The kids and I left North Carolina on August 8 and had a three day layover in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii before heading back to Japan. Prior to leaving the states, we had made sure that we stocked up on clothes, shoes, certain foods and even some refrigerator and air filters since as of right now we do not have any visits back to the States planned until next summer. So we had to lug 8 suitcases, 4 backpacks, 2 purses, a car seat and a camera bag around with us.
Hawaii is absolutely amazing. My only regrets are that Matt was not with us and that there was Hurricane (wound up being Tropical Storm) Felica brewing, thus making some of our plans difficult. But all in all it was a great way for the kids and I to unwind after a fun, but long summer.
This was the beach the first night we arrived. The big "mountain" is Diamond Head, one of the most famous volcanic craters in the world.
We walked up and down the beach and decided to try a place to eat that had a huge line. We figured it had to be good, plus I had a coupon. (Shocker, huh?) It wound up being a place where you cooked your own meat. It was yummy and very cool, however not a place I would recommend with a 6-hour jet lag.
On Sunday we set out for a day in the sand. We looked at the weather reports and figured it was the safest "Felica Free" day. We spent the day soaking up the rays, swimming, snorkeling and riding Aqua Bikes.
That night we went to this really eclectic cheeseburger restaurant. The food was great and it had a fun atmosphere.
Where is Sami in this picture? Oh wait...
The poor girl fell asleep every night during dinner in Hawaii. And yes, she did fall asleep sitting up.
On Monday we went to Pearl Harbor. I will be blogging separately about our experience here. And even then, I will in no way do it justice. Seriously, Pearl Harbor is a MUST see.
Monday night we had reservations for a luau. Sadly, the traditional luau was moved indoors to a hotel ballroom (which meant no flame throwing or hog coming up from the sand) thanks to once again, Felica. I probably should have canceled, however we were so excited we decided to go anyways and figure a traditional luau will just have to be on our to-do list for next time. Plus the free tickets were a nice bonus.
A few videos from the luau:
The last morning we did some shopping, walked the beach one last time and hit the BW3s for some last "American" food before heading back to Japan.
Many more pictures from our "mini vacation" can be found here.
We loved Waikiki Beach and hope to next time hit Hanama Bay for snorkeling and North Shore to watch the big surfers and cliff divers (again, thanks Felica!).