Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

 
 

Day One – Hawaii – San Fran – LA 19 days, 3 kids, 1 MIL

Written in US DESTINATIONS

Can we do it: 19 days, three children, one stressed wife and a mother-in-law who’s only question is “How much? Good lord, in my day…”
Ah yes. That glorious moment as you realize you’re going to this; that bite of anxiety that you can’t really afford this; and that exhilarating moment of rationalization as you tell yourself you’ll never get the opportunity again and the kids will love it, with many precious memories for the rest of their lives. And naturally, that moment of cynicism as you realize they won’t get how much sacrifice is going into this. But decision made… you’re off for 19 days to Hawaii, San Francisco and Los Angeles! Hotels browsed on cheaprooms.com? Check! Flights booked? Check! Woo hoo, full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes and the house mortgage.
So, here we are, Day One of Adventure USA. I’m never done a cruise and never really thought about it. Cruises = old folks don’t they? Initial thoughts don’t change much. Big queues, middle-aged people, quite a few kids (school holiday time), lots of cheesy pics and then on board, kids in tow. Miss 19, the experienced traveler heads straight to the lunch restaurant – called Aloha – on this, our home for the next 7 days, the Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of America as we cruise the Hawaiian Islands. We follow and Master 10 discovers the snow freeze machine, “And Dad, it’s FREE!!” I debate whether shattering his illusions with how much we’ve paid for the cruise is a worthy thing to do.

 

The 5 things you must do in Honolulu

Written in US DESTINATIONS

So much to see, so little time! (And what a perfect gift for your significant other for Valentine’s Day – a vacation in Honolulu, Hawaii!) Even if you have all the time in the world, Honolulu is bursting with so much to do that it’s hard to know where to begin. Beaches? More than a few? National monuments? Yes, some of the most significant in America. . Exotic safari adventures into the back country. Indeed! And the really good news is … if you want to stay a while Cheap Rooms has plenty of cheap hotels in Honolulu.

Getting flights to Honolulu is easy – plenty of airlines service the Islands from Los Angeles or San Francisco and many other west coast hub cities. There’s plenty to see and do in Honolulu and Cheap Rooms makes it easy to get to and stay there so that you can focus on fun!

No doubt you want some beach time while you’re and there’s plenty of that at world-famous Waikiki. Of course, your hotel probably has a pool too and there’s nothing quite like cocktails poolside to tell you ‘It’s Vacation Time!’ Staying downtown makes you close to all the attractions and of course beach-side is ideal for kids.

The things you should see in Honolulu include the famous Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. Both are standout attractions, if that’s the right word, and you’ll enjoy the sense of history, the information and the remarkable sacrifice these men made. It’s a very moving experience and something everyone in the family should see. Transport is easy to arrange to the memorials from wherever you’re staying.

If you’re looking for some exercise to walk off all the hotel food, look no further than the Diamond Head State Monument. It’s a superb hiking trail that goes to the top of a volcano. The views are spectacular. It’s not hard to get to from Honolulu downtown and you’ll need good shoes and plenty of water.

If you’ve never seen the inside of a submarine, now’s your chance. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is on Arizona Memorial Drive and it’s your chance to get up close and personal with how tough it must have been to spend any time at all in these little sardine cans. It’s fascinating to see how not one single inch is wasted on a sub and the audio tour is full of information.

Fancy travelling a little further afield to see something you won’t get back home? Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve has world-class snorkeling with live coral and tropical fish in a protected marine environment. This is the place you’re really thinking about when you think ‘Hawaii’ – clear, sparkling waters, tropical waters and smooth sand that crinkles under your toes. It’s about 20 kilometres from downtown and the you can hire snorkelling gear there. Come early and beat the crowds, but once you’re in the water, you won’t notice another soul!

The history of Hawaii is captured in the Iolani Palace in the city center. This was once the official residence of King Kalakaua, the last king of Hawaii. You can see inside the building on a guided tour or a self-guided audio tour. Both are good. You can also see the servants quarters and kitchens for a look at how the other half lived.

 

The home of Pearl Harbor is also a cool place to reinvigorate your spirit

Written in Uncategorized, US DESTINATIONS

I know what you’re thinking! Honolulu is the home of the skyscraper tourist hotel, a veritable magnet for tourist kitsch and a seeming fast food paradise. But dig a little… venture out past Waikiki, move two blocks away from your hotel and you’ll discover the gentle Hawaiian part of Honolulu – the sea breezes, endless sandy beaches and forest-clad vistas that the brochures are indeed full of, but are not apparent deep in the heart of downtown Waikiki!

Your first stopping point in the quest for spirituality, though, has to be the USS Arizona memorial. A graveyard and resting place for the sailors who died and a time to reflect on the indiscriminate destruction of war.

Enjoy Waikiki by all means, but venture out to Hanauma Bay nature preserve as well. It’s a protected area and lets you snorkel amongst the abundant and super-friendly sea life, diving down to the coral and enjoying the white sand beach. It’s a short bus ride from Waikiki and fills fast so get there early. Closed Tuesday so plan your trip.

The other must do is the Diamond Head crater park. Spectacular and a reminder of nature’s power. You’ll need to be relatively fit and wear comfortable shoes. It’s well worth the effort though because at the top you’re rewarded with views across Honolulu to Kailua, Waikiki and beyond. Majestic! It’s steep in parts and you’ll need water – and be ready for heat in summer.

And if you need a reminder that Hawaii is part of paradise, visit the Saturday Framers Market on Diamond Head Rd. Glorious food, fresh local produce and you can go crazy on the exotic fruits and local spicy adaptations of old favourite recipes like cheese on toast. Well worth the effort to get up early on a Saturday and make your way to foodie heaven!