The meaning of IHOP + Hanauma Bay + Dennys!

I was knackered last night. Just so tired, that I couldn’t even find enjoyment watching Fox News and laughing at the lies they tell people. Seriously, just imagine one news channel super biased towards say, the ACT party. That’s what Fox News is like. One woman was interviewing a Muslim guy talking about whether to build a mosque in the shadows of Ground Zero. She had a whole bunch of excuses why not, and for each the guy had a well thought out, reasoned answer. After changing her tack on this question about six times, she just cut him off and said thanks for talking.

Anyways, the morning was eventful. The GPS in the Samsung Galaxy S is well known for being, well, awful. However I’m pleased to say it pulled through and told me how we could get from the Ohana Waikiki West to IHOP. Turns out IHOP stands for International House of Pancakes. Yeah, that’s the meaning. I guess the word ‘international’ makes the pancake place feel a bit more grand. Anyways, 10 minutes down the road, and there it is. We went inside and waiting for someone to seat us. Kathryn got the five-stack of pancakes, which is ridiculous. I mean these pancakes are the size of saucers, and there’s five of them. I decided to get a ‘melt’ which is a toasted sandwich with cheese (orange of course), ham, and egg. This sandwich was the size of a box of Hormel Bacon, so massive. The lady asked if I wanted ‘mumble’ or ‘hashbrowns’. I asked for Hashbrowns. Once my order was served, I got chips. I thought that maybe hashbrowns in America meant chips. Turns out they don’t, there was a mistake, and then she gave me a dinner plate full of shredded potato fried on a hot plate. Real hashbrowns. So that, plus the chips, plus the sandwich was enough to feed me, Kathryn, and probably two of her good friends, Kate, and Sam. And have enough to feed Africa. Don’t get me started on Kathryn’s five stack of pancakes. Turns out there was so much she needed lubrication to help it go down, so that’s where half a jug of syrup helped. She must have had about a fifth of her serving, and was then full. All up that came to $27USD. Once you tip your 15 to 20%, we paid $35USD. Don’t tell me how much that is in NZD, I don’t want to know.

After that, we went to the hotel to wait for our ride to Hanauma Bay. Imagine a former volcano where a side had been eroded by the sea, and then coral and fish took over and because a snorkeller’s paradise. That’s pretty much was Hanauma Bay is. For $15USD you get a return trip from Waikiki and snorkels/flippers. We used a company called Hawaiian Comfort. The driver was insane. Seriously. People give stick about New Zealand drivers being awful, but this man was more suited to the mean streets of Vietnam than Honolulu. Some would say he’s an experienced professional driver. I’d say he was bat-poo insane, and things like indicating are for sissys, and you get bonus points for changing lanes without telling any other drivers first.

Anyways, after the death race, we made it to Hanauma Bay. It’s closed Tuesdays so don’t even think about it. But on a Monday it was pretty packed, so we waiting in line to pay our $7.50USD entry fee, and then waited in another line to watch a 8 minute movie about the bay. Here’s my abridged version. Don’t stand on the coral or feed the fish. Then you can choose to walk down the side of the former volcano, or pay 75 cents to catch a ride. We caught a ride. 2nd best dollar ever spent.

Hanauma Bay is an amazing place. We put on the snorkels, and I found out mine did not have enough strength to take my fierce head and so leaked. As an adventurer I complained bitterly but continued. Kathryn and I went out and it was lovely. Let’s just say a random person I knew over here who has a fondness for makeup got freaked out by the coral and fish three times and returned to the beach. She asked me if I was freaked out by coral and fish. I said no, that’s pretty much the attraction here.

Two cuts later, bleeding and wounded, I returned for some sunbathing. Saw a creepy guy at the beach with a towel over himself sitting in a beach chair filming what appeared to be 8 year old Japanese girls. I filmed him instead. Beat that creepy guy.

We went in one more time snorkelling and this time it was amazing. The coral close to the shore is bleached dead and lifeless, but once you get over this 1 foot deep coral pipe you get to the really deep interesting alive bit, and it’s amazing. Kathryn saw two yellow fish which was her highlight, and for me, mine was being still, just breathing, and watching all manner of white, blue, green, black, and other coloured fish eating, playing, and doing what fish do. It was great, like swimming in an aquarium.

We were done with Hanauma Bay after this, so we paid another dollar to catch the shuttle back up the side of the Volcano. Best dollar ever spent. Imagine Hamilton’s steepest hill, in the sun, and then you driving up while poor souls walked. That’s luxury. At the top while waiting for Mr. Death, we talked to some Americans from San Jose, California. I explained that New Zealand’s biggest export was milk and dairy, and Kathryn said it was tourism. Only later did we think that maybe our accents make the word tourism sound a bit like terrorism. But that’s not a New Zealand export at all.

Death race later, and we were back in the ‘ki. I don’t know if anyone calls it that. We then we to dinner at Dennys. They have a two, four, six, and eight dollar menu. You don’t see that at some of the fancier restaurants. So we knew that this place would be good value. In the end I ordered a T-Bone Steak, and Prawns, and then Orange Cheese-covered mashed potato, and corn. The steak was thinner than NZ steak, and lightish in colour, a bit like veal. It was OK. Kathryn had a cheeseburger and fries. She thought it was fine, not as good as Burger Fuel. Thanks to the Doos for sponsoring this meal.

Then we went on what was to become a two hour tiki-tour (Kathryn says Kiki-tour, ya’know, like Waikiki. That’s why she doesn’t have a blog) of Waikiki. Turns out we’ve been getting up early, and going to bed early. When really the Hawaiian model is to get up late, and go to bed late. All the shops were still open, and serving Japanese people. We went into a DFS Galleria which was never ending with bags, bags, chocolate, makeup, and bags. Kathryn got some makeup for $48USD which is normally $96NZD. An actual saving.