Trip Report March
A big thank you to all on this forum. Our trip was March 10th to 21st, 5 nights Oahu and 5 nights Maui. I am posting Oahu on this forum and will post about Maui on that forum. The trip was myself, my husband, daughter 13, son who turned 10 on the trip, my mom and 2 sisters.
Day 1 - We had a direct 11 hour Continental flight from Newark, NJ. We arrived on Oahu March 10 at 7:30pm. Picked up at airport by Mark from Hawaii23. He was excellent, like being picked up by a friend-cost was $35 for all of us, can’t beat it! We had booked 3 nights at the Outrigger Reef in 2 1 BR city view suites (1633 and 1433) Check in was great, everyone super nice. Rooms very nice décor and immaculate. Each room had 2 lanais; the view was directly across from Trump Tower, but Fort DeRussy Park on the left, so you looked across the park to the mountains, very lovely. We headed down to Kana Ka Pila restaurant at the pool. TV’s all around the bar where we first learned about the earthquake in Japan. Halfway through dinner we noticed the tickers flashing Hawaii Tsunami Warnings. Waitress came over and told us if we wanted dessert would have to take it to room as hotel wanted public areas evacuated. Sirens began to sound throughout Waikiki. Children were quite upset. We went to rooms, luckily on high floors. Hotel made announcements q ½ hour via the in room intercom system. Around 2am they evacuated floors 1, 2 and 3 and shut down elevators. We were up all night watching the news, around 8am they gave the all clear.
Day 2 – Breakfast restaurants were not open as staff was not able to get in due to no buses. They had a limited buffet set up at Kana Ka Pila. Staff was super nice and had been up all night! Everyone trying their best with limited resources.
We ate and headed to beach for a walk. The only thing we noticed was the tide would pull out and expose the reefs. Locals said this was not normal, but the water was calm and beautiful. There were no chairs, surfboards, etc available that day due to Tsunami. Got our bay shoes-highly recommend bringing if you have some as many beaches are rocky- and snorkel gear and hit the water. In the afternoon we got a taxi to Diamond Head and hiked to the top. Beautiful view of Waikiki and the island.
5:45 dinner reservations at Roy’s (just across the street at Beach Walk) Food, drinks and service all wonderful-highly recommend. DS fell asleep at the table and we were all totally worn out between jet lag and Tsunami sleep deprivation. Had meant to head to beach to see fireworks but dinner ran late and we were soooo tired we quickly went to ABC store and picked up cereal and milk for breakfast in room next morning and went back to rooms for some sleep.
Day 3 – After much thought on my part we decided to catch the bus to Pearl Harbor. Left hotel around 6am walked 2 blocks and caught bus around 6:20. Arrived at PH 7am. Got tickets for 8;30 tour. Museums very interesting, loved the movie before you boarded the ferry boats. We all visited the Bowfin, then the girls headed back to hotel while my DH and DS continued on to Missouri and the Aviation Museum. They really enjoyed the flight simulator. We had lunch at Shorebird-the standouts were the Mahi Mahi Reuben, Ahi wrap and the $3.50 Mai Tai’s. Spent some time at the pool relaxing-natural saline pool-always seemed to be plenty of chairs available
Dinner reservations 5:30 at Hula Grill (Outrigger Beach) Walked down the beach, through Dukes, already crazy crowded. Hula Grill food mediocre, as I had read on this forum, but it was my DS choice for birthday. He loved their ice cream sandwich. Walked back down the beach enjoying the weather and beautiful surroundings. In bed by 8:30, still soooo tired.
Day 4 – Breakfast at Shorebird buffet-decent for the price, beautiful views. More beach time. I had arranged for Mark from Hawaii23 to pick 2 of us up to get rental cars fr. Enterprise at airport. He was right on time and the whole trip took about 1hr 10 mins. Picked up the rest of the family in 2 convertibles to head up to North Shore for 2 nights-if you are planning on getting convertibles please be aware that very little luggage fits in the trunk once top is down. We had to put top up to fit luggage. Plan was to drive up the Windward coast leisurely, stopping at sights along the way. Saw our first whales at the Diamond Head lookout, cannot explain how excited it made us all feel-amazing. Made stops at Lanai Lookout, Halona Blowhole and Beach, Sandy Beach and Makapu’u Beach with Rabbit Island. The coast was stunning, each turn brought oohs and ahhs. As we headed to Waimanalo Beach traffic stopped, and ambulances arrived about 12 cars ahead of us. We were told that a man on a scooter had been killed and the road was closed. So horrible, we were thankful for our own health. We had to head back to Waikiki and take the roads up the middle of the island to Turtle Bay.
At Turtle Bay we had 2 cottages (106 & 111) The room was lovely, with loft ceilings, dark wood floors and marble bathroom, but the real stunner was the ocean surrounding the entire resort. I could have sat on our lanai for days just enjoying the view and sounds of nature. My kids loved playing on the lawn in front of the cottage and the hammock. I would highly recommend spending the extra for the cottage! Spent some time at the pool and watched the sunset. Dinner at Leonardo’s in the hotel. Apps were good but dinner was disappointment-all pasta’s overcooked. Turn down service was lovely, coconut cookies and orchids on the beds, lights dimmed, soft music on the radio and the crashing waves right outside the doors. We slept with the slider open each night.
Day 5 – Woke to the sounds of the ocean and birds. DS and I took a hike on the beach in front of the cottages, then grabbed our snorkel gear and headed for the hotel’s bay beach by 7:30am. We snorkeled for an hour-water was perfect, lots of fish to be seen- before we met everyone for breakfast at Palm Terrace (same space as Leonardo’s) buffet was good but pricey. Everyone headed back to beach for the day; it was really nice and never got crowded. Around 3 we put the tops down on the convertibles and headed to Hale’iwa for Matsumoto’s shaved ice. Although we really didn’t care for the treats-overly sweet- we got some great T shirts. Took our time driving around the North Shore surf towns and then headed to Romy’s Shrimp Truck. Brought back a variety to eat on our lanais. It was delicious, loved the garlic butter-finger lickin! Back to the pool while I did some laundry. Spent some wonderful time in the hammock with my 13 year old daughter just talking and watching the night sky. We were so lucky to see a shooting star, these are the moments! Another night of sleep with the lulling of the waves, just heaven.
Day 6 – Everyone very sad to leave Turtle Bay-we all want to return here for at least 3 nights! Our last morning on Oahu, packed up the cars and headed to Ted’s Bakery for a quick breakfast. Coffee and pastries were good. Off to the airport and Maui for the 2nd half of the trip. To be continued on Maui forum
Sorry so long winded, but we had such a wonderful time it is hard not to want to share!