Bel and Phil's Adventures

Our adventures through Europe, America and Asia

Posts from the ‘Hawaii, USA’ category

Waikiki and Luau, Hawaii

Sunday 12th August 2018

Our last full day for our grand adventure. It has just flown by. We had a lazy start to the day and headed out for breakfast. We ended up going to Shore Fire which had great choices – too many in fact. Phil settled on the scrambled eggs with mushrooms, capsicum, onion and other stuff too. I had pineapple pancakes. We ended up sharing half and half. We went for a walk along the beach and took some photos. It really is a most glorious place.

We headed back to the room to relax and update the blog. I sat on the balcony, with our partial ocean view. It was just so relaxing.

We had booked to go to the Paradise Cove Luau for our final night of our Grand Adventure. This was the perfect way to end our holiday. We were collected at a local hotel and taken to the venue. On our bus (bus 2) we met a couple from Melbourne – Katie and Tony who had a lot of things in common with us. We had a great time chatting to them.

We got a complimentary Mai Tai when we arrived and also a flower lei. We then went and had our seats assigned to us. We sat together and then explored the complex. It really is a beautiful venue. I took some photos of things that caught my eye.

Whilst we were chatting, the conch shell sounded as they were about to do the shower of flowers. This was just so gorgeous.

After this, we headed over to the amphitheatre where they were blessing the food and performing some dances.

The sun was setting as we took our seats for dinner.

The food was lovely and the company was amazing. The show started after dinner was finished. The show highlighted the cultures of Hawaii, Samoa and Tonga with traditional dances performed from all of these islands. It really was a beautiful show.

We had a great time here and it was a perfect end to our amazing holiday.

We got back to our room and packed our bags. We have a 6:15 am pick up for our 10:30 am flight home tomorrow.

It’s so hard to believe that 10 weeks could have flown by so fast – yet it has. We have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our holiday and have loved exploring all of these new places. We have met some amazing people on our journey and have enjoyed spending pieces of our holiday with some of the most special people in the world to us.

We are finishing this blog at Honolulu airport as we are about to board the Qantas flight home. We have had a fabulous time. Our next trip will be in October when we are off to Vietnam. I love school holidays!

Pearl Harbour, Hawaii

Saturday 11th August 2018

We had a very early start today. The bus was picking us up at 6:00am!! Talk about crazy! Anyway we were up and out by 5:45am so we could go to McDonalds to get coffee and breakfast. Steve (our driver) was explaining what would happen when we got there. We only had 8 people on the bus so that was a nice size. One family was from Southern California and the other couple were honeymooners from Toronto. We headed to Pearl Harbour and were in the security checkpoint line at 645 am. It opens at 7:00 am. Steve was surprised at how short the line was. Phil suspected it was because the memorial is closed at the moment. (We probably wouldn’t have come if we hadn’t already booked and paid for the tour).

We got into the complex and found out that our time to see the movie (the information provided before the tour) was at 8:30 am. We went out and explored the museum and the other information on site. We were also there for the raising of the flag at 8:00am when they played the Star Spangled Banner – the American national anthem.

The information provided and the film certainly set the scene for that fateful day on Sunday December 7th 1941 at 7:48am. We travelled out by boat to the area where the Arizona lay beneath the surface, but couldn’t get close to the sunken ship. We could see some of the wreckage above the surface. It is devastating to imagine the horrific scene here in this beautifully peaceful place.

After this, we went back on the bus to go across to Ford Island to see the retired battleship Missouri. We did a free guided tour which was fascinating. It was starting to heat up and ships aren’t really my thing so Phil went off exploring. He was working at Garden Island in 1986 when the Missouri visited for the 75th Anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy. He was very happy to go and explore.

After here, we headed back through Honolulu’s financial and commercial district to get back to the hotel. We headed down to the pool bar for lunch. It was lovely, although a little pricey.


We headed down to the International Market Place for some shopping. Phil was looking for a Hawaiian shirt and I wanted some hair decorations. We got them and the got the boys some shirts as well. (Not Hawaiian shirts though – we don’t think they would like them or wear them). We had another smoothie of pineapple and watermelon. These drinks are so refreshing and filling.

We headed back to our hotel and Phil fell asleep really early again. I caught up on the blog and relaxed as well.

We are off to a Luau tomorrow afternoon – our final night of our Grand Adventure. Tomorrow is the last day of our holiday as we are getting picked up for our flight home at 6:15 am on Monday morning.

Waikiki, Hawaii

Friday 10th August 2018

We had a lazy start to the day with no definite plans for today other than breakfast and shopping. We had decided to go back to the cheeseburger place for breakfast. We had enjoyed our meal and the service there so much. Ryan would love this place with all of the sports being televised at the bar – including the EPL.

We decided to go for a walk and head towards the Ala Moana shopping centre in Waikiki. We had heard mixed reviews about the Waikele outlets. They are a long way away with most people saying that they weren’t that good.

We walked along the main road in Waikiki and were getting really hot, so got an Uber. Phil isn’t well. He has what I had, except of course SO MUCH worse than I did – yeah right!

We had a look at Macy’s there and then wanted to find Ross as Kim had asked me to look for things for her. On our way to Ross we walked past a large shoe shop. We were looking for shoes for Tristan and me. We found some shoes for me – joggers only, but also some red converse which are cool too. We also found some shoes for Tristan – that he liked – the joys of wifi!

We got the shoes and headed to Ross. This shop is crazy. They have lots of clothes and other things too. I found some things for Kim and then looked at some clothes for me. Once I’d made some decisions about that, we looked at some clothes for the boys. It was really reasonably priced, so we bought more than we had planned to.

We walked through the rest of the shopping centre, although no other shoe shop had my size 😦

We ended up getting an Uber back to our hotel. Phil fell asleep and didn’t even want to go out for dinner later. I walked down to The Cheesecake shop to get the cheesecakes that we didn’t get from the other night and got some McDonalds on the way home. I’ve worked out that McDonald’s works on Hawaiian time and there isn’t anything fast about it.


Early night tonight. We are off to the Arizona memorial tomorrow at Pearl Harbour and we have a 6:00 am start!!!!!! (That’s crazy!)


Hawaii Photo Tour

Thursday 9th August 2018

Today we are doing a Circle Island Sunrise Tour with Oahu Photography Tours. Luckily Hurricane Hector missed the islands, however the storm clouds were looking low and ominous. It wasn’t raining – yet. Alex picked us up at 5:25 am (need to be up before sunrise to take photos of the sunrise) and then we picked up another couple – Rochelle and Derek – fellow Australians – who only live an hour away from us. We were stoked. It’s been so long since we’ve met any Australians. We were happily chatting all the way to the first stop. Alex, our photographer / guide, was also very nice.

Our first stop was at Sandy Beach. We weren’t going to be able to get great sunrise photos due to clouds covering the sky all around us, however the winds had whipped up the surf, especially at this location. We experimented with different perspectives at Sandy Beach and then went to the Halona Blowhole and Cove- just from the lookout.  It was so stunning, even in the less than ideal weather conditions.


Our next stop was the Makapu’u Point Lookout. This was stunning. We could see the mist coming over the mountain. As we were taking photos we saw some majestic frigate birds coasting on the strong winds. It was amazing. We noticed that the wind was whipping up the side of the mountain and you could see the dirt mingling in the mist.


We went to another picturesque location of a beautiful beach.


We went to Kalapawai Market in Kailua for our breakfast stop. It was quite quaint and old fashioned. The food was delicious too and not expensive. Phil said the coffee was great. Alex had claimed that the Australians love the real coffee at this place. We all went for a short walk to the Kailua Beach and park.


Our next stop was the Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. This was where the rain started. It was pouring down. It had been sprinkling / raining most of the morning, but it started bucketing down, just as we got there. It was obvious that this complex is amazingly beautiful in the sunshine.


The heavens opened and it was bucketing down. Rochelle and I both bought umbrellas here, so it would stop. The rain decreased and so we headed back to the mini bus. We stopped on the coast to see some Hawaiian Monk Seals. This is a favourite place of these seals to rest. These seals are endangered and very protected. It was hardly raining at this point.

We stopped at a fruit stall and tried some fried bananas. They were delicious. We then headed to see a huge banyan tree that has been used in the filming of Lost (I think). We got to see a mongoose – from a distance. This tree was massive. After taking photos here, we headed to the local beach. There were some people paddle boarding, with their dogs on their boards. Sadly, the clouds were rolling in again, so no sunshine for these shots.

We then continued on our journey around the North Shore. We pulled up on the hill overlooking Waimea Bay where crazy people were jumping off a rock into the water. Alex was explaining that the water isn’t all that deep where they were jumping off and there are many warning signs asking people not to do it. Still they do!

The sun was trying to shine through the clouds that are starting to break up. We travelled along the coast a little more and then Alex pulled over where there were lots of cars. He figured that the turtles must be playing in the water due to how many people were there. He was right! We got across the road (Alex stayed with the car as he couldn’t find a car park.)

This was so amazing to see these creatures in the wild. It truly was amazing. Phil took his shoes and socks off and paddled in the water so that he could zoom in to these gorgeous turtles.

After we had finished here, we stopped off at the Dole Pineapple plantation. Alex pointed out the ‘rainbow’ gum trees at the entrance that are glorious. We took some photos here and then had to try the Dole whip ice cream. This was absolutely delicious!

We headed back to Waikiki exhausted after our big day out. We relaxed for a little while when we got back. Rochelle and Derek had recommended the cheeseburger place next to our hotel so we went there for dinner. Great choice.

Early to bed tonight. Luckily we can sleep in tomorrow. We have our nothing on day -which also means shopping day!

New York to Waikiki

Wednesday 8th August 2018

We had an early start today as our flight was leaving Newark in New Jersey at 8:20 am. We got an Uber at 5:00 am. We got there and through security fairly quickly. We had upgraded our seats to Premium Plus and were very glad that we had. We had lots of leg room and just the two of us as the plane was organised 2-4-2 across. It was great. This is the biggest leg on the way home as the flight is almost 12 hours.

I got the blog up to date (well the typing of it anyway), edited some photos, finished watching Star Wars – The Last Jedi, watched Forrest Gump and The Greatest Showman. I slept for a little bit in the morning when we left.

We arrived in Waikiki. They are 6 hours behind New York. We checked in and relaxed for a little while, then headed up to The Cheesecake Shop for some food. This was amazing!

After this meal we were so full we couldn’t even order the cheesecakes we’d picked out for dessert! We went shopping to have a look at different things – namely shoes. Also still looking for a hat that I like as much as the one that I had from Cinque Terre that we lost.

We headed back to the resort to relax. We have an early start tomorrow for the sunrise photo tour.


Banyan Tree in the setting sun

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