January 30-February 2, 2017
The next stop on our travels? Oahu, Hawaii! It was our first time to Hawaii. Even though the islands were very close to Los Angeles, we never really had the urge to go. We had beautiful beaches and we didn’t need to fly or pay for a place to stay. We had chosen Belize or Costa Rica for a winter getaway. So when we got the invite from Kevin’s sister-in-law’s family we didn’t hesitate! We wanted an excuse to check it out and it would help get us to all the western states!
We were staying at Aulani Disney Resort in a beautiful room with his family. We definitely felt spoiled. A big beautiful resort, people willing to help with anything, and the warm weather. It was definitely something that we were not used to.
So what is there to do here with limited time and/or on a budget? Here are some things that we definitely think should be on your itinerary if you are there!
If you aren’t already staying in this area, make it a day trip to come watch the surfers, shop til you drop or have a drink while watching the sunset. There are multiple locations to choose from to see everything this beach has to offer. We thought the sunsets were pretty epic.
Whale Watching and Snorkeling
The tours at Aulani were actually more reasonably priced than I thought they would be. For transportation, snacks/soft drinks, “lunch,” whale watching and snorkeling it was around $129/person. The family was getting a little stir crazy so we decided to do this. Dolphins, whales and amazing views of the island made the trip worth it. The guys enjoyed snorkeling and I finally made it in after sitting on the edge for about 5 minutes. I am afraid of water but I love snorkeling. I didn’t stray too far, but it was worth it because we saw some turtles!
Since we were on this island, Pearl Harbor was something I had always wanted to see. I really knew nothing about the attack on Pearl Harbor and I wanted to learn more and pay my respects. Everything is free. The museums, the ferry to the memorial, sub and ship. Make sure to grab your free tickets for the ferry before you start wandering around. They fill up fast. There are other tours that you can book for a fee.
After you get your tickets, stroll through the museums. Learn about the events that lead to the attack, why the attack happened, and the aftermath. It was incredibly informative and really opens your eyes to what happened.
Before the ferry ride to the memorial for the USS Arizona, there is a short video that takes you back in time.
The USS Arizona is the resting places of over 1,100 sailors and marines that were killed when the ship sank. The only ship to have not been resurrected, it is now the tomb for these men. The memorial was built right over the ship. You can still see the ship and the oils coming up from it. It’s an emotional moment, or it should be, to know that you are walking over a grave of men who died serving their country.
When you return, you can check out a ship or a submarine if you’d like. We decided to take the short path to Remembrance Circle. There is a memorial with all the names, men, women and children who died because of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Fun Fact: One of the original bells on the USS Arizona was to be destroyed. Wilber L. Bill Bowers saved the bell and had it delivered to the University of Arizona’s campus in 1946. The student body president rings the bell the Sunday before Pearl Harbor Day to remember the fallen every year.
Quick Tips before you go:
They do not allow backpacks or bags on property. Leave it in your car.
There are restrooms and a small market for drinks and snacks.
We drove and had ample parking. Check the website for other ways of getting there.
I didn’t really have any expectations for the food on the island. Everything has to be shipped in, but I was hoping that the seafood would be good. We tried to have all the fish tacos and poke we could get!
Duke’s Waikiki – This is a chain on the islands. The better one is the one on Waikiki. It has an amazing spot on the beach to watch the sunset and have some food. We were impressed with their Ahi Poke dish. I could have ordered two for myself.
Marukame Udon – So this place was AWESOME! I can’t say enough about this place. Walking down the ritzy street near Waikiki I didn’t think that there would be any low key ethnic places. Especially one that was good and cheap! They make their noodles in house and right in front of you. You can watch while you wait in line. There is always a line it’s that good. A bowl of Udon was $3.75 and it was so good. Plus they had a tempura bar which I haven’t seen before and we were like kids in a candy shop. The best: deep fried chicken! We ended up going here twice!
Monkeypod Kitchen – This was across the street from Aulani and was a fun place for dinner. I would suggest their fish and chips.
Two Scoops – This was outside of Monkeypod and had some really good ice cream. Since it was an easy walk from the hotel and not that expensive we went here a couple times as well!
Longboards – This was down the walking path from Aulani and was the perfect place to watch the sunset during dinner. They also had light live music that was nice for us and fun for the kids. The food was okay, but the sunset is what you are there for.
We had an amazing time with family and experiencing part of this island.
What should we do next time we are there? I know we missed a lot, so help us make our next itinerary!
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