Let me start off by saying that I have wanted to go to Hawaii since I was 12…. I celebrated my 49th birthday in Hawaii on this trip……..so its been a long time coming! This was my bucket list trip.
We started off with 2 flights, both 5+ hours legs from Boston to get there. It was a long long day. We flew United Airlines, which stopped in San Francisco. We had a 4+ hour layover. We arrived in Honolulu at 6:30pm local time. It was cloudy and raining. Our luggage was lost, but eventually found, so it took us a very long time to get out of the airport. Then the car rental company’s computers were down, so that also took a long time. Needless to say it was dark, so we drove straight to our condo (Waikiki Banyan). On our way up the elevators to the 28th floor we saw a paper sign taped on the wall stating that the lanai’s(balcony) would be locked during the construction ( outside repairs) and sorry for the inconvenience. We were not told this by our VRBO landlord. Who wants to be on the 28th floor with no balcony?? NOT me that’s for sure. Well it was locked the entire 11 days. They are reimbursing us $200 for that inconvenient, but really if I had known, I would never of rented it. So no drinking coffee on the lanai in the early morning, no drinking wine on the lanai in the evening….. the view was still spectacular, but it still hurt!
Let me say first, how shocked I was at how big the city of Honolulu is. People, be prepared for this, it’s a major city, and its as big as they come! So many buildings & so many people. I don’t know why this shocked me so much, but it did. The other thing was the shopping. I guess I am the odd one here, because I am thinking, who wants to go designer shops while in Hawaii? There are so many stores, many many high end ones, and that’s pretty much the Waikiki area other than the beach. Don’t get me wrong I loved the ABC store, and the touristy stores with the local stuff, but really a Hermes store? Gucci? People were going crazy shopping, and here I thought we were all there to enjoy the beach, ocean and island life. This was no different than New York City.
The next day it rained all day, but after that it was mostly sunny, but off and on rain the for next 11 days. We went to the luau at the Hale Koa Hotel, it was amazing! So much fun, totally worth it. Loved the food and the show. We hiked Diamond head…wow what a good hike it was. We went to Pearl Harbor, and drove to the North shore, though the waves were not big at all, but its certainly much more relaxed and island like. We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Dole Plantation. We went snorkeling to Hanauma Bay, which was awesome!!! Then a snorkel/dolphin tour with E’O Waianae Tours… the absolute BEST –we swam around dolphins, sea turtles, and so many fish… and then saw whales breaching……. Couldn’t of asked for a better boat trip.
We went to the big island for 2 days, and went to Volcano National Park, it was great. We drove the coast as well; saw the Akaka waterfalls, beautiful, and a great hike.
All in all, it was a great trip. Food and drinks are pretty expensive, but it was expected. Entrées were $20+ and drinks were also $10-15. Would love to go to Maui next time, and maybe find more of that island feeling….