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Day 2, August 8, 2002 - Thursday

Today we surfed! It was a hot balmy day on Waikiki beach and surf was up! At first we were just going to relax and swim all day but then as we watched the surfers having so much fun, we began to get the itch. We discovered that lessons were only $25 per person so, instead of waiting until next week, we got a head start. Our instructor was Phil, an islander who'd surfed for decades. He was patient with us - very necessary when dealing with the Wood family.

First, he told us on land how to carefully stand up on the board - lay on your stomach, put your hands behind and under your shoulders, then bring both knees up under you with them at shoulder width and not too close to your hands. There has to be enough room for your feet between your knees and hands. Bring your left foot up behind your left hand and keep it flat on the board. Then, bring your right foot up to about six inches behind your right hand, keeping it flat, too. Then, slowly lift up, releasing your hands from the board and keep your knees bent and flexible. After a few practices, getting a little faster, Phil took us out to the surf. Paddling out to the waves is the hard part and then there's turning the board around. But, once we were in position, Phil would tell us to get our hands in the ready position and give us a push once a wave was on us. Faster we'd go and then we'd carefully stand up on the board. To our surprise, after a couple of times, we stood up pretty well! Vienna, not so surprisingly, was the first to really get up on her board. Then, we all stood pretty well. Phil said Andy needed a little patience - go figure - and I needed to keep the board moving straight. All in all, though we felt very successful at our first surfing try and had a heck of a lot of fun. It was, however, very exhausting with all the paddling. We also had to be very careful of the coral under our feet. We got a few nasty cuts out there. Also, there were a couple of guys in the water taking pictures of people for us to buy. They got a good one of Andy. Don't let the photos fool you, though. The photographers got their shots after we'd surfed in, once the waves had dissipated. Sometimes we managed to catch some fairly good ones!

Afterward, we were ready to rest and get a bite to eat. The snack bar had wonderful wholesome tuna and turkey sandwiches, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was a great morning on beautiful Waikiki beach. After a bit of rest, it was off to Hilo Hatties, one of Hawaii's largest and most famous Aloha-wear stores. There really was quite a selection of clothes and gifts. We each found a little something to wear around the islands. For dinner, we had big plans. We saw Don Ho.

It was basically your garden-variety pre-made meal. The salad was a bit unusual with dressing that tasted like watered down Miracle Whip. Andy and Vienna were fine with it until I mentioned the Miracle Whip similarity; suddenly they wouldn't have anything to do with it. I hesitate to say too much about Don Ho. I guess if you are a big fan, it would be a great experience. There was one woman in the audience for which the evening was transcendent. She was called on stage to do some hula and exclaimed to Don that she had been listening to his music since she was ten years old. She was obviously very excited to be there. Although bemused and very under-whelmed, Don gave her four of the various audio tapes he had stacked up in front of him on his podium. For the rest of us, though, the night was surreal. Don Ho has been performing for 40 years and it really seems like he is ready to be done with it. For one thing, he hates "Tiny Bubbles," his signature song. He told us so after he sung it the first time. He spent about half the time singing/mumbling songs and the rest fiddling with stuff on the podium in front of him, occasionally talking to someone on the other end of a phone and expressing countless opinions on politics and kids today. The best part was the beginning when he had all the kids come up to the stage to sing "Tiny Bubbles" with him. To her utter dismay, Vienna was one of them. After their very unenthusiastic rendition, Don had the boys and girls place shell leis around each other's necks and give each other hugs, essentially marrying them in the Hawaiian tradition. Vienna hated every minute - we were on the floor laughing. It really was a night we won't soon forget. Well, Vienna won't remember the second hour of it because she slept right through it. If it wouldn't have been insanely rude, I could have caught a few zzzs, too. I am sorry to say that the show was about an hour too long.



Writing by Jenny Wood ~ Web Design by Andy Wood