Well we arrived nice and safe in Honolulu on 16th August 2010. I was lucky enough when checking in with Jetstar at Sydney airport to pay $199 to upgrade to ‘star class’ which makes it a little bit nicer for a night flight. If you have not travelled star class before its basically domestic business class rather than international business class.
Since arriving in Waikiki we have been to the Cheesecake Factory for several meals which I might add are always of a high standard and very big. Again, you could easily share a meal between two if you want to save money and calories for other occasions. For my birthday (17th August) we had breakfast at the Halekuani Hotel (Orchid Restaurant) http://www.halekulani.com/ which has a great atmosphere and is right on Waikiki beach. For the location and quality of the hotel the prices are very reasonable. I would recommend this venue for breakfast for that special occasion.
We hired a convertible for 2 days…the first day we drove up to Waikele Outlets and then headed back to Pearl City to do some serious shopping. The sales over here are fantastic and the variety compared to Australia is amazing. I purchased lots of Tommy Hilfiger clothes that I cannot even buy in Australia so it is worth a look……
On the second day we drove up to the North Shore (which takes a few hours) and stopped at Sunset Beach for a quick swim. The view and the environment is fantastic. There is nothing like driving in a convertible along the coast line heading to the North Shore….if you have not done this, it is a must the next time you visit Hawaii.
Following on from the North Shore we stopped at Dole Pineapple Plantation. This is worth a look if you have never been or are curious on how pineapples are produced. I learnt that pineapples take at least 20 months to grow the first time around and about 15 months there after.
Each day we have been going to Waikiki beach for a swim to unwind from that days activities. It certainly helps relax you and at the same time a great way to people watch if thats one of your pass times. One thing that I recommend is to purchase some reef shoes (you can buy these from any ABC store) for about $12 as it saves you stepping on any rocks when in the water. Its a pet hate of mine so it has made my life so much easier when out in the water…….
Today (22 August) we went to Outrigger Reef on the Beach for breakfast. They have a restaurant called Ocean House. The venue is really good but the service and quality is not the greatest. I would think twice before opting to dine at this restaurant….having said that this is my own personal opinion and I’m sure there are others out there that have been happy with the whole dining experience.
We went to Aloha Tower today to have a look around. We took a bus from just outside the Ohana West (near Subway and either bus 19 or 20) which cost $2.50 one way. Once we got to Aloha Tower I was very disappointed as to what shops etc were there. I have been to the tower before and compared to what shops used to be present there are quite a few that have closed down. So don’t expect a lot when you get there. Having said that if you would like to have lunch down there you can easily find somewhere to eat…..
Today we went to the DFS Galleria again to buy some Dior makeup. It is cheaper than in Macy’s as you do not pay any local taxes etc on it so you save a small amount buying it there. Every little bit counts! The Galleria is pitched at the Japanese. I am only saying this for no other reason but the sales people do not speak English very well as Honolulu obviously knows there main market ie. Japanese…… so good luck to making all that extra money for the economy.
We went to the beach again for a swim which was great. The afternoon swims are slightly different to the morning swims. The water is much deeper toward the beach sand than in the mornings where you can walk out quite a distance from the sand bank. Either way its is still relaxing and fun.
We went to Giovanni Pastrami (Beach Walk, Lewers Street) for breakfast this morning (26 August). I have to say that this is my third visit to Giovanni Pastrami and I have only had good experiences. The food is great, prices reasonable and the decor is nice…. I have read past reviews about this place where they have not been very positive so I can only go on my own experience. Having said that I would recommend it as somewhere to eat. We went to Ala Moana Shopping Centre again today (it seems to be my home away from home) for one last browse. Again the savings you have in various shops is amazing when compared to Australian prices. Cosmetics such as perfume, makeup and cleansers etc are way cheaper than at home as well as duty free. Oh and the alcohol is unbelievably cheap. In Longs (its sort of a small shop/pharmacy) near Sears they had bottles of Jim Beam for $12.99. I am not sure what we pay at home as I don’t actually drink it but I am sure it would be more than that!
There is free wi fi everywhere you go. Particularly in Starbucks, Barnes and Nobel and other various shops. What I normally do is walk along with my iPhone and do a search for wi fi (its called phishing) to see where the unsecured hotspots are and just access theirs to check facebook and my email account.
For lunch we went to Dukes (Outrigger Waikiki) for lunch to their barefoot bar and restaurant. Its always a safe one to g0 to as you can get a burger etc or just have their buffet for $13.95. They are famous for their Hula pie and waffle fries.
27th August is my sisters birthday so for her birthday she wanted to go back to Orchid Restaurant (Halekulani Hotel) for breakfast and then to a movie. We walked to the Ward Centre which took about 45mins from the restaurant. So if you are leaving from near Macy’s in Waikiki expect it to take about 50-55mins to walk to the Ward Centre just past Ala Moana Shopping Centre. The cinemas are open all the time and always have quite a few movies on offer at the one time. If you go to a movie before 4pm you only pay $8.50 which is a bargain.