>> Thursday, January 28, 2010 – Stories from the suitcase
We're introducing a new idea for Fridays here at Girl With A Suitcase. Most people have great travel stories that they'd like to share. We want to know the good, the bad and the ugly! Inspire other people to see different parts of the world or share what's special in your neck of the woods.
This week we have Alex sharing her Hawaiian adventure.
Island of Oahu, Hawaii.
2. What time of year did you travel?
We flew from Sydney, Australia to Hawaii. Jetstar had some great air fare specials and it was really cheap for us to fly over.
We flew to Hawaii in February. I expected it to be balmy and tropical but it was actually a little bit chilly. Luckily, we'd all packed a few jumpers to keep us warm.
It was quite windy on the North Shore but Honolulu was warm and we spent most of our time at the beach in Waikiki.
3. Who did you travel with?
It was our first international family holiday, so it was the husband, myself and two kids. I was also pregnant with baby no. 3. Flying for 9 hours on a plane when you are pregnant is not very comfortable. Make sure you pack a pillow or cushion.
4. How did you get around?
We arrived in Honolulu early in the morning (morning sickness is a great way to get acquainted with the local toilets!) and hired a Hummer.
This is the valley where they film Lost.
We hadn't booked any accommodation because I hate booking from brochures and discovering that you are stuck with views of brick walls or cockroaches. Don't worry, we're not completely loopy, we had a week of time share for week 2 of our stay. But week 1 we wanted to explore.
Waikiki is a mass of high rises. We decided to give that a miss.
Hawaii isn't as big as I expected so we decided to drive around the island until we saw something that we liked.
That being said, we were exhausted. So we pretty much all passed out as soon as we got in the car.
The husband drove around the island and luckily for us, we discovered the Turtle Bay Resort.
If you haven't heard of it (we hadn't it) it has an amazing golf course and they filmed Forgetting Sarah Marshall there.
Beautiful resort. Kids loved saying Aloha to everyone, we snorkelled in the lagoon, the restaurants were fabulous and the husband played golf.
Rainbows every morning. This was the view from our room.
I have to admit I find US inspired food...disgusting. Over processed and generally unhealthy. We were served soft drinks as big as my son's head (medium) and hash browns are a plate of potato slop.
On the other hand we we visited the Polynesian Cultural Centre for the day and stayed for the Luau.
So for pregnant me, this was divine. Yum.
6. Trip Highlights?
The husband taking the kids for the day while I went shopping in Waikiki. I have a GUESS addiction and it was bliss. Can you tell?
Taking a submarine cruise with the kids. I get sea sick but I survived and the kids loved the adventure.
We visited Pearl Harbour. Once we were there, it was one of the saddest placest I have ever been. The area is so beautiful but you can feel the spirits of all the people who died there.
Visiting the Polynesian Cultural Centre for the day was amazing. You get to experience so many cultures in one day. There was so much to do, in a lot of ways it was better than a theme park. The kids LOVED it.
7. Trip low point?
Waikiki. I know for a lot of people it is an amazing destination. There are boats for you to jump on, straight off the beach and lots of cocktail bars to play in (Duke's on the Beach). For an Australian girl like me it was just too crowded and the beaches were too small.
We also didn't see any big waves. Sunset and Waimea Bay were flat. Pretty, but flat.
8. What would you like others to know about your destination?
Oahu is a small island. For a true Hawaiian experience, spend a little more and head to the North Shore. It's a good base to explore the area and the resort is beautiful.
Waikiki is great for shopping and partying. With kids? Not so much.
We didn't explore the other islands (pregnancy and volcano fumes don't really mix) but it's something we hope to do in the future.