Day Eight – Hawaii – San Fran – LA – 19 Days, 3 kids, 1 MIL


Day Eight sees us disembark on the island of Oahu, home to Honolulu and the excitement of Waikiki. We’re staying at the Hilton Hawaiian (see Cheap Rooms for deals) and this grand old lady of the tourist game is certainly finely tuned to the tourist experience. It is bustling, huge, busy and full of shops, bars, restaurants and beach. A word of warning here, don’t be the newbie and ask the beach cabana boys top set up two banana loungers and an umbrella for you on the foreshore…unless $66 sounds reasonable. Yeah.

Waikiki…hmmm. After spending time throughout the islands the expensive and very elitist access to the so-so beach seems a touch disappointing. Waikiki may be the favored destination for mainlanders but it’s not the best or the prettiest.

That said, that Hawaiian sun, all those bars and restaurants that line the back streets of Waikiki and the oh boy shopping to be had in the Ala Moana Mall is pretty good should you hail from cooler parts in the mid west. You can eat and drink very well here and you can do it on a budget or you can spend up large. Your call.

What we loved was the options. Some of us (which gender I wonder?) loved the shopping in Ala Moana and downtown Honolulu and the seconds shopping just down the freeway, followed by an afternoon on the beach (sans banana loungers), while others enjoyed taking surf lessons, stand up paddle boarding in the lagoon and lounging on the beach all day long.

We spent a day at Pearl Harbor and this is well worth the effort. Get up early, and get to the ferry before 10 and you’ll have a relatively queue free day. Get there after lunch and good luck.
What we loved about Hawaii. The people. Charming, happy, super friendly. The beaches on the islands, the warmth of the water. The cruise itself! What we didn’t like. The super commercial aspects of Waikiki.

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