Blogs from Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii, United States, North America

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North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki September 6th 2019

This morning we’ve booked a tour to Pearl Harbour. Issy’s still feeling a bit jetlagged, so Scott and I set off and leave her to rest up. The Pearl Harbour visitors’ centre includes a museum which gives extensive background to the events of 7 December 1941, a date which is clearly firmly imprinted in the American psyche. It seems scarcely credible in these days of satellites that a fleet of six massive Japanese aircraft carriers was able to make its way thousands of kilometres across the Pacific without anyone noticing. We’re told that around 40 percent of Hawaiian residents at the time were of Japanese ancestry, and the military was far more worried about sabotage than an air attack. In order to reduce the potential damage from sabotage, the US fighter planes were kept in rows ... read more
List of Victims, USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbour
USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbour
Scott and Issy, Waikiki Beach

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki September 5th 2019

The breakfast area at the hotel is massive and full of hungry guests. My confidence in the food isn’t helped by the dispenser of hand sanitiser I’m urged to use as I queue for an omelette. I ask for one with lot. In most places we’ve been to on our travels this would get me a few tiny pieces of ham, plus lots of mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and a bit of cheese. We’re clearly not in Europe any more, and I watch on in horror as large handfuls of sausage meat and bacon are piled into the frying pan. The egg is almost an afterthought, and vegetables, well .... Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse a large glob of some orange shredded substance which is probably supposed to imitate cheese is thrown on ... read more
Waikiki Beach.  The bird was so still I started to think it was part of the statue.
Wedding on Waikiki Beach
Watching the sunset, Waikiki Beach

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki September 4th 2019

We’re definitely still in Canada. It’s twenty one degrees outside and the hotel receptionist and a Canadian guest are complaining about the “boiling” heat. We head out for a farewell breakfast with Emma and Michael. We’ve noticed that they seem to go for large food servings here in Canada. I’m not that hungry so I try to order the smallest item on the menu, which I hope is a fried egg on a small piece of toast. It comes out as two fried eggs surrounded by a sea of fried potatoes, a bunch of grapes, half a pineapple, and a piece of rockmelon. There’s no room on the plate for the two large pieces of toast drowned in butter, so that lot comes out separately. At least some of it’s healthy, and if it has to ... read more

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki August 22nd 2019

Fiji was my dream location; the paradise I used to imagine being in when I needed extra motivation to get me through a rough day at the office.. And so I was quite excited as we boarded the Fiji Airways flight at Brisbane.. Senan was also very excited, as we were going 'in a BROWN plane Mammy' (just goes to show that somewhere along the line adulthood increases our threshold for what gets us excited!) The flight from Brisbane to Fiji was uneventful. Three and a half hours feels a bit like a hop, skip and a jump in comparison to some other routes we've done. Senan is so enamoured with flying now that he is the model passenger. He has the routine down pat: 'passports and suitcase to the man, passports to the lady, other ... read more
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North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki February 8th 2019

Can you believe that we are four of about 8.5 million annual visitors to the Hawaiian Islands each year? And we spent $15.2 billion, or what amounts to $197 per day, per PERSON!!! Such is the cost of paradise. When we first started visiting Hawaii in the 70s and 80s, most of the tourists were from Japan. But the collapse of the yen and the weak Japanese economy translates to more Chinese and Koreans visiting now. The average Japanese tourist (read that as honeymooners) stays an average of only 5 days. Tourists from the other Asian countries stay an average of 9.5 days, and spend 25% more! Canada, China and Australia now constitute the fastest growing tourist numbers. Fewer cruise ships stop in Hawaii now as well. But for those of us from California, and western ... read more
The colors of Aloha
Aloha red
Lush and green

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki January 4th 2019

You’d think I’d be used to queuing up through Immigration by now. But there’s queues, and then there’s QUEUES and Hawaii wins the medal for having the longest. I guess being on a plane that was several hours late arriving and coinciding with the arrival of three other planes stuffed to the gills with passengers seeking entry to a small island archipelago didn’t help. Add to that arriving in the middle of a government shut-down with many security staff effectively working unpaid and you had a perfect recipe for chaos. Which is what we got ... The Immigration Hall could barely contain the volume of passengers. The barriers snaked up and down and left to right, filtering us through to a central area with automated fingerprint scanners and cameras. Slowly, slowly we crept along and, just ... read more
Welcome to Hawaii
Hawaii flag
Aloha from Waikiki

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki January 4th 2019

We used the HOHO trolleys to get us out and about in Hawaii. So many Japanese visitors came to the island that they were provided with dedicated trolleys in their own language so we had to ensure we got the right one! The Japanese may not have won the island during the war but they seem to have occupied it by stealth now, as there were very many of them on the island. Again, our online voucher had to be exchanged for proper tickets but it was a very pleasant and relatively short walk to T-Galleria, an upmarket shopping mall, where we were able to do this. One counter assistant was trying very hard to help a gentleman with limited English and a rather loud Hawaiian shirt who was clearly entering into the holiday spirit. Several ... read more
Diamond Head park entrance
At Pearl Harbour
Punchbowl Cemetery/National memorial of the Pacific

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki September 22nd 2018

Lazy Morning this morning a relaxing breakfast overlooking Waikiki Beach - hard to handle but someone has to do it. Wandered around and did some window shopping before heading to the Hard Rock Café to see the kids perform again. The just keep getting better. Restaurant not packed but those that were there really enjoyed the performance. Then it was off to the Ala Moana Shopping Centre for their final performance. This was the longest they played and probably the best they played. They generally start with the two anthems and this time we had someone near us singing our anthem. The crowd were quite interactive this time which was good. Then we wandered around the shopping centre - well part of it. It was huge and a strange setup. Some of the shops faced inside ... read more
Band Groupies Drinks at Hard Rock Cafe

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki September 21st 2018

This morning was spent walking about Kailua-Kona before catching our flight to Honolulu. Interesting fact the Hawaiian Ironman triathlon is run on the Big Island - in fact it starts and finishes just outside our hotel. We actually covered a lot of the bike/run course yesterday on our bus tour. Must say it would be hard going. It is due to be run in October this year and already you could see what looked like people training for the swim and bike legs. A cruise shipped came into dock this morning so we watched them bring boat after boat of people ashore either for day tours or a quite wander around the place. A very relaxed place reminded us of Key West or an older Port Douglas. We enjoyed a casual stroll around town before flying ... read more
Cruise ship docked
Kailua-Kona
View from Hotel

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki February 4th 2018

Undoubtably, she will ask me today, “So, how does it feel to have a 19 yr old daughter?” My response will be - “Beautiful, it feels beautiful”. She came into this world 19 yrs ago today with so much fire and spice, it seemed to set the tone for her path. I often look at Rio and have said on countless occasions, “how did I ever give birth to you!” It’s become a joke at times but the truth of the matter is - Rio has always been the person I wished I could have been growing up. Our relationship has been shaped by life circumstances and I have always been conscious of Rio’s presence. It’s hard to miss it, she’s got this forceful nature that barges right into your heart ❤️ As I think back ... read more




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