Travel Thoughts by Kim

By Orleans Hub Posted 4 September 2021 at 3:00 pm

Let’s go on an adventure together….to Hawaii!

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.

You may remember that I wrote about Hawaii back in February 2020 – I’ll include the link to that travel article at the end of this one so you can revisit it and for those who may not have seen it. That article focused on a Norwegian cruise that let me explore all the major Hawaiian Islands in January 2020. But…..that actually wasn’t the only time I went to Hawaii. Long before that trip, I flew down for a quick trip in March of 2009. Unlike the later cruise, this trip was limited to Oahu – the Honolulu area of the island.

I had friends – Ron and Lisa – who were vacationing in Hawaii for their 10th anniversary. They told me I should join them for at least part of it. At the time, I couldn’t get away from work and other obligations for very long, but wondered if I would ever have another chance to go and just couldn’t pass it up. So, I decided on a long weekend. Yep – I flew all the way to Hawaii just for a long weekend….I’m smarter than that, now….and, retirement helps with the time issue! Hahaha I flew out on a Wednesday with a layover in Houston and returned on Saturday. I stayed at the Queen Kapiolani hotel at Waikiki Beach. It was a great location – just a block from the beach – with a balcony view from my room of Diamond Head and a partial view of the ocean. I’d definitely stay there, again, if I found myself staying in that area.

Whale sighting on a whale watching cruise off the coast of Oahu. We saw so many active whales – including babies, but this was the only photo we got of a perfectly extended whale fin – the money shot, as they say.

Since I really only had two full days (and two partial days), I had to make some decisions on what I wanted to see. Ron, Lisa, and I talked before they went to decide on what they would wait to do when we could all do it together. Some things they did before I got there was tour the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, took a sight-seeing plane ride around the island, and hiked up Diamond Head, among other things. I wanted to do more typical Hawaiian things and see the island.

On the day I arrived, we met up for dinner and wandered around Waikiki and we stopped at the tour desk in the hotel and booked tickets for a whale watching tour and a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. By the way, for those inquiring minds, neither Gidget and Moondoggie nor Frankie and Annette were anywhere to be found! Big disappointment! Hehehe (sorry for those reading this that are too young to understand that reference) But, I DID get a sighting of Monica and Rachel’s “Ugly Naked Guy” – fans of the TV series “Friends” will get that reference… more about my sighting of him in the link to my blog post (don’t worry – story, only – no photo) – not my favorite part of the trip, but definitely the funniest memory from it. 

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a must see if in the Honolulu area. So much to see and do and learn about all the Polynesian Islands. My favorite part was the water parade with dancers from each island – this is the float representing Tahiti.

Thursday was whale watching day. It was the first time I’d ever been on a whale watching cruise and it didn’t disappoint at all. We saw so many whales….March was the perfect season for them, as they travel from Alaska to Hawaii to give birth in the warm waters. They tend to stay in the waters around Hawaii from around December to April to let the babies get strong enough to travel back and stand the cold waters of Alaska. So, we lucked out and saw so many of them – adults and babies – what a thrill! I have since been whale watching in Alaska, off the coast of Portugal, and had the potential to see more on the catamaran cruise in Costa Rica – the only places I’ve actually seen them, though, is Hawaii and Alaska.

On Thursday, we also had lots of time to wander around, shop, and enjoy Waikiki Beach.

The day at the Polynesian Cultural Center was capped off by a fun and entertaining Luau! The entertainment was amazing….food, not so much….but, still a wonderful experience I’m glad I did while in Hawaii for the first time.

On Friday, we spent the whole day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. This is an amazing place, if you want to learn about the history and culture of all the Polynesian Islands. We saw many exhibits, entertainment, lessons, and demonstrations. My favorite part was the float parade down the canal-like water way through the park. It was a parade of flat boats representing each of the Polynesian islands with dancers performing native dances in stunning native costumes. Everything else we saw at the center was awesome, too – educational, entertaining, and fun. The day was capped off by a Luau. That was really fun, too, but it was an extra cost I’m not sure I’d do again – so glad I did it that one time, but it was very crowded and the food was not that good. It was an experience I can say I enjoyed, but “been there, done that”. I did, however, really like the fruit drinks served in a pineapple and the amazing entertainment.

Yeah – a super quick trip – almost not worth the trouble and expense…..but, I was sure I’d never get another chance and I’m so glad I did it. Of course, we all now know that I did get another chance and got to see all the islands and spent much more quality time in Hawaii. One regret was that I told Ron and Lisa to go ahead and do the Pearl Harbor tour without me. I have now been to Hawaii twice and didn’t go to the memorial either time. I wish on one of those trips I would have made sure I had time to do it…..if I ever get the chance, again, I will NOT pass it up. 

Check out all I have to offer you about Hawaii at these links:

Blog post link for my 2009 trip to Hawaii

Link to my Feb 2020 Hub Article about Hawaii 

Happy Adventuring,
Kim Pritt