Family Vacation
May 2019

to Kaua'i


Saturday, May 18

Weather: Partly sunny, Low 73, Hi 86

7:00 AM arrive at Honolulu Pier
morning depart ship, transfer back to Aston Waikiki Sunset Hotel
rest of the day open
overnight Aston Waikiki Sunset Hotel

Fitbit stats:
To bed: 10:21 pm, Got up: 7:24 am (7:13 asleep)
Steps: 9,796 (4.6 miles)
Floors: 4

We left the ship at 9am and were taken by bus back to our previous hotel in Waikiki. Fortunately, our new room was already available, so we were able to check in when we arrived. Our room was on the opposite side of the hotel this time, facing Waikiki Beach instead of the mountains. We did a collective load of laundry to see us through the last few days of our vacation, then wandered around Waikiki for a while, looking for a place to rent a car for the next day. We ate lunch at Blue Ocean Seafood & Steak food truck, Chad bought a 'rash guard' surfing shirt and located a rental store with decent prices to rent a surfboard, and we bought groceries at a Food Pantry for supper and the remaining days' breakfasts. We rented 'Isle of Dogs' from the hotel DVD kiosk to watch after supper.

Sunday, May 19

Weather: Partly sunny, Low 75, Hi 90

7:30 AM walk to Alamo, pick up car
all day drive around Oahu
overnight Aston Waikiki Sunset Hotel

Fitbit stats:
To bed: 10:58 pm, Got up: 6:27 am (6:32 asleep)
Steps: 10,949 (5.14 miles)
Floors: 29

Today we rented a car from Alamo Rent-A-Car in Waikiki to drive around the island. Well, I say 'we', but Chad did not join us as he had plans to rent a surfboard and spend some more time surfing instead. Ultimately, he determined that he vastly prefers snowboarding, as surfing involves a lot of paddling and waiting and very short spurts of actual surfing, and when you fall, you have to start the whole paddling/waiting routine all over again.

We initially tried to drive around the island counter-clockwise, but a marathon had the road blocked in that direction, so we turned around and went the other way, starting with the Dole Plantation first, instead of last as originally planned. We bought tickets for the Pineapple Express Train Tour (2 miles, 20 minutes, $11.50 each), and while we were in line another visitor gave us their unused tickets for the Plantation Garden Tour, so we did that after the train. The train ride was decent, but the garden was underwhelming (not worth buying tickets for if we hadn't gotten them for free). We also watched a how-to-cut-a-pineapple demonstration (free fresh pineapple sample), and a demo about making chocolate, from harvesting cacao to the final product (with a free dark chocolate sample).

Dole Plantation



pineapple fields
Cacao (chocolate)

Foxtail Palms

kukui (candlenut)


Hala tree

pink hibiscus

lily pond

After the Dole Plantation, we continued on to the north shore, stopping in Haleiwa for lunch at Jenny's Shrimp Truck, where we tried the regular, butter garlic, and lemon pepper shrimp. All were delicious.


We stopped at Waimea Valley, thinking to hike to the falls there, but upon learning that it would cost us $46 for tickets, we decided to abort and continued on our way. Mom found the Ehukai pillbox hike while looking online for things to do along our route, so this was our next stop. We hiked a short ways up a moderately steep and rather muddy/slippery trail before deciding to abort this one as well. Instead we hiked across the street to the beach for some photos. I collected a small piece of driftwood as a North Shore Souvenir, and we were on our way once again.

Ehukai Pillbox Hike & Sunset Beach (north shore)

We circled the northern tip of the island and drove along the east coast. We stopped to watch the surf (and some small crabs) at La'ia Beach Park, then continued south. I managed to snap a shot of Mokoli'i Island as we passed it (known as Chinaman's Hat due to its shape). We stopped at Makapu'u Lookout on the eastern tip of Oahu, but once again decided not to tackle the hike up to the lighthouse.

Pounder's Beach in Laie (east shore)

*41s video (4.6MB)* https://youtu.be/rcNIlMZYUkU

Mokoli'i Island & Makapu'u Lookout

Coming around toward the south end of Oahu, we stopped at another beach, this time with lava rocks instead of sand. I spent a bit of time looking in the tidal pools there, but only saw a few small darkly colored fish. Our last stop, just slightly further down the road, was Hālona blowhole, but unlike Spouting Horn on Kaua'i, I don't think we were there at the right time, because there was only a small amount of activity at the hole. I took some photos of the waves on the rocks at the cove instead.

Wawamalu Beach Park

Hālona Cove

Actually, we did make one more stop, at Hanauma Bay, thinking to hike up the ridge for some photos there, but when we asked about it at the entrance to the parking area, we were told it isn't an official trail and crosses private property, so that was off the list as well. So... not much hiking today, but we did get to see the island and several of its beaches, ate some yummy shrimp, and had a pleasant drive along the coasts, so overall a satisfactory day. Back in Waikiki, we returned the rental car, then walked from our hotel to eat supper at House of Wong. However, they were closed for a private party, so we ate at Rainbow Drive-In instead.

Monday, May 20

Weather: Broken clouds, Low 77, Hi 86

all day Honolulu State Capitol & museum(s)
overnight Aston Waikiki Sunset Hotel

Fitbit stats:
To bed: 10:22 pm, Got up: 8:12 am (7:38 asleep)
Steps: 10,733 (5.06 miles)
Floors: 7

Time for some culture. Today we (all 4 of us this time) rode a city bus to the state capitol. It is mostly open to the elements, like many of the buildings in Hawaii, and was designed to look like a volcano rising out of the sea. We weren't able to visit the House and Senate chambers, as they were not in session, but we did get to see the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor, and met a former Hawaiian governor, John D. Waihe'e III, who I think was there for a meeting, as a lobbyist.

Hawaii State Capitol

Then we caught another bus to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, where we spent the afternoon looking at Hawai'ian and Pacific Islands artifacts. We stopped by Duke's Lane on the way back to the hotel, which is a rabbit warren of kitsch hawkers. That evening, we successfully ate supper at House of Wong and watched some more movies in our hotel room before bed.

Bishop Museum

Tuesday, May 21

Weather: Scattered clouds, Low 72, Hi 88

morning visit Waikiki Aquarium
noon check-out Aston Waikiki Sunset Hotel
2:00 PM transfer from hotel to airport
5:20 PM depart Honolulu on American Airlines flight 8

Fitbit stats:
To bed: 11:07 pm, Got up: 7:40 am (6:27 asleep)
Plus a short nap in the afternoon from 1:25-1:48 pm (0:16 asleep)
Steps: 6,632 (3.11 miles)
Floors: 11

I decided I wanted to see Waikiki Aquarium in the morning, since we didn't have to check out of the hotel until noon and our flight wasn't until that afternoon. Mom and Chad weren't interested, but Dad went with me. We hiked down to the aquarium and spent about 45 minutes there. I got a few last photos of Waikiki Beach on the walk back, then we collected our stuff, finished the leftover Chinese food for lunch, and checked out of the hotel. We waited in an indoor area by their pool for a couple hours since our ride to the airport was picking us up at 2PM (I took a brief nap). Then it was off to the airport and our overnight flight back to Dallas. At least this time there were no delays!

Waikiki Aquarium

monk seal

tidal tank

raccoon butterflyfish

lagoon jellyfish






*31s video (2.3MB)* *40s video (2.6MB)*

Waikiki Beach

wild Mynah birds

monkeypod tree
Waikiki Beach

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