I returned on Tuesday from two weeks on Oahu. I was able to relax, spend time with Lorna, and enjoy life in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
We stayed at the Park Shore Hotel, which faces Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head on one side and is across the street from the beach. It's a nice location; I've stayed in a few places in Waikiki, even one right on the beach, but this is my favorite. It's on the edge of Waikiki, where there is less hustle and bustle.
The hotel provided a continental breakfast, which was coffee and a pastry from the Starbucks in the lobby. Most days we had that, either on the balcony in our room or across the street on the pier. Then late in the afternoon we would go for dinner.
The trick on a vacation like this is to achieve the right balance between loafing and activity. Too much loafing and you get bored, too much activity and it is no longer relaxing. When not dining, napping, sitting on the balcony or by the beach, we visited the Honolulu Aquarium, climbed to the Diamond Head lookout, walked all over Waikiki, swam, snorkeled, rode a Segway, and shopped at Ala Moana Center.
On Boxing Day, I rented a Jeep and we drove around the island. The best part of the day was hiking up to the Makapu'u lighthouse. The views from up there were fantastic. It was very hot, and we had forgotten to bring water, so by the time we returned to the Jeep we were sweaty and thirsty, and drove off in search of Gatorade and water. We had seen people climbing up a trail to the Koko Crater, and wanted to do that, but thought it might be a little too ambitious after our earlier hike, so we headed for the North Shore. The traffic was bumper-to-bumper around the beaches there, and it was hard to find a parking space. We did manage to stop in Haleiwa for Mexican food, then drove back around the island, stopping at a few places on the windward side. We would have done better to stay on the south-eastern end of the island and try climbing that trail to the Koko Crater.
The island seemed more crowded than I remember from earlier visits. Airport security on the way there and back was very tight. I had to remove my shoes so they could be x-rayed. Having taken essentially the same vacation several times in recent years, I must push myself to go somewhere different next time. I really enjoy Hawaii, but after a while the different visits merge in my memory, and most of the attractions I have seen at least once. But looking out my window at the snow and ice, I truly wish I was back there now.
I have created an album of photos I took in Hawaii. Click here to view it.