With the lyric and melody of the real Hawaiian wedding song, Charles E. King’s “Lei Aloha Lei Makamae” running through my head, I drove into the port cochere of the stately Moana Hotel the wrong way. Immediately two valets rushed me, doing a sort of dance waving their arms and making circular motions encouraging my retreat into the throngs of tourists and traffic on Waikiki’s Kalakaua Ave. “ E ku’u lei, e ku’u lei . . ” I hummed, as red-faced, I pulled up under the pillars in front of the "First Lady Of Waikiki” pulling on my high-heels and correcting my transgression with a fiver to the guy taking my keys.
I managed to sashay smoothly up the elegant stairs so I confidently mouthed “ kou aloha ka’u” and walked out to the wide ocean front veranda which looks much the same as the old sepia photos of a hundred years ago hung along the lobby wall. “Na kau a kau, na kau a kau” I sang in my head until I was in front of a table set elegantly for afternoon tea. Pots of custom blended and fragrant teas, and vertical assortments of savories and sweets graced the crisp linen in front of a convivial group of ladies. “Lei aloha na’u, lei makamae. . .” I saved my biggest smile for the most beautiful one, wearing a fragrant white ginger lei; my brother’s beloved bride-to-be.
Note: The custom teas are divine and all of the offerings are delightful and delicious. This is a perfect afternoon spent with friends whatever the reason. Make reservations.
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Hula at the Beach Bar
Just a few steps off the busy Kalakaua Avenue, the Moana Surfrider Beach Bar is my favorite place to unwind on Oahu. The best tables next to the beach are often taken, but worth waiting for at sunset. You'll certainly enjoy the ambiance any place you can sit and hear the waves. The beach bar is sheltered from the sun by umbrellas and an enormous banyan tree that spans about 150 feet.
In the evenings you will be treated to live Hawaiian music and hula dancing that sets a restful mood and seems to make time stand still. If you need a refreshing, minty, frothy, cachaça-enhanced beverage to cool off after a long day in the sunshine, order the Coco Freeze.