We had planned to spend more time with our friend Jim, aka Bags, while in Waikiki, unfortunately he had an ill child that required his attention. We did make plans to meet him in the morning of our departure for breakfast and catch up a bit more. When he arrived at our hotel we were sitting by the infinity pool gazing at Diamond Head, we then moved over to the lounge area for a few pictures along more "remember when" stories. After talking for a bit it was a quick to stroll over to Duke's for breakfast and reminisce about old times, of course the last time "the boys" were on the island. We didn't have to wait long for a table and soon found ourselves dining on what would be our standard morning fare: cottage cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit mixed with granola followed by scrambled eggs, half an english muffin and of course all the papaya I could manage. (Fresh Hawaiian papaya, my precious hmmmm)
Duke's is a must do type of place as it carries so much history and is located right on the main strip with patio seating just off the beach. Duke Kahanamoku was born on Oahu and won many awards for his surfing, but also Olympic gold for his swimming. His talents were more than swimming and surfing as he also played in as many as 28 movies one with another famous Duke also known as John Wayne.
After breakfast Bags headed out and we wandered back over to the hotel pool to lounge for the remaining part of the day until our flight left for Kauai at 2pm. Our excitement about the next phase of our trip was rising as quickly as the temperatures by the pool. Just after noon we decided it was time to gather our things and make our way to the airport, after going through a very quick security check (I had a large bottle of suntan lotion in the front of my carry-on, imagine getting that contraband through) we sat in the lounge waiting to board. It was our lucky day it seems as they announced two empty seats on an earlier flight that would have us landing on Kauai much earlier, of course we jumped at that chance. The flight was another nice smooth one and we landed after a brief 30 minutes. A limo was waiting to whisk us away to the Grand Hyatt, our driver filled us in on all the local hot spots and history of the area in the brief time between the airport and resort. As we pulled into the gates we were met by the porter staff and directed to the interior of this beautiful place. As we walked through the lobby we knew that this would be an experience not soon forgotten.
The four birds spent their days in the atrium in the center of the lobby, in the evening the handlers would bring them into their sleeping quarters. These birds have been together for a long time and have a very close bond with each other. The atrium is open to the outside as it has no roof, in fact the area around the atrium is fully enclosed but open from the grand entrance to the opposite side across to the grand terrace. All around the atrium the building is roofed, lighted and fully finished, having lived in a colder climate, which has bugs, I found this to be a rather intriguing concept.