At one time in my life, I lived within minutes of Waikiki, and loved to roam the streets and beaches inhaling the magnificent scent of plumeria and the soft sea air. Until moving to Hawaii, I'd lived in the Pacific Northwest, which has its own special beauty, but I was never fully acquainted with the meaning of "warm." Now I knew. Those were crazy days. I remember one time when I was on Kalakaua Avenue, just walking along, and it began to rain. And rain. We literally had a flood, and waded through water up to our knees. This was near Kapiolani Park. But if you're just playing at the beach, things like this are fun. Now, years later, I'm living in Arizona, but back to Waikiki for a wedding and a funeral. I'd been staying with Ted and Martha Vorfeld on the Big Island, so this was a quick trip. My dear friend and relative, Mary Anne Vorfeld, picked me up at the airport and off we went on a tour of Waikiki. It was a bit early for lunch, so we drove around and she showed me what had changed, and we both enjoyed slowly going through the crowded streets. I've always loved the energy and color and texture that is Waikiki, and so does Mary Anne. We stopped off at the Elks Club, then made our way slowly to our lunch destination: the Hau Tree Lanai at New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel. We both enjoyed the Chicken Papaya Salad and Iced Tea. Mary Anne and I caught up on family and friends, and then we left for the Hilton Hawaiian Village, where I'd spend the next couple of days while attending my granddaughter's wedding. It was so good to see Mary Anne. She is wonderful.
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