Flew out of Sydney on the 9:20pm Hawaiian Airlines flight. Nice airline – good service and food.
Arrived about 10:30am, made quick contact with Mark from Hawaii 23 for our transfer. He was obviously well booked and he got his cousin John to take us with another couple. We got a discount so that was okay.
We stayed at the Waikiki Resort Hotel. Nice place, fantastic location. Will post a review for it. Our room was ready so they let us up. We had room 1706 – mountain view, two double beds, away from the elevators and up nice and high.
After we dumped our bags and changed into our shorts, t-shirts and thongs, we went wandering. Found ourselves a phone place and bought a SIM card for our mobile. We’d left our kids at home and there were lots of things happening with them so we needed to be at least in txt contact with them. The SIM cost us $60 but it was unlimited texting which was great we thought because our daughter is a txt-aholic.
We then went wandering the streets and beaches - soaked up the sights and relaxing atmosphere. Had dinner at the International Market Place – Choi’s. The food was good and inexpensive.
We designated this as our heavy-duty shopping day. We caught the bus to the Ala Moana Centre where we shopped. We then ambled up to the Ward Centre and shopped some more. Found some really great bargains and pretty much got everything that the kids had on their wish lists. The only disappointing thing for us was that we didn’t really find anywhere but Champs where we could buy MLB t-shirts for our mad baseballing kids.
Caught the bus back to our hotel to dump all our shopping and went wandering the beach again.
We had dinner that night at the MaKittii Sanrio World Buffet – all you can eat for $18.99 on Kuhio Ave. It was okay – just. They had quite a variety of food but it’s somewhere where I wouldn’t eat again or really recommend to anyone.
After dinner we wandered the streets, enjoying the sights and the atmosphere.
Got up nice and early and caught the bus down to the Dollar car rental place. The bus stop took us all the way to the front of the rental place – so convenient. We got a Kia Soul with a sat nav and the best insurance they had. It cost us AU$313.00 for the 3 days so I don’t know whether that was good or not. Petrol cost us $40 in total and we went around the island twice.
The weather was a little iffy so we headed to Pearl Harbour. We got there at 8:15am and got tickets for the 9:00am launch to the USS Arizona Memorial. This gave our time to have a good look around. Going out to the USS Arizona was a very moving experience.
Unfortunately we were with a local high school group who showed very little respect. This was really disappointing – these children and their teachers joked, pushed each other, laughed and were extremely loud the entire time. I was very shocked by this as I was always under the impression that Americans were very respectful of their servicemen and women. I am a primary school teacher and we take 120 10 and 11 year old children to our War Memorial in Canberra every year. We educate our students to be respectful and mindful of the other people around them. They manage to keep their respectful silence throughout our tour so it was very sad to see this group of high school children who could not and their teachers who did nothing to kerb their noise. We were not the only ones disturbed by these children as most of the adults on the tour were looking pretty upset. Anyways, enough said about that.
Once we returned to shore, we decided to do the tour of the USS Missouri Memorial. It too was a very moving and interesting experience.
Next we drove up around the island, taking our time and just doing some general sight-seeing. We had booked a horse ride with Linda at the Kahuku Kai Horse Ranch. I had spoken to Linda when the evening before and she gave us very clear directions to her place. She was very good and matched us up to our horses very well. Her friend, Susan, took four of us out on our ride. My husband really loved this activity. He has always wanted to ride a horse on a beach and we got to do just that. Most of our time on our ride we spent on the beach and he got to gallop his horse along the beach and wander through the water with him. I am not as confident a rider so my little horse and I were happy just to poddle along. The only bit of nose to tail riding we did was through a little path way to the beach – other than that it was real relaxed and go at your own pace. Susan was great and took some lovely photos of my husband and me riding along together on the beach – it’s an experience that neither of us will forget.
That night we were pretty buggered so we just ate at McDonalds which was just a half a block away.
While on the topic of McDonalds – we had breakfast there everyday because it was so convenient and cheap. I was in heaven because I got to have their SPAM, eggs and rice breakfast platter every morning. $3.99 + 79c coffee + tax – can’t beat that!!
The weather today was really rainy and yuck so we decided to do another shopping day. This time we drove so we could load up the car a bit and put a mighty dent in our credit cards - hahaha.
We had lunch at Bubba Gump’s at the Ala Moana Centre. It was a bit of a must-do thing because we saw the one at Santa Monica Pier being built and never got to eat there. My son is a big Forrest Gump fan so we knew we had to go visit for him . The service was great and the food was really nice. I had the ¾ lb of shrimp – half Cajun and half garlic & butter. Hubby had the shrimp sampler. Very tasty!!!
In hindsight we should have done the Punchbowl Cemetery and Diamond Head Crater today but we didn’t. We kind of ran out of time on our trip to do these but it gives us an excuse to come back.
Dinner was at the Aloha Center Café which is just diagonally across from our hotel. Nice food – we both had steak and lobster tail which was inexpensive and very nice. They had an entertainer singing there and it was a lovely relaxed atmosphere to enjoy an evening in.
We then went for a wander along the beach and had ice-cream from the Haagen-Dazs. Big clue – go the small serving because they are huge.
It was raining again quite heavily but we wanted to go to the Swap Meet at the Aloha Stadium. We forgot the rain ponchos that we had packed but luckily it stopped raining for the entire time we were there. The stalls are a little repetitive but we got some bargains. Just as side note – we managed to find some Aloha scrubs for our son who is a nurse. He loved them!!
We then went up to the North Shore and slowly made our way along the towns and sights. The weather was yuck but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. My photos would have been so much nicer if there was sunshine sparkling off the water but nevertheless we have photos.
Along the way we stopped and saw some turtles. They weren’t on the beach but just at the water’s edge feeding. Every now and then they would surface and pop their heads out of the water. Quite a sight!
We ate lunch at Romy’s Prawn and Shrimp place. It was really busy there but we didn’t have to wait that long for our food – about 15 minutes. We shared a garlic shrimp and rice meal. Soooo tasty!!! I think hubby wished he had gone for one on his own. They were a little messy but that is half the fun. There was a wash basin there with soap so it wasn’t really an issue.
After that we just took our time driving back down. We stopped off at Waimea Valley and had a bit of a sticky-beak around. We didn’t pay to go in because it was raining pretty heavily.
We stopped at the Halona Blowhole. It was blowing quite well and we got some great photos.
By this time poor hubby was getting a little fatigued from all the driving and it was getting late so we decided to head back to our hotel.
We ate at the Seaside Café on Kuhio Ave. I had steak and shrimp while hubby had steak and shrimp fettuccine. The meat was really tender and hubby’s fettuccine was really tasty – he was very impressed with it!
Another wet old day – what to do??? We went for a wander along the beach after breakfast and decided to hop the Aloha Bus for a tour around on their double decker bus. We armed ourselves with rain ponchos because we were determined to sit on the top deck. The bus pretty much went around everywhere we’d already been on foot or car but it was different seeing it from up high. They also give you headphones to listen to a commentary they have. It was pretty interesting and hubby enjoyed it a lot because he didn’t see so much when he was driving.
The people who worked on the buses we caught were really friendly and helpful. One lady we met was an office supervisor sent out for the day to experience what her staff experience. She was saying that the buses hadn’t taken off as well as they had expected and that they had to cut down one of their fleet of 6 to 5 buses because of costs. This meant that instead of the buses coming every 20 minutes it was about every 30 minutes but it was no big deal.
We got off at Hilo Hattie and had a browse around there. We also got off in Chinatown, wandered around and had lunch in some food hall. Let me say that it was of a dubious nature and I would not have eaten it at home, but I figured that it couldn’t be that bad – it was tasty but nothing noteworthy. We did see live bullfrogs for sale for $6.99 a lb – hahahaha…it was a bit gruesome. Being of Chinese decent I asked my parents when we got back to Sydney what they would do with them – my father stated “skin them, cook them and eat them”. Apparently known also as ‘rice-paddy chicken’ and are very nice – ewww…may leave them to it.
That night we ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise. We got a table by the window so we got to people watch while we ate. Nice enough food but nothing fantastic.
Finally the sun came out and shined her warmth on us. We had a beach day which was thoroughly enjoyable. First off we went down to the Star Beach Boys and had a surfing lesson. Phil was our instructor and he was very patient. Hubby and I both stood up on our first waves – so exciting!!!! We had lots of fun but it was exhausting. We bought photos they took of us because we had to have proof that we actually did stand up and surf – the kids would never have believed it otherwise…hahahaha. The photos cost us $60 but there was a squillion of them and we figured we’d never do it again.
After that we went to the ABC store and bought some floaties which they inflated for us. We had so much fun just poddling around in the water. Luckily for us we were sun-safe and used sunscreen and had sun shirts. We saw so many people on the beach glowing red that day!!!!
We had lunch at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers opposite the zoo. Nice burgers and very friendly staff.
For dinner that night we wandered down to the King’s Village to watch the changing of the guards and found the Rock Island Café. The store/café is filled with all old rock and roll memorabilia and played old rock and roll songs. The food wasn’t fancy but it was nice and the service was good.
Today we went to the US Army Museum at Fort De Russy. Free entry although they do ask for a donation. Good displays and very interesting. We spent a good deal of time wandering through and looking around.
Then we had another enjoyable beach day. Poddling around and doing some last minute shopping as well.
We ate at Chilli’s. The service and food was nice but we did get a visit from a cockroach on the wall while we ate. We didn’t make a big deal of it because we appreciate that we are in a warm humid area but we did mention it quietly to our waiter who thanked us for our understanding.
Our last day… we were due to be picked up at 9:00am so we had our breakfast on the beach and soaked in our last bit of Hawaiian sun.
Our 8 nights on Oahu were just enough for us - left us wanting just that bit more. We had a lovely time and look forward to our return trip.
Finally, a big thank you to all the people on this forum that helped us out either directly or indirectly with your contributions. There were many things that we may not have experienced had it not been for all you good folk.