As I wrap-up posting on the attractions we primarily visited in Oahu, I want to mention about my love for Airports and Flights. The reason being – we had booked short-haul flights to hop across the four islands we visited in Hawaii.
I love reaching early at the airports. In fact, there was a time long back when I used to take early morning flights from Bangalore to Delhi to visit my family, and I used to reach Bangalore airport the previous evening itself. I don’t remember sleeping on any of those nights…I would just watch the departure statuses of flights to some of my favorite destinations and imagine flying there. I know I might not be able to see all those places in this life (there are just too many!), but I so wish to.
There is a different feeling when it comes to being at the airports – just look at all those happy places going to the places I love! Sometimes, I enjoy the shops and have even bought some souvenirs. Some airports have vantage points where you can get a close-up view of the aircraft – that adds to my excitement.Coming back to Hawaii – After spending a couple of days in Oahu, we took a morning flight from its airport to our next Island, Kauai. It was just about a 40-minute-run, but the views were so amazing. Btw, Hawaiian gives you a delicious juice to enjoy – so it’s not exactly a no-frills airline 🙂 The other airline we took once (from third to the fourth island) was Mokulele. While they don’t serve anything, they run Piston planes, which was so exciting to be on. The co-pilot himself greeted us. Moreover, I was sitting right besides the pilot/co-pilot…with just a small wooden partition between us. See for yourself…We even got to see the entire Diamond Head rim (remember my post on it?) as our aircraft passed over Honolulu. You can’t even imagine how amazing the Hawaiian landscapes look from above.There are too many breathtaking pictures to put up all here, so I normally post them on my Instagram account over the course of time.
I become a fan of visiting the core attraction of any place at night after we had a great time in Miami a few years back. That’s when such places get the most footprints and seem to come alive!
Being close to the Waikiki Beach allowed us the luxury of visiting it any time of the day. Apart from covering it during the day-time (previous post), we visited it a couple of times during the night as well. It was raining on one of the evenings, so the place didn’t look like what it is known for; but the other night, it surely was!The center of attraction is the Royal Hawaiian Center, a 310,000 square feet shopping area, making it one of the largest shopping malls in entire Hawaii. One can go crazy buying luxury items there and still not get tired of it.
There are many activities one can enjoy there – we got to hear a singer entertaining a decent audience. I must add the Hawaiian dance is a sheer delight to watch, just so unique.Not to forget, there is a long stretch of the famous beach you can head to. It is just so amazing the sit by the ocean, or walk on the beach itself. We saw kids dabbling in the water even late in the night. There are a few artworks to enjoy too if you are fond of them.
Lanikai beach in Oahu is consistently rated as one of the best in the world owing to its pristine sands, turquoise water, calm waves, and lush tropical plants. It has extremely soft powdery clean white sand and that makes it a must-see there. Btw, the name Lanikai means ‘heavenly sea,’ and the place is aptly called.
We went there right on day 1 because of my love for beaches. I should emphasize that it was so bright with sun pounding down that it was becoming difficult to even keep the eyes open for long (the beach and water are super-clean).The water temperatures there are normally between 24-26 degree Celsius, perfect for any time of the year. What especially makes the beach popular among photographers is the two islands in the background, called Na Mokulua or “mokes.”
The only issue there is the parking, as there is limited public parking space. If you are headed there on a weekend, be ready to wait for the parking slot (the violation is strictly enforced). Since we went there on a weekday, we were lucky to spend a relaxing couple of hours.
I’ve always wanted to visit the islands of Hawaii and Seychelles (technically, both of them are archipelagos). Ever since we got the US Tourist Visa last year, I was thinking of making a trip to Hawaii. The only problem – Hawaii is super-expensive!
Since we are still living close to the US and I saved-up enough by not taking too many vacations last year, we finally picked-up Hawaii as our next Travel destination, and started planning for it in January this year. We did some homework on which all islands to visit, and eventually zeroed-in on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island – in that order. In terms of timing, we didn’t want to visit during the peak summer months of Jun-Aug, and with my job restrictions, March-end sounded just about right (btw, any month is a good month to visit Hawaii – as experts say). I also got a fair deal with the Toronto to Honolulu and return flight (CAD545 per person), with a short halt in Los Angeles (both ways).
The hotel bookings have cost me a fortune, though – averaging a tad below USD200 per night (we are not budget travelers; not luxury, either)! Add to it the inter-island flights (the most effective way for island-hopping) and renting a car on each island (you would know I love road-trips?), we probably could have covered 2 countries in this budget. But then Hawaii is a different world altogether or so I have heard! We are about to find out as we have just landed in Honolulu.
In terms of the number of days we would spend across those islands, after the vacation to India in September and then to the US on New Year, I just had a few vacation days left. So, we could only cough-up 13 days in total (includes 2 weekends and a holiday on Good Friday). Based on what Saru and I wanted to see, we decided to split our time equally across the islands – 2.5 days, with half-a-day reserved for island hopping. I am fully aware those will not be sufficient, especially for the biggest of them all, the Big Island.
Details on what exactly we covered on each island would come after we are back. For now, let me soak in the Hawaiian bliss 🙂For my record, it was my 59th flight today.