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Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Newcastle, Australia
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406 posts
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Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Hi Guys,

Thought it was about time that I write something. Will put my report in the comments section so you don't have screeds at the top of each page.

Alohaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Newcastle, Australia
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406 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Day 1

Flew out from Sydney on Jetstar at 6pm. We paid for all the extras, including extra seat room on this leg (no pun intended). Was well worth the extra $45. Wouldn't pay for entertainment again I think, as slept though he movies. Would just load iPad next time. Was about 9.5 hour flight, hassle -free. Shuttle (808 Express) was a bit late due to traffic problems, but driver apologetic and very nice.

I had emailed Park Shore Waikiki about early check-in and our room was ready on our arrival. Got the 17th floor this time, much better view and quiet wise than last time (think I was on 4th floor). Hotel looks great since the renovations. Room much nicer, flat screen tv, more comfortable beds, better shower. As we had got a good price through Hotel Travel, I was really happy. We got settled in, wandered down to the ABC store for a snack and then had a little rest .

We then wandered down to Waikiki. I had told my friend about The Cheesecake factory so we popped in there for lunch. The crowds are much smaller then, and we got a table straight away. I have wised up since my last visit, so I suggested that we share :-) We got a lettuce wrap appetiser, bread and shared the delicious 'pineapple upside-down cake' cheesecake. So yummy. We planned on having more cheesecake over the week but never got back. Trying the key-lime pie and mango cheesecake is on my bucket list LOL. We walked around a bit and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Luau.

We decided to go to Paradise Cove as this was my friend's first time in Hawaii, and I knew that i had enjoyed it there last time (alas, no Hawaii-50 filming this time). It is good for first night as all organised, and makes you stay up, rather than giving into temptation to go to bed at 7pm. The coach went a strange way & got caught in traffic so we were a bit late for all the activities. We did make a flower bracelet and watch some activities. Dinner was ok, and we had paid for the Orchid Seating, so close to the stage. It was a good night, but we were weary by the end. Made for a good night's sleep though.

To be continued...

Edited: 9:40 pm, June 18, 2013
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Brisbane
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2. Re: Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Enjoying your TR so far!

Wayne, New Jersey
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3. Re: Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Enjoying so far!

Vancouver Island...
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4. Re: Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

What a great way to start your trip, with a Luau. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

Surfers Paradise...
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5. Re: Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Sounds like a good time, Did you book the Parkshore Directly ? I note there rates are up quite a bit post reno ?

Newcastle, Australia
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6. Re: Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Timothy, their rates are up but still less than lots of places. I booked through hotel travel.com.

Day 2

Early-ish start as we headed out to Pearl Harbor. I had pre-booked tix on-line (www.recreation.gov/tourSearchResult.do…) and we got a shuttle out there, arranging to arrive an hour before our ticketed time (thanks everyone for the good advice). I wasn't sure if it would be as moving visiting a second time, but the movie and walking into the memorial still brought tears to my eyes. My friend Jenn was so impressed with everything about it. I think I'd like to go back again some day and tour the 'Mighty Mo'. Unfortunately my camera decided to pack it in during this visit, so I had to take all pics for the rest of the holiday on my iPhone. I wasn't impressed, to say the least.

Next step was braving The Bus to go to the Waikele outlets. This was Dusty's fabulous suggestion. It was so easy, I'm kind of embarrassed that I was too nervous to try The Bus last time. travelling with Jenn made me braver. My biggest concern was finding the stop at the Transfer Centre and then changing buses. Instructions according to Google Maps was to go from Transfer Centre East to Transfer Centre West (or vice versa). I had to laugh when I discovered that we just had to cross the road to the stop saying 'Waikele Outlets'. So funny, and a big relief.

Jenn saw our stop and there we were. Problem free. We shopped our little hearts out, had to do Australia proud! I was happy as got Skechers for half the Aussie price and Jenn had two happy daughters who got their Converse sneakers as requested. We also found the Malasada van. OMG, they taste sooooo good. We got one plain and one custard filled. Not sure which was the best. The plan was dinner at Chilis, but we were running late. We found a little place selling Hawaiian food, so we fulfilled another aim and had a 'plate lunch' only for tea. Jenn's Teriyaki chicken was amazing. My Mahi Mahi was also good. So pleased that we tried some local fare. We were met by our shuttle. The van was rather run down, and the driver was smoking what looked like a cigarette in a holder with ?water in it. Any ideas what this was? You would not see a shuttle driver smoking in Oz. we were pretty ready to hit our beds after such a big, but enjoyable, day.

Edited: 8:27 am, June 19, 2013
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Pearl Harbor Tours
Pearl Harbor Tours
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Newcastle, Australia
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7. Re: Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Day 3

An early start today. We had booked a shuttle to go to Hanauma Bay. I didn't go last time and Jenn is a keen snorkeler, so we were both looking forward to it. (By the way, Jenn is my great friend. I dragged her away from her hubby and 4 kids for an Hawaiian Adventure). The shuttle was rather late, and the driver was quite the character. We walked into the Park from the road so that we didn't have to wait for the smaller bus to take us in. The mask and snorkel hire was included in the shuttle price, though I had to pay extra for a prescription mask. We went into the little theatre and watched the safety film. I started to feel rather faint, and had to sit on the floor. Very unusual for me. We went down and started snorkelling. It was beautiful, and much better for a novice like me. Last time I was on the North Shore and I got beaten up by rocks. This was much better. There are so many pretty fish. Jenn had a fab time? I was amazed though at how many people ignore the info provided in the video. Incredible! My mask broke halfway through, so I had to hire one from the Hanauma Bay people. It was a much clearer mask. However it started to drizzle and I got really cold and shivery. By then it was time to head back. We walked back behind another couple to the shuttle. Funnily enough the driver had a go at us 'that they had been waiting for us'. We were less than 4 mins late. We thought that was uncalled for, especially when she'd been so late picking us up in the first place! By the time we got back to the hotel I felt rather flu-ey, so had shower and a sleep. Jenn headed down for some lunch (likely at Lulu's, she became quite a fan over our stay).

We got ready for our early dinner at the Plantation Bar in the Hula Grill, it was Happy Hour so great prices. Sadly I still felt rather unwell so couldn't do it justice. I tried the chicken lollipops and Jenn had the Crab & Mac Nut Wontons. Both were delicious, and, as we found all over, the service was fabulous. We then wandered the shops while we waited til it was time for our Moonlight Sail on the Mai Tai Catamaran. I had booked to do this last visit but the boat was still in dry sock and the sail had to be cancelled. Jenn wisely bought some Dramamine, which came in handy. The sail set out quite a bit late. The 'captain' was surprised that the fireworks were early, but think it is more likely that we were late. Thus we weren't in the best position to watch them, but they still looked amazing. The lights of Waikiki were also pretty. Got some decent pics considering that I was using the iPhone. It was a bit long, especially as I was feeling less than fabulous. I think I enjoyed the last sail I did more, about 30 mins, in the afternoon on a cat that I just walked up to on the beach. The Moonlight sail was a bit long. We had booked for Duke's but with the sail running so late, and me feeling rather 'crook', I rang and cancelled, and we walked back to the hotel. Was rather happy to see my bed.

Edited: 8:54 am, June 19, 2013
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Newcastle, Australia
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13 reviews
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8. Re: Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Oh dear, was typing this on my iPad and see a few typos in my earlier entries. Apologies!!

Newcastle, Australia
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406 posts
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9. Re: Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Day 4 (hope I'm not putting you all to sleep here).

We started the day with a brekky (breakfast for the non-Aussies) at Denny's. pretty amazing. I felt quite a hit better and tried the caramel/banana French toast -confused the waitress by not wanting the gazillion sides, and Jenn had the $4 brekky deal -want incredible value. It was huge & yummy. I also had a mango smoothie, mmmmm. This gave us the energy to go the holy grail of Aussies, Ala Moana Mall. Biggest challenge was finding the trolley stop. We finally found one, and walked off a fair bit of that ginormous brekky.

Well, Ala was even better than I remembered. I introduced Jenn to the Fossil store, and got Mum her 70th b'day gift and a few goodies for myself ;-) We also went to Tiffany. I wasn't even game to walk in there last time, but Jenn was after a special something. She found a lovely piece, in budget, for her 20th Anniversary gift. Very exciting! We got lots of things for Jenn's kids. We had a blast in the Lego store and shopped for the teens in Sephora. We also gave our noses a workout buying them scented products from Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. Love their little hand sanitisers, a bit flasher than the ones I use at work (midwife).

We had also wandered over to Walmart for souvenirs and flip-flops for a friend of mine. He is American and lived in Hawaii years ago. Apparently there is a brand that is only stocked by Walmart in Hawaii. I got him to draw an outline of his flip-flop on a piece of paper so I could match the size LOL. mission accomplished. Was amused to see medical scrubs for sale in Walmart, had to take a pic for the work girls. Once we were shopped out we headed to Bubba Gump for tea (supper, dinner...). Once again, huge meals, yummy old and great service. We didn't come close to finishing. I did take note of the Mai Tai Bar and thought of Harley Nut! We caught the trolley back at closing time, and boy, were we ready for a sit down. We had a blast, as only two crazy shopping loving Aussies can do :-), definitely time for a big sleep.

Edited: 9:18 am, June 19, 2013
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10. Re: Trip Report 29/5 to 5/6

Curious to know which tour company you booked your Hanauma Bay trip with. Your comments sound very similar to a recent thread I was reading.

Love that you Aussies do the shopping to keep the stores in business for the rest of us. Thanks for taking the time to post your report and thanks for not putting it all in the first post. So easy to read this way.

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