One of the things we factored in to our vacation planning on this trip was access to public transportation. We live in Vegas and have to drive everywhere so part of the vacation experience is being liberated from the gas pedal. Luckily, Hawaii has an award-winning bus system (rated top 10 in the world and voted best in America twice this decade) and buses run often and regularly throughout the touristy area of Waikiki. We have already made some treks to downtown Honolulu (where everything is closed on Sunday!) and to the beautiful and moving Lantern Floating Ceremony at Ala Moana Beach Park last night. (The 10th anniversary ceremony, which brings together many faith traditions including buddhism, christianity and Hawaiian culture, honors those who have died in the past year by setting lighted lanterns adrift in the ocean.)
It is true what they say that Hawaii is a very friendly place. Take last night: The ceremony got out and there was a flood of more than a thousand people exiting (mostly on foot or to buses). There was a huge line to get on the bus. It was fairly warm, so people were a bit uncomfortable to be in close quarterss. But people were calm and friendly about waiting and being on the bus. We were the last two on the bus and it was so packed we had to stand next to the driver. But even then, the driver was patient and friendly. Everything went very orderly. I was amazed!
I don’t know what it is about being here that is so calming on people, but even when they are hot and (probably) cranky, people just seem to chill out. I would not have even tried to take the bus home if this had been in Vegas. But you know, it’s not really because of the buses themselves. It’s just a whole different attitude here. And frankly, I think most of the people on the bus last night were tourists, because we were going to the hotel district in Waikiki. So it wasn’t because it was “Hawaiians.” It was just a vibe about being here.
So the adventures on the bus system have been great. Even today. We walked too far out and got tired so we took the bus back. It was so easy! I do wish the system were easier in Vegas, like it is here. (Wouldn’t it be great if we could get rid of some of the tourist drivers on I-15!) But frankly, I think in the resort corridor is where Vegas’ bus and public transit systems shine.
Just some observations. Aloha!