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Trip Report

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
256 posts
1 review
Trip Report

Trip Date: Mar 29 to Apr 3

Basic Questions and Answers:

Did we enjoy?

Heck NO! How could we enjoy when its green and the flowers are blossoming all around. How could we enjoy when its bright, sunny and warm and there’s beaches ALL around. How could we enjoy when men and women are so relaxed, casual and wearing only trunks and bikinis.

Okay okay, I lied… I actually had a bit of fun…okay okay, I lied again… in truth, we had the best time of our lives.

Did we spend a lot?

No. I researched a lot before we went. I planned the place to stay, the place to go to, the place to eat and I was disciplined enough to stay within the plan and the budget.

Will we go back?

As a matter of fact, I’m already looking at airfares for June or July, in time for my son’s summer vacation.

Any regret.

Yes. First, I should have snorkeled past the breakwater wall in Hanauma Bay. Second, I should have not gone to Dole in the morning. Third, I should have shortened our time in PCC. Forth, I should have jumped from the big rock in Waimea Bay. Fifth, I should have surfed more. Sixth, I should have stayed longer.


Arrive at 11AM. Pick up car from the airport (I went with Dollar Car Rental). Car rental was easy, just to usual forms, signature, car inspection and that’s it. Don’t be deceived though with the low rates; remember that you will have to pay for taxes and insurance. We drove off to Marriott in Ko’Olina to start things. The cove was nice and very safe for my son who immediately practiced his snorkeling skills. Then we drove to Waikiki where our hotel reservation is, ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Hotel. The problem was, there was a parade that particular day and hour when we were entering Waikiki. It took us two hours to get to our hotel. I was so furious and wanted to drive back to the airport (fortunately, I did not). We checked in, bathed and got into our beach wear. We had dinner a dukes. It was so good and really got us into the Hawaiian spirit.


We got up early, got our packed breakfast from our hotel and drove off to Hanauma Bay to snorkel. It was very beautiful. You can spot a beautiful fish even in ankle deep water. We drove to Byodo-in Temple then to Kualoa Ranch (not worth it). Then we drove back to Kailua beach (this is also a very beautiful beach). We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory; I had my first ever Mojito (it’s a bit pricy but well worth it).


We drove of to Dole. Though I felt its not worth it the time, we were there for about two hours because we did the train tour and my son did the maze (if your forced to go to Dole, don’t do this in the morning, you will lose precious beach time and parking space). It was around 11:00 when we left Dole and proceeded to the North Shore. First stop was Lanikea Beach, where there was a turtle on the shore (I’m sure they just brought the turtle thee for display; it did not naturally swam ashore from the waters). We proceeded to Waimea, but the parking was so full we just drove to Giovannis for lunch. Food was great, and maybe the beast shrimp scampi there is. We went straight to PCC after. The shows and food were good. We did not finish horizon though, coz my son was already screaming and wanted to go home after a very long, warm day. Afterwards, I realized that I could have learned all the culture in the internet; I thought I might have been better if we just went somewhere else (no offense; that’s just how I felt after). In our drive home, we almost got into a head on accident coz some guy (drunk one I assume) decided that he is the king of the road and just went into the opposite lane (my lane). Good thing I was wide awake and had full control of the car which I turned to the ditch to avoid him.


North Shore. Went right away to Waimea Bay…so beautiful, waves are so strong that ill will almost break your back if you happen to be lying where the wave breaks. Funny (disappointing on my part) thing happened here. I was floating with my son in the water about twice as deep as my height. When suddenly, I looked at the shore and everyone was pointing as us. I got nervous (panicked maybe ), so I grabbed my sons life jacket and with all my might, swam and brought my son and I to the shore. Then my wife told me that they were pointing at a big turtle swimming about a foot beside me.

Then we went to Turtle Bay resort. Though we did not get into the water, I still think the place was very beautiful.


We went back to Hanauma Bay to snorkel and as expected, it was very nice again. I wanted to swim past the wall however, I wanted to be with someone; but nobody did. After, we went back to Waikiki. This is the first time ever that we went into the Waikiki waters. I got surf lessons and stood up right on the second try. I was… fantastic. No word can capture the feeling, the greatness, the “awesomeness” of standing on a surfboard…so lets just use “fantastic”. FYI, in Waikiki, if you see those surfers way far out, the water there is only shoulder deep. This was our last night, so we had dinner at Hula Grill. It was nice but very pricy; I’d rather we went again to Dukes.


The dreadful flight back home. After days of pleasant sun, I was payback time; it rained. We walked for the nth time in Waikiki strip to find/buy things to bring home. We all went into the Waikiki waters again. I surfed again. Our flight was at 930pm; and here was when I made the biggest mistake. I thought that we’d check out at 12noon, return the car, check in our luggage and take the bus around. So we did. We were with our luggage at the airport at 1230. The problem was air Canada would not check in our luggage until 6pm. Meaning, we were stuck at the airport for nine hours, just sitting, waiting, and watching.

Disclaimer: All that is written is my personal recollection and opinion only; its not intended to influence anyone.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
636 posts
3 reviews
11 helpful votes
1. Re: Trip Report

Hi Oldfish,

Loved your Trip Report. I'm still chuckling about the turtle incident at Waimea Bay. Your Q and A section was great!

I'm interested in why would you have preferred Dukes to Hula Grill.

Glad you had such a great time (except for the long wait at the airport).

Welcome home.

Princeville, Hawaii
Level Contributor
7,586 posts
37 reviews
46 helpful votes
2. Re: Trip Report

Really got a chuckle from your report. The story about the airport and the bags is a good thing for folks to know.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
256 posts
1 review
3. Re: Trip Report


With regard to Dukes and Hula...maybe it was a combination of the price (hula is more expensive), the timing (Hula was on our last day, Dukes was on our first), food (seafood in dukes, steak in Hula) I ordered, the table location, the waiter the noise (or lack thereof in Hula). i think is the combination of those.

One more regret...

i should have called my family back home and told them to view me throught the web cam located at a monument in Waikiki. a lot of tourist were doing that... it was so cool.

Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
9 posts
1 review
2 helpful votes
4. Re: Trip Report

Thanks for your report. My February trip is already a distant memory. Check WestJet for good deals in June or July ... they just had a 50% off sale yesterday and return airfare from Calgary, tax included, was $545 in June. I'm tempted to book another trip.

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
30,287 posts
5. Re: Trip Report

Nice trip report.

Though I like Oahu the best, you ought to try one of the other islands next time.

"First stop was Lanikea Beach, where there was a turtle on the shore (I’m sure they just brought the turtle thee for display; it did not naturally swam ashore from the waters)."

All of them are there naturally.

In the water, they are fairly fast.

But I did watch one go from the water to the sand one time. It took about 20 minutes to move about 20 feet up on the shore.

Honolulu, HI
Level Contributor
89 posts
15 reviews
49 helpful votes
6. Re: Trip Report

Great trip report. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
127 posts
7. Re: Trip Report

Great trip report, i was wondering, how did you go about getting surf lessons? Do you need to book it previously or can you just walk up?

Northern California...
Level Contributor
1,924 posts
20 reviews
35 helpful votes
8. Re: Trip Report

Surfing lessons on Waikiki beach do not need reservations. Just walk up to any stand on the beach with either cash or credit card and sign up.

For a first time lesson though - I recommend the Hawaiian Fire surf class (www.hawaiianfire.com). Lessons are provided by off-duty Honolulu fire department personnel. The instructors are really great and the beach they use is away from the crowds at Waikiki - less chance of running over someone who fell off their board.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13 posts
4 reviews
12 helpful votes
9. Re: Trip Report

Great report oldfish, spent 10 days there about the same time as you expcept left the day before, before the rain came ;-).

We loved Kailua as well as Waimea bay and the whole North Shore. Would spend more time exploring Oahu next time. I agree regarding the PCC, I am sure it's a great learning experience and a fun place but I find it hard to justify spending so much time there when there is so much else to do.

For everyone that says hawaii is so expensive, if you are smart about it you can have a great time and not break the bank. As oldfish said do your research.

BTW loved the Hula Grill, prices are higher but it was a great way to end our trip.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
256 posts
1 review
10. Re: Trip Report


no need for reservation, just walk up to their booths, ask for the price, choose the cheapest one, pay and go. If you have someone with you, have that person take your picture (if your camera has a super zoom, I think it will work) when you’re way out. Then when you’re done, have the person take picture of you again near the shore. Or you can buy the very expensive pictures they take ($40 for five pics).


I also love Hula Grill, but I just loved Dukes more.


I thought of trying the other more laid back, more remote islands... however, i thought that i really like the mix of city-country lifestyle in oahu.

If anyone wants to buy cheap shirts…there’s some stores in a small eskinita to the left across Outrigger; 7 shirts for $20.