My birthday started out great and stayed great all day. First, Mike informed me that he was taking me to the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie (la-ee-ay) on Monday for the full luau treatment. He also bought me flowers and managed to present me with a card that contained the word “farting.” He was very proud of himself. We spent the afternoon going to see a movie (The Constant Gardener, which I liked and he didn’t), and then we went to Waikiki for sunset and dinner.

The bar at the Hale Koa was crowded, as is typical for nearly sunset. Still, we managed to find a table. There really are no bad tables, so we had a nice view. The bar is a hopping place. Men and women in swimwear, sarongs, shorts, and full dinner regalia throng the area. Some folks look really good, like the tan girl in the bikini top, cutoffs and a cowboy hat. Others don’t, like the shrink-wrapped woman with fake boobs or the pot-bellied guy with a rug and a leer.

I kind of envy the bar staff. They get to work in this beautiful environment and they get a human show that probably has some hilarious moments. I even had a brief fantasy, while sitting there, that I’d go apply for a job. And then I’d serve cocktails to tourists all day and grumble over tips and get sick of sunsets and human drama. Ah well, it was a thought. ๐Ÿ™‚

Prices are good here, much better than the Hilton Hawaiian next door (or any other Waikiki beach location). For $3.75, you can get a Bloody Mary and a view. When I considered a Bloody Mary earlier in Dave and Buster’s in the Ward Center, it was $7.00 and no view. Needless to say, I passed on the D&B drink. Mai Tais, by far the most popular Waikiki drink, are $5.50. I think the Hilton wants about $8.

By the time sunset rolled around, I’d had two Bloody Marys and I was feeling good. People stood up, jockeyed for position to take pictures, oohed and aahed their way through the sinking sun and golden orange sky. After the sun slipped beneath the horizon, the people began to slip out of the bar in twos and fours, heading for dinner or back to their rooms for bedtime since many of them are still operating on eastern time zones.

Mike and I continued to sit there, him drinking beer and me quaffing Bloody Marys, until it got dark and we began to think about food. First, however, I wanted to put my toes in the ocean. I don’t like to go to Waikiki without dipping my feet into the water. Often, we’ll walk down the beach, make the trek in front of the hotels until we pop up near the Duke Kahanamoku statue and rinse our sand-caked feet in the showers there. This night, however, we walked out to the water and played around before heading back to Biba’s for dinner. A few people were walking by when Mike was taking my picture and one asked if we wanted our picture together. Mike said thank you, but no, it was okay. They looked at us strangely before continuing down the beach.

For so many people, Hawaii is an amazing vacation of warm sand and blue water. We tend to forget that until we’re immersed in Waikiki and its tourists. And tourists we appeared, taking pictures of ourselves standing in the water. Who could blame them for thinking we’d want our photo together, not knowing we’ve already got dozens?

After the obligatory foot drenching, we went to Biba’s and requested a table outside. While we were waiting, we saw someone we knew who was there for a girls’ night out. Liz came over to talk to us for a few moments and then our table was ready and we said good night.

We both ordered the Island-style Mahi. I don’t know what Island-style means, but the fish was broiled and served with a light peanut sauce, vegetables, and rice. I had wine, but Mike had to drive so he switched to diet coke. After dinner, we decided to go home instead of walk the beach. It was only about 8PM, but we needed to let Nimitz out of his room for a while. Nimitz provided plenty of after dinner entertainment, bouncing off walls and doing acrobatics in pursuit of his toys. I got exhausted just watching him. Sleep came quickly when I finally climbed in bed.

It was a good birthday.