Hawaii 19

April - May 2019
Summer vacation in Spring. Read more
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  • Day 2

    First Full Day

    April 29, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Trip is a going well. Had tons of leg room on the Seattle - Honolulu flight. We were right by the emergency exit doors. Picked up our ride at the rental place and drove into town. Went for a bite to eat at a food fair in the Ala Moana mall before heading to our condo.

    The condo is alright. Great for the price. We're on a noisy street plus we need to run noisy AC units in order to keep the heat down in the rooms. But it's close to the beach and has a full kitchen so we can save by preparing our own meals.

    Yesterday we started the day with brunch at The Cream Pot, which we were able to walk to. We then did grocery shopping. First at Costco. Then for smaller quantities, at Walmart. After bringing it all home and having a snack we walked to the beach and went for a swim. We lazed on the sand for about an hour but didn't want to burn so headed back to the condo.

    Made ourselves a pasta dinner with Caesar salad for the main course and sliced, Hawaiian Pineapple for dessert. After a bit of r&r for me and the boys, and a run for mom and Emma, we walked to the big, Ala Moana shopping centre. Not much there in the way of bargains, but over 350 shops to choose from!

    Back at the condo I managed to find a show of interest from the 2000 available channels!
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  • Day 3

    North Island

    April 30, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    I started my day with a run. Figured that I wouldn't be feeling too keen later when the heat is on. I'm not used to early morning fitness though. So although I covered 5-6 kms, I probably only ran about 1/2 that distance. I ran from our condo to the beach and as far as I could along the beach. And ran a similar route back. We all cooked eggs for breakfast in our little kitchen, and put together sandwiches, veggies and fruit for lunch on the beach later.

    I used WIFI to map our route to the Dole Pineapple plantation and we headed to the car. About an hour later we arrived. I did not expect it to be as busy with tourists as it was. It reminded us of the Hershey Chocolate factory we had visited on a previous trip. Several tour packages were available but we opted to just take the the 20 min. tour train. The wait was going to be about 20 mins so we decided to have a snack. Emma and I had Dole whips. They are basically soft ice cream flavoured with pineapple. Very yummy. Laura and the boys had pineapple fruit cups.

    The tour was informative and enjoyable. We saw a number of different crops along with the pineapples, including bananas, cacao, avocado, coconut and others. Everyone (except for me because I had seen pineapple plantations before) was surprised to see that pineapples don't grow on trees!

    A short drive North of the Dole stop and we had reached the North shore of the island. We stopped at one of the first beaches we found, Haleiwa Alii, and had our lunch. It wasn't the best for swimming so we drove along the coast and stopped to swim at Sunset Beach. After a nice break there we drove further along the North Coast before heading back south along the East coast of the island. I had hoped to take highway 61 back into Honolulu but it was closed due to a landslide some time ago. As a result, the traffic was quite slow moving and it took us quite a bit longer to get back to our condo than anticipated. It was a very scenic drive and well worth it though.
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  • Day 4

    Snorkeling and Sunburns

    May 1, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 26 °C

    Today we had to get everyone up bright and early so we could arrive at Hanauma Bay in time for our guided snorkelling adventure. Upon arrival the parking lot was full so we had to turn around and park in a residential neighborhood about 1/2 mile down the road. Our guide me us at 10:00 and we got fitted with fins and floatations belts. We had to watch a short orientation film before being allowed into the park.

    Soon, we had all our gear on and we were in the water. Our guide took us to all the best locations to see fish. We were also allowed to take off our belts and free dive to the bottom. The variety of colourful fish was spectacular. It was like swimming in an aquarium. And, I was surprised at the size of many of the fish. They were huge! We swam from one side of the bay to the other and were in the water for over an hour. We don't have pictures of the fish yet, but our guide had a Go-Pro and will email us the photos.

    Our guide gave us a ride back to our car and we headed to Sandy Beach to eat lunch and enjoy the ocean. When we got there though, the lifeguards informed us that this beach has the distinction for being the number one beach in the world for broken necks and backs because of how the powerful waves crash into the shore. So, we didn't stay long and instead drove north along the coast to an absolutely beautiful beach, Kailua Beach. Fine, white sand extending all around a bay with gentle waves and few people.

    At this time, we began to notice sunburn, even though we hadn't been in the sun long. What we had not realized was that we were going to be exposed to the sun most of the time we were in the water snorkelling. And, we had not used sunscreen as it is harmful to the coral. So, later in the day we began to notice the effects!

    From Kailua we drove back in air conditioned comfort to our condo where we showered, relaxed for awhile, did laundry, made dinner before walking along Kalakuau to check out the shops and action on the promenade. We watched a talented group of dancers perform and enjoyed the performance until they started badgering the crowd for money and even making insulting remarks like "What a cheap crowd!". We left before their final act.
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  • Day 5

    A Hiking Day

    May 2, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Today was planned as a hiking day. We needed to stay off the beach and wanted to see Diamond Head as well as the jungle like mountains north of town. So, we started by driving to the parking area at the start of the trail up Diamond Head. It was busy but we only had to wait about 10 minutes to get a parking spot. The weather was not too hot and there was a breeze to help cool us off as we hiked up the trail. It took us only about 1/2 hr to reach the top. Beautiful view of the area from the lookout!

    From Diamond Head we drove a short distance to the Manoa Falls trailhead. It was raining lightly, but very warm when we started on the trail. Instantly, we were in the thick of the tropical rainforest with incredibly large trees all around us. It definitely felt like Jurassic Park, which was filmed not too far away on the island. It was an easy hike with just a few, short steeper sections, and it took us only about 1/2 hr to reach our destination. A 40-50 m. high waterfall. We took a few pictures and headed back to the car.

    After a short break at the condo we drove to a nearby ROSS Dress for Less store and picked up on some bargains. Then we shopped for groceries at a local supermarket before going home to make dinner.
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  • Day 6

    Pearl Harbor Tour

    May 3, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    After eggs this morning, we all walked along the canal and to the Ala Moana shopping Center. We were interested in checking out the only other ROSS store on the island after a successful bargain hunting trip to the ROSS store closer to our condo a couple of days ago. We thought it would be the larger of the two, but it wasn't to be. Jaden picked up a nice pair of aviator style sunglasses and a t-shirt, and Laura a pair of shorts, but that was about it.

    After a quick break at the condo, we hopped in the car and drove to Pearl Harbor for our scheduled tour at 1:00. It started with a 20 min. video explaining why the Japanese attacked and how they managed to inflict so much damage. Following the video we boarded a boat and were given a narrated tour of the harbour showing the locations of the various battleships that were destroyed in the attack. For a nominal $1 fee per person, that was by far the best deal we've had on the trip!

    We spent the afternoon at Waikiki Beach, trying to shield ourselves from the sun as much as possible, still feeling the burn from our snorkelling adventure at Hanauma Bay. Aaron and Emma tried surfing and were able to catch a few waves! I tried boogie boarding, but failed to catch a single wave. Will try again tomorrow.

    The day ended back at the condo where we made dinner and watched shows on the television and various devices. We missed the Friday fireworks at the Hawaiian Hilton.
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  • Day 7

    West Coast of Oahu

    May 4, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

    Our plan, to start the day was to attend a big swap meet at the Aloha Stadium near the airport. We thought it was on until three but unfortunately it ended at noon this time because of another event happening in the stadium. We didn't think 15 mins would be enough to see much so we decided not to go inside.

    Instead, we continued west to the coast to check out the beaches there. We arrived to find it very windy. We walked along a paved walkway that connects four, man made lagoons. The first is a public beach and the others belong to resorts, including Disney. Each is a very nice, sheltered beach. Perfect for families with young kids. Not really what we were looking for.

    We drove from this resort area on the west coast back to Waikiki beach. We rented a surfboard to share. Good deal at $10/hr. The waves weren't the best but Aaron and Emma were both able to catch a few waves on the board. It was cloudy, which was perfect for us, with our burns from two days ago.

    This being our last night in Hawaii, we decided to go out for dinner. We decided on the Cheeseburger Waikiki. I had cod dipped in Hawaiian beer batter and fries, Aaron had a veggie burger, Jaden and Emma had beef burgers and Laura had an avocado, watermelon, tomato salad. All very good.

    We then walked to the beach and along the waterfront to catch an Hawaiian sunset. As a bonus, we saw a monk seal sleeping on the beach. Walking back we had a chance encounter with a street market. Lots of vendors and entertainment with the street closed to vehicle traffic. We all enjoyed that and stopped at the Haagen Daas for ice creams before walking back to the condo. That was almost a 6 K walk!
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