A while ago, Paula and I were heading off to the US for an Affiliate Summit Conference.The first stop on our way to the US mainland, was Hawaii. We flew with Hawaiian Airlines and the trip was very pleasant. I always find it exciting when we are approaching our destination for the very first time.There is that feeling of ‘I wonder what it is going to be like’. I really love travelling and flying off into the sunset to some new place. And the excitement really started to build as we flew over on our approach into Hawaii.
- Dinner and a snack on Hawaiian airlines
- After collecting our bags we were ushered upstairs to catch a WikiWiki shuttle which is made up of three separate bus bodies joined together. In Hawaiian, wiki means quick so I guess wikiwiki means very quick. I believe these buses have been phased out since our trip.
- We found it somewhat amusing to be driven a few miles down the road to customs, usually customs is in the arrival terminal building in most other aiports we have come across.
- Checking through customs was quite uneventful apart from the fact that for the first time ever we both had officers who were pleasant and chatty unlike a number of others we have had the ‘pleasure’ to meet in the past.
- The airport shuttle bus (which cost $9 each) took us to our hotel, the Aqua Wave in Waikiki. This hotel has since closed, such a shame as it was in a great location. As we had arrived early, our room wasn’t ready so we checked in our baggage and set off to find a new laptop.
- We had done some research before leaving Australia and after receiving directions from hotel staff we headed off to catch a local bus to Circuit City which was about 40 minutes away. One of the ladies on the bus was amused that, as tourists, we were prepared to sit on the bus for 40 minutes to go shopping, but as we live in Australia 40 minutes travel time is nothing to us. I think she also thought it strange that we hadn’t hit the beaches straight up. But one must get one’s priorities right, and at this point in time, laptop was a high priority.
- The bus trip cost $2 each as against a taxi which would have cost about $60 each way. Bus fares in Honolulu, at the time, were $2 one way no matter how far you travelled and you could receive a transfer if you used the same ticket within 2 hours.
- We had searched the internet in Australia for a laptop but as we had run out of time to purchase the one we wanted from Dell we decided to see if we could pick one up in the US. We checked out laptops in Hawaii on the net and came up with an Acer for $499 at Circuit City.
- When we arrived we headed straight upstairs and found the laptop we wanted and bought it immediately along with a laptop bag. We were delighted with our purchase and Paula is typing this blog post in as we speak. (Wanda being the bossy one is dictating this to me).
- We were at the Ala Moana centre which the largest shopping mall in Hawaii so we took some time to check out the shops. The place is enormous and all the top designers have outlets here – Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton etc, right along side Macy’s and Sears.
- It doesn’t take long before jet lag starts to set in, plus we haven’t stopped since we arrived. This centre is really huge, so we took some time to sit by the large fish pond and just relax. A great place to people watch and check out the large koi swimming lazily in the pond.
- As it was about 5 hours since we had eaten on the plane and what we had eaten was meagre we decided to have lunch at a place called Anna Millers. We both had fish and chips with salad, bread and a drink. It came to $25 for two plus the usual tips which is all part and parcel of travelling in the US. The food was reasonably tasty although we were a little surprised to find that fresh fruit juice wasn’t available.
- After refuelling our bodies we felt much better and headed off to catch the bus for the 40 minute ride and 20 minute walk back to our hotel. At this point we were both ready to keel over as we had very little sleep on the plane.
- The room was ready when we returned to the hotel, and the first thing we did was to check out the view which isn’t too bad as we can see a teeny tiny bit of the beach from the balcony.
- After setting up the laptop, we headed down to check out Waikiki Beach which is just beautiful. We made it down there just as the sun was setting and took off our shoes and walked along the waters edge which was lovely and warm. It was all very relaxing and a great feeling after working so hard for the past few weeks.
- After getting sand in everything and complaining how we really don’t like the beach after all, we headed back up to the main road to look for somewhere to have dinner. We decided that we were not really beach people.
- Unfortunately of all the eating houses available the one we selected wasn’t really that great. It was certainly reasonably priced, costing us $11.95 for an all you can eat buffet dinner. However the food wasn’t anything special and both the chicken and the meat were undercooked and the rest of the food really wasn’t very appealing at all. Sometimes you just don’t get it right.
- The next night we went next door to our Hotel for dinner at ‘Da Big Kahuna’. I so wish we had gone there last night instead of where we went. The food is extremely tasty. We had a medium well New York Steak with fries and crumbed shrimp and Garlic prawns with rice and salsa. The serving was just right and left enough room for us to share a baked New York cheescake with fluffy cream. We came away feeling fully satisfied.
- ’Da Big Kahuna’ has great decor and the service was excellent. We thoroughly recommend this restaurant
- One of the things we did notice as we strolled around the shops was that the food, souvenirs, clothes and shoes were very cheap. So if you are on a shopping spree, well you will probably be happy with what’s on offer.
- After dinner we headed back to the hotel and started to try and use the laptop with Paula cursing all the while about how crappy Windows Vista is.
Tomorrow is another day with plenty to do before we head off to LA.
Day 2 in Hawaii
Slept in this morning and when we finally got up we headed down to the beach. Today it was crowded and no wonder, the weather is amazing.
- We had planned to do so many things – go paragliding, attend a luau, check out the many memorials around and go to Paradise point. And what did we do, absolutely nothing in the tourist line at all except wander around Waikiki through the shops, the International Market, the Hyatt Hotel lobby which was pretty spectacular with it’s indoor waterfall. We then headed once more to Kings Village which was made up of quaint looking shops which were really targeted for the tourist.
- We needed a mouse for the new laptop so we boarded a bus to Ala Moana Mall again. We went out to the Mall yesterday to buy the laptop and didn’t think to get a mouse at the same time. I find it easier to use a mouse when using the laptop.
- I am totally blown away by the cheap tv’s here and the computers are way cheaper than back home. We found what we needed at Radio Shack and then headed back to Waikiki and grabbed some lunch to take back to the hotel. The sandwiches we bought were pretty tasteless, but the cream puffs were delicious.
- We also bought some tea to take back to the hotel. Our hotel, like a lot of US hotels, only provide coffee. While we were at the supermarket we checked the food prices and found them comparable to Australia.
As soon as we got back to the hotel we set up the laptop with the new mouse. It’s amazing what a difference having the right equipment makes. We are involved with affiliate marketing which means we spend a fair amount of time on the computer. Today we had a hook up with James Martell in Canada for an hour or so in the Affiliate Super Boot Camp. James is a great mentor and we advise anyone interested in learning about Affiliate Marketing to take his course as it is very informative.
Tomorrow we have to leave the hotel at 5am to get to the airport for our flight to Los Angeles but even so we are still awake at 11pm. I guess we are still on Australian time.
What did we like about Hawaii?
- The weather is amazing at this time of the year – a perfect temperature.
- The people are friendly and very helpful.
- The sandy beach of Waikiki is beautiful.
- Everything is green and lush.
- Tourist attractions are very reasonably priced e.g. parasailing is $25-$45
- Dining out is very cheap.
- Computer equipment is cheap.
- Lots of bright and colourful, reasonably priced souvenirs.
- We learnt two new words – Aloho which means hello and Mahalo which means thank you.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Hawaii and would love to spend a bit longer the next time. I think a week would be better as we would have time to see Pearl Harbor, the volcano, go parasailing and spend more time on the beach.
Note: This post has been updated since it was first published in Feb 2008.