We are coming to end of our week on Oahu to celebrate the first year of life of the baby. It’s been a really good week so I thought I’d share.
Arrive at Honolulu Airport at 2pm. Head to the rental car counter and find out that our sub-compact rental has been upgraded to a Mustang. Nice.
We head over to Waikiki Beach to check into the Vive Hotel and try to find parking. We get a spot along the canal for free. Score! We grab our bags and walk about 15 minutes down to the Vive. We both have a bag and a backpack …. thank you babywearing! Lol
The room is small, but in a cute boutique hotel. Upon arrival they provide cool towels and pineapple infused water. We hang out in the room and plan our big adventure.
First thing in the morning, I grabbed my baby and we hit the beach …. in sweaters. Lol It’s kind of cold on Oahu in March.We watched the waves and hung out a bit before heading back to the hotel.
We get up and go to Hawai’i Plantation Village for the 10am tour. We meet up with an old guy that shows us around the different example houses for Chinese, Portuguese, Puerto Rican and Japanese immigrants. It cost $13 per adult and was pretty interesting if you’re into looking at trees and hearing about living on a sugar plantation as a kid, as our guide did.
We had online tickets to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial at 1pm so we grab some lunch at Jack in the Box and then head over to the compound. I’m not really into war history, but since we’re in Oahu it only makes sense to go see it. It. Was. Amazing.
You watch a movie before getting on a little boat to reach the white building that stands above the sunken USS Arizona with more that 500 bodies still trapped inside. The movie made my eyes well up with tears. It was so good. Standing over the bodies of dead people is … it really made me think about war and humanity. I can’t believe that such a great experience was free!
We got up and went to the Goodwill Outlet. We found a Diane von Furstenberg overnight bag for $4 and a few other little things. Then we headed over the Bishop Museum to find out a bit more about Hawai’ian history and see some dinosaurs. The museum was okay to wander through but the dinosaurs weren’t that interesting. It cost $20 per adult.
The best part of the day was trying Shamazu Shave Ice on School Street. This was our first time trying shave ice and it was delicious. I thought it was like raspados but it was more like Italian Ice. We got condensed milk on top and it was pretty good.
We got ready to drive up the coast to the north shore. I heard that President Obama visited Pali Lookout so when we saw a sign for it, we decided to stop. It costs $3 to park and then you walk over to the spot … the spot that made Kamehameha a king! This is the actual spot where Kamehameha won the battle for Oahu that brought the Hawai’ian Islands under his control. It’s kind of crazy to be standing on the stop where so many lives were lost.
We also stopped at Kailua and checked out their Salvation Army and their beautiful beach. This is the best beach on the island. It is beautiful! We arrived around 10am on a Thursday morning so there were few people. The water was blue. The sun was shining. The water was …. cold as hell …. Lol It was pretty to look at though. =) We washed our clothes at U-Wash-N-Dry. Washing cost $3.50 per load and drying was three minutes for $0.25. We washed one load and put 20 minutes on the dryer to get … damp clothes. Oh well … we decided that we’d lie everything out when we reached the hotel.
The entire drive up the coast is beautiful. We were supposed to be heading to Turtle Bay Resort, but we kept stopping because everywhere we looked the landscapes were amazing! People kept saying that there was nothing on the north shore, but they were wrong. There are grocery stores, fast food spots, food trucks, post offices, etc.
By the time we made it to the room we were pooped, but the room revitalized us! Great decor and an amazing view!
We woke up and walked along the shore in the morning. Again, the water was too cold to get in but we had a great time taking photos. We decided to try the pools (they have a 1.5 ft kid pool, an adult pool and a pool with a slide!) on the outside of the hotel but they aren’t heated …. so again it was too cold to get in. =(
We got dressed and went to the Polynesian Cultural Center about 10 minutes away from Turtle Bay Resort. Tickets are about $50 and let love to try and up-sell you. When we finally made it into the gates (the ticket counter is farther west than the entrance or the parking) we were given seashell leis and escorted to a photo area. You can start wherever you want but since Samoa was closet we began there. There are 6 islands that are represented and you just walk around to each one to see a presentation. In the middle of the day there is a parade on the water where each island culture dances and whatnot.
Each culture does their own thing:
Samoa – a guy talks while providing demonstrations of coconut cutting, basket weaving, fire dancing and tree climbing.
Aotearoa – you see a welcoming ceremony and then enter the meeting house. Inside the house a woman guides you through examples of different songs and games played by her people. When the presentation is over, you can try to play the games, get a fake tattoo, meet the cast or learn to dance.
Fiji – we missed the presentation, but the participants were inside of a meeting house using instruments provided to them to sing songs. It looked fun.
Hawai’i – we also didn’t take this tour. Instead we walked through all the houses and read about the history of Kamehameha and his line.
Tahiti – they reenacted a wedding ceremony. We renewed our vows. We also ate some coconut bread that was cooked inside the ground. The bread was delicious!
Tonga – this was the one that made me feel like my money was well spent! The guy running the show was amazing! He called three men up from the audience to dance and drum for the audience. It was really funny as the guys were good sports and really got into it. After the presentation we all went outside to try competing in the games.
On the way out, we caught the 4-D movie about Hawai’i. We didn’t know that it was 4-D so there was a bit of a surprise there. Lol The chairs move and water and smells are spritzed on you.
We headed back down to Waikiki Beach to stay at the Trump. The service was impeccable. We were all given welcome leis made from beads and escorted to guest check-in. The room was okay but the pool was great. Since our little one wasn’t walking yet, we needed a shallow pool for him. The pool at the Trump has a longer lap-pool part and a few bays (for lack of a better word) for the kiddies to play in. Since there is more than one bay, I want to say there are four or five, each family had their own little bay to play in. Our baby enjoyed crawling around the bay, playing with his pool floatie, and smiling at us. We had a great time.
We decided to hike Diamond Head. We made a huge mistake by not bringing the baby’s mei tei. We not only hiked the whole way to the top but we carried a baby too.
We tried to swing by the shave ice place again but it was closed (womp womp) so we headed to the airport to return home.
I wasn’t that excited to visit Oahu but it was beautiful and we had a great time.