Aloha!

Honolulu, Hawaii

Introduction:

We didn’t expect to be back in the good ol’ USA so soon. But, when we found that the frequent flyer mile travel deals to South America originated in Hawaii, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend some time there once again. We were spoiled with some great weather but, surprisingly, we never made it to the pool or beach as our focus was on planning our upcoming visit to South America and shopping to restock our supplies. We accomplished our mission while squeezing in a tour of Pearl Harbor and Honolulu. Hawaii is one of our favorite travel destinations and we look forward to returning there again in the future.

Sites Visited:

Pearl Harbor, Punch Bowl Crater, Waikiki, Honolulu, Winward, Ala Moana & Ward Warehouse Shopping Malls. World War II history keeps popping up during our trip and while not an obsession, we have been curious to learn more about it and compare various countries’ perspectives on not only what happened but also why it happened. So, we used Viator to book a tour of Pearl Harbor and we were immersed in the sad history of December 7, 1941. It’s eerie to see the submerged battleship Arizona still seeping oil or “black tears” as the locals call it. Our tour of the USS Missouri was also fascinating as this is the ship docked in Tokyo harbor where the Japanese signed the World War II surrender. On our return to Waikiki, we visited Punch Bowl Crater and were treated to great views of Waikiki and Diamond Head.

Accommodations:

We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Waikiki because they had the best rate by far and it included free Wifi and continental breakfast. The Hotel is nothing special and showing its age but it worked out great as our home base. The Wifi was super fast. The fitness center was decent. The staff was friendly and helpful. There was a refrigerator and microwave in our room. We had a corner room with a long balcony, which was great for drying our hand washed laundry. And, the breakfast coupons included the lobby coffee shop, which had delicious “brewed” Hawaiian coffee. So, Rich was in heaven.
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Food & Drink

There’s not a lot to say about the local cuisine, as we didn’t get out much. We made a couple of bus runs to the local Safeway supermarket and ate in a few nights and enjoyed some fine reasonably priced California wines. We decided to go out for a nice meal on the last evening before our flight out but the restaurants we wanted to eat at had waiting lists. So, we ate at the Kona Brewpub in the airport by default because the Sushi place closed just before we got there. We had a nice lunch at Wahoo’s, a local quasi fast food place that was good.  The eating highlight was our return visit to “Duke’s Canoe Club”. Actually, this was our first stop after sleeping in following our arrival. It’s a popular tourist destination for good reason. It’s an open-air bar and restaurant right on the beach at Waikiki. The food is good and it’s reasonably priced. We’ll be back.
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Transportation:

We used a Hotel shuttle service (Go808Express) that we pre-booked online for less than a taxi ride and they were waiting for us when we arrived and we had a private van ride with a friendly, informative driver. For the rest of our transportation needs we relied on the local bus system, which is quite extensive. They even have a mobile app named “Da Bus” that we used to help us find our way. We bought 4-day tourist passes that made it easy to hop on and off as needed. The downsides were waiting for buses to arrive and taking a long time to reach a destination as the buses are used mostly by the locals and they stop every couple of blocks.
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Shout-Out(s):

We send a Big Mahalo (Thank You) to Rich and Toni McCann (Elizabeth’s Parents) for sending us a care package of things we needed but haven’t found abroad, including replacements for some of the things Rich has left behind in Hotel rooms. We now have a traveling corkscrew once again. Let’s see how far we can get before an airport security crew confiscates it. We’re also grateful to the kind and friendly locals who came to our rescue when we arrived a minute after the post office closed as we needed to ship some items back home. One person showed us how to ship a package self-service and another let us cut the kiosk line so that we could make our bus. Mahalo!

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For Your Amusement:

We traveled back in time coming to Hawaii and got to relive the day before. How’s that possible you ask? There’s an invisible line just like the equator called the International Dateline and we crossed it on our way up to Hawaii from New Zealand. We left Auckland at noon on Sunday; flew for 8 hours; and landed in Hawaii at 9pm on Saturday night. That makes up for the day we lost when we originally crossed the line on our way out to China. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a “Trip Map” tab on the header of our blog that’s keeping track of our travels.Finally, while walking through a local neighborhood, we came upon a club that caught our interest. See for yourself…

Highlights: Pearl Harbor and Hawaiian Sunsets

Next Up:

Peru. Elizabeth’s been using an iPad app to brush up on her Spanish and now she’ll get to put it to the test in South America, which neither of us has ever visited before. We’re especially excited about the opportunity to see the Inca ruins at Machu Pichu.

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  1. By Cathi

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