At last, it was a Hawaiian dream come true.Never thought in my life that, I would visit the Aloha State .Hawaii had been the dream destination for ages, until one fine day, my husband said, “Ok, I do have flight miles accumulated and it would elapse soon.Let us book a trip to Honolulu for the American Independence Day long weekend “.Yahoo, to my astonishment, he even had hotel credits accumulated and that sufficed for the entire trip.We had to shell out bucks for food, rental car or local transport and tickets for sightseeing. I was super excited, checked the weather and packed the clothes.The entire trip lasted from July 2nd, 2016 to July 8th, 2016.
Day 1 : Travel-Air-Air(July 2nd 2016)
We booked a Uber service to the airport. As usual, the driver took a hell lot of time searching for the apartment and he made us walk with the bags in the hot summer sun for about 1/2 a mile. “All-dressed -up” turned into “All-Sweat”.We thought that we would run out of time and miss the flight because of cab delay.Fortunately, the incoming aircraft got delayed, hence our boarding was delayed for more than 45 minutes.We did not miss the flight.I was excited to travel United as it was my first time in that airline. This aircraft had copious leg space for an economy class seat and enjoyed the travel. I was reading “The Last Song – By Nicholas Sparks”. A good read for the flight journey. We had to take a connection at the SFO airport.First time in my life, I had an experienced the beautiful runway at the SFO airport.I had a feeling that the aircraft was landing in that deep blue Pacific Ocean. So close it was.Of course, landed safely. After that, we had to board the next plane to Honolulu. The boarding had already started and we had to run.This aircraft was a 3 -seater, unlike the previous one that was an Embraer 2-seater plane. This journey was not so comfortable, with an emergency medical issue for an elderly person. The captain couldn’t land the plane anywhere so she had to cut short the journey to 4 hours 45 minutes rather than the usual 5 hours 30-minute flight. After getting down, we had to wait for a friend of ours to pick up from the airport so there was a further delay of another hour to hit the bed. My first impression was ” Definitely, people are more friendly than the mainland. Everybody smiles at the fellow strangers and offers help. It was more like a Buddhist nation, more of a Filipino land rather than America.Devoid of Racism.” Our friend picked us up from the airport and dropped us at the hotel, Courtyard Waikiki Beach. The clock struck exactly 12 am when we reached the hotel.We stayed in a room that had a balcony and to my amazement, people were roaming the streets with full energy and even public transport was available at that time.Honolulu ocean breeze was amazing and I loved the place. We quickly gave a call to our parents that we reached this place and hit the sack.I couldn’t sleep but fell in love with Honolulu. I was imagining a situation where I moved to Honolulu permanently with a carefree Filipino life out there and dozed off unknowingly.
Day 2 : Disappointing Diamond Head and The Responding Beaches(July 3rd 2016)
After having breakfast at Kimobean Coffee. we headed towards Diamond Head.We were supposed to go hiking on a volcano that was dead 2 million years ago. After finding a parking space with a lot of struggle and buying the tickets , I was so excited to go hiking.My husband disappointed me after some time that he would not go for hiking with me since his shoes are not comfortable. To my dismay, I was disappointed and we had a little fight over it. I was like “Why couldn’t you pack a pair of shoes for hiking, blah, blah?”.So I didn’t go for hiking. After an hour, we made it to the beach. I hail from a place where there are beaches. Waikiki beach is a wonderful sight. That day, the weather being pleasant, we spent almost 6 hours at Ala Moana and Waikiki beaches. All drenched and happy. Every time, the waves hit me, I felt that nature was answering all my questions of life. Yes, I realized that nature answered and I started being stronger and clearer about certain decisions in my life.Later in the evening, after having late lunch, we went to Hanauma Bay just 2 hours before its closure for the day. That was the best heaven made by nature ever witnessed. We were back at the hotel around 8 pm. I went out for a stroll in and around the hotel area for some time before hitting the sack.
Day 3 : Pearl Harbour, Foster Botanical Garden and Independence Day Fireworks (July 4th 2016)
The American Independence Day- We visited the Pearl harbor. Went for USS Bowfin tour.As a memoir, we brought home few pearl harbor key chains. After the tour, we had a sumptuous meal in a restaurant called Bombay Palace somewhere close to Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu. The second half of the day, we visited the Foster Botanical Garden. To be very frank, I had visited better botanical gardens elsewhere. This place was not as expected other than the breeze. So we relaxed there for some time and had early dinner. All geared up to watch the fire works in Honolulu. Yay, my second fireworks in my life. Amazing. We walked for more than 10 miles from the hotel just to witness it.Unlike the mainland, everybody else walked and biked to watch the fireworks. OMG , happy for what we saw.
Day 4 : Tour on foot, Honolulu Zoo, city tours(July 5th 2016)
On the day 4, we gave up the car ride and ventured out on foot. That is my favorite thing , walking. We went to the Honolulu Zoo and took a stroll through the city. This zoo had several species from Asia and Africa ranging from birds, the naughty monkey species to the wilder beasts. We also visited the shopping malls, local convenience, and grocery stores.I’m not too sure as to why most of the stores were called as “ABC Stores”. We cooked dinner at the hotel that night.
Day 5 : Lyon Arboretum, Manoa Falls, Kailua beach(July 6th 2016)
On the day 5, we had visited Kailua beach in the morning. The beach was certainly dirty and little creepy too. We didn’t find people around. So we just took pictures and left the place soon. This place would be amazing had we gone with a gang of friends. The journey from Honolulu to Kailua made us understand that there are many places in the United States with less development and no water facilities.We packed lunch boxes and had it in the car.Post lunch, we visited the Lyon Arboretum that was managed by the University of Hawaii. I felt as if I was somewhere in the middle of watching a horror movie. No people around and the path was very narrow to walk. There was a sign board “Jessica Parker would have liked to sit here “. I called out her name aloud and we ran down like crazy kids. Later that evening, we did some trekking and visited the Manoa Falls. This place was a million times better than the Turner Falls in Oklahoma.The pathway was very slippery and marshy. As we approached the falls, the weather got little colder and we had to drench in the rain while getting down.This was the most adventurous day in Hawaii.
Day 6 : Kuhio Beach Park, Hawaii Shopping, Return flight(July 7th 2016 & July 8th 2016)
On the last day of Hawaii vacation, we visited Kuhio beach park that was pretty close to the hotel.We did a quick shopping and brought home the fertility God of Hawaii, the Hawaiian tribe Polynesian art mask, Aloha shirt and few shell made necklaces.This was the saddest day. I didn’t want to return from Hawaii.We had to catch the American airline flight that evening, As usual, the flight was delayed and we were given an alternative flight via LAX.
In my opinion, the trip was overall nice.Though we stayed for so many days, we made relaxing visits to all the places and did not go out of Oahu. Travel by foot is the best way to enjoy and cherish the Oahu island. This is the best place to live on earth but with the super inflated cost of living.As a memory of this trip, the cover page of this blog is a photograph of Kailua Beach of Hawaii clicked on my phone. This picture is not the greatest click, but surely represents something that is made by me.