Some weeks ago in October, when my midterms had abated and seasonal depression had set in, my lovely mom and dad decided to take me on a spur of the moment trip to Hawaii...more specifically Waikiki. What lovely parents right? I'm blessed. =) My family and I have a long history of going to Hawaii, but I haven't been in over a decade.
Surprisingly, not much has changed. Somehow Waikiki managed to stay almost exactly as how I remember it ten years ago, save a couple of renovations and a couple of new outlet malls, and is still incredibly fun and kitsch at the same time. Waikiki is still filled with salmon pinks, bold flower prints, bright blues, brilliant sunsets, and tanned tourists. I still half expect to see the original cast of Hawaii Five-0 to bust through a wall or run down the street. As with many locales, Waikiki seems to be a city that has been suspended in time...instead of the distant past Waikiki chose to solidly lodge itself in the 70s.
I think to many individuals, Hawaii is a unique place where indigenous and foreign cultures meet, mingle, and create new things. The indigenous Polynesian culture blends with the foreign seaborne cultures brought in by Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and American immigrants and is most clearly reflected in the cuisine, the people, and perhaps, the infamous "Aloha Spirit." In the Chinatown in Hawaii the street signs are written in both Chinese and English, not a completely alien sight to me...but I think the Hawaiian street name juxtaposed with the traditional Chinese characters was a double take worthy. =)
To be honest, I don't really have much to say about Waikiki. I love the island and I've been coming here ever since I was a baby. In some aspects, the words Hawaii and Waikiki automatically mean happiness, relaxation and a good time. Getting over a decade of feelings into a single blog post is a bit difficult. Then again, maybe I'm not as articulate as I thought. The atmosphere is certainly touristy, but the absolute level of touristy-ness depends on where you go. You can still find pockets of untouched Hawaii. Personally, I find something endearing about the kitsch.
I'm still wowed by the character, charisma the beauty the main island of Oahu holds. Coming to Waikiki is always a refreshing and rejuvenating experience when psychologically or physically stressed. The stunning vistas, the warm beaches, and the friendly people always make this particular city absolutely wonderful to visit. The following pictures are just some miscellaneous ones that I liked that didn't fit in anywhere else. =) I hope you enjoy them!