It’s a long way from Pittsburgh to Hawaii, so we stopped overnight in San Francisco to rest, and I could meet Betty’s aunt Louise. Then the second long flight to Honolulu the next day. We arrived in the early evening. When we climbed down the steps from the plane, there was a heavy thick fragrance of plumeria in the air! Welcome to paradise! We took a cab to Waikiki and checked into the Reef Tower, a block from the beach.
When we got to our room, I became nauseated! I had to lay down! What was happening? Mel Haney, the son of a neighbor farmer in Michigan, who lived in Honolulu, was to pick us up shortly to go to dinner. Thinking something to eat might settle my stomach, Betty got me a pineapple boat of fruit. As soon as I ate the fruit, like “magic”, I was fine! I called my empty-stomach nausea the “Waikiki Whoops!” Mel came and took us to the Tahitian Lanai for dinner.
Next day, Mel took us on a tour of Honolulu, including Punchbowl Cemetery. The cemetery is a memorial garden where soldiers were interned from WWII in the Pacific. We drove to the lookout point which had a beautiful vista of the whole city from Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor. We ended the day at the Halekulani Hotel lawn for a Hawaiian concert.
On the third day, we took an evening flight to Hilo on the “Big Island” where I’d be teaching at the University of Hawaii Hilo College. Al Yonan, my boyhood neighbor in Michigan, and his wife Suzy, met us at the small Hilo airport. As we approached them, a girl ran out of the shadows, put a flower lei around my neck, kissed my cheek, and then disappeared as quickly as she had appeared. Wow! That was the real traditional Hawaiian welcome! Al and Suzy gave us more leis, and Al said the greeting by the Wahine was not pre-arranged, and he didn’t know the girl.
Dinner at Yonans, and then on to the Lanai motel on Banyon Drive which curved through a park on Hilo Bay.
“Oh, by the way”, Al told us, he had signed us up to chaperone an overnight Freshmen students orientation at a beach park in two days. Hmmm … sounds like it’s going to be an interesting way to start our Hawaiian honeymoon!