Sunday 8 May 2016
Finally, the holiday I had been planning for the past two-and-a-half years has arrived. Today is going to be a long, long day.
Our flight from Perth was at 9:15 am and was around 4.5 hours long, arriving in Brisbane about 3.30pm. I had a great view of the city as we were coming in to land. On the way to Hawaii we were only in transit but on the way home we are spending two nights in Brisbane. We flew over the Story Bridge that I had already booked a bridge climb for in a few weeks time.
After arriving at the domestic airport we had to collect our suitcases and grab the shuttle bus to the international airport. We had about six hours between flights so we set about trying to open Peter’s suitcase. He had closed and locked it but couldn’t remember what the combination was when it was closed. That was fun but we eventually got it open.
Once we were able to check in it was time to go through immigration and customs. I had my vegemite in my carry on bag and they took it off me! Apparently vegemite is a paste or gel and that is not allowed. Now, see, I thought it was food. Anytime you take a flight anywhere they ask about aerosols, gels, liquids, lotions and the like but never have they ever asked about food. After arguing with them for about five minutes I had to let my vegemite go.
We boarded our flight and this is when it started to feel real. We are finally going to Hawaii. I paid the extra $120 each for extra comfort seats so we could get some extra leg room. For that we also got the use of a pillow and blanket and they gave us a pretty little zip up case with some travel toiletries in it, eye mask, ear buds for the inflight entertainment, a pen and other assorted items. From our seat we could see into the cockpit which I thought would have been closed.
Whenever I fly I like to have the window seat. I love looking out, love the clouds and I like to take photos out the window. This flight was mostly at night so there wasn’t much to do to start with except watch some movies, play with my new iPad Peter bought me in the duty free shop before we got on the plane and snooze. When we finally had daylight out came the camera. I love taking photos of clouds!
And then finally, suddenly there was Hawaii just up ahead. We were finally here!
The plane landed at 10:40 but it took quite a while to walk to the arrivals area. The arrivals hall was packed and it took a long time to get through. So long that when we went to get our suitcases they had all been removed from the carousel and another flight’s bags were whizzing around it. We grabbed our bags and headed through customs and outside. There was a little open room on the outside that had phones that you could call for transport to your hotel. So Peter called and it would only cost us $10US to get to our hotel in Waikiki. We waited about 15 minutes and only had to stop at two hotels before ours.
Wow. I booked an ocean front room because this is our once-in-a-lifetime Hawaii trip. When choosing the hotel I tried to find a balance between location, view and price. I didn’t want five star because of the very high cost, I wanted ocean front, I wanted reasonably price so I chose the Pacific Beach Hotel. I loved our room, it was large, had a stunning view, two really comfy double beds and more. Perfect for our six nights in Honolulu.
The view from our balcony
We stayed in the room for a little while then decided to go for a walk along the beach.
I absolutely love Diamond Head Crater.
See that stone wall bridge into the water, we walked out there and got a little wet from the surf.
After our beach walk we crossed the street to check out the shops and head up to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Saw some unusual shops …
Got a first glimpse of the Waikiki Trolley bus
A rare quiet moment on the street
When we got to the Cheesecake Factory there were so many people outside. It was about 5:30pm and there was about a 1:45 wait for a table. There was a lineup to get a buzzer to wait for a table. We gave it a miss and decided to try another night. Probably didn’t help that it was Mother’s Day.
We decided to walk back towards the hotel to get some garlic shrimp in the shack outside the hotel so we walked back down a side street and came across the King’s Village Centre. This was a cute little shopping area but very quiet. I have heard that some nights there are food market stalls but not on this occasion.
We went back to the hotel and had garlic shrimp. I had a home made pink lemonade in a huge mason jar and yummy garlic shrimp with rice and macaroni salad. The macaroni salad was unusual, instead of mayonnaise it seemed to have more of a salad cream. It was creamy but not tangy like mayo, very nice.
It has been a long day. A really, really long day. Tomorrow we are doing a circle island tour of Oahu.