The articles about the 3-day trip in Hawaii are written in a series. DAY-1, DAY-2, and DAY-3, they are divided into 3 articles by the day of our stay. This article writes about DAY-2, “The First Year of Reiwa, Hawaii Trip with My Mother (A Trip of Great Encounters DAY-3).”
We Went to the Lei Day Celebration on May 1st, Our Third Day of Hawaii!
“May 1st is known for May Day, but in Hawaii, we have a celebration called Lei Day at Kapiolani Park which is located ahead of Honolulu Zoo. We have hula dance and Hawaiian music live the whole day there.” Fire, who guided us for Oahu Island sightseeing on the second day taught us. Hula dance is one of the most famous things in Hawaii. I wanted to see the real hula dance, so I went there with my mother. “Lei” of Lei Day means the flower decoration mostly worn around the neck, and it’s a symbol of friendship, goodwill, and Aloha. Lei Day is a festival that is held on May 1st every year by Honolulu City at Kapiolani Park, and people praised lei from a long time ago. There are events such as the investiture ceremony of Lei Queen, the exhibition of leis, and concerts and stages by various entertainers, and this festival continues all day long from the morning to the evening.
Investiture Ceremony for the 2019 Lei Queen
Lei Courts (Lei Queen & Princess) are elected every year, and their investiture ceremony is held on May 1st, the Lei Day Celebration. This year, there seems to be like 3 Lei Courts were elected, including Lei Queen.
Lei Queen is elected by her skills of making a lei, skills of hula dance, fluency of both English and Hawaiian language, calmness, character, and others. The name of Lei Queen this year was Nicole Aiko Punahele Makamae Kahi ‘O Mililani Nakamatsu. She has Japanese names, so it seems like she has Japanese roots. According to the official information of the Honolulu government, she learned how to make leis from her deceased grandmother, and started to learn hula dance from 4 years old. She graduated ‘Iolani School and then received a degree at the University of Washington majoring in biology. And now, she aims to be a doctor that treats patients with the Aloha spirit. How wonderful!
In the picture below, were these ladies wearing green dresses the successive Lei Courts? They performed a beautiful hula dance altogether. There were some older people, but they danced very elegantly, and it was fantastic.
At Night, We Joined the Most Popular Activity in Hawaii: Star of Honolulu Sunset Dinner Cruise
When I chose the optional tours at JTB, I wanted to choose the one that my mother, whose legs aren’t good, can enjoy. That was the Star of Honolulu Sunset Dinner Cruise, which had slopes and elevators that can be used with a wheelchair or an electric wheelchair, and a pickup service between the ship and the hotel. The weather was fine, so the sunset was very beautiful.
On the ship, many kinds of shows were performed one after another. I had delicious wine while I watched terrific shows, so I was able to eat a lot. The hospitality of the servers was fantastic, and it was an excellent experience.
After dinner, people started to leave their seats to take some pictures of the sunset. A little later, the servers who were going back and forth carrying big dishes suddenly changed to entertainers! They made people join a circle of a human train and started to dance together.
My mother was supposed to be standing next to me, but when I looked back at her, surprisingly, she was already joining the human train and dancing joyfully!
After the dinner cruise, we got off the ship and waited inside the bus going to the hotel to leave. Then, one of the dancers came on the bus suddenly for a surprise and said goodbye to us until the very end.
My mother and I were both very satisfied with the hospitality of the staff of the Star of Honolulu.
Next Morning, We Left Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel and Headed to the Airport
The trip to Hawaii with my mother was pretty busy, but we spent the first day of the Reiwa era in Oahu Island, and it became one of the most memorable trips for both my mother and me.
Wrapping up the trip briefly,
1. I received an accommodation voucher for Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel for 3 nights at Hilton Timeshare.
2. I was booking a direct flight of KIX – Honolulu with Scoot in August around the Bon Festival, but the KIX – Honolulu flight unexpectedly stopped the operation. So, we changed our flight during the holiday season in May before they stop the flight operation. (Miraculously, there were vacant seats for April 29 – May 3 schedule. It was an unchangeable ticket, but of course, we didn’t have to pay an additional charge.)
3. Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel was such a fabulous hotel.
4. A wonderful tour guide that we found on Traveloco, Fire, took us to a beautiful little-known place, Waimanalo Beach. I want Fire to guide us again when we have a chance to visit Hawaii.
5. In Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel, we met the legend Emi, who was the same age as my mother. During the whole stay, Emi’s friendly and openhearted attitude soothed us. My mother and I promised Emi that we would definitely come to Hawaii again!
Translation from Japanese to English by picolisco