Hawaii – summer vacation

We were supposed to go to New York City in summer of 2020. But we don’t need to rehash the #fail 2020 was. We originally thought we’d just roll over our trip to summer 2021. But when we had to start making plans in January 2021, things in New York City weren’t quite back to normal. Since we didn’t want to go to New York if some of our “must sees” were closed, we went the other direction. Aloha Hawaii!

Scott is the only one who has been to Hawaii … 40 years ago. We thought since it’s kind of an “outdoor” destination, that would be a good trip for summer 2021, when things were still not quite normal.

During #COVIDchaos, Hawaii has been one of the more stricter areas regarding the pandemic. To enter Hawaii without having to quarantine for 10 days after arrival, you must upload a negative covid test to the Hawaii government website 72 hours before your fight takes off for Honolulu, complete a life history form, fill out a health questionnaire 24 hours before your flight, stand in a special line before the last leg of the flight and show your results to an airline employee, get an special wristband, take an IQ test and do an obstacle course before you are allowed on the flight.

OK, you don’t have to fill out a life history form, take an IQ test or run an obstacle course, but you do have to complete all the other steps.

We took the 7 a.m. flight to Houston (which actually takes us farther away from Hawaii). #WichitaProblems

Then onto to Honolulu. Our flight was delayed about an hour… we think because of the extra steps to enter Hawaii. It’s about seven and half hours from Houston. 😐 Masks required on the plane unless you are actively eating or drinking.

We arrived in Honolulu around 1:30 p.m. Hawaii time, 6:30 p.m. Kansas time. After a $115 Uber bill from the airport to our hotel, our first stop was getting a “real meal.” The plane had snack boxes for purchase, but that wasn’t quite enough.

Here’s the view from our hotel room.

After eating, we headed to the beach. Our resort has five (maybe six?) swimming pools, a lagoon and is close to the beach. The beach was crowded. Out in the ocean we saw people learning to surf, canoeing, and farther out, boats. Back to the room to watch disc golf. πŸ˜’

I was asleep by about 8 p.m. Hawaii time (1 a.m. Kansas time). Everyone else was asleep by 9 or 10 p.m.

Diamond Head hike

I’m awake at 3 a.m., finally out of bed at 5 a.m. Here’s the view from our room before sunrise and at sunrise:

We caught a taxi and by 7 a.m., we were on our hike to the top of Diamond Head crater. Pro tip: our taxi driver, Peter, told us Uber is cheaper for groups of 3 or less, but a taxi is more affordable for groups of 4 or more. Uber said $43 to Diamond Head. The taxi charge was $20. We ended up calling Peter three more times for a ride!

There was already a line and while it was only 75 degrees, it was still a hot hike to the top.

It’s a narrow, winding path with a dark tunnel and lots of stairs. There were a couple of times where I was out of breath from the climb. But the view at the top is really cool!

After the hike we splurged for a pineapple smoothie (served in a pineapple) and a mango whip.

We leisurely walked back to our hotel (3 miles).

We made a stop at Starbucks, then to Lulu’s for lunch. Great meal – open air restaurant right across from Waikiki Beach. Zach and Adam ordered one of the “must have eats” in Hawaii — Loco Moco, rice with a beef patty topped with a fried egg and gravy.

We checked out the hotels and other beaches on our walk back. This is the view from the “actual” Waikiki Beach. Waikiki Beach area is about 2 miles long – where we are staying, the beach is called Kahanamoku Beach.

Then resting in the hotel for a bit – disc golf was on…again.

Back to the beach in the afternoon. The beach is rockier and the sand is coarser than the beach on the Gulf. My favorite sand is at Rosemary Beach Florida. It’s white, fine and squeaks when you walk on it.

We also hung out at the lagoon. Interestingly, the water in the lagoon is a lot colder than that at the ocean.

Dinner tonight was at Waikiki Brewing Company, a short walk from our hotel.

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