I know, I know, it has been 54 days since we returned from our 14 day Hawaii (Oahu & Kauai) vacation… not that I’m counting or anything. Everyone has been asking me for photographs, but I was so busy once we returned that I have been playing catch up most of that time. Also, I wanted to take my time and give the blog posts lots of details for anyone who wants to travel to this amazing place.
So here we go…
The first full day of flying was just that, an entire day of flights, layovers, reading Harry Potter and an equal amount of good and not so good food. I don’t actually mind flying, I’d even say I enjoy it. The hustle an bustle of the airport, walking around barefoot and beltless, oh and it’s also a plus when your husband carries the heavy non-wheeled bags too.
I do recommend that when flying to the Chicago Airport (my favorite airport) stop and grab some Garrett Popcorn and check out the artwork and the neon light tunnel.
Another recommendation for flying is please don’t forget your cell phone at your mother in-laws house, which will then in effect cause her to make a 20 minute ride back home from the airport, then another 20 minute trip back to the airport, then home again… Brant. :) After this little hiccup we were off!
We traveled from Dayton to Chicago, to LA, then to Oahu. It is a long day and if doing it again with extra time and money I’d suggest staying in LA for a couple days just to break it up, but it’s totally doable. We flew United and got a really good deal on tickets, like under $700 good! If you check the “my dates are flexible” option when searching for tickets you can see the best days to travel for the cheapest. We booked our May vacation around January. Most tickets are over $1000.
Once in Oahu traveling from the airport I would strongly suggest just renting a car instead of taking the bus, which has a continuous force field of relentless B.O., or a shuttle service. They do have shuttles buses for each rental car place that are free and will pick you up at the airport and take you down the road to the rental car locations. This can be confusing, so ask someone where to go. Also you’ll cross to the median of the road and there will be labels on the ground with each rental car business name, so you know where to stand. You also might have to flag down those shuttles as they come. You can rent a small Fiat car for as low as $15 a day, but you will need to pay overnight parking which is around $25 a night or so. A non rental car shuttle for one person most places is $15 per person. What we did was took a shuttle service to the hotel from the airport and then walked most places for the first 3 days, then rented a convertible for the other 3 days. Renting the convertible was awesome and I’d highly recommend it. I mean is there a more perfect place to drive a convertible, I mean really?!
We stayed at the Stay hotel in Waikiki. The room was small but nice and clean. I really like the modern decor. Every morning you get a free breakfast that was good. They had yogurt, fruit, breads, cereal, coffee and juice. It was also a 2 minute walk to Waikiki beach which was a plus since we were walking a lot of places to save money those first 3 days.
Our balcony view.
Okay, okay on to the fun stuff!
Day 1- May 1st, 2014:
We shot awake very early Hawaii time about 5:00am! We walked Waikiki beach and did a little snorkeling. We saw a surprising amount of things right there, lots of rainbow colored fish and an ugly eel.
We ate at La Cucaracha right down from our hotel and it was pretty good. You can sit outside on the balcony and see the ocean.
We walked to Diamond Head, which was a trek! It was way longer of a walk than we thought. Once we finally arrived it was much drier than we thought it would be. It was almost reminiscent of an African safari. And they say Hawaii isn’t hot? Well, it was hot here. Different parts of the islands are more dry than others.
The hike was totally worth it and it had some great views.
We then walked to Rainbows, a restaurant for local. We were told to go here by a local, but we weren’t crazy about it. The food is very fried and heavy. It was a cool place though.
Day 2 – May 2nd 2014:
We walked downtown Waikiki and then a shuttle from Sea Life Park picked us up an drove us to the park so we could swim with dolphins! Eeeeeeeh! I was so excited because I have wanted to do this my entire life.
The drive there was beautiful we saw the small island where they were shooting the new Jurassic Park just the week before,
and where they filmed the mermaid scene on Pirate of the Caribbean.
Sea Life Park had a dolphin show before we actually swam with them and they actually have the world’s only Walphin, which is a cross between a Killer Whale & a Bottle Nose Dolphin. It was so cute, about twice the size as the dolphins, darker in color and had one little snaggle tooth since their teeth wear down over time.
Swimming with the dolphin’s was absolutely amazing!
Sea Life Park also has a luau, called Chief’s Luau. It was a lot of fun. Honestly we didn’t really want to do the luau thing, but we were so glad we did. There were fun games and activities before it started and the show was great.
Oh and poi is real gross.
Day 3 – May 3rd 2014:
We went to pick up our car and went to the Arizona & Oklahoma memorial. Brant’s great grandfather was actually on the Oklahoma when it was hit that day. He was able to escape when many did not. It was a really amazing experience visiting on base and these memorials.
We ended the day with sushi from SushiMan and a walk on Diamond Head Beach.
More Hawaii posts to come…