A few notes from my trip 20 - 28 May, will add more detail as I think of it...
Wow, it all happened so fast and has given me lovely memories of my trip to Oahu -8 nights was not enough. Where to start, perhaps, with all the papaya, mangoes, malaasadas, and pineapple I ate. Or all the shops I looked at returning again and again. Then, the E Noa Circle Island Tour vistas of the beaches and the steep craggy volcano sides. Or wandering around getting lost sometimes where distances seem a bit further on the ground than on the map. Highlights include The Doris Duke House Tour from the Art Museum and the Murals in the Warehouse District around Clarke Street. Wherever I went I felt safe and comfortable asking for directions. I have written reviews of the Royal Grove Hotel / The Murals / E Noa Circle Tour / with more to follow.
Perhaps w' a few random thoughts:
Don't be tempted to jay walk - it's dangerous and they may well book you. You are on holiday, wait 10 seconds till the walk light turns green. If you happen to quickly look the wrong way and get hit by a car you will really spoil your holiday. There is no beeping sound when it does turn green, so the first few times I missed it as I was looking around and then I realised how much I relied on the beep to remind me to cross.
TheBus is very useful, always ask for a transfer. They will give you between 1- 4 hours, although it's supposed to be 2 hours (if they offer you 1 hour asked nicely for 2 hours). Some are lenient on this and a few are strict. The bus drivers are very helpful, but not always reliable on info. I went for a ride that was to be 30 mins and ended up being 1/8 way round the Island for 2.5 hours. This interesting impromptu tour around the east beaches and houses was actually very interesting. Another time, a couple thinking they were going to the airport had a mad dash to get off and get on the correct bus after input from half a dozen passengers after wrong info from the driver. Apparently they have 7 million rides a month. The drivers are 99% friendly and helpful, but do double check if going outside the straight Waikiki to Ala Moana Route. You must have correct change of 2.50 as they handle no money.
The closest thing Starbucks can do for a flat white is a small latte and hold your fingers 10-12 cm / 4-5" apart, and ask for with low foam. It's vaguely drinkable, and there's free wifi whilst sitting in a comfortable armchair.
I carried a small empty water bottle to fill up at the water fountains near the 'rest rooms' chugalug it every time you see the opportunity and put empty bottle back in bag.
Have a look at the Uggs Australia Store in Waikiki and smile at the furry thongs (flip flops), made in China. Ross Dress for Less in Waikiki is on Sunset St.
I saw Asian brides in big fluffy white dresses all over the place being photographed everywhere, they all looked completely unselfconscious and enjoying it immensely. The grooms seemed to be a bit equivocal about the whole thing though. Big white limos featured heavily.
I spent more time than I intended at the Apple Stores at Ala Moana and Waikiki as I brought the wrong adaptor.
I spent time shopping and I specialised in sale items at: Crew on the Island, Macy's, Old Navy, Ross Dress for Less, etc/ Macy's sales are terrific where I got top quality cotton items for less than Big W at home.
I preordered and paid on line for a shuttle w' Roberts and they were there to meet and and exactly on time for my return shuttle to the airport. The trip back in the early morning the day after Memorial Day was very scary though when I could see the driver continually closing his eyes. I started coughing loudly and clapping my hands to keep him awake, he was so tired that he didn't even notice me doing it.
The markets are great for buying fruit and some takeaways. I got a bit of an upset tummy at the end, so next time instead of buying cut up pieces, I will get uncut fruit, wash the skin and cut it up myself for breakfast. One night I went to eat something I have not eaten for many years - Tony Roma's ribs and they werer pretty yummy with fries and cole slaw.
One day when I felt a bit tired and wanted to stay close 'to home', I did a self guided tour of all the 5 star hotel foyers to see how the others spent their money. The apparently most expensive hotel in town, Trump hotel foyer on the 5th floor is strangely underwhelming, and it not even on the beach. But loved the Westin. Looking over at The Embassy Suites roof pool from the 5th floor of the Trump, I could see the Embassy was jumping with lots and lots of kids and families seemingly having a wonderful time at dusk.
At the end of most days I walked in the water along the shore to massage my tired feet and calves and it was so resfreshing.
And, in all my holiday I did not need an umbrella.Edited: 8:17 am, June 03, 2013