I went to Honolulu with my brother last November. We visited the island to sprinkle my mom’s ashes off Oahu. She died at the age of 82 on July 1. She had suffered from series of health problem in the past few years. I have seen her becoming frail gradually. She liked travels. Hawaii was her favorite travel destination. We often talked we should go and visit the Islands once she recovered. That dream was never realized. So we planned sprinkling her off Oahu wishing she enjoys her afterlife in the place she loved. We needed this for ourselves in order to move on. Her sudden death does not give us any chance to say thank you and goodbye to her.
We drove the Island during four days starting Moanalua Garden where large monkeypod trees of over 130 years old stand. We drove further to the North shore, to Kailua Kona beach, to Makapu point, Hanauma bay.
We stayed at Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel on the Ala Wai Canal wondering if I could see McGarrett or Magnum chasing suspects down the street, which never happened. (Later, I learned Hawaii Five- O would never come back the next season. That was really shocking news to me, who never missed any episode from the start. I could say Hawaii Five O was important part in my life nearly ten years. )
We dined at Japanese Izakaya style restaurants. We both had different food preference. At Izakaya, you can have wide variety of dishes and drinks. There is an Izakaya at the ground floor of a hotel near the main street of Waikiki. Food was nice and the staff were all friendly and cheerful. We dined there three nights. We paid by credit card. They would say to us “Let me add gratuity, okay?”. I did not understand gratuity is an expression of gratitude and we are supposed to decide, not he. But I realized they know many Japanese do not know how much they should give. At worst cases, some would not pay any tips and go because we have no such customs back in Japan. So it sounds convenient for both waits and visitors from Japan. But I wanted to decide how much to show my appreciations.