Hawaiian Cruising & Golf Adventure

by Bob Sparrow

View from our room at Hylton Hawaiian Village Hotel

I’m coming to you this week from Hawaii.  Linda and I, along with long-time friends and neighbors, Mark & Kathy Johnson, departed for our 50th state on July 4th.  We are on a ‘golf cruise’, called Golf Ahoy on Norwegian Cruise Line; the cruise includes time in Waikiki and golf on Maui, The Big Island and Kauai.

We arrived on Oahu on the afternoon of July 4th, and headed to the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach, where we caught some Independence Day fireworks.  It was the first time Linda and I had spent any time on Oahu since our honeymoon nearly 45 years ago.  We enjoyed a great 4th of July dinner at Aoki Teppanyaki, with a most talented and humorous chef, then stopped at the Tapa Bar for a night cap, which is conveniently located crawling distance to the elevator to our room on the 14th floor.

Friday morning Linda and I were picked up for our tour of Pearl Habor (the Johnson had already been there, done that).  As expected, it was an informative and moving experience, starting with our bus driver/tour guide, who was full of amazing facts surrounding the events leading up to the Japanese surprise attack.  Once on-site, we saw a short movie on Pearl Harbor, toured the museum, and then I went on a separate tour on site (Linda’s claustrophobia prevented her from joining me) that was of the USS Bowfin, a submarine stationed in the Pacific during WW II that sunk 44 enemy vessels – amazing how tight those quarters were!  We then got on a boat and went out to the Arizona Memorial.  You only get to spend about 15 minutes at the memorial, where 1,177 men are interned in the Arizona, where you can still see oil leaking up to the surface.  An interesting fact is that 25 crew members of the Arizona that survived the war and have since died, asked that their remains be taken back to the USS Arizona, where they can join their fellow crew members.

USS Arizona

In the afternoon Linda and I went to the Hale Koa Hotel, a military hotel right on the beach where I could show my Veterans ID card and get a discount on our lunch and drinks.

Friday night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Bali Oceanfront restaurant, noted for it’s great steak and seafood, where, during the middle of our dinner, we left our table and went outside on the beach to watch the five minute ‘Every Friday Night Fireworks’ on Waikiki.  Awesome!!!

Yes, Waikiki was a little crowded on this holiday weekend, maybe a lot crowded, but it’s easy to see why, it’s amazing!!  I don’t know how many times I said, “I love Hawaii’, but I love the people, I love the vegetation, I love the weather, I love the sunsets, I love the tropical drinks, I love the feel, I just love Hawaii.  I know Linda gets tired of hearing it, but . . . it just gets me!  And I get it!

Saturday morning, we had time for a nice breakfast, I had to haave the macadamia nut/banana pancakes; we were then picked up and taken to the ship, the Norwegian Cruise Lines’ ‘Pride of America’ to start our Hawaii-Golf adventure – and with my game, it’s always an adventure!  All Aboard and stay tuned!!

Bali Oceanfront Restaurant – Waikiki

Waikiki Beach fireworks

NCL Pride of America