Our Short Oahu Getaway

Our short visit to Waikiki has been . . . perfect. In just two and half days here we’ve enjoyed great weather, gotten everything done we wanted and needed to do, and we‘ve relaxed.

The view from our lanai.

The view from our lanai

I don’t know what we did right, but the room we were given at the Hale Koa was on the top floor, with sweeping views of the resort grounds, the ocean and Waikiki Beach. We spent a lot of time at the hotel out on our lanai enjoying the view, whether that was for the sunset in the evening, or coffee and breakfast in the morning, or relaxing between other activities. Our room was spacious and comfortable, and the hotel had everything you could think of: restaurants, several bars, casual dining options, two pools (one for 18 and older only), beach access and rentals, tennis courts, a day spa, a gym, and beautiful grounds for strolling. Most things are for military only (you have to present ID to get in), but a few things, like the day spa, are open to the public with military receiving a discount. We laughed that Brett probably had the longest hair there (for a guy), and seemed to be the only retiree not sporting a ball cap that stated “Retired <branch of service>.”

Our hotel tower, one of two at the Hale Koa. Our room was on the top floor, second from the left.

Our hotel tower, one of two at the Hale Koa. Our room was on the top floor, second from the left. The Maile Pool (18 and older only) is in the foreground; there’s another larger pool on the grounds for families and children.

The Maile pool looking down from our lanai

Looking down from our lanai at the Maile pool.

Beautiful landscaping surrounds the Hale Koa.

Beautiful landscaping surrounds the Hale Koa.

One of our primary reasons for coming to Oahu was for the girls to do some shopping. Neither has really bought any new clothes for two years other than t-shirts for school, and with WenYu needing clothes for college they were eager to hit the stores. After we checked in on Wednesday afternoon we took a short walk over to the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center to let them get started. Brett and I turned them loose while we found a quiet seat outside and enjoyed coffee and lemonade, and watched Japanese tourists shop and learn the hula (they picked it up very quickly).

Sunset view from our lanai on Thursday evening

Sunset view from our lanai on Thursday evening

We slept in on Thursday morning, enjoyed our breakfast on the lanai, and then walked over to the huge Ala Moana Center, about a mile away. The girls took off on their own once we got there, and Brett and I mostly spent our time window shopping but bought a couple of things for ourselves: I got new pair of slippahs (flip flops) and some lingerie, and Brett got a new 10-year shaving brush for his Father’s Day gift – his old one is on its very last legs. We met up with the girls in the late afternoon and rode the bus back to the hotel. Dinner that night was at one of the hotel snack bars, with the girls staying to swim for awhile afterwards and Brett and I heading back to our room to enjoy the sunset. We surprised the girls when they got back with some tasty cupcakes from the famous Magnolia Bakery – they have an outpost in the Ala Moana Center.

It's a tough job, but someone has to sit out by the pool

It’s a tough job, but someone has to sit out by the pool

New slippahs and a pedicure!

New slippahs and a pedicure!

Yesterday was dedicated to relaxation. We slept in again, had breakfast on the lanai, and then we all headed in different directions for a while. Brett visited the nearby Army Museum of Hawai’i, the girls went to the pool, and I went to the day spa for a manicure and pedicure. We all got together for lunch at another one of the snack bars (all the snack bars served really tasty food), then headed to the pool for an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing. The girls took off early and went back into town for one last round of shopping while Brett and I relaxed at the Maile pool for a while longer.

Dessert selections included carrot cake, raspberry panna cotta, chocolate mousse and mini fruit tarts

Dessert selections at the buffet included carrot cake, raspberry panna cotta, chocolate mousse and mini fruit tarts

We had not planned to do any restaurant dining, but one of the Hale Koa’s restaurants hosts an all-you-can-eat buffet every evening at a very reasonable price, and Friday evening we learned they were serving crab legs and peel-and-eat shrimp as well as the regular menu items, so we decided we had to go. Our table came with a gorgeous view of the beach, and the food was amazing! We all ate too much, but agreed it was well worth it!

Ou intrepid shoppers relaxing on Waikiki Beach at sundown

Our intrepid shoppers relaxing on Waikiki Beach at sundown

Then we headed down to the beach to view Diamond Head once more, and see the sun set, before heading back to our room to watch the fireworks show in honor of Kamahemeha Day, the biggest state holiday in Hawai’i. We ended the day getting everything packed and ready for this morning’s departure for home.

The remains of the day: Waikiki sunset

The remains of the day: Waikiki sunset

While we greatly enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and Waikiki, we are glad to be heading home to our slower-paced island. The getaway was a great one though – we all had a terrific time, got what we needed and did not go over budget! Brett and I are especially proud of the girls and their shopping prowess – they found lots of great stuff and are coming home with money still in their accounts. We’ll definitely be heading back to Waikiki again, but next time will give ourselves more time for sightseeing around the island. We loved our time on Oahu!

12 thoughts on “Our Short Oahu Getaway

    • Laura says:

      Looking back last night, I said it felt like we had had a very deep, restful sleep with wonderful dreams. We came back rested and recharged. The only thing that could have made it better was if Meiling had been able to join us.

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  1. becomingmenaturally says:

    Love all the pictures. Your daughters are beautiful. It is always good to get away even if for just a few days 🙂

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    • Laura says:

      We really only needed a couple of days away this time to recharge, and felt ready to come home after just three nights away. Our youngest daughter has made us promise though that we’ll go again after she graduates from high school in a couple of years!

      Liked by 1 person

      • becomingmenaturally says:

        Well that is a wonderful promise. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and maybe someday I will make it there. It just seems so peaceful and I would love the sight seeing. I am so glad you had a great time, life is way to short not to enjoy yourself, as I am finding out 🙂

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      • Laura says:

        Life is too short, and we can’t always do or have what we want, but sometimes we can get a small taste of it.

        We are only 30 minutes away from Honolulu by air (for obvious reasons we can’t drive 😉 ), and the cost for tickets isn’t too bad, although I wish it were less. Being able to stay at a place like the Hale Koa helped to make the trip more affordable. Kauai is green and beautiful, but we don’t get the “resort experience” here, so this trip was fun (and special).

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  2. JJ says:

    I remember at one time there was some type of water taxi that ran between the islands, but I think I heard it was discontinued for environmental reasons. I was in Honolulu for a business trip in 2007 and there was a lot of talk about it at that time and the next time I was there in 2011, I heard it was discontinued. It’s too bad they weren’t able to make that work.

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    • Laura says:

      Ah, the Super Ferry! It was grounded over environmental concerns, but many people found it convenient and would like to revive it. I wish Hawaiian would offer a kamaaina (resident) fare for those of us who live here. While most can afford an occasional trip to another island, the fares make it very difficult for students and other groups to go to other islands for competitions, meetings and such. Offering a slightly discounted fare for residents, considering there is no other way to reach the other islands, would show some real solidarity from Hawaiian (which is, by the way, still my favorite airline).

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      • JJ says:

        That’s what it was called (Super Ferry)! I hope they can revive that. I think it would be fun. Cruise ships are allowed to sail between islands so I don’t understand why the ferry wasn’t allowed. Maybe it had to do with the ferry going back and forth too many times per day but I would think they could limit that.

        I thought Hawaiian did offer kamaaina fares. Not sure why I thought that, but I agree they should! Hawaiian is my favorite airline as well. I think it’s the only one that still includes meals…and the meals are actually good! It’s a 10 hour flight there from where I live and not having to pay extra for meals really helps.

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      • Laura says:

        There’s been talk of refurbishing a ship and using it for day trips back and forth between the islands, but nothing has come of it. I think Hawaiian offered kamaaina fares in the past – they used to sell coupon books of tickets, but that went away with the increase in security measures after 9/11.

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  3. Vivian Gibson says:

    Great pictures. It looks like you had a wonderful time. I would love to return to Oahu. It has been more than 30 years since I was there. Thank you for a lovely post.

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    • Laura says:

      It had been more than 30 years since I was last there, and 25 years for Brett. Things had changed! We had a wonderful time and plan to go back again in a couple of years when our youngest graduates from HS.

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