Whoah is me, I am home now. Depression has hit, and now all I can do is look back on my wonderful days in Oahu and Kauai. So in looking back on my trip to paradise, I figured I would write a nice trip report for all others so that it might help make some decisions on where to stay, eat, and play!
Sun May 21- Flight from PHX to HNL. Arrived around 12:30pm and got luggage and shuttle quickly. We were the first stop on the shuttle, so arrived at the Outrigger Reef by 1:30. Our room wasn't ready yet so we had lunch in the Shorebird. Was pretty good, but seemed like most of the menu was fried. But, after a 6 hr flight, everything tasted good. Enjoyed a mai tai while watching the waves crash on the sand. Lunch was done around 2:30 so we still had some time to kill, so over to the bar we went. This was a cute little spot overlooking some waterfalls, and turned out to be our favorite spot in the place, well, besides the balcony in our room. We had a couple more drinks and killed some time until checkin. 3pm rolled around and our room was ready. Went up and called for our luggage. The room was on the small side, but suited our needs just fine. We booked a super saver room, so we really weren't expecting much. Had a nice view of the pool and a little bit of the ocean. Once our luggage arrived we decided to grab our suits and head down to the beach. Well, I unfortunately found out that my suits (2 of them) both didn't fit anymore. I guess I should have checked that out before hand. Oops. So, I squeezed into one of them and off we were to the beach and streets to find me a swimsuit. Eventually found one, but determined that Hawaiian women (or at least the clothes) are much smaller than mainlanders. Oh well... Eventually found one that fit. Back to the room to put it on and swim in the pacific. Once we were done in the ocean we went back to the room to change and try out the Ocean House. I highly highly recommend this place for dinner. The food was fantastic and Lynn our server was a hoot! We enjoyed the BBQ beef and coconut lobster for appetizers, and for dinner I had the Hawaiian Seabass in a frangelica cream sauce with bananas, and hubby had the Polynesian Filet. Both were excellent! Finally, for dessert we split some Mango Sorbet. We got back to the room to find the hotel had sent us some Champagne for our anniversary, thought that was a really nice touch. So we put that in the refrigerator and let it cool down.
Mon May 22- 1st full day on Oahu. Started off by enjoying some macademia nut pancakes for breakfast at the Chief's Hut. These weren't the normal Macademia nut pancakes as they were part of the daily special. 2 pancakes, 2 scrambled eggs and choice of meat for $4.99. This was a pretty good deal, but if you wanted juice with it, tack on another $3/glass, but since it was so good you didn't mind it (If you haven't already, you have to try POG juice- it is Passion Fruit, Orange and Guava, and boy is it good!!!). After our lunch we walked around the grounds a little bit, and then off to the Sheraton to catch our shuttle to the Polynesian center. I was a little worried at first at how far the Sheraton was to our hotel, but it was just a couple of blocks. Grabbed the shuttle, stopped at a couple more hotels, then Cousin Nate gave us the grand tour of Oahu on our way to the Center. I loved how everyone called us cousins while we were there. Once we arrived, since the gates don't open til 12:30, we grabbed some quick lunch at the fast food stand, although you really couldn't call it fast food. Was ok, but truthfully, how good can a hot dog be? After our quick lunch, we got our tour guide (we were part of the ambassador package), Cousin Bianca was her name and she was from New Zealand. The one nice thing about having a tour guide is that you get to see all the cool shows. She got us to most of them and the Canoe Pageant with plenty of time to spare. Although, amazingly enough, when it started to pour she was no where to be found. As we found out, all the other tour guides were getting their people ponchos, she wasn't. She didn't get them for us until the pageant was almost over. I was also kind of thinking it would be a 5 min shower, not a 50 min downpour, so I got totally soaked and ended up having to buy dry clothes. After our full day in the rain and sun, we were off to the Alii Luau. We tried all kinds of food while we were there, and they were big on selling the smoothies. Service through the buffet lines was quick, but the food lacked a lot of flavor except for the bbq chicken and seasoned beef. The only problem with the beef is that they served it in little dixie cups with only 2 pieces in each. You had to go back for quite a bit. Desserts were really good, my favorite being the Chocolate Macademia cake. After dinner it was off to the Horizons show. I do not know how we managed it, but we were in the 4th row from the stage and dead center, GREAT SEATS!!! This show was definitely the highlight of the day. This show rocks! Then back off to the Sheraton to be dropped off yet again to go back to the hotel. Only complaint about the tour company is that they did not drop us off in the same location as pickup so we were completely turned around when it came to walking back to the Outrigger Reef. Didn't get back til almost 11, so we went straight to bed since our day was going to start so early the next morning.
Tues May 23- 5:30 am wake up. Ugh. Got dressed and stuffed as much stuff in our pockets as possible since Pearl Harbor doesn't allow bags. Grabbed a quick danish at Starbucks and off to the Sheraton to pick up our shuttle for the Stars and Stripes tour. We were picked up on time at 6:25am, and off we went. We were at the Arizona Memorial by 8 am and waiting in line for our tickets. They were free, but are for specific showings and boat shuttles over to the memorial. Each ticket also had 1 of 10 people that survived Pearl Harbor and awards they won. I thought this was pretty cool. We also paid the extra to get the audio tour which I think is totally worth it. Once our ticket number was called, we got in line and saw the movie. This was a very moving piece about what happened on that fateful day. Many people were seen drying their eyes afterword. After the show, we were off to visit the memorial. They reminded us that this is a burial ground to all those soldiers that lost their lives on the Arizona, and asked us to remain quiet if at all possible. Many women wore leis around the necks into the memorial and cut the string and released the flowers into a square area that was cut out for this purpose. It was very touching and I was sorry I hadn't thought to do the same thing. One of the very interesting facts is that anyone who served on the Arizona that survived has the choice to be placed back on the Arizona upon their death. They have a special ceremony and the body is cremated and a diver puts them into one of the gun turrets to rest with their fellow shipmates. After our tour to the Memorial, we were off a tour of the Battleship Missouri. We saw the beginning of the war, then it was off to the end of the war. "Big Mo" definitely doesn't do this monster justice!! The thing is huge, and how interesting that it was retrofitted with air conditioning to serve in the gulf war. There is a plaque commemorating the spot in which the surrender document was signed. We even had lunch in the ship's galley (roast beef with taters and gravy) and I have to say it wasn't bad at all. After our tour of Big Mo, we were off for a private tour of Punchbowl cemetery. We were told that most tours of Pearl Harbor only include a driving tour of Punchbowl, whereas we got the full private tour with some of the best views of Oahu! All that we learned on this tour was absolutely amazing. Once Punchbowl was done, Cousin Nick took us on a driving tour of Honolulu. This was really cool as he pointed out the Governor's mansion, the capital bldg, Iliolani Palace. He even told us about the statue of Kamehaha and that the first one never made it to the originally planned spot. They had to get a second one done because the first sunk on its way to Oahu. I believe they found it later and placed it in the spot the elders originally wanted it. After the Holulu tour we were back off to the Sheraton, and walked back to our hotel. We took a short nap and then dressed for dinner. We were supposed to go to Orchids for dinner but after the wonderful dinner we had at the Ocean House, we decided to eat there. Had another wonderful meal. They had coconut crusted Ahi, and hubby had the polynesian filet again, but this time he added an Australian lobster tail to it. I helped him with his dinner as well as my own. :) Again, another wonderful dinner.
Wed May 24- Breakfast at the Chief's Hut, this time I had the regular Macademia nut pancakes. Very yummy. Then it was waiting for the shuttle back to the airport to head off to Kauai. This shuttle was late and very crowded. Got us to the airport with more than enough time to spare though. Hubby didn't understand that we could have taken earlier flight so we stuck around til 12:30 for our flight. OFF TO KAUAI- See Kauai board for the Kauai trip report for details on our trip to Kauai.
Link to our Oahu pictures