Hawaii State Of Mind
Going to Hawaii has ALWAYS been on my bucket list. Growing up in Connecticut and being from the East coast, Hawaii seemed so far away. A 12 hour flight?!! Yikes. But things changed a couple of years ago when I moved to Seattle. That's 6 hours closer. And I've always told myself, before I move from the West coast I must go to Hawaii. Hawaii and Portland. Yes Portland, Oregon.....that's my next trip. What? They have donuts. Lol.
So how do you pick where to go in Hawaii? Easy. Use Expedia.com. I'm serious. This trip was planned in a matter of 2 days. And when I say "planned" well tickets were bought and the only tough decision was deciding which island to go to. Maui? Oahu? Kauai? Decisions, decisions. At first we thought Maui. Everyone told us the beaches were gorgeous and we would love the vibe. So we checked the weather and noticed that it would be in the 60s and a little rainy. Yuck. What about Honolulu? Yes it's a city, but I'm a city person and there are beaches AND plenty of things to do including hiking, eating, and well malasadas. What? For all my non-portuguese friends malasadas are fried dough. Or what the Hawaiians call, Portuguese donuts. There's a funny story I'll tell you about that so keep reading. Anyhow, after checking the weather in Honolulu and realizing it was 10 degrees warmer we booked our trip. Hawaii here we come!!
Yup we made it! And if you're wondering who the fellow is well that's Bruno. And if you know me, well you know the whole Bruno love story. If you don't know me wait for the novel. Lol. The best thing we did while in Honolulu was....wait for it. Rent a car. We wanted to see the North Shore and you can either take a cab there or pay for a bus tour. We didn't like those options so we rented a convertible and drove down the shore. We stopped at the surfing capital of the world - Sunset Beach. A matter of fact they were preparing for the Vans World Cup of Surfing that weekend. I'm not a big water person, but if I was I would definitely learn how to surf. Either way I enjoyed the views.
I'm not going to run down our day to day activities. But I will tell you that if you are going to Oahu definitely rent a car and drive down the coast. You'll be amazed by mountains and colors and sunsets!
Here are a few things to do in Hawaii ESPECIALLY if it's your first time:
1. Hiking Koko Crater Stairs
If you are looking for the next Stairmaster workout, the Koko Crater Trail is it. This will be challenging. There are 1,048 steps to the top with an elevation of 1,208 feet along old railway tracks. The tracks are about a half century old and were used to deliver supplies to the military lookout at the top. Trust me the views at the top will be totally worth it.
2. Paradise Cove Luau
Here is my opinion on the luau. If it's your first time in Hawaii you must go to a luau. Once you do it once, don't do it again. I enjoy learning about the history and traditions and yes I enjoy eating. It's a long night and you'll finally get lei'd! There are several luaus to pick from. This one I heard was and is the best.
3. Leonard's Bakery
I'll have to admit that when we finally decided to go to Hawaii I couldn't get Leonard's Bakery out of my mind. You see when I first moved to Seattle and was looking for a massage I found a guy named George thru a google search. Calm down. He has a legit business and his reviews were great. And btw he's out of Southcenter. I remember when he found out I was Portuguese he asked me about malasadas. Of course I knew about malasadas! Yum! He mentioned Leonard's and I said to myself I'm gonna have to go if I ever make it to Hawaii and voila!
4. Hawaii Sunset Dinner Cruise
We did the Majestic Dinner Cruise, however I believe there are a few options to pick from. I will say the food wasn't anything to brag about but the view of the city from the water was beautiful.
Did I mention the breathless sunsets??
5. Pearl Harbor
Take in some history while you're in Hawaii. Many will never forget December 7, 1941. The devastating events on this day changed the course of history. It was at Pearl Harbor that a surprise air attack by the Japanese forced the United States into World War II. Thousands of lives were lost. There is a lot to cover at the Pearl Harbor Memorial and again a lot of options. We opted to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. Just get there early so you can get in line to get your tickets.
I will say this, Hawaii was one of the happiest, friendliest, and chilliest islands I've ever been to. I wish we had more time to explore Oahu. In five days I think we covered a lot. Hopefully we get to go back to do some snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, and Bruno's request: zip lining. So much to do so little time. Just remember to take some time to just RELAX too. We did.
MAHALO and feel free to leave your comments/suggestions below.