It’s been a fabulous 3 weeks but our final day had come. We got up a bit later than the day before, owing to being pretty sleepy. Banana and macadamia nut pancakes for breakfast, then we grabbed our swimming stuff and headed to Lankai/ Kailua beach about a mile from our condo for a final play in the Pacific. I’d never been on a bodyboard before but after a couple of wipeouts, I got the hang of it. It’s such addictive fun when you catch a wave and go shooting over the water towards the shore, you can’t help laughing, even if you do then end up with a nosefull of seawater. It was a great way to spend the last morning.
The beach was pretty empty which we thought was a little strange, but it was Sunday morning and we thought maybe the surf was just great somewhere else. Then, that evening at the airport, we saw a TV news report about a Tiger shark attack on that same beach. It was the 2nd shark attack off O’ahu shores this week. That would explain it then. Oops!
Then we had to go and pack. We managed to get everything into our single suitcase and the bike bag. We’ve managed to get away without having to pay for the bike bag on either American Airlines flight this time round, which is a nice bonus – we’ve had to pay when we’ve flown inter-island with Hawaiian but you have to pay for every bag you check, so this was fair enough. What with all the free things from IM week, the free things from 2XU and the stuff we bought, we are going back with a lot more than we came with, but it’s all accompanied by some amazing memories.
A late lunch (and a final acai bowl!) with views of the stunning cliffs, then we bought James an Aloha shirt (had to be done), returned the rental car (it was already so battered they didn’t even bother checking it for new scrapes) and we had a bit of time to kill in Honolulu airport. They have all sorts of displays up at various points around the terminals telling the story of different Hawaii residents during the war. Second generation Japanese Americans (called Nisei) were conscripted or volunteered for active service, but the government took a while to decide exactly what to do with them, as there was a significant degree of mistrust. In the end they formed the 442nd Regiment, which – for its small size – is the most decorated regiment in US military history; over 9,400 Purple hearts and 21 Medals of Honour. There were several displays describing the outstanding acts of bravery and sacrifice on behalf of its men, many of whom then went on to public service and high positions in government.
Internal AmericanAirlines flights really suck. They don’t feed you and there were no seatback TVs. Currently we are in Dallas, Fort Worth, with a pretty long layover but there is a USO here who welcome British serving military too, so we are hanging out here for a while – there are sleeping rooms, free food, TVs, computers and free WiFi and even a couple of guitars. It’s like a club lounge for the military and it’ll do us nicely.
So, that’s it’s for our Hawaiian holiday this time. I’ll write a race report when I get home. Will we be back? I’d say somewhere between Maybe and Probably, but definitely not next year.