I often tell people, if you only want to sit on a beach and drink fruity drinks, then Hawaii is maybe not the best choice for you. It takes a long time to fly there, and it's pretty expensive once you're there. If you're never going to leave a resort, pick some place different. But, if you want aloha, then it's worth whatever you need to go through to get there.
I wondered if being in Waikiki, the aloha might be a little less obvious than in other quieter parts of Hawaii. Honolulu is a huge city, with lots of the real life problems that most big cities have. Waikiki is a small area of Honolulu that is jam packed with tourists from all over the world. I wondered if this might burn people out, if the people who worked in this city would have some aloha zapped by the traffic or constant crush of tourists. The answer is no. The aloha is everywhere, and we just can't seem to get enough of it. What was interesting about Waikiki, was we also kept seeing signage, kind of explaining what aloha is. That it's not just a word that means hello, it's a lot more than that.
The first place I saw it was on the ground. At intersections in Waikiki, if you're waiting for the light to change so you can cross the street, if you look down, there are stones on the sidewalk with Hawaiian words and their meaning. I loved this, and loved the simplicity of the aloha stone.
Another place was on the base of the Duke Kahanamoku statue.
Finally, I noticed it again in the tourist trap, International Marketplace in the center of Waikiki. (Total tourist trap, but if you've watched old Hawaii Five-O episodes, then it's worth walking through.)
We left, as usual, in total aloha mode. Relaxed, happy and plotting our next trip back. More photos to follow, I promise.