When we first started visiting Hawaii in the 70s and 80s, most of the tourists were from Japan. But the collapse of the yen and the weak Japanese economy translates to more Chinese and Koreans visiting now. The average Japanese tourist (read that as honeymooners) stays an average of only 5 days. Tourists from the other Asian countries stay an average of 9.5 days, and spend 25% more!
Canada, China and Australia now constitute the fastest growing tourist numbers. Fewer cruise ships stop in Hawaii now as well. But for those of us from California, and western states, the airfare runs only about $400, thanks to competition from the major airlines. And it is only a 4.5 to 5 hour flight, depending on the trade winds.
While I was in college, we played the Hawaii All Stars baseball team. They featured two well known players. One, Derek Tatsuno, was drafted high second round by the San Diego Padres) in the major league draft. The other, a fading star, the only man to pitch a perfect game in the World Series, Gilroy’s own Don Larsen. He was well past his prime, but a nice man, cordial to all of us.
I thought it rather strange when Hawaii became our 50th state on August 21, 1959. It was President Dwight Eisenhower who signed the bill that dissolved the Territory of Hawaii, and established the State of Hawaii as our 50th state. It was not connected to the mainland! But that was a good thing.
Hawaii is our only state with a tropical rainforest. And Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu is the only royal palace in the U.S. In fact, Iolani had electric lights a full four years before the White House!
Most people think Hawaii consists only of eight major islands: Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii, Lanai, Molokai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe. But the total number of islands is a whopping 132! I have been to five so far. How many have you visited?
My favorite island is Kauai for several reasons. First, we have dear friends, Rey and Corinne who live there. And second, lots of things to do without too many tourists! This includes nice places to eat (Kintaro, Hamura, Ko
untry Kitchen, Tip Top), beautiful golf courses, cycling paths, manageable traffic, and beautiful scenery.
But Maui is certainly a strong second. In fact, we will visit both this trip. Kauai, mostly to see our friends, and Maui, where we have our Marriott timeshare. My brother Bob, and his wife Laura will join us. It is always more fun when they come along with us.
We plan to hit all of our favorite spots, like Aloha Mixed Plate, Sam Sato’s, Kula Bistro, Haliimaile General Store, Star Noodle, Sansei, and Monkey Pod. Add in some golf, cycling, beach time, pool time, shopping, along with a big two bedroom, ocean view condo, complete with free whale watching.