Our Hawaii Vacation

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September 27th 2011
Published: November 25th 2011
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Sept 27 - Oct 1

2011 was the year I was going to go to China but I didn't want to leave Albert out and he really wanted to go to Hawaii. So Hawaii it is. China will have to wait until next year.

This would be my second trip to Hawaii since I had gone on a senior trip in high school. A week in Oahu and Maui was really not enough time and I would have enjoyed a full week in Oahu. Oh well, next time.

We got there a day early and had to book a room at the Hilton Haiwaiin Village instead of the hotel we originally booked. This is a huge resort with quite a few pools, shops and restaurants right on the beach in a great location. I am more of a boutique type of person when it comes to hotels which is why we were changing to the Modern for the remainder of our Honolulu stay. We arrived in Honolulu at around 2pm via a direct flight from Chicago so it was still pretty early when we got to our hotel. Straight to the hotel to rest a little and change before dinner. I knew we would be exhaused and have a bit of jet lag so we decided to just walk down the beach and have dinner at Dukes. This is a great place to watch the sun go down since it has a huge deck facing the ocean. On the way back we stopped at the House Without a Key in the Halekulani Hotel and had a couple of tropical drinks while watching thier hula show right on the beach. This is a must do and was a teriffic start to our trip.

I had lots of things planned for our trip so early mornings were essential. Albert was not happy but was a good sport and did everything I wanted to do during our trip. He did say he would plan our next vacation and we would be doing a lot of relaxing at the beach. This morning I wanted to hit Pearl Harbor and learn a little bit about it since I did not see it during my first trip to Hawaii. We had a blast checking out the Bowfin submarine and then went to see the Arizona Mermorial. After a couple hours at Pearl Harbor we drove to the North Shore and stopped in Haleiwa for a walk around the beach and some shave ice (don't say shaved) from Matsumotos. On the way back to Honolulu we stopped at the Dole Plantation which reminded me of a winery but with pineapples instead of grapes.

The next day we woke up early once again because we were going to Hanauma Bay for snorkeling but before we went I wanted to hit Leonard's Bakery for the famous Malasadas, which are like big puffy donuts with sugar and cinnamon, Yum. We got to Hanauma Bay around 9am which was perfect because there were plenty of parking spots becuase as I understand it the parking lot usually fills up and you will be turned away if full. Bought tickets and rental gear and then watched a quick film about how to keep the Bay clean and safe. I think this snorkeling spot was the highlight of the trip for both Albert and I and is a must do in Oahu. Lots of fish near the shore and the water is shallow so you feel pretty safe. After a couple of hours here and after swallowing a bunch of saltwater and a bit of seasickness it was time for lunch. After lunch we decided to go on a hike to see a waterfall at Manoa Falls about a 30 min hike through a rainforest. We were then going to go to Diamond Head but I was exhausted so we headed back to the hotel. I was even too tired to out to dinner that night.

The next morning we were up early again and heading to Kailua Beach on the winward side of the Island. On the way we stopped of at Pali Lookout to see an expansive view of the valley down below. Kailua Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches, a pure tropical paradise with panoramic views, almost perfect. Albert and I decided to go on a kayak tour of the little islands offshore. We got there a little late for the morning tour so had to settle for the 2 hr afternoon tour. We had some time to kill so the board shop let us use the boogie boards until our tour left. We did a bit of boggie board surfing and swimming until lunch. The tour took us out to a small island offshore which is a bird sancuary and then we did a little wave surfing on the offshore reef but we did not have enough time to go to the bigger islands.

Next morning we were headed to Maui and had to go to the airport early. Usually I am pretty prepared when it comes to flying but I didn't print out the itinerary so we went to the wrong termainal. I thought we were on Hawaiian Airlines but who knew there were more airlines flying to Maui. In my panic I forgot my wallet at the first terminal. I was in a panic and Albert had to run all the way to the other terminal to look for it. Thank God it was still where I left it, what a disaster if it was lost.

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