My 2011 Trip to Hawaii
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       God blessed me in February of 2011 by allowing me to once again visit Hawaii. I first went to the island of Oahu. I was walking down Kalakaua Street on Wednesday night and heard music coming from the Moana Terrace at the Marriott Hotel on Waikiki Beach. I went to look and was surprised to find Bobby Ingano playing steel guitar. Bobby doesn't usually play on Wednesday nights and was filling in for someone. I believe the Lord arranged that night so I could meet and hear Bobby. The two photos below were taken 02/16/11 at the Marriott's Moana Terrace on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Bobby was played a 1955 postwar 7-string Bakelite Rickenbacker through a Fender amp. Bobby uses a high G on C6th.

Below: The next night I was blessed to hear Alan Akaka on steel guitar, and some wonderful musicians, including Gary Keawe on bass guitar (son of the legendary Genoa Keawe who passed away February of 2007). Genoa's painting is displayed on the wall in the next photo. Genoa pioneered a distinguishable vocal technique that characterizes today's Hawaiian singing, clearly heard in this short clip of Susie Ana E. Alan is playing an 8-string CANOPUS guitar below. Alan uses a high E on top and a C on his 6th string. String 7 is Bb and string 8 is another C.

Alan said he mostly uses a low C instead of C#; uses round wounds instead of semi or flats; uses a .038" for his 6th string; uses only John Pearse brand strings; and has had this particular CANOPUS steel guitar for over 25-years. The only effects Alan Akaka used was a BOSS equalizer floor pedal. He went direct into the sound system with no external amp and sounded awesome Thursday night! I asked Alan whether he likes hollow body or solid body guitars and he said hollow body sound much better to him. It was great to ask questions and learn from one of the world's best steel players.


The band was great and it was a blessing to hear them. They play for a couple hours every Thursday night until about 9:30. There was a full moon overhead the night I was there, along with the torch candles flaming on the terrace, and a gentle trade wind blowing... it was awesome!

I visited the Honolulu Zoo while on Oahu and took a photo of this beautiful peacock. God is truly amazing!!!

I also stopped by the Royal Hawaiian Hotel again, as I did in January of 2007. Here's a picture from Waikiki Beach...

As I was walking from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel after sunset, I heard this group below sing a beautiful arrangement of MAPUANA. I took this photo from the upstairs floor where there are restaurants and stores. It's a cozy little area. I was just walking around enjoying the Hawaiian music. As you can see in the photo below, many tourists love to stop and listen to live music.

Lord willing, I'm going to bring my acoustic steel guitar next time and fit in somewhere. There are talented people all up and down the Waikiki area singing and playing musical instruments, and performing arts and painting, and much more. I saw a guy playing some 5-gallon empty buckets in the Hawaiian style. He was really good I must admit. Another man was doing amazing works of art with spray paint, but he was the only one wearing a respirator, so I wasn't about to stick around and get high on fumes. Here's a picture of one man who carrys his beautiful birds up and down Waikiki...

Below is a picture of Waikiki Beach with the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in the far background. There's a place called Hyatt On The Beach, by the Hyatt Hotel of course, where I ate one of the best cheeseburgers I've ever had in my life. They sell food and drinks right on Waikiki Beach, not too far from where all the surfboards are rented. I don't surf, that's for sure. I also had a pina-colada smoothie from the Hyatt, which was great. I thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to go somewhere nice every so often. I am not worthy.

I ate some Egg Rolls at Lulu's across from the zoo, but they were terrible. Down across from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, somewhere around there, is an international market. It's not a big place, but has hundreds of small businesses, including a food court area. I bought a gyro there which was great. And I tried a Jack-in-the-Box "Sour Dough Burger" for the first time, which was really great! I bought an expensive hotdog at the zoo (like $8), to support the animals, but the hotdog was lousy. I had lost 30 lbs over 2 months dieting, but gained back 5 lbs in Hawaii. I need to get back to my diet.

The next day I headed over to Hilo on the Big Island and saw some amazing sights.

My Visit to Hilo, Hawaii