We made it to the island state! There is nothing more nerve racking flying as a standby than possibly being stuck on an island! It's not like, worst case scenario, we can drive home if there aren't seats on a plane. I tried to just let it go and enjoy our short trip.
We arrived at sunset on Day 1, hit up Waikiki Beach, stayed in a hotel overnight and then woke up early enough to catch the sunrise away from the city. It was amazing and this is what it looked like.
Day 1 in Waikiki Beach:
Day 2 catching the sunrise and Pearl Harbor:
Tips for Waikiki Beach:
-If you're from the main land you will probably be the most aggressive driver there. Take a deep breath and slow down. You're the only one in a hurry.
-I always get a tinge of nervousness when traveling somewhere new. Once we got closer to the beach we started to see the hoards of people and all of a sudden I felt like a tourist at home in a tourist spot. If you're not a fan of big crowds you probably want to stay farther from the beach.
-Embrace your role as a tourist and get a drink in a coconut or a pineapple. Just do it.
-The beach actually closes. I would ask your hotel front desk or a local at what time so you can plan your swimming.
-There are tons of surfers on the beach and in the water. It's really fun to watch.
-Who knew? It's hot. It's sunny. Add an extra level of comfort and bring a hat.
-Ask a local for the best place to take in the sunset and sunrise and then leave 30 minutes earlier than you think you do. Well maybe that last tip is just for people who run late like me.
-There are a ton of bicyclers going on the one lane roads up to the mountains. Be respectful and give them their space.
-Pearl harbor will not let you bring in purses or bags. Leave it all in your trunk or better yet, in your hotel.
-Slow down. Take a deep breath. Be in the moment. Put your phone down. Enjoy Hawaii.
-If your looking for something to remember your trip there's plenty of Hello Kitty, Snoopy, and flower hair clips, but there is also a lot of local art and at varying prices. I would get a map of the galleries, some of which are right on the beach and go scout out something you love.
-When I went to Hawaii with my family in 4th grade one of the things I remember is my dad always planning authentic restaurants to go to, when my brother and I just wanted something familiar. I know, kids are the worst. One day we woke up early to go on our day's adventures and he brought us to McDonalds for breakfast. It was a little bit of home in a foreign place. So when I went back with Dennis we had to grab McDonalds to eat while catching the sunset. Tip for going to McDonalds on Waikiki Beach: You might think you are the only one awake at the hour you are going there, but you're wrong. Plan time to wait in line. BONUS: Every breakfast comes with a side of fresh pineapple! What the what! Seriously, can they bring that to the main land please and thank you!