My next stop after Okinawa is Hawaii! I'm catching the Kona Aggressor in a few days, so am killing the in-between time in Waikiki. I've only ever been here before for ballroom dancing competitions, and didn't particularly like it, but I thought I might as well go again for pure relaxation and give it another chance. There are zillions of hotels and I was having a difficult time deciding where to stay until I found out that the helicopter scene in the opening credits to "Hawaii Five-0" was filmed at The Ilikai. I'm strangely caught up in that show, not because it's great TV, but because I'm transfixed by the beauty shots of Hawaii.
After traveling all day and all night from Okinawa, I arrived in Honolulu the morning of the same day I left Japan. Thank you, International Date Line! I couldn't check in until the afternoon, so I walked over to the huge Ala Moana Center mall for some shopping and lunch. Once I got into my room I was very happy with my choice: it's huge, and looks out over Ala Moana Park, the marina, and the ocean. I'll go to sleep tonight with the a/c off and the lanai doors wide open so I can hear the ever-rolling waves.