in to "Honolulu Center" just after my call. It must be a harder adjustment to those who
have been talking to Honolulu every day for years or decades.

The scenery is basically the same, although last time around I was roughly 25,000 feet higher on my way across the Pacific to points west (or east depending on where you start counting your longitude). That is Mauna Kea, one of the larger but dormant volcanoes on the big island of Hawaii. I'm at ten thousand feet, so it is looming roughly another 3,600 feet above me.

The nice thing about being on holiday is that you have more flexibilty to see a few of the local sights you used to pass by. Ever see a volcano up close and personal? That's the Pu'u O'o crater near Kilauea belching smoke up ahead.

And here we are peering into the belly of the beast. Unfortunately ... or fortunately, depending on how you feel about these things ... it is not spewing a lot of lava up these days, but it is still active, and if you make a few circuits of it you will see the lava sloshing around inside.

And if you follow te smoke popping up at a few points along the lava tube that leads to the sea, you can see new land being added to the Big Island every day.

Great fun. The Partnerin and I have taken a few weeks to visit the Pacific, which given the bad weather in the US was probably a good choice. And I've taken the opportunity to buzz about the skies on the other side of the world. The remaining boxes and uninstalled lights can wait for us to return ... I'm not convinced I want to return, but more about that later. In the meantime, enjoy the sights.