I’m going to tell you about a chance encounter on a city bus with a young man preparing to sail from Hawaii to California and a couple from Hungary camping their way along the shore of Oahu. But first, I have to introduce someone and tell you a little about me. When I am not working or in class at UH, I am usually with my companion, Rick. I call him my boyfriend but our kids think that sounds weird for a couple in their 50’s. They said I should make up a different word. I haven’t come up with anything yet, so let me know if you have any ideas.

Anyway, Rick and I moved to Oahu last summer and we still don’t have a car. We have a boat but no car. We travel on land by foot or by TheBus (the city bus system on Oahu). Last weekend we went to a birthday party for a friend in Kaneohe. That is a town right next to Kailua, where we live. Both are on the windward side of Oahu. Although they are next to one another, the bus connections are a little odd. There’s no direct shuttle but there are a couple of ways to get back and forth and we usually just wing it by waiting at a stop where several buses pass and working out the route depending on which bus we catch.

It is very common to see tourists on busses in our area because the beaches are fabulous and the bus connections to Honolulu are frequent and inexpensive (more about that later). The bus drivers are almost always very helpful and so are fellow passengers. On our return after the party, we got off the 55 bus and were walking to the stop to transfer to the next bus to Kailua. A couple carrying backpacks and bedrolls got off at the same place. It was obvious they needed to get to the same stop we did, because that was the next major transfer point. I waved to show them there was a walkway in the median of Kamehameha highway. We hadn’t seen it on our first couple of trips and attempted to walk along the roadway, which is a very bad idea in the dark because the cars can’t see you.

They had taken the 55 (also called the “Circle Island”) bus along the North Shore to Kaneohe and now wanted to finish the trip around the Mokapuu point to Hanauma Bay to go snorkeling. It can be done, but not after 7 pm because the bus doesn’t go that far on the late night runs. They planned to camp on the beach at Kailua and get back on the bus in the morning for the rest of the trip. We helped them catch the 56 bus into Kailua (the 57 would also work) and pointed out an all-night grocery store and the direction of the beach.

TheBus is a great way to get around during your Hawaii Vacation and a wonderful way see all the island has to offer and meet interesting people. Our new friends had a nice tour of the top of Oahu for the price of two bus fares each: $4.50 ($2.25 each bus).


  1. Nice work Cindy! I do have a car, but just might take the 55 for a trip around for the experience. I always drive, so I never get to gawk as much as I want.

  2. It’s amazing the kind of adventures you forget about. I haven’t thought about riding the bus in years, admittedly I am thankful for that. But, this story brings back memories of long rides, good friends and just plain old hangin’ out. We’d play cards at the back of the bus, do sing-a-longs. All the stuff kids do that they neither care or realize bugs everyone else. Thanks for bringing back the past.

    Oh! And you could just mess with your kids and start calling him Sugar Dumpling or something and then keep switching embarrassing names. LOL I know I would, as a punishment/joke.

  3. Glad you enjoyed the bus memories!

    I tried calling him Ricky-poo but that made him AND them turn green, so I’m searching for something a little more generic 🙂

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