I’m writing this from the Admiral’s Club in Honolulu Airport as we are flying home after a wonderful 4 day weekend here in Hawaii. We were quite busy having fun, so I haven’t posted except for the first day. A quick synopsis of our trip . . .
We were on the 36th floor, but had Concierge Lounge access on the 3rd floor, where we had breakfast daily, and sometimes evening cocktails on the patio there overlooking Kalakaua Avenue and the beachfront.
Each day we did something different, and although we walked along the beach, never actually laid out on it, nor even swam in the beautiful ocean. Call it a sign of our mature years; i.e. years ago I would have been all over the beach for a tan, but alas we’ve gotten over the tanning thing.
Waikiki Beach is amazing. No, it’s not a place I would got to for the beach, but for the thrill of people watching, strolling down Kalakaua Avenue, the many beachfront restaurants, bars, and shops. Quite different from our Maui trip last October, and not in a bad way, just different – we thoroughly enjoyed both trips, but in a different way.
Maui was a bit more exclusive, and the resorts and restaurants more upscale, (at least at the Waldof Astoria Grand Wailiea Resort area where we stayed), while Waikiki was more city-like with a beach, catering to a large percentage of Japanese guests. It was actually quite nice as the Japanese quests were quite respectful and quiet and made for a comfortable stay, unlike many ‘loud American guests’. It was enjoyable seeing the new brides getting their professional photos done all over Waikiki; from the beachfront to the grand staircases in fancy hotels – even walking across busy Kalakaua Avenue!
On Sunday, we hired a car from National Car Rental (located in the massive Hilton Hawaiian Resort complex I had stayed at in 2003) ,
As it was Memorial Day weekend, the roads were heavily traveled, but we still found it a relaxing drive. We passed several cemeteries, which had many American flags on display, as well as ceremonies honoring the veterans who had served our country.We also stopped at Bellow’s Field Beach Park, which is part of Bellow’s Air Force Station, and is only open to the public on weekends. This absolutely gorgeous stretch of beach is wide, long, uncrowded – (night and day from Waikiki’s central beaches), and a wonderful day trip from Honolulu or Waikiki Beach if you are there on a Saturday or Sunday. Although the water looked so inviting, we just made a stop here before moving along on our journey to the North Shore.
The North Shore of Hawaii is famous for it’s large waves and isolation (as compared to Waikiki) and offers a much quieter experience and layback experience. Although we didn’t tour there (it’s closed on Sunday’s) we did stop to take a couple photos of the Polynesian Culture Center entrance along the way.
We passed thru many small towns along the way, and even saw horses and country churches, neither of which you would see in busy Waikiki Beach.
and later had lunch at the popular pool bar.
I had always wanted to stay at this hotel, especially years ago when it was a Hilton Resort. Although it’s hasn’t been a Hilton property for years, it’s a gorgeous property overlooking the North Shore beaches, and is a true ‘getaway beach and golf resort’ from the busy Waikiki area. If we had had a couple more days I would have loved to have stayed here. We had met a couple Australian couples in Waikiki at dinner one night, and kept running into them, the last time here at this resort where they were switching to after checking out of their Waikiki area hotel.
I don’t know why, perhaps the exterior of the hotel, but it reminded me of Disneyworld’s Contemporary Resort, (minus the monorail!) at least with the side ‘garden’ wings at that property – they had a similar modular-modern-type appearance with their shape, color, and balconies. Inside, the resort had an open feeling to it as well, and though not Disney at all, it somehow reminded me of a combination Contemporary/Polynesian Resort type feel; quite classy!
We left the resort around 4pm, and headed back to Waikiki hoping to beat the impending storm. We did get rain, but it wasn’t the thunderous storms like we get in Florida where you can hardly see to drive. Steve (DOS) did most of the driving today as he knows Hawaii much better than I do, having flown here regularly for work many years ago. Unfortunately most of the other North Shore locals and tourists must have been thinking the same thing, as we had stop and go traffic several times on the ride back.
Once back in Waikiki, we returned the car to National Car Rental, which was located at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. They close at 3pm, but they have a drop box for the keys which we utilized as it was around 6:30pm by then. We started to walk back to our Hyatt Hotel, but had a look around the property and even a quick drink at the oceanfront pool bar there. That’s when the skies really opened up drenching everyone that didn’t quickly run inside! It was quite funny to watch – we are standing under a tiki umbrella, kids and adults alike were still swimming in the pool, and the poor pool servers were running back and forth with towels over their head and shoulders!
We stayed for longer than we expected to as we waited out for the rain to stop. Our server thought it was funny how we were standing drenched under the umbrella with our drinks, and actually asked for our cameras to take a photo of us!
When the rain finally let up, we walked back the few blocks to our hotel, and washed up for dinner. Tonight we went to Chuck’s at the Outrigger Waikiki. Last night we had eaten at the Hula Grille restaurant also in the Outrigger, (and immediately adjacent to it), but it was quite crowded then, and by the time we got to Chuck’s it was after at 8pm, there was no wait. Chuck’s has been around for years, and I guess this must have been one of their original ‘menus’ at the entrance to the restaurant, while the 2016 updated specials are shown below it – I guess that’s what’s called ‘inflation’! LOL!
We had a nice steak dinner, appetizers, and the salad bar, accommodated by a bottle of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon. We had outdoor seating on the patio overlooking the ocean, although it was dark by then so you couldn’t see it very well. Still it was so nice eating outdoors in Waikiki reflecting on our day, in the balmy Hawaii weather.
Until tomorrow; Aloha!