Sunday, January 30, 2011
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states (August 21, 1959), and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It occupies most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of Australia. Hawaii’s natural beauty, warm tropical climate, inviting waters and waves, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists alike.
Due to its mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many North American and Asian influences along with its own vibrant native culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu.
The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian Island chain, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight "main islands" are (from the northwest to southeast) Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lānai, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaii. The last is by far the largest and is often called "The Big Island" to avoid confusion with the state as a whole. The archipelago is part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. We plan to visit Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the big Island Hawaii.
About 1.3 million people live in Hawaii and 1 million of them live on Oahu. U.S. military personnel make up 1.3% of the population in the islands. It seemed to me they were all out walking on Wakiki's main street in Honolulu when we were out on the weekend evenings!!
We arrived in January after 15 hours of travel, surprisingly awake, mid-afternoon ready to hit the Wakiki Beach. We were staying at the Outrigger Wakiki in a supposedly partial-beach view room, but there was an industrial blower that made such noise, it was impossible to open the patio door so we had no view at all and no ocean breezes either!!
The hotel is right on the beach so we relaxed and enjoyed that and I met an artist I had corresponded with via e-mail for years who was my creative coach through Eric Meisel who lives in Hawaii so it was a wonderful first day and night in Oahu, The Gathering Place.
Pictures taken by me are of Wakiki Beach, the hotel and surroundings.