Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Infamous day

Remember Pearl Harbor, they say – and that’s what today is all about. On site, the day is full of events and ceremonies; and here in Waikiki the big memorial service taking place at the time of the attacks was broadcast on the outdoor screen at the top of the beach. The audience wasn’t huge, but those who were there stood solemnly for the anthem, and one man saluted.
At the Bishop Museum, in a splendid brick building from 1889, there is a small special exhibit telling civilian stories of the day, with a pretty resonant quote from a local woman, Ellen Bairos: “Yesterday seems centuries away.”
Earnest docent Ramona gave us a tour which focused on the royal family and included a huge cloak of tiny orange feathers, taken from the rumps of 60,000 native birds, “Catch and release” Ramona assured us, though she then had to admit they’re now extinct.

It didn’t take long to drive up the centre of the island to the northern coast where the surf famously rolls in – though not so much today, unfortunately. Arriving at Turtle Bay Resort, I immediately lost credibility with the concierge by asking if there was a surfing event on. Only the Triple Crown, it turned out, the Super Bowl of surfing. Local man JohnJohn seems to be doing well, to judge by the hand-written posters along the road.
At the resort, a big, neat and well-organised place (two golf courses) the thing to do it seemed was to sit at The Point bar and sip while watching surfers patiently waiting for a wave, and the sun sink. So we did. And then, at Roy’s Beach House, we ate Roy Yamaguchi food again (remember Eating House 1849? I do) which was absolutely delicious and memorable and has my mouth watering now at the mere memory. It included shrimp, ribs, macadamia-encrusted mahi mahi, creamed spinach and asparagus, chocolate soufflé, and upside-down pineapple cake with rum sauce and icecream in a brandy-snap basket. Is your mouth watering too now?

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