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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Wed
13
May '15

Trip Report: Hawaii With Dwight – Day Three, More Tours

Day three is upon us, more touring the island. Our first tour is that of a factory type – a tour of the Yamaka Ukulele factory located in downtown Honolulu next to the law courts (though in the next couple of years they are going to have to move as development is coming through – but in the meantime, the old man (son of the founder) is still doing tours Tuesday through Friday at 10:30am. The sign says it will last 30-45 minutes – prepare for an hour and a half non-OSHA approved tour. We caught the local bus (#19 or #20) for $2.50 a person since it was direct – could have walked from the Red Trolley line but that would have been 45 minutes each way.

This time was a little different from the other two or three times I’ve been on the tour…started the same, with the old man going charmingly on about the history of the ukulele in Hawaii and the current state of ukulele sales…

But after the first half-hour, his voice started to fade…he is 80+ after all. Luckily, he son (Sam Jr. who runs the place was on hand to take over and give the rest of the tour – that would be the grandson of the founder. Talk about a family business.

They age all of their Koa wood for over four years – and that stuff is truly expensive and why the most security on the premises is aimed at the wood pile:

In the next bunch of pictures you will see what I mean about “non-OSHA” approved tour – reminds me of the Four Roses Bourbon Distillery tour in Kentucky years ago where we were up and down ladders, on catwalks, the works (http://blog.unclemarkie.com/2008/04/19/another-day-in-bourbon-country/ — if the pictures aren’t there, hopefully they will be in a couple of days. They were stored on a Twango account (one of my marketing clients), who got bought by Nokia and eventually closed down. They are on the server at home.)

And Dwight at the end of the tour…

With an aerial shop of the shop floor….

Luckily even with the tour at an hour and a half, we still had time to catch the blue line tour on the Waikiki Trolley

AND grab a little lunch. I opted for leftovers in the room, and Dwight set out to find something and meet me there (without a map – which caused a little mishap since there are several DFS Duty Free stores).


Lots of scenery on this 2.5 hour tour…starting with Halona Blow Hole:

And then Sandy Beach (sort of sounds like a porn star name):

And then Hawaii Kai Lookout:

The whole stop list looks like this:

Blue Line:

Tour duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes per tour
Stop/Highlight 1st Tour 2nd Tour 3rd Tour
Ilikai Hotel & Suites** 8:30AM
T Galleria by DFS*** 8:42AM 11:00AM 1:30PM
Duke Kahanamoku Statue 8:45AM 11:06AM 1:36PM
Hanauma Bay*
Halona Blow Hole*
Sandy Beach Drive-through only
Sea Life Park 10:00AM 12:21PM 2:51PM
Hawaii Kai Lookout*
Kahala Mall**** 10:35AM 1:01PM 3:31PM

* 5-minute photo stop only; no disembarking.
Hanauma Bay is closed on Tuesdays and is therefore skipped.

**Ilikai Hotel & Suites stop does not have a Waikiki Trolley stop sign. Please wait in front of hotel along Ala Moana Boulevard.

*** DFS Galleria Waikiki pick-up location is along Royal Hawaiian Avenue.

**** Kahala Mall pick-up location is at the Kilauea Avenue bus stop.

We will hit some of the same places tomorrow on the Grand Circle Tour.

I was thinking about trying the Pink Line to maximize our dollar value, but by the end of the day we were both beat and ready to retire to the condo.

Speaking of the condo, I still haven’t posted pictures of the place, which is on the opposite side of the building from my last trip to Waikiki:

Another BBQ meal off the grill by the pool, but apparently I was out of energy to take any pictures. Basically the menu was same – marinated chicken, salad, white wine.

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