Holiday 16-28th August 2010


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.

7 Responses to Holiday 16-28th August 2010

  1. mjj says:

    Hey Deb,
    I am excited and a little nervous about my Trip to Oahu in October. The House Without a Key , at the Hakelukuani one the place on my list to go , to sip cocktail at sunset. From you report, I may have to add breakfast as well . Definitely trying the Cheesecake factory as well .

  2. Deb says:

    Hi Mjj

    I am glad you are getting excited about your holiday….I just returned from the Cheesecake Factory yet again…there are so many options there for everyone! Yes I think you should have breakfast at the Halekulani as it is a great spot and something that you may not ever do again…so when trying out these things always keep that in mind..it may be your only opportunity. Having said that like I have said before it is my 7th trip so hopefully you will like it enough to want to visit Hawaii again. Keep me posted.

    Cheers

    Deb

  3. mjj says:

    Glad to hear about free Wifi .!! I am going to take 1 or 2 tours on my trip .. Do you have idea of a good , reasonable price tour. I am thinking Dole Plantation , Pear Harbour etc ?

    • Grippster says:

      Hey, I think you should def do the Pearl Harbour tour. I would book it once you get there. For our first time we booked a tour where you got to see Pearl Harbour and a tour of the USS Missouri which I would also recommend.”Missouri was the last battleship built by the United States, and was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II.” I have been to Pearl Harbour 3 times now, the other two times we hired a car to go to the Waikele Premium Outlets so we stopped at Pearl Harbour on the way. That is another option if you were confident hiring a car and driving on the wrong side of the road:) Otherwise my first option would be good.

      The circle city tour is good for a sample of Honolulu as well. Again book it when you get there. Depending on your hotel most of them have some kind of tour desk and most of them are very similar in price. Goodluck with it!

      Cheers Deb

  4. Susan Ritter says:

    Hi Deb,
    Thanks’ for updating your blog. My trip to Hawaii is in November and you are a wealth of information for me so any further tips will be appreciated, particularly shopping and restaurants.

  5. Mrs Lindsey Myles says:

    Hi Deb, just want to say thank you for your wonderful and most helpful website. It has been a source of great knowledge and info for us. We are cruising from Sydney to Honolulu next March and will stay on near Waikiki for two weeks. Was wondering what you do with your belongings when you swim at the beach? We can walk there from our hotel but what to do with the keys and so on? Cheers, Lindsey

    • Grippster says:

      Hi Lindsey

      You will love it..I am soo jealous..having said that I have a trip booked for Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, New York City, Seattle and yes Honolulu on the way home as that is a given LOL. Anyway it is a good question you have raised. What I normally do as I stay within walking distance to the beach as well is only take a towel, money and room key. The towel I just leave on the beach with my clothes and thongs and the room key (which is always a credit card style) and money I put into a container type thing that hangs around your neck. You can buy them at any ABC store (which are everywhere) and they cost around $10. They are a god send. They are the right size for a credit card or two and some money folded up. They are water proof and are a hard plastic that hangs on a shoelace type string. You will see heaps of people walking around with them. I wear a rash vest in the water so I just put in under the rash vest around my neck. Having said that I also sometimes use it to just walk around the shops and have my eftpos card etc in it as well as it saves carrying around a handbag/backpack if you are just going for a wander.

      I hope this helps. Goodluck, have fun and let me know how you go.

      Cheers

      Deb

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