Hawaii day 1 & 2 focusing on Waikiki Beach

I begin this blog entry sitting on the bed my hotel in Honolulu, the White Sands Hotel. I should be sitting on the lanai, overlooking the pool where they’ve got a guy singing and playing guitar. Supposedly there’s a hula dance – it was supposed to have started already but they might just be running behind schedule. We have been all day.

Not that we have much of a schedule but we have run into some things slowing us down. It started off when the immigration officer led us over to a room with no exit. The door could only be opened from the outside so were basically prisoners until an immigration officer opened the door for us. Seemed like a fire hazard to me and we had to wait there for an hour before we met with an immigration officer who told us we should be spending more time in America because my wife’s green card comes with responsibilities. He was more polite than the immigration officers we’ve met at JFK but any delay getting to Waikiki Beach was unwelcome. If we’re lucky we’ll get an appointment with the Honolulu immigration office to try and do some paperwork to straighten things out. Not the greatest addition to our vacation plan but a necessary one.

We got to the White Sands Hotel at 11:00 AM and unsurprisingly the room wasn’t ready. Check in at 3:00. It took us a while but we managed to get our bathing suits and sunscreen and stuff out. We got changed in the lobby bathroom and hit Waikiki Beach. At 3:00 we were back at the hotel to check in. So far we’ve never seen more than one person at the front desk at any one time so it can take a while. After lugging our bags up to third floor (no elevator) we went to a local supermarket and bought some seasoned soy beans and tuna for dinner. For dessert, we split a fresh papaya – the first one I remember eating though I may have had some in Thailand in 2003.

Now it’s about 5:00. I’m ready for bed but I still need to find me an immigration appointment from some time in the next two weeks.

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As I finish this blog entry I’m using Wifi in a Starbucks. The White Sands Hotel was supposed to have wifi but doesn’t. We went to their sister hotel nearby last night where the Wifi worked but where I got bitten by mosquitoes. So no going back there.

Anyway, the INS appointment is a pain. We could easily submit the papers but they have some new thing (new to us anyway) where you have to go for a biometrics appointment after they receive your submission. We’ll be back in Korea by the time they get around to fingerprinting my wife (which they did for her green card and do again every time she enters the country but the more the merrier I guess).

Instead the plan is to move to America this summer, with me returning to Korea to finish up my contract by teaching the fall semester. Where to first? Possibly Hawaii so we’ll be talking to some real estate people soon.

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To return to the vacation, we spent last night at the sister hotel fretting about biometrics while getting bitten by mosquitoes and finally deciding to give up and go for a walk. My wife had already covered this ground on one of her previous trips to Hawaii so she played tour guide (which she’s pretty good at being a professional tour guide and all) and showed me around Honolulu. Honestly I wasn’t that excited as she told me how awesome it would be to live here.

What changed my mind was waking up at 4:30 AM and heading down to the hotel pool (closed at night) and courtyard area where I did some yoga in amazingly good weather. A friend posted on Facebook that Seoul was -17 celsius that morning. That’s 1.4 farenheit. I don’t love living in Seoul.

After that little workout I went back to bed. We woke up at 1:30 PM. For my wife that was about 14 hours of straight sleep. For me it was 13 hours of sleep with a little break in the middle. We were tired from the overnight flight to Honolulu – we’d been awake for more than 24 hours not counting little plane naps. On the other hand our bed was pretty uncomfortable. Something about the air here that helps people relax maybe.

We spent what was left of the afternoon on Waikiki beach. Swimming was real nice – perfect beach weather for the second day in a row.

For dinner we went to an Italian place, Bene Pesce, where we had a restaurant.com coupon. So dinner cost us $40 instead of $55. Once we finish up here, another night time walk is in order.

Filed Under: Vacation experiences

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  1. gilwing says:

    No Jim, in hoping that you move back to the US I wasn’t thinking Hawaii hehehe. Actuauly my close friend lived there for a while as well as my wife’s cousin. He’s going to go back some time this year. He was saying how expensive it was to live there, he grew up in Brick NJ. Any way sorry that it sounds like your hotel stinks. I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation. I always wanted to go to Hawaii.

  2. Pieternel Goeres says:

    American Immigration is NOT getting any easier ! I just ordered new visa waivers for my husband and me… surprise, surprise. It was always for free (via Internet anyway ) but this time it cost us 74$ per person. The funny thing is, on the ESTA form it was written : cost 74$ , 14$ customs included, but when paid , the waiver only marks the 14$ !? So where do those 60$ really go ? NO idea !

    Oh well, the U S of A seem to have found a new way to “earn” some money …

  3. Clyde says:

    what a waste ot reading…..hey go back to Korea and stay there

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