This was a truly fantastic trip. The big accomplishment, of course, was
visiting my fiftieth state but I also took my first helicopter and
submarine rides and celebrated my seventieth birthday. Given that it was
just eight days before that birthday, I'm taking the liberty of calling my
hike to the top of Diamond Head an accomplishment, too. Although the trip
involved eight airplane rides (3 out, 3 back, 2 inter-island) it also
involved some driving. More than I expected, really. The routes driven are
shown on the locator map. I also used
public transportation when I could. It was excellent on Oahu, pretty good
on Maui, and barely existed on Hawaii. Thankfully Uber had begun operating
on Hawaii a couple of weeks before I got there. Several friends offered
suggestions and shared their own Hawaiian experiences and that added
significantly to my own. Mahalo to my stepmother, Tom & Monica, Brian
T, Brian R, Alex B, and Bob A.
After a final meal in Kona, I boarded a plane around noon and arrived in
Dayton, Ohio, a bit before 10:00 the next day. Elapsed time was about
fifteen hours but it sure seemed longer.
After multiple mentions of taking a dive popped up, I did then drank from
a flaming parrot. Oh, and there was a brewery tour in between.
Another full day of driving that took me to Volcano National Park and
darned near the southernmost bit of land in the country.
Today I managed to change hotels without an airplane and celebrate
National Beer Day in a most appropriate way.
This was a day spent quietly exploring things in and around the hotel
including a small museum and a not so small Japanese garden.
I believe I rode in a helicopter for the first time today. I'm absolutely
certain I rode in a helicopter today and fairly certain it was my first
time. Of course, I have forgotten a thing or two over seventy years.
Following another good breakfast, I moved on to my third island.
Even though it was a gorgeous day in Lahaina, I spent part of it inside
watching basketball and listening to music.
I did even less today than yesterday although I did manage to bring this
journal up to date.
A little down time has is allowing me to catch my breath and almost catch
up on this journal.
I fulfilled today's plans yesterday so today I did rather random stuff and
not much of it.
Today felt like a real road trip as I drove the narrow, winding, and
incredibly scenic Hana Highway.
Today I moved from Oahu to Maui following a wonderful beachside breakfast.
Then I got in some planned visits on Maui before calling it a day.
I knew I'd be walking once I turned the car in but I wasn't exactly
A lack of planning made my second day of driving less than it could have
but it sure wasn't bad.
I picked up a rental car today and made it to a few slightly more out of
the way places. Not all were off the beaten path since it was Sunday and
the paths to the beaches were definitely getting beaten.
I took my first ride on The Bus and did a little walking. I climbed a
tower, checked out a brewery, visited an armadillo, and watched a little
I spent some time at a memorial I've wanted to see most of my life and
also got to see and try some things I've only read about recently.
More than half of my twenty-two hour day was spent inside an airplane but
I ended up in Honolulu and that makes it OK.
A few years ago I started chipping away at the list of states I had not
visited and in 2016 reduced the list to just one. The one remaining state
is Hawaii and plans are in place to scratch it off in 2017. For weeks I've
contracted and expanded the scale of the trip and I've mentally shuffled
dates and itineraries but the shuffling and flip-flopping have ended and I
now have a plan. I'll be flying out on March 23 and back on April 10. In
between I'll spend six nights each on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii (a.k.a. The
Big Island). I'll be renting a car for a couple of days on each island so
there will be some road tripping involved but flying, both to and between
the islands, will be the primary mode of transportation. I don't mind
flying but am not a fan of the lines and hassles of airports. I am very
much dreading that part of the trip but it can't be helped.
All Fifty Club, I'm on the way.