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Old 07-02-2013, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, Makiki
351 posts, read 526,627 times
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Sorry this is a long rambling post…

Despite having traveled to many other states such as California, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, etc., etc.., I’ve never been to Las Vegas until last November. Before that many of my friends as well as strangers upon finding out that I haven’t been there would say, “Are you sure you’re local??!!” or “Brah, you can’t be from Hawaii if you’ve never been to Vegas??!!” LOL

Funny thing is my parents (because of my father mainly) go to Las Vegas at least three if not four times a year! Well, a good friend of mine kept bugging me about going to Las Vegas and how I was going to be awed by everything, and how his friends who live there can show us around, yada, yada…

I left Thanksgiving Day and stayed at the Rio for 8 days. My friend and I rented a car and had a blast! Previously, I’ve only stayed in small hotels overnight, like when I was flying home from Dulles Airport, Washington D.C. so I wouldn’t inconvenience the relatives I was staying with in Virginia. My friend who’s been to Vegas countless times and I got lost for the first two days we were there trying to get to the Masquerade Tower where our suite was located. LOL! The hotels are huge in Las Vegas, kind of reminds me of when I worked a long time ago on the inter-island cruise ships where it was a world unto itself. You didn’t have to leave the ship because everything from beauty shops, restaurants, gym to retail stores were there.

The last time my friend and I got lost was at the end of an exhausting day of shopping, sightseeing and eating. Instead of using the valet we parked our rental car in the hotel’s parking lot on the 4th floor. I thought I memorized the location and the entrance we used to enter the Rio. Well, later on that night my friend was hungry for saimen (an oriental noodle soup found only in Hawaii, similar to ramen) which is served at the California Hotel across town, so we went to the parking lot to get the car. We spent an hour walking around trying to find the car. I thought I was either losing my mind or we were in an episode of “Twilight Zone”! Then it dawned on me that maybe there were several parking lots and we were probably in the wrong one! Mystery solved. LOL

There’s a saying in Hawaii that in Las Vegas especially at the Hotels that Hawaii residents favor, you run into relatives and long lost friends that you don’t normally see back home. At the restaurant while I was sitting down talking to my friend, I heard someone say, “Hey cuz, HEY CUZ!” I turned around and Lo and Behold it was my cousin with her husband and child who were also visiting from Hawaii sitting just 2 tables away from me. LOL!

I gambled a little bit, but gambling has never interested me, so I budgeted only 300 dollars to gamble. I was saving my money for shopping. The shopping was out of this world! The countless outlet shops with their ridiculous cheap prices in comparison to the expensive prices in my home state. I literally bought a whole new wardrobe for less than 500 hundred dollars. The same quantity of clothes and quality would’ve cost me over a thousand dollars in Hawaii. I also bought a nice leather jacket from Wilson.

I loved the food in Las Vegas. We ate at Wo Fat and the Chinese food there tasted wonderful, just like the Chinese food you can get in Hawaii. We also went to a Filipino buffet which was quite good and reasonable. I wanted to eat Mexican food in Las Vegas as Mexican food “sucks” in Hawaii. I wasn’t disappointed, the food reminded me of the great tasting Mexican food I had in California a few years ago. Some of my friends like to go to the “Dollar” stores, and I noticed that even they sold food items. Maybe the artichokes were dried out and old looking, but it’s still edible. I saw frozen and package food items too, and thought to myself at least the poor in Las Vegas have more choices and cheaper alternatives than the poor do in Hawaii.

I also went to see two shows. The Criss Angel Magic Show and Ka. (BTW, I'm sadden to hear what happened to one of the performers) Boy were those shows expensive. I had to take an extra $600.00 in cash for that.

Our friends took us to Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Boulder city. One area of Boulder City reminded me of Kaimuki, a town which is part of Honolulu. Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki is lined with shops and businesses, but it runs for about 12 blocks. The one in Boulder City is only 3 or 4 blocks long. My friends drove us though Henderson and Sumerlin where we visited with their friends who were mostly former residents of my home state.

What surprised me while we were driving around, were all the outlaying apartment complexes with billboards saying that $99.00 will get you into this apartment complex with the 1st month’s rent! That would never, ever happen in Hawaii. Most states have been hit hard with this recession, but in Hawaii (which was hit hard too) the rents went down maybe $100 less a month if that! Real estate prices in Hawaii didn’t plummet like it did in Las Vegas; it only went down a little bit! I believe what the posters say on this forum about there not being any jobs. I also had a chance to visit with some relatives who live there.


Being mostly Asian with 1/8 native Hawaiian blood, I usually feel out of place on the mainland as I’m used to being part of the majority. However, in Las Vegas I felt totally comfortable. I believe it’s because there are so many former residents from Hawaii who now reside there, as well as the fact that no ethnic group overwhelms any other ethnic group. It was a nice mix of different races and cultures.

I wasn’t awed by the lights on the strip like my friend thought I would be. Don’t get me wrong, its pretty and all that. What I was awed by was when my friends drove me through the back streets of Vegas and I saw these huge high rise parking structures just for the employees of the various hotels. In Hawaii, not all the hotels provide parking for their employees who are then forced to find parking on our already crowded and congested streets. I was fascinated by the traffic on Friday afternoon when people from other states are driving into Vegas for the weekend. It’s still not nearly as bad as the horrendous traffic here in Honolulu on every weekday.


I loved visiting Las Vegas and would go back to visit in a heartbeat. The only negative was the low humidity. I did slap on globs and globs of moisturizer, however the skin on my back as well as the lower parts of my legs were itching a lot and my skin was starting to dry out. Then I developed a mild case of eczema around those areas. When I got back home I had to see my dermatologist who gave me a prescription cream to make my skin normal again. He said my skin went into shock from the lack of moisture in the air.

Lastly I was puzzled by some of the attitudes of former residents of Hawaii who now live in Vegas. One was a sister of a friend who hosted a party in our honor at his apartment. This lady said when she and her husband lived in Hawaii they were caught up in the crystal meth addiction and had to watch their backs constantly because most of their friends and relatives were addicts too. So when they left Hawaii for Las Vegas to leave all that behind they now have no desire to even come back to visit?? Another was my cousin who also used to be a meth addict. He said he also has no desire to go back to Hawaii as he can get all the Hawaiian foods such as poke and opihi (a Hawaiian shellfish delicacy) here in Vegas, and he left Hawaii to get away from all the meth. I know the meth epidemic is really bad in Hawaii, but I have a pretty wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Most like to drink alcohol and some even smoke pot, but I don't know anymore who does meth.

I was surprised by those attitudes because although I love to travel, like most Hawaii residents when the plane returning home starts approaching Honolulu and I see the beautiful skyline a magical feeling starts to come over me. When I get off the plane and I feel the cool moisture laden air and smell the faint scent of flowers, I feel so glad to be home. Unlike one of my posts a while back, if I couldn’t live in Hawaii I would now choose to live in Las Vegas over San Francisco. It’s hard to explain, but the total environment of Las Vegas (except for the dryness) including the people who live there, just feels more comfortable.

BTW, this friend who had a party for us and even had us over for dinner a couple of times must live in the ghetto area according to what I've read here. (I only started to read the Las Vegas forum after I came back from there) His apartment was only 5 blocks away from the Rio. It was an apartment complex that went on for several blocks, and mostly Latinos lived there. But I didn't feel uncomfortable, even late at night.

I’m curious to know the 1st impression Honolulu, Oahu or any of the other islands have made on residents of Las Vegas who aren’t from Hawaii.

And I was wondering how former residents of Hawaii cope with the low humidity.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:07 AM
 
3,588 posts, read 4,565,202 times
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I think your body gets acclimated to the change in humidity after a while, but yes, newcomers often get "Vegas throat" for a while. never heard of eczema problems, but anything is possible, I guess.

I like Hawaii, but I think it's way overrated and over-priced. If I'm going to pay that much to enjoy a beach environment, I'd rather go to Grand Cayman where the water is clearer, warmer and the sand is as pure as white snow.

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Old 07-03-2013, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,865 posts, read 15,655,032 times
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Google: Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla.

There is no better place on Earth.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:51 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, Makiki
351 posts, read 526,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logline View Post
I think your body gets acclimated to the change in humidity after a while, but yes, newcomers often get "Vegas throat" for a while. never heard of eczema problems, but anything is possible, I guess.

I like Hawaii, but I think it's way overrated and over-priced. If I'm going to pay that much to enjoy a beach environment, I'd rather go to Grand Cayman where the water is clearer, warmer and the sand is as pure as white snow.
That picture of the Grand Cayman is indeed pristine and beautiful. Unfortunately Hawaii is very expensive, but the reason why is because there are tourist who are willing to pay that price which keeps the price high.

Most people who visit Honolulu unfortunately just stay in Waikiki. The best beaches are on the North Shore or Kailua Beach where the sand is as white as the Grand Cayman and has the consistency of confectionery sugar.

I think if I ever left Hawaii, it wouldn't be the beaches I would miss, it would be the culture, the dramatic contrast between the mountains and ocean and the familiarity of other things.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:51 AM
 
2,719 posts, read 3,141,261 times
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My mother's relatives sold their properties in New York and bought their retirement home in Kaneohe paid cash for it, around 700,000 dollars. Must be nice to be able to afford something like that. Hawaii is nice, I like the calm beach in front of Ala Moana shopping center.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:00 AM
 
515 posts, read 1,111,315 times
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I think the people who don't want to go home have mixed up meth and hawaii in their minds. People do that sort of thing all the time - when a traumatic event happens to them, they associate some of the nearby but unrelated things with that event and never really think to deeply about it afterwards because most people just don't want to pick at old wounds. People are irrational.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:21 AM
 
13,603 posts, read 11,728,195 times
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Las Vegas loves Hawaiian tourists. It's uncool to generalize, but I'll do it anyway . Hawaiian tourists are generally friendly, easygoing, and coming from a tourist location themselves, know how to tip properly.

I agree with OP in that no one really cares about your ethnicity here. It's a diverse city.

Btw, Babystacks on Buffalo offers some Hawaiian breakfast items that a friend of mine loves.

I'd love to visit Hawaii some day. One of my best friends growing up was Hawaiian. Her family used to call me shark bait.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:45 AM
 
9,445 posts, read 10,991,217 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
Las Vegas loves Hawaiian tourists. It's uncool to generalize, but I'll do it anyway . Hawaiian tourists are generally friendly, easygoing, and coming from a tourist location themselves, know how to tip properly.

I agree with OP in that no one really cares about your ethnicity here. It's a diverse city.

Btw, Babystacks on Buffalo offers some Hawaiian breakfast items that a friend of mine loves.

I'd love to visit Hawaii some day. One of my best friends growing up was Hawaiian. Her family used to call me shark bait.
Main Street Station's buffet has Hawaiian items on there, too. Of course The California and MSS both cater to Hawaiians in a lot of ways like offering special vacation packages from the islands. Also, the gift shops have these cute flower clips. I noticed so many people wearing flowers in their hair, I bought one when I was staying there.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:21 AM
 
111 posts, read 99,630 times
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My first impression of Vegas was "it seems rather hot here".
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, Makiki
351 posts, read 526,627 times
Reputation: 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiminani View Post
I think the people who don't want to go home have mixed up meth and hawaii in their minds. People do that sort of thing all the time - when a traumatic event happens to them, they associate some of the nearby but unrelated things with that event and never really think to deeply about it afterwards because most people just don't want to pick at old wounds. People are irrational.
I think you're right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
Las Vegas loves Hawaiian tourists. It's uncool to generalize, but I'll do it anyway . Hawaiian tourists are generally friendly, easygoing, and coming from a tourist location themselves, know how to tip properly.

I tend to tip on the generous side because of the part-time service jobs I worked at while I was attending college.

I'd love to visit Hawaii some day. One of my best friends growing up was Hawaiian. Her family used to call me shark bait.
LOL, my cousins and friends used to tease me too and call me shark bait because I refused to sunbath on the beach with them. Well I got the last laugh because most people who don't really know me think I'm in my twenties (I'm really in my forties) while my cousins and friends look their age or older.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarkcty View Post
My mother's relatives sold their properties in New York and bought their retirement home in Kaneohe paid cash for it, around 700,000 dollars. Must be nice to be able to afford something like that. Hawaii is nice, I like the calm beach in front of Ala Moana shopping center.
Although Hawaii was always more expensive than the mainland, it didn't start becoming outrageously expensive until the 1990s. My friends in real estate said that investors/buyers from California are the primary reason why the average home on Oahu rose to 600,000 dollars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Joe View Post
My first impression of Vegas was "it seems rather hot here".
It was really nice when I was there last November, 40 degrees at night and about 65 degrees during the day.
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