Hawaii: Oahu

I forced myself to get some sleep on the red-eye from Auckland to Oahu and arrived as refreshed as possible at 7:30am. Packing light allowed us to take the public bus from the airport to Waikiki. It was Friday and we had the weekend to ourselves before family started to arrive. We spent the time on some island favorites – Leonard’s, Dukes on Sunday, running Diamond Head, Waimea Bay, – and new activities – Revive concert, King Kamehameha parade, dining at Alan Wong’s.

Allen’s parents arrived Monday and my family on Wednesday. The trip was a wonderful mix of relaxing beach vacation and family reunion. It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with the island all over again. It had been four years since Allen and I were together in Honolulu and I am already wondering when we can return.

My only regret is that we did not stay one more day to join in celebrating Hōkūle`a’s homecoming. After her three-year Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage the double-hulled canoe was returning to Magic Island the morning we left. We were privileged to see Hōkūle`a and sister canoe, Hikianalia, when they were in Auckland two years ago. I would have preferred participating in the homecoming festivities first hand to watching the live broadcast as we waited for our flight to board. Welcome home Hōkūle`a!

Dates: 9-18 June 2017
Travel with: Allen, his parents, my parents, two of my sisters, nieces, nephew & brother-in-law
Weather: mid-70s-80s; no days was without clouds and some of them were mostly overcast with sprinkles. It was more than enough sun to get a tan. Any more probably would have left us sunburned.
Accommodation: Grand Islander at Hilton Hawaiian Village (9-12 June) & Hokulani Hilton (12-17 June)

  • Waikiki beach
  • shopping at Ala Moana, Pearl Harbor Exchange & Hale’iwa
  • King Kamehameha parade
  • Revive concert at the Shell
  • Waimea beach – swimming & rock jumping
  • Mass with Tongan Choir at St Augustine
  • Dukes on Sunday
  • Running around Diamond Head
  • Pedicures with nieces at Aloha Lovely Nails & Salon
  • Ocean swim at Ala Moana Beach Park
  • lounging with family at Hilton Hawaiian Village Super Pool

Food & Drink:

  • Leonard’s Bakery, Kapahulu (!!)
  • Hale’iwa Joes, Hale’iwa (!)
  • Coffee Gallery, Hale’iwa (!)
  • Dukes, Waikiki (!!)
  • Alan Wongs, Honolulu (!) – poke stack, mai tais and Alan’s take on shave ice were creative and delicious
  • Moose McGillycuddy’s, Waikiki
  • Buho Cocina y Cantina, Waikiki (!)
  • Cream Pot, Waikiki (!)
  • Yardhouse, Waikiki (!)
  • Maui Brewing Company, Waikiki (!!)
  • Happy’s, Hale Koa
  • Barefoot Bar, Hale Koa – great for mai tais!
  • IHOP, Waikiki
  • Macdonald’s, Pearl Harbor
  • Jamba Juice, Waikiki
  • Jack in the Box, Ala Moana
  • Foodland, Ala Moana
  • Starbucks, Waikiki
  • Cinnabon, Ala Moana
  • Outback Steakhouse, Waikiki
  • Tropics, Hilton Hawaiian Village
  • Coffee beanery, Waikiki
  • The Local, HNL
  • United Club, HNL (alcohol not complementary)

Transportation: Air NZ nonstop AKL-HNL, The Bus, taxi, Thrifty car rental