In May, we flew to Honolulu. I hadn't been to Oahu in fifty one years. I used to fly to the big island of Hawaii with my TWA flight attendant wife Nancy somewhat regularly. We flew into Kona and had a 27 hour layover at the Kona Reef Hotel. But I digress.
Waikiki has changed a lot in fifty years but Honolulu is pretty much the same. The biggest change in Waikiki is the ABC stores. The ABC stores started out as liqueur stores but now calling an ABC store a liqueur store is like calling Trader Joe's a liqueur store. Both started out as liqueur stores and both are much, much more now. To quote Wikipedia "There are 35 store locations within a one-mile radius of Waikiki alone and consequently many of these sit in close proximity to one another. The intersection of Kalakaua and Seaside Avenue alone has four ABC Stores. There was an ABC in the same building where our time share was. We dropped a ton of money right there.
We did all of the tourista stuff and took a food tour and a island tour. We spent the better part of one day at the Ala Moana Shopping center looking at a lot of Hawaiian tchotchkes. I have passed the Battleship Arizona dozens of times while entering or leaving Pearl Harbor but never have been to the memorial. After paying $15 per head as we were boarding the boat that takes the tourists out to Arizona, the nice folks informed us that we couldn't actually board the memorial due to some bullshit reason the memorial was closed. So we putted around for 15 minutes and went back to the dock. Thanks a lot, been there, done that.
We took a sunset dinner cruise off of Waikiki on a big boat which was fun. We also went to a luau and walked up an down Kalakaua Blvd. a few times. All things considered, a good time was had by all.
In late June, we flew to Charlotte NC and rented a car at the airport. We drove to Charleston SC and stayed a week at The Meeting Inn. Charleston was an unexpected surprise. What a beautiful city. So rich in history. The Low Country cuisine is remarkable. Classic Southern food with a lot of seafood. We went on a horse drawn buggy through town and later walked through a beautiful old section of town. We took the schooner Pride for a day sail. I was very proud of myself. I sat back and enjoyed the sail without leaping to my feet and shouting out orders. We went out to Fort Sumter where The Civil War started. As a history fan I was in heaven.
We left Charleston and drove to Beaufort SC where The Great Santini took place. I read the book, which I loved and saw the movie, which I also loved but nothing looked familiar. Oh well. Drove on to Hilton Head where old friends Scott and Deb Douglas Have a house. Due to health reasons, Scott did most of the cooking which consisted of BBQ treats. No complaints there. He is on a par with Debra and they both are almost as good as Irene, Debra's mother. Unfortunately, Irene passed a few years ago. One day, we drove over to Bluffton and ate at the Cottage Restaurant where I had Blue Crab, corn and bacon pot pie. Like Arney, I'll be back. We bought crabs at the local seafood market. We spent a day in Savannah which after The Garden of Good and Evil I was chomppin' at the bit to see. It wasn't exactly like what I remembered in the movie but it didn't disappoint.