Recently we went to Hawaii, and I must say that this is the best vacation we have had to date.
We were both tired of the cold rainy Californian weather and wanted to vacation in warmer climes, and a google search for tickets made us catch a next day flight! Forgot to mention that this was also one of those vacations that was decided on the spur of a moment!Looks like no planning is good planning, especially when you visit a popular tourist destination like Hawaii. Everything you need to know is already online :)
We booked our hotel Waikiki wave on the basis of reviews on trip advisor/expedia. It was everything the reviews promised. Excellent location (on the Waikiki beach), reasonable price($130-200/ night), exceptional service (room service is very efficient and all the appliances and gadgets provided - fridge/oven/television are brand new) Amazing stay for a smart traveler!
While we are there, what do we do?
Since we were traveling from California, we didn't want to do what most tourists do - get drunk and hang at the beaches! Most Californian destinations offer that. We wanted to know the history related to hawaii and enjoy it's natural beauty. Since we were at Waikiki only for a period of four days, we had to plan things well to ensure that the purpose of our visit was met.
Boy! was it met, mahalo (thanks) to the 'Go Oahu' card. This card cost us $160 per person, it included all the popular activities one could do in Oahu and had a bonus feature for the longer durations (3/5/7 day offers). We chose the 3 day card and it was true value for money from the word go!
We landed Sunday afternoon, chilled around the beach and hit a local pub in the night. Wound up in bed by 2, as we had to wake up by 6 to take the 'Grand Circle Island Tour'. This tour covers 130 miles of the entire Oahu island and all the popular spots can be viewed on a guided tour.
We spent the evening at the Honolulu city lights festival which is a local attraction every Christmas.
The next morning we took the Pearl harbor and City of Honolulu tour where we watched the shooting of Hawaii 5 and were deeply moved by our visit to the Arizona memorial. Evening was spent at Germaine's Lua where I learnt a spattering of Hawaiian and the Hukilua - a simple yet fun dance for wahine (women)
The third day began with the breakfast cruise on the Makani Catamaran. A beautiful sail with snorkelling and whale watching as the main attractions. This was the most romantic and memorable activity we did at Oahu. We spent the afternoon canoeing. Must say it's the best ab workout you could gift yourself on vacation :) Evening was spent shopping and hanging in Downtown honolulu, the malls are as swanky as LA and we were dazzled by the beauty of the decorations all around.
Fourth day - our day of return was not a sad day, but a day of recuperation. Got the Lomi Pohaku massage which was refreshing and made us reflect on the warmth and joy of the aloha that surrounded us.
We will go back to hawaii, to explore the other islands. But as we continue with the grind of everyday life, we will remain happy in the wisdom of Aloha.
A- Akahai (kindness)
L- lokahi (unity)
Pictures of our trip : http://picasaweb.google.com/goolyaharsha/Hawaii?authkey=Gv1sRgCLr1neb4gsO3GQ&feat=directlink
Detailed reviews on Yelp : http://www.yelp.com/list/go-oahu-honolulu