Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Honolulu, Hawaii July 26th - Aug 1st, 2010

The beginning of this trip was funny. First off, Hawaii hotels are about $100/day at the cheapest, which is totally cool when you are going on a trip there. However, after about 10 flights and a two month trip, you try to find ways to cut some costs on the trip. Well, when flying from Sydney, while Laurie was sleeping mind you, I looked at the screen update on our flight and was trying to figure out why the date appeared to be wrong. It then clicked that we crossed the international date line. Neither of us had thought of this, and it is something that just slips your mind. This was good, because we now had an even extra day in Hawaii, but we might not have a place to stay the first night. Luckily, the hotel had an extra opening for that night that we were already staying at. This was a nice relief. I also brilliantly forgot my small brookstone pillow on the flight, as well as my Jordan bag that had an ipod shuffle, as well as $400 in cash. I never got back the pillow or the shuffle, but two months after the trip I was called by the airline and informed that they stumbled upon my bag. They honestly returned the bag alone with all my money, and I was in no way upset that the shuffle had disappeared, although it was a wedding gift for being the best man, oops.

Culture: Oahu is the island, Honolulu is the capital city of all of Hawaii, with Waikiki being a town in that city. The atmosphere was fantastic. The people are extremely amicable, and so relaxed at all times. I had always joked about the hang loose sign that you see them do in the movies, thinking it was just some random joke. However, I came to realize that they do this commonly, and it is there way of just saying “Hang Loose”, lie back, and enjoy yourself. Waikiki is a touristy place, and many people from Asia were there while we were there.

Language: Hawaiian - It has the same letters as the US alphabet, but only 14 letters instead of 26 letters. Due to this, many words sound similar, and it is why terms like Aloha and Maholo have quite a few meanings, they just simply can’t form enough words for everything. However, besides those words and the street signs, English is the language most people speak here.

Population: Honolulu - 910,000

Transportation: Mainly cars and motorbikes, very similar to most US states

A shot of our license plate

Beer: I just had the same beer as in the US, they supposedly make some, but I did not have any. The typical American beers are the standard here.

Currency: United States Dollar

Internet: Fine, it is part of the United States which is all developed

Place Stayed At: Waikiki Resort Hotel
Koa Avenue, Honolulu, HI,
96815 United States

It was an upper end middle class hotel, about $135/night. You can easily stay much cheaper, but I splurged a little here. It was a great location just two blocks from the beach. Also, the city area is all walkable, and in the weather there you feel like walking a bunch.

Sites to See:

1) Diamond Head Crater - It used to be a volcano, and due to erosion it turned in to a crater. It is a nice hike up to the top, and it provides a view well worth it once you reach the peak.

Diamond Head from above

Getting ready to take it on, note our sandals, exactly what you aren’t supposed to wear for a hike up a mountain

Almost at the top, taking a quick breather, it was a tough trek

The wind was very strong near the top, I almost got blown off the side of the crater.

The water was the craziest shades of blue I’d ever seen in my life by a long shot.

A view of Honolulu from the top of the crater.

Laurie & I at the top of Diamond Head Crater.

Laurie hanging loose right before we drive away from the crater in our rental car

2) Pearl Harbor - This is such a historic site in history. The Japanese attacked it and it was a huge part of World War 2. This is not a history lesson though so if you are actually unfamiliar with this event I recommend reading about it. The pictures I have are not good, we got there at 5:05pm, because it was our only day with the rental car, and we decided to check out Diamond Head and the whole coast before getting there. Here are some shots from the outside.

The welcome area

Ships nearby it, I don’t think this is part of it

Myself & “The Pearl” in the background over my left shoulder

3) A Luau - Hawaiian culture is very rich, and the luau is a big part of it. Luau translates to party in English. We went to a family oriented one so it was kind of boring to us. I would recommend doing one with a lot of activities involved, so do your research ahead of time. It was still neat to be a part of one. The crowd was so large during the pig roasting ritual that I could not get a picture of it.

The view as we arrived

There was a lot of dancing at the Luau.

A shot of us at the end of the evening

4) The city of Honolulu -

Aloha Stadium - this is where the Pro Bowl is played (the insignificant All-Star game for the NFL)

The city from afar while driving

Waikiki Beach, I’m just hangin’ loose

Look Out Point - This is where most of the locals come to surf and just hang out for most of the day

The most crazy rainbow I’ve ever seen, a completely full one right in front of our car

Likes: The atmosphere is so relaxing, the people are extremely friendly, the weather is amazing, the water is the most insane shade of blue you’ve ever seen, the surfing is world class even though I don’t do it. This is just the most amazing place I’ve ever been as far as a city goes. It is even a place I could see myself living
Dislikes: NONE

Overall Rating: 10/10, It is hard to get much better than Hawaii, was a great way to end a great trip.


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