March 26, 2020
This part of our Hawaii trip last November was just as special as our stay in Maui! After staying in Lahaina, Maui for five days, we flew back to Honolulu to stay the remaining five days of our trip! These islands are so different in their own ways, and I’m so thankful we made the time to stay on two islands instead of one! If we had to pick one favorite island, we would probably say Maui for many reasons, but we still loved Oahu so much! Now we’re dreaming of seeing the rest of the Hawaiian islands someday soon! We landed early Tuesday morning, and because we couldn’t check into our hotel yet, we decided to go right to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. It’s a beautiful place, and you can feel the heavy sadness of December 7, 1941 in the atmosphere there.
To this day, oil still leaks into the water…
We were on our way to lunch somewhere else, and found Aloha Burrito Shop on the way! Once we saw it, we quickly changed our minds and turned around…we realized burritos sounded realllly good! And I have to say, it was even better than Pancheros!
We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in the Ali’i Tower on Waikiki Beach, and we LOVED this hotel, just like we did the Sheraton in Maui! It’s such a unique place – it has multiple different towers you can stay in that are right on the beach and a cute shopping village full of restaurants and shops.
On Wednesday, we decided to drive across the island and adventure around the north shore. We stopped at the Dole Plantation on our way and tried their fresh pineapple, which was delicious! We also tried their pineapple gummy rings, and they were to die for!!! Probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten lol!
The North Shore! This was a beautiful place – same mountains and gorgeous oceans, but not as many people!
If you look closely, you can see our red convertible down the road! That’s where we had to park and hike the rest of the way, because the “road” was not fit to drive!
*always* taking photos…!
He tried Mahi Mahi tacos for supper Wednesday night thinking he’d love them, but they were just okay! I stuck with my unadventurous chicken tacos and they were gooooooood.
On Thursday, we hiked the Diamond Head State Monument, which is a volcanic tuff cone that you can see from Waikiki Beach! It was exhausting in the heat, but the view was so worth it! This is the first part of our hike…
These stairs were killer…can you see my exhaustion?!
I can see our hotel!
So tired, so sweaty, so squinty, but so happy…
We were ready to relax after that, so we went back to the Hilton, tried some Dole Whip, and laid out on the beach for the afternoon. The Dole Whip was worth trying, but we definitely don’t love it as much as ice cream!
There was a beautiful, white church and gazebo within Hilton Hawaiian where couples could elope and get married, and all I wanted to do was photograph a wedding there – it was gorgeous!
Then we tried Shave Ice, and THAT was goooooood!
Friday was going to be our last full day in Hawaii, so we knew we wanted to make the most of it! We had talked about doing a helicopter tour sometime on the trip, but we always hesitated because of the cost…BUT, then we realized it would probably be a long time before we came back here, and honestly, this is one of the best ways to see the island. So, we went for it, and even booked a doors-off tour! I was so nervous lol! I knew I wanted to take my camera along, but with an open-door tour, I didn’t know if they would allow me to without any sort of strap…so Lavon somehow quickly invented a cross-body harness with my purse strap and his sweatshirt string. He’s amazing to say the least, and honestly, I wish I would have had that strap the entire trip when we were hiking all over the place! We later found out they gave us hand straps for cameras and phones so we didn’t end up needing it – but it was still so handy!
Getting ready for take-off…
There’s Diamond Head off in the distance!
It was way more beautiful than we imagined!
There’s our hotel – right in the middle!
Imagine being that high up, seeing all this, feeling the air, with no door and nothing holding you except a seatbelt…everything was open…it was terrifying and exciting at the same time!
Diamond Head, the same thing we hiked the day before, but from a helicopter!
That’s how close I was to the edge…
If you look closely, you can see the lookout point on Diamond Head we took photos from!
Look closely and you can see the Stairway to Heaven – over a 4,000 stair climb to the top of the mountain. This hike is illegal now, but people still hike it despite and we saw a couple people hanging out at the top!
Chinaman’s Hat looks so tiny from our view!
If you’ve seen Jurassic Park, this view will look familiar! Part of the movie was filmed here in Kualoa Ranch, and you could still see the dinosaur bones and a big footprint as you flew over!
After we circled around the island, we flew back over inland towards Honolulu. Here’s the Dole Plantation…
This is the same view the Japanese had as they were flying in to bomb and attack Pearl Harbor…
That helicopter tour was worth every penny, and we loved every second of it! We were so sad when it was over! But, we were hungry, so we went to our favorite, Aloha Burrito Shop, again!
We relaxed at the beach all afternoon, went to dinner, watched the sunset, got ice cream at our favorite, Haagen Dazs, then watched fireworks! Every Friday night, Hilton Hawaiian puts on a firework show for their guests and anyone else on Waikiki Beach!
It was a perfect way to end such a special trip!