Tuesday 5th April 2016 – Honolulu

Didn’t sleep much. Maybe got three hours between being informed there is water coming through my parents’ ceiling and the docking announcements starting. Heroic efforts by friends and relatives to fix the leak. Happy anniversary indeed.

Forced down the disgusting excuse for gluten-free toast on offer, but drew the line at what purported to be bread rolls. I’m not that desperate for sustenance.

Immigration ground to a halt because they turned off the lifts to do a generator test, so none of the excursion people could get down to the restaurant. When we did get immigrated, they were doing crew drills, so the officer couldn’t hear my answers to his questions! He gave up in the end, and just rolled his eyes at me. We didn’t get off til nearly 11.

On the plus side, the shuttle bus into town caused us endless hilarity – the driver was either bitching about traffic and roadworks, or pointing out the pointless. One offering was “For those of you who can’t see why we have stopped, we’re at a traffic light”. Yeah, like we give a rat’s behind! Twit. Entertaining, but a twit. He was very helpful about return pickups and which buses would have wheelchair access (not all), but then we were dumped by a car park, with only an extremely large flight of stairs offered as an option for getting into the (expensive, surprise, surprise) mall they were dumping us in this time. You could not actually see an entrance, or any signage that showed how to get into the mall, at all. We just had to take his word for it! Some wandering through the car park later, we found an elevator. Chess and Sue and I actually went up a travelator, with his electric wheelchair! There’s an experience you don’t have every day.

At the top, I assumed mum and dad would appear from the elevator, but they didn’t, so I went into Macy’s to use their loos. When I came down, mum and dad were plundering the Clinique counter, which was nice. Not very wise to do the heaviest shopping first, though, perhaps…

We wandered through the mall, past shops we didn’t even have the credit limit needed to look in the windows, and then dad let mum and me loose in a drug store, while he had a half hour rest. Turns out, they don’t have my toothpaste in the US. Nor my mouthwash. In fact, I only wanted three items, and they did not have one of them! I got likely-looking alternatives though, so that will have to do.

Then we found a bite to eat. I had planned a restaurant in Waikiki, but I was so tired I could barely stand, so we plumped for something in the mall itself. It once had a beautiful view of the ocean, but that is now blocked by a building under construction. The service was surprisingly lackadaisical for the US. My drink order was actually wrong, and the waiters did both the repeated vanishing thing AND the never looking at you thing as well!  I had a mushroom risotto, which would have been very nice if it had (a) contained any mushrooms (b) contained 90% less oil. But with the addition of a little lime juice, it was quite edible – if only because the lime juice rinsed off the oil and left it in a puddle at the bottom of the bowl. Mum and dad were not particularly impressed with their meals, either, but we were simply refuelling, so we didn’t really care much. Probably the worst meal we have had ashore on this entire cruise, but all plates were pretty much cleared, nonetheless. Like I said – fuel, not gastronomy.

Then we went down to the lower level of what is apparently the Largest Open Air Mall in the USA (not ideal when it’s been drizzling all day!), with a view to walking the two blocks to Walmart. But because it was, by now, raining fairly hard, we got a taxi. Lost mum and dad within the space of about three aisles, but we reconvened at the tills, just in time for mum’s purchases to go onto my credit card bill. There’s handy, then.

Then back in the ship, with a second lovely taxi driver – they are all obliging and lovely and kind and friendly and chatty here. Delightful.

Then I passed out on the bed.

Dad rang me at 6.10pm to remind me to go to dinner. Shame really, I was having a lovely dream.

We chatted about tv mysteries – Bergerac, Midsomer Murders, the extremely high death stats in Oxford. Janet lives in Australia, and hadn’t heard of the Endeavour series, so we filled her in on the sordid underground world of Oxford in the fifties and sixties, and the consequently much higher body count than just the respective Morse, Lewis and Hathaway series might lead you to believe. Keith said he would be too scared to live in Midsomer (which is a real place, of course). I said you would be safer there than in Cabot Cove, which is officially the murder capital of the planet. Then we played “what have we seen Ian McShane in recently” until it was time for the waiters to sing “Congratulations” to mum and dad.

Bed. Never mind that it is only 2115. I’m beyond pooped and dangerously sleep-deprived, and we have another port tomorrow!


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