Day 8 – Departure Day

With a heavy heart, we left on Saturday. Before leaving though we did a little stroll down to Waikiki Beach with our coffee. It was a pretty quiet morning in terms of the bustling activity we have seen here in December and August mornings.

We returned to finish packing and make our way to the airport. We decided to take a slight detour before going to the airport and did the drive up to Round Top to have another view of Diamond Head.

Our flight home was relatively short compared to our arrival flight. Our flight from Boston to Honolulu was a little under 12 hours, but the return flight was only nine and half hours. The only issue we had with Hawaiian Airlines was the coming home flight. We had to ask for them to dim the lights, like other airlines do on overnight flights. First class had their lights turned off, but not ours, just a dim, made it difficult to catch a snooze.

We arrived a little before a full sunrise and because the cabin was so bright, it was difficult to snap a good photo of the sunrise. I tried my best.

Our final thoughts on a quick week in Oahu. For a first timer, I would never suggest doing only a week, because let’s be real it was only 6 full days. A week worked for us but this was our 5th trip to Oahu and we already did all the must dos in previous trips that we wanted.

We didn’t like our rental and seriously thought about changing it on Sunday morning of our stay. It was a last minute decision to rent this place, but we had no yard use and the kids that lived above the apartment, were stompers. We stuck it out though because we do love the location.

April was a great time for a visit. We definitely saw a difference in tourist size, not as many and traffic on the tourist routes wasn’t bumper to bumper. We had exceptional weather and it was nice not to be in a constant state of sweat, as we usually are in the summer months.

Every trip to the islands gets harder to return, maybe because I can almost see retirement around the corner and am ready to live life like we do on retirement.

Till our next adventure…

Day 14.5 – Mahalo

So after being awake for about 24 and sleeping on and off for about four hours, I finally have half a brain to write about final Friday morning.

It started with a clean out the fridge, tidy the rental house and pack last day routine. Not very exciting, but something that had to be done.

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After fridge cleanout it was time to take one last walk around our little hood.  First stop a little botanical garden by the house.

Next we walked down to Waikiki Beach and back to our  house.

Once back, we finished our tasks, loaded the rental car, returned it and headed off to the airport for our flight back to Connecticut.

It was a quick two weeks.  We thought we would do things, we didn’t do, like eat at the Aloha Poke Co., hike Diamond Head, and eat at Sunny Days Cafe.  We did things we didn’t plan on doing like our three hikes, go to Honolulu Beerworks so much and spend 2 half mornings at beaches.  We really never planned our days ahead of time, except for the Heartwalk and Mike’s race.  We just let the days unfold and went with what we wanted to do, having the freedom to do is a great gift.

I end with a mahalo to everyone who read this blog, who supported us on our two planned events and to Hawaii.  A huge mahalo to the island for showing us so much aloha in our short visit.

Christmas with Aloha

Our Christmas morning started with a walk down to Waikiki beach.  At 7 a.m. the area was bustling with tourists. Luckily for all of us we were given a Christmas gift of a beautiful rainbow.

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Walking to Waikiki Beach

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After our hour walk, we headed back to the hale to plan out the day.  Of course our brain went into vacation mode and making decisions seems to be a skill we are lacking.  We decided do one thing, then make the next decision and that seems to be how our day went.

First stop Shaka Santa and Tutu Mele at Honolulu Hale (City Hall).

The Honolulu Hale was open, so we were able to wander the inside exhibits, bonus points for being very barren of tourists.

We returned to the outside and did a little more wandering around.

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Continuing on our walking adventure, we went to see Kamehameha the Great Statue in front of Ali’iolani Hale.

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Across from him we went to see the Iolani Palace.  Please forgive Flat Stanley for photobombing the one picture we took there.

Now that Flat Stanley was tagging along, we decided to get some of his touristy photos out of the way.  We made the next big decision and decided to visit two of our favorite viewing spots, Pu’u Ualaka’a State Park Outlook  off of Round Top Drive and then over to Punchbowl.

By this time is was after 12:30 and we were hungry.  Lunch was in order and we made a stop at Waikiki Brewery.  In our beer snobbery opinion it was decent, but no repeat trip is needed.

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We contemplated our next jaunt and thought a quick drive out to Portlock would be nice, a repeat visit for us. Lots of locals were out and about on the cliffs, diving in the water and snorkeling.

With tourist fatigue setting in, we headed back home.  A quick nap was in order for me.  After dinner, we knew we could stay awake to watch the sunset and thought a different beach would be better to watch it at, then heading over to the touristy area of Waikiki.  We walked from our hale to Diamond Head Road and stopped at Leahi Beach Park to watch the sunset. A huge cloud decided to obscure the sun, but it was still serene enough to stay to the finish of the setting.

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Our first Aloha Christmas was full of frolic and adventure, visiting new places and revisiting some favorites.  Our 15 year old Christmas tradition of traveling, has brought us many adventures and wonderful memories, this Christmas lived up to that tradition.

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