Just like we suspected, the Fourth of July in Waikiki is CRaY-CrAy-CrAZy!! Cars in every parking spot, tents set up on every possible patch of grass or sand, and people milling about with their families passing the time until it’s dark enough for the fireworks to start. I was SO glad we got a condo with a balcony facing the fireworks so that we didn’t have to mess with all that. In fact, we ate a meal of mostly leftovers last night along with a few items we made Dan grab at the local ABC store (a general store of sorts located on just about every block in Honolulu.) Mike had his tripod all set up with his camera and recording equipment so we not only got some great pics but also a video and audio recording too. Our condo could not have been in a more prime location to witness the awesome fireworks that we saw. (although Casey was a bit less impressed. She was sound asleep in bed by the time the finale came to a halt. Yet another reason I was so grateful that we got to stay in one spot.)
The fireworks were really great; it was a nice way to end our first leg of the trip. While waiting for our delayed flight to Kauai this afternoon, I couldn’t help but put together my thoughts of our last 4 days on the island of Hawaii.
- Three days is plenty of time to explore Honolulu but not enough time to explore the island. I did actually like Honolulu a lot. It really is a great city with lots of beautiful parks, gorgeous beaches, and many things to do. Because Casey’s stamina doesn’t quite allow for all day sightseeing or beachcombing, we needed more time to see the Royal Palace and other areas that would have been interesting. But we had time to do what we wanted: Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, and Waikiki beaches. We chose not to rent a car and given that we were there over the course of a long holiday weekend, that turned out to be a good decision. However, I really wish I could have seen more of the island that wasn’t just all city blocks and crowds of people. By the time we left today, all of us were ready to get out of the densely populated city for a while.
- Waikiki’s beaches are absolutely gorgeous! They are great for surfing or boogie boarding, but not great for snorkeling. The beach closest to our condo had a good size lagoon that was perfect for families with little ones. And we really enjoyed getting to see all the locals competing in a sport they love.
- The shopping in Waikiki is as good as it gets. There is one street closest to the beach that would give Michigan Mile a run for its money. They had every brand name shop imaginable there. And right in between them were these fantastic little food stores; mostly selling sushi or poke or spam musubi; all of it delicious!
- Diamond Head is harder than you think it is. (See Day 1’s post here)
- Pearl Harbor’s memorial will get you in the gut. With only 5 of the 355 USS Arizona survivors still alive today, it is important that we continue to learn and remember the lessons our country learned from that fateful day. (For more info on this… see Day 2’s post here)
- I want to come back to this island to see more of it. However, I think next time we will rent a car and get out of the city.
On to Kauai; we are excited to be here. We are staying in beautiful Hanalei Bay and our view is gorgeous. We have already seen more chickens in the last few hours than I have seen in a lifetime and found a quaint little shopping area not far from our condo with tons of restaurants. I see us heading back there several times this week. Chicken In A Barrel, as recommended by several friends, did not disappoint.
And we found Kombucha on tap!!! Wha??? I have several friends who will be quite jealous when they see these growlers full of the good stuff!