We slept in, enjoying our first morning on the island. But because Hawaii is three hours behind the mainland, we were still up and moving by 8:30am. We had breakfast at a place called "Cheeseburgers in Paradise," then checked in with the dive shop to plan the week's diving activities. After that, we watched as the "USO Salute to our Troops" parade made its way through Waikiki. It was an impressive sight, with 10,000 participants, tanks and other military vehicles, and a spectacular fly-over by three Marine Corps helicopters. Very cool.
After that, we caught a cab over to Straub hospital. A friend and co-worker has been there for the last several weeks, recovering from a stroke and heart attack. I had no idea what to expect, whereas Ric was expecting the worst. Sadly, Ric wasn't far off. I will avoid the details here, but our friend was clearly still in a lot of trouble. The doctors blocked her trach tube long enough for her to ask about her daughter, though, and that was an emotional moment. (More on this later.)
From the hospital we met up with Kurt again, who drove us to Mililani for a pool party and barbeque. We had a great time and the people could not have been nicer. The weather was a bit sketchy, but the food and great company more than made up for it. Thank you, Ed and John, for making us feel so at home and welcome.
We ended the night with drinks at Hula's. And playing matchmaker, I even managed to introduce one of my friends to a fellow tourist we had met earlier. Discretion being what it is, I will leave the details out, but I can say I now know why they call flight attendants "cart tart," "Trolley Dolly," and "air mattress."