Today started with picking up our boxed breakfasts in the lobby and bringing them back to our rooms to eat while we finished getting ready. A lot of us enjoyed that breakfast from our hotel room balconies…lovely, whether your view was gorgeous or a serious construction site!
With full tummies we headed to our morning workshop with “Auntie Nola” and “Uncle Phil” (aka Nola Nahulu and Phil Hidalgo of Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus). It was an amazing mix of stories and Hawaiian history to the soundtrack of songs written by Queen Liliʻuokalani and an amazing Hulu lesson. The whole experience created perfect context for our Hawaiian adventure, helping us to understand and appreciate the culture of this beautiful land we’re coming to love.
With these great stories in our minds, we headed out for on a walking tour with our Tour Director, Gil, around the Waikiki area, featuring our first real view of THE BEACH! The only thing that could keep us from jumping right in was lunch, so we stopped to eat, grabbed our swimsuits, and were off for the water. As one traveler put it, this is what you see when you look up “beach” in the dictionary.
The water was great, although the waves got a little crazy toward the end of our time there. We all took turns being swept all the way up on the sand, laughing the whole time. A few of us (including myself if I’m honest) were literally rolling in the surf on the sand while trying to stand up and get back in the water. Good thing we all stayed safely in the shallow water! Despite a lot of sunscreen, a few of us will be coming home a bit “sun kissed,” but no bad sunburns yet (fingers crossed).
After a couple hours in the water, we were ready for dinner, and headed off to Hard Rock Cafe for a great dinner. Everything was wonderful, although it seemed the highlight was the brownie for dessert (side note, apparently Hard Rock is a great spot for the gluten-free – the gluten-free burger bun and gluten-free brownies were unanimously declared “really good”, so that’s something to remember for the future). By the time we were done with dinner, we were all ready to chill, so we decided to hang out on the pool deck for a while before heading back to our rooms. We shared photos, caught up on our favorite memories from the day, and learned about some of the craziest places our choristers have fallen asleep (a few favorites – during a PGC rehearsal, on a subway leaning on a stranger, and in a plate of pasta on a previous PGC tour)!
A full and rewarding day for sure! You can follow the hashtag #PGCohana to see our posts on social media, and our families are invited to visit our smug mug photo sharing site for more pictures from our adventures (you can check with the WMA office for password help if needed).