Our first time in Hawaii – Story and Itinerary
I had been looking at plane tickets for Lena and me to visit Hawaii for seven years, but tickets were always too expensive. This was the year, though! As I did every so often, I looked at tickets on OneTravel.com, round-trip, and a hotel room for me, and Lena was $1,507.77 – what?! YES! Sign me up. There ended up being a long layover in L.A., but we made the most of that too by getting a quaint motel, going to the beach (where we saw a pod of dolphins), and eating at a delicious vegan restaurant called Veggie Grill in El Segundo, CA.
When we got to Hawaii, we rented a car that we would only need for one day. I booked a car with Budget Rentals but did not choose a specific kind of car we wanted; it was a “mystery car” – when we got there, we were given a convertible Mustang. Um, yeah, that was a lot of fun. We drove to the Pearl Harbor Memorial to tour the USS Arizona from the airport. After that, we took a gander around Waikiki Beach.
The following day, we had breakfast at the Pagoda restaurant – Lena got quite literally a block of french toast, and I had avocado on toast. It was all pretty tasty. We returned the rental car after that and Ubered around from then on.
I have to say THANK YOU to Groupon for the affordable adventures of: Pearl Harbor, Surf Lessons, A fantastic tour of the island with a phenomenal tour guide, Johnny, and our parasailing cruise.
Monday 2/7/2022: OKC > LAX
1pm: Check-in @ American Airlines (flight 6252, departing 3:20pm)
3:20pm: Depart OKC to LAX
4:43pm (PST): Arrive at LAX
5:30pm: Took a shuttle to Travelodge by Wyndham LAX South
5:45pm: Check-in at Travelodge by Wyndham LAX South
This delicious food was from Veggie Grill in California.
Tuesday 2/8/2022: LAX > HNL
4:40am: Shuttle from Travelodge to LAX
5am: Check-in @ American Airlines (flight 31, departing 8:05 am)
8:05am: Depart LAX to Hawaii
11:55am (HST): Arrive at HNL
12:15pm: Pick up a rental car through Budget Car Rental
1pm: Find Pagoda Hotel (~20 min. drive from the airport); see if rooms are available for early check-in – 1525 Rycroft St, Honolulu, HI, US, 96814 (845-848-0164)
2:30pm: Arrive at Pearl Harbor Historic Memorial, USS Arizona (~20-30 min. drive from Pagoda Hotel)
Visiting Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona
3:30pm: Begin Pearl Harbor tour
5 pm: Check-in to the Pagoda Hotel/Go to the hotel – 1525 Rycroft St, Honolulu, HI, US, 96814
Hanging out at Waikiki Beach.
Wednesday 2/9/2022: Surf Lessons
Here, we view the sunrise outside of our hotel room and a flag pole I spotted from our room. The American flag was upside down. Nation in distress? Anger toward America? Accident? It was fixed a couple of days later, but I thought it was strange. Breakfast at the Pagoda Restaurant and a koi pond behind the restaurant.
11am: Return rental car to Budget Rentals
2:15: Get picked up from Ilikai Hotel, Ala Mona Blvd. for Lena surf lesson
3-5pm: Ohana Surf Project (808-599-7873)
Lena had a two-hour surf lesson and returned with some tubular shin damage from a reef. Sweet, dude. There were chickens all over the island! Apparently, a hurricane scattered them some years ago, and since cock fighting is popular but illegal, if people are busted, they will disown the chicken and set it free, saying it is not theirs. I guess after instances like this they become chickens of the island! A lady was selling Hawaiian bread (I forgot the name) as a church fundraiser, so I bought some while Lena was surfing. We also saw some neat military aircrafts.
Thursday 2/10/2022: Grand Island Tour
8am-5:30pm: Grand Island Tour
BRING: Cash for lunch, change of clothes, and towels
This tour was great!! Our Tour guide made all the difference, and I would have him again 100 times; his name was Johnny Alapai. He was knowledgeable and fun; we learned so much and had fun doing it. We saw where Aquaman was filmed, and Jurassic Park, and Jumanji. We saw some celebrity homes and a home that former President Obama is building on his favorite beach of Waimanalo. We ate locally, visited some lovely gift shops, swan with sea turtles at Turtle Bay. If you go, it is fun, but ROCKY!! I sliced my heal pretty good. Also, do not touch the turtles; it is a $20,000 fine. We visited a macadamia nut farm and got local coffee too. Again, we learned so much and had a fantastic time.
Friday 2/11/2022: Parasailing
Before we went parasailing, Lena and I grabbed some boba and walked around the area by our hotel. We saw a sea turtle floating on the water during parasailing, which was neat (no pics), and enjoyed being 700-1000 feet in the air. After flying with the birds, we walked around and grabbed a bite to eat.
Saturday 2/12/2022: HNL > LAX > OKC
- 5:45am: Arrive at HNL airport
- 7:45am: Depart HNL
- 3:07pm (PST): Arrive at LAX
- 5:35pm: Depart LAX
- 10:25pm: Arrive at OKC
This trip took years to manifest, but it was flawless, with timeliness, relaxation, new experiences, and meeting new people – 10/10!
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