Relaxation at its Best
Fondest memory: One of my favorite things during our last trip to Oahu was being able to relax at our hotel; The Moana Surfrider. They really know how to make guests comfortable and relax. ALong the front veranda were several rocking chairs. My wife and I spent some significant amounts of time relaxing here after our early morning beach strolls and after a night out. This peace and calm was perfect. We were able to relax with each other and talk of current and furture plans. I think it's very therapeutic rocking along in a chair in such a beautiful place such as Oahu.
We also enjoyed watching the people walk by and the early morning/late evening happenings.
"Mysterious" Metal Rings
Favorite thing: Here’s a piece of useless information. In case you’ve spotted large metal rings on the palm trees, all around Honolulu, this is not some kind of a local art (which was my first thought). I was told that this is the way to protect the trees from rats that simply climb up the massive trunk to either eat the fruit or cruelly destroy the wood.
Favorite thing: The Islands had 7 Kings and 1 Queen, who also was the last monarch of Hawaii. 6 of therse kings were of Kamehameha lineage.
Kamehameha I - known as Kamehameha the Great was the king that united the Islands. The small exhibit at the Nuuanu Lookout Point tells the story of the last battle after which all the islands were united under one reign. He was also the only Hawaiian king to have children that succeeded him.
Kamehameha II - is mostly remembered for breaking the rules of the ancient “kapu” (taboo), he was the first Hawaiian that allowed men and women to dine in one room. This king’s legacy is depicted in the permanent exhibition at the Ali’iolani Hale in Honolulu.
Kamehameha III - the first Christian monarch of Hawaii he’s responsible for the first constitution of Hawaii and diplomatic relations with other countries. Kamehameha the third had no children, which brought him to the idea of establishing law that would allow kings to be elected!
Kamehameha IV - contributed a lot to education and healthcare, together with his wife – Queen Emma he established the Queen’s Medical Center which is the leading Hospital in Hawaii until nowadays. A lot can be learned about this king while visiting the Queen Emma’s Summer Palace.
Kamehameha V – this king’s name was biblical – Lot, even after he became the fifth Kamehameha he was still referred, by many, as Prince Lot. He’s responsible for building the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (nowadays Hawaii State Art Museum), Ali’iolani Ale, the State court house, and the Royal Mausoleum. Although contributing immensely to the architecture and development he left huge debts!
He didn’t have children, and was never married being separated from the love of his life at a very young age.
Lunalilo I – although part of the dynasty, he was not the direct Kamehameha and therefore was not named the Sixth. Lunalilo was an elected monarch that won his throne over David Kalakaua. He was very popular and known as the People’s King. Lunalilo is one of the two kings that is not buried at the Royal Mausoleum, demanding to find his resting place close to his people. He’s buried at the Kawaiahao Church (located by the Mission Houses). With death of Lunalilo the Kamehameha dynasty came to its end.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Paradise not lost
Favorite thing: Aloha,
You will enjoy this lovely island as it is jammed pack with things to do. When you arrive to Oahu in the baggage claim area you will see many free for the taking brochures of things to do. They all have maps and coupons for your use. This will help you to see what there is to do that hold your interest.
If you go to Pearl Harbor arrive very early to ensure a short wait time to get in and note due to heighten security they do not allow anything in that cannot fit into your pockets.
You can also check out the Trolley system as well as the Bus. The trolley is a great way to get around and the red and blue lines are great for sightseeing and you can get on and off the trolley as much as you wish.
Aloha and enjoy your stay
Fondest memory: I will never forget how it feels off step off the airplane and into that beautiful soft tropical air. I have visited the islands countless times and it is always the same every time I travel to the islands.Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Family Travel
Introduced Species: A Threat to Hawaii
Favorite thing: Just in case you're wondering why you have to fill in those agricultural forms when you're flying into Hawaii, it's to protect these fragile islands. Plants and animals introduced from elsewhere have wreaked ecological havoc on Hawaii, whose endemic life leads the world's endagered species lists. Evolving in isolation for nearly a million years, those plants and bird that made it to Hawaii were unchallenged for millenia and lost their adaptations associated with avoiding prey. Hence, the arrival of predacious species has challenged their survival. A perfect example is the nene, a Canadian goose that is now Hawaii's state bird, whose survival is threatened by the mongoose, because the goose no longer instinctively knows how to protect its eggs. In fact, the only island on which the nene population is growing is Kaua'i, which happens to be the only island to which the mongoose was not introduced.Related to:
Beaches of Oahu
Favorite thing: Since the state law prohibits private beaches, the whole island is yours to enjoy, just choose your piece of sandy shoreline and enjoy the sun. There are many types of activities in the water so some beaches are suitable for surfing, some for snorkeling or diving, some for kite surfing, and some are for spoiled people like Nathalie_B who doesn’t like to step on stones when in the water and looks for silky-sandy bottom.
And, of course, beaches are the best place for sunset or sunrise watching depends on what side of the island you are. In other words…. Paradise!Related to:
"Hikers' guide to Oahu"
Favorite thing: This is the book we used for our hiking trails. It is amazing how detailed the information is. Every trail is accurately described telling you by what tree to turn left, by what rock to climb up and how to cross a stream by two mango trees. Besides giving the general directions and explanations the book explains every trail’s history, uniqueness, flora, and fauna. While hiking you’ll learn what trees where used by the locals and by what purposes, if birds are typical to this area or they simply visit the place on their way elsewhere. You’ll know what wild fruits are safe to eat and what should be avoided. And for sure you won’t get lost if carefully following directions. Some trails are very isolated and not listed in general books and brochures available for tourists.
Only once we missed our turn point, but this is because some ass took the mark off, so we didn’t blame the author.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Be Alert for Rainbows
Favorite thing: It's no accident that Hawaii puts rainbows on its license plates -- there are rainbows everywhere. The nature of the Hawaiian weather means that sun is often shining through rain and midst, creating hued arches almost everywhere. I once saw a complete double-arched rainbow commuting east-bound on route 78. More often, however, you'll see peices of rainbows here and there. Rainbows are one reason to have your camera with you all the time on Oahu -- I've missed more photo opportunities than I can count!
By the way, the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow is often guarded by an ill-humored leprechaun, so don't bother even starting off on the search unless you're armed with a keg of GuinnessRelated to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Cloudy mountains and sunny ocean
Fondest memory: While we were driving on Kalaniana’ole Highway (Road 72) along the mountains (West side of the island), we saw beautiful and mystic view on our left of foggy clouds hanging on the top of the mountains, steep mountains covered in green, rainy fog above houses settled close to mountains, and on our right hot bright sun above the ocean. This west-east difference with a boarder within of several feet was one the wonderful and mysterious views I saw.Related to:
- Road Trip
Sea Life Park
Fondest memory: One of my fondest memories of Oahu is my time at Sea life Park. Sea llife park has a Dolphin Excursion. For an additional fee, I was able to pet, kiss, swim and even take a ride on a Dolphin. I have been to other places that offer dolphin excursions (Bahama's, California-Sea world) I do not think any of the others are as nice as this one.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
Oahu is Isolated -- Very Isolated
Favorite thing: You will notice it when you visit here and you certainly would notice it if you lived here: Oahu is far away from everything on earth. In fact, Honolulu is considered the most isolated large city on earth, being farther from any other large city than anywhere else (Perth is considered second in this category).
Of course, the isolation is geographical -- to get to Hawaii you need to fly at least 5 hours from anywhere. We sit on islands amidst the vast North Pacific and even the Pacific Island nations and Alaska are quite distant. But the isolation is also temporal -- three hours behind the U.S. West Coast and 6 hours ahead of Japan or Australia, we share a time zone with very few others. Therefore, all live sporting events are over by the time we get home from work and live events like American Idol (which Andrea watches) or Presidential addresses are never in prime time. If you want to call a friend in Maryland after dinner, you can't -- it's already past midnight there!
Fondest memory: But there are other factors affecting one's feeling of distance, too. First, the newspapers (of which there are two) are horrible, so when you even bother to buy one they don't keep you up on half the things going on. Tornados rip through Florida (where family and friends live)? Who knew? Local TV news is not better (see the earthquake story). North Korea signed a nuclear accord? Last week? Really?
Of course, the weather also makes keeping abreast of events difficult. After all, with perfect temperatures, tropical sunlight and cool breezes all year round, it's hard to make the effort to click through a million internet pages to keep up on the news and stay in touch. We'd much rather be at the beach or hiking the trails.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Business Travel
Hawaiian Words in English: Not Just for Tourists
Favorite thing: When I first visited Hawaii, I was quick to notice the use of "Aloha", "Mahalo" and a few other Hawaiian words in conversation and I figured it was just an affectation to make tourists feel like they were in a more exotic locale. However, now that we live here we realize that these words are used in every day life by every resident of Oahu and even appear in front page newspaper stories (e.g. the fatal pedestrian accident occured just ewa of Kahili Street). Mahalo is not used just to thank tourists but is even used to than people over after announcements at the gym. Speaking of the gym, I was once asked if I was "pau" with a piece of equipment -- finished. So don't think of the use of these words sounding fake.
Fondest memory: Here are some good Hawaiian words (and we're sure we've missed a few):
pau hana: end of the day
ohana: family & friends
mauka: mountain side
ewa: towards ewa or west
akami: smart/kowlegeableRelated to:
- Arts and Culture
Honolulu, Waikiki & Co.
Favorite thing: Honolulu is the most famous town in Hawaii, a typical US town in the middle of the pacific, with skyscrapers, rush hours & nightlife
Of course the Waikiki-Beach is a must see, but the real romantic, secret, hawaiian beaches can be found somewhere else...
Make sure that you see the east coast (beautiful coastline) and the north shore (Haleiwa the surf city) of Oahu, and the large pineapple fields inland.Related to:
Houses are EXPENSIVE!!
Favorite thing: So, do you think you want to live in paradise? Well, if you do, you'd better come with a full wallet and low expectations. For the quality of house we could buy in Maryland for $400,000 (and we though THAT was overpriced!) we would have to pay over $900,000 here. And if we wanted the same amount of land, too? About $1.5 million. Of course, if you make the decision to buy less house, you may find something of quality below $900,000 but most likely you'll find a termite-infested fixer-upper in a sketchy neighborhood or choose to fight the traffic from Ewa Beach or Mililani to get your cheap house (and who wants to commute for over an hour each day in paradise?).
Still, I'm sure you don't believe us. For those doubters, check http://www.oahure.com which has an exhaustive list of properties for sale. If you check Kailua (where we chose to live) you'll see that we're more or less telling the truth.Related to:
A must-have guide book to the beaches
Favorite thing: If you are planning to explore the island and visit beachs other than Waikiki, I would highly recommend "Beaches of Oahu" by John R. K. Clark. The author has been involved in ocean resuce for many years and also has a degree in Hawaiian Studies so the book provides very practical information regarding the beaches themselves (facilities, swimming conditions, water safety, etc.) as well as historical and cultural information which that an interesting context for visiting the beaches. I couldn't find it on Amazon but it can be ordered through the University of Hawaii press.
From the University of Hawai'i Press Website (http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu):
Beaches of Oahu, rev. ed.
by John R. K. Clark
"A valuable read for every resident who loves going to the beach." --Free Surf Magazine, February 2005
"A must for Hawaii fans" --Chicago Tribune, 13 February 2005
Now completely revised and updated, this edition of Beaches of O`ahu offers sixty new color photos of the island's spectacular beaches and coastline by photographer Mike Waggoner, a water safety section, and 22 newly drawn maps locating more than 130 beaches and shoreline parks. The beach descriptions and maps include many of the island's popular surfing sites. All beaches, known and relatively unknown, are listed with their physical characteristics, recreational uses, historic and cultural significance, and any dangers that beach-goers may encounter. Each beach is identified by its official and unofficial, or popular, name (if any) used by residents. When available, the author has added brief histories of beaches as handed down through the native Hawaiian oral tradition and related Hawaiian chants and verses.
John R. K. Clark is deputy fire chief for the City and County of Honolulu. He is the author of The Beaches of Maui County, Beaches of the Big Island, Beaches of Kaua`i and Ni`ihau, Hawai`i's Best Beaches, and Hawai`i Place Names: Shores, Beaches, and Surf Sites (all available from UH Press).Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Diving and Snorkeling
We stayed at this hotel with a 3 month old in December of 2011. We were the last one to check in...more
2417 Prince Edward Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, United States
Good for: Business
1277 Mokulua Drive, Kailua, Hawaii, United States
Good for: Families
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