Today was our Preparation Day. It isn’t usually on a Tuesday, but due to other scheduling issues, our schedule is different this week but goes back to normal next week. As a result, after the “Visitors’ Center Training Meeting” (VCTM) at 7:30am this morning, we headed south to Honolulu. The plan was to go to Dillards and Walmart. Nina was looking for a couple of lighter-fabric tops now the the much warmer weather is setting in. She also needed a good rice cooker and an iron.
The road south along the coast is a two-lane road for most of the 25 miles to the outskirts of Honolulu. The speed limits range from 25mph to 45mph with most of the drive at 35mph. Even then we seldom can drive at those speeds as the natives are in no hurry to get anywhere. I’m sure this is a trait we’ll pick up…. (wry grin)! Going down the traffic was very light and we were at the first mall in just under an hour. The Windward Mall is a large, two-story mall anchored by Macy’s, Sears, and Sports Authority. No Dillards. We poked around a bit, discovered a Ruby Tuesday restaurant, and had lunch. There wasn’t anything on the menu that resembled the Ruby Tuesday menu in Pocatello, Idaho.
Nina was able to find a nice top at Macy’s, the first thing she’s ever bought in a Macy’s store. Google said there was a Dillards further in town in Waikiki. We set the GPS and drove another 30 minutes in somewhat heavy traffic to a very large, upscale mall. There was no Dillards! But, there was a very nice Barnes and Noble book store where she was able to pick up some origami paper and I found a nice map of Oahu that we can put up on the wall in our apartment. Hopefully we can start to recognize some of the place names that are so familiar to people who have lived here forever.
A few blocks from this mall was a huge Walmart with a three-story parking garage. It was absolutely mobbed with people. But, we found the right rice cooker, a nice iron, and several other needed items. The shopping trip was reasonably successful. So, we headed back north.
We didn’t get far when very heavy traffic came to a crawl. It took almost an hour to go ten miles and then traffic came to a complete halt. An ambulance, a couple of fire trucks, and a tow truck made their way past us. For another hour, nothing moved, except a few folks who turned around and went back towards Honolulu. When we got moving again, it was another slow crawl all the way to Laie. We arrived at our home just before 6pm when, under normal circumstances, we would have been home before 4pm. We never did see the accident. We were happy to see our front door! While we were stopped, I took a couple of pictures, one to the right and one to the left.
The ocean was to the right. If one got in a boat and sailed from where I took this picture, the next landfall would be in Central America. To the left were the mountains. The interior of Oahu is very rugged mountains. A little further to the north of where I took this picture is where Jurassic Park was filmed. The mountain sides are very steep and we’re told that beautiful waterfalls show up after a heavy rainstorm. None were visible today, though. The rugged mountains suggest that Hawaii is relatively new as far as geographic age goes as rain and winds haven’t yet smoothed them out, similar to what has happened to the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States.
So, now that we’ve had dinner and I’ve posted a blog entry, it’s time to do some cleaning in our apartment. Tomorrow I have the assignment to inspect all of the sister missionary apartments. There’s a checklist that I follow and deduct points when there is an issue. Two of the sister missionaries stopped by our home a few minutes ago to say hello and sing a hymn to us on their way home to eat dinner (a member in the area was delivering dinner to them). They were positive that their pad will be the cleanest and spiffiest of all the apartments. They’re very good missionaries, so I have little doubt that their expectation will prove true.
Nina just asked if there is a Hobby Lobby somewhere here in Oahu. I told here that I didn’t know, but that I wasn’t ready to go exploring in the Honolulu area anytime soon. I’ve been jammed up enough for a month. Oh… wait a minute. This is the last day of the month!
Life is grand!