So I am way behind on blogging but I have to do my Hawaii post before I forget stuff! I have had a few friends ask about for tips. I know that I got lots of tips from people but when you are there you forget a lot of what you are told or can’t remember the name of something so I figured I would document it! My Aunt Amy stayed at the same hotel we did a few months before we did so it was so nice to have some advice!
So to start off we were looking at different airlines mostly Hawaiian and Allegiant. We found that it was cheaper to book our hotel and flight with Hawaiian than it was through allegiant. Plus Hawaiian provides a meal on your flight along with an in-flight movie (The movie on the way there was Ironman 3 and on the way back it was Trouble with a Curve and they also played an episode of the TV show Glee. They also offer for you to rent a tablet with movies and games on them for $15. We just took carry-on bags and then checked one big bag since you do have to pay to check a bag.
Super nervous and ready to fly! This is our yummy breakfast. On the way back we got dinner too!
We did not have transportation from the airport to the hotel and didn’t really plan it out. Cabs are not very cheap. Speedishuttle is cheaper than the cab though! We found a cheap transportation company called Waikiki Trans that only charges $7 per person to or from the airport and cheaper prices to and from other places. You are generally not the only pickup so give extra time for more stops. The vans aren’t really nice but they are decent. I guess you could say you get what you pay for.
We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. IT was very nice to have shops right in our hotel. This was the resort Elvis would stay at when he would come to Hawaii and we even stayed in the same building he stayed in. When they heard it was our 10 year anniversary and we had never been to Hawaii they upgraded us to this building that has a private pool and you can even rent movies for free through a kiosk similar to redbox. There were 4 or 5 pools at the hotel. Even a few slides. Ryan and I went on them even though it was mostly kids doing it. The inner kid just couldn’t resist…well mine anyway.
We were starving by the time we got to our hotel and were excited to check it out and get in the water! So we stopped at Round Table Pizza (SUPER YUMMY!) first and then checked out a few of the fun pools and the ocean! First time swimming in the ocean for me!! I was a little freaked out about what could be swimming but I just had to forget about it and pretend it was just a lake!
The hotel does a firework show twice a week. The U-haul truck is where they are setting up the fireworks. Tuesdays they have a pool side Hawaiian themed show with fireworks following. You can also buy tickets to a Luau at the hotel. If you go to one of their timeshare info meeting you get free tickets. We were going to do this and then decided that we had better things to do than waste 2 hours listening to them! But might be worth it for a free luau and dinner???
The beautiful view from our hotel room.
They have a little lagoon too that you can swim/canoe/snorkel in. Although we never went in it. You can walk right out to the ocean. It was a little farther west than some of the other Waikiki hotels but it was nice because he had lots of restaurants and shopping right at our hotel. We bought breakfast items at the ABC store, which you can find anywhere (our hotel had 2). They have almost anything you can think of!
You do have to walk a mile or less to get to the main shopping and restaurants of Waikiki. We took the Pink line Trolley. Although it was busy and almost never on time it was $2 per person each way and you have to have exact cash. I think you can buy a week pass. We ended up walking a lot. They don’t let you take food or drink on the trolley.
We took our big tour the very next day after we arrived. It went around most of the island so that way if we saw anything we wanted to spend more time at or passed by somewhere we wanted to go then we would have time later in the week to go back. We booked through Discover Hawaii and took the Pearl Harbor and Polynesian Cultural Center with Luau Show. (they were doing an online special and we got this tour a little cheaper than the current price. Our tour guide was great and was a native to Hawaii and shared lots of interesting information and history of the island. She was very nice and helped introduce everyone and remembered all our names! It is a small group tour so you are always waiting for people at each stop.
We went to Pearl Harbor first, it gave us time to go see the USS Arizona and also see all the main sights If you want to go to all the different tours there you could spend all day there. It was just enough for us!
A replica of to give you an idea of what is left of the USS Arizona and the memorial that is now build above it.
Then we drove through different areas of the island and on to The Dole Pineapple plantation. It would have been nice to spend more time there but it wasn’t a huge deal. We got their YUMMY Ice cream which you have to have. I don’t like pineapple. I guess I like the flavor but not the texture…however it was good.
TIP: if you don’t have a lot of time there go get your ice cream first and then walk around while you eat it. That way you aren’t walking around first and get caught waiting in line.
Then we drove to the north shore and saw different beaches….we drove past turtle beach and saw turtles out the window. It wasn’t on our scheduled stop so we didn’t get to stop there. Next time we go we will definitely go back because we didn’t make it back over to that side of the island later in the week. We did stop at a beach on the north shore for about 10 min.
These trees were so cool! They aren’t native to the islands and they aren’t pine trees. They are like a palm that looks like a pine tree. They brought these here and planted them so that they could use the trunk for masts on ships.
Then we were onto the Polynesian Culture Center. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it ended up being a lot of fun. We first ate lunch at a buffet then we went to 4 of the islands culture centers. We loved it and it was so entertaining. Ryan even got to participate in front of the crowd! Then we were free to go to the other island stops on our own.
Each of these floats in the parade represented an island. They sang and danced. I loved watching them, especially New Zealand! Below is a small portion of what we saw.
Ryan and I found out that they have a tram that takes you across BYU Hawaii and then to the LDS temple and visitors center. We were happy because we knew we wanted to go stop by the temple but weren’t sure how we were going to get there or where it was at the time. So we did that instead of go to the other islands. It only takes about 30 min. I didn’t realize that the PCC was partially made to create jobs for the students going to BYU Hawaii. 70% of the workers there attend BYU-Hawaii. We bought some of our souvenirs here even though we knew we could probably get them cheaper else where because we knew that proceeds were going to a good cause.
The wonderful sister missionaries that took us on our tour.
Then we walked around when we got back from the tram tour and went to our Luau that was included in our tour. We were assigned to the Samoa island luau. They offered for us to come sit down like the true Samoan’s eat. We sat across from a nice couple who were on their honeymoon Karen and Tom. We were served our food while everyone else had to wait in line and we were fanned while we ate. We had front row seats to all the wonderful dancing too! We were called up to dance with all the other couples celebrating their anniversaries or honeymoons.
Then we went to the show called Ha Breath of Life (also included in the tour we purchased). It was a neat show. With our tour it included great seat too! Not sure how well young kids would do considering all we did that day! They didn’t allow cameras during the show so we didn’t get any cool pictures but we had a great time. I loved the show.
As I am blogging all this Keegan keeps coming over and telling me he wants to go there with the whole family!
It was a long day but we had so much fun and wished we could relive it all over again!