Day 10: Packed our bags, stripped the beds, did all the laundry and tidied up the house, leaving it cleaner than we found it. On our way to the airport, the girls left their mark on the island – Hawaiian style.
A short wait for our short flight to Oah’u, a short drive to our 30th floor corner condo at The Royal Kuhio. (Ali’i vacation rentals) Jene and I had stayed in a different condo unit in that building when we were there in Feb. The location was ideal. Just a couple blocks walk to the beach, numerous shops and restaurants.
While Jene relaxed, the girls and I refreshed ourselves with Starbucks and did some shopping. Walked to the beach, let the water tickle our toes and headed back to the condo.
We chose a restaurant that Jene & I had supped at previously and waited 20 minutes for our table at Gyu-Kaku, a popular Japanese BBQ.
As the evening turned into night, we strolled in and out of more shops and would set up an itinerary for the coming days. The girls unfolded the sleeper sofa only to find that the bottom support rod and springs were broken. Crap. Pulled the mattress onto the floor, folded the sofa again and put a call into the rental agency.
Day 11: While Jene waited for a rep to show up, I took the girls to the beach. Working on the final days of our Hawaiian tans. (Doing it the right way – with plenty of sunscreen 50 -70 SPF protection). The rep apologized profusely and left a queen size air mattress as a quick fix with a promise of compensation for the property not matching it’s listing as sleeps 4. We hopped into our SUV and headed to The North Shore with it’s famed surf beaches. The BIG waves happen in the winter but we were in Oah’u, how could we not go to the Banzai Pipeline.
We stopped in the historic town of Haleiwa, originally established for the sugar plantation industry, having dinner at Haleiwa Joe’s Seafood Grill. YUM
Day 12: The girls were beached-out, since the Dole Plantation Tour was on Rose’s to-do list, we drove there and took the Pineapple Express Train with it’s hint of Disney. Exit the train at the souvenir gift shop. Heading back we stopped at the Halona Blowhole and watched as the ocean crashed through the rock formations and up – rushing into the air like a geyser. On the other side, was a beautiful beach cove accessible by climbing down hugh boulders. Pleezeeee can we climb down, it’s not too dangerous in flip-flops, everyone else is doing it. It was beautiful and not terribly crowded. I started to feel like a mountain goat on the rocky edges, with a sense of accomplishment for transversing the landscape. The girls were exhilarated. So nice to be young and agile. Jene remained with the car waiting for me to finish photographing the girls against the black rocks.
Day 13: Another travel day ahead of us. Check out was at 10:30am, our overnight direct flight had a 8pm departure so we had a full day. We had breakast, finished packing and dropped our luggage at a storage facility. (Heeding the warning, not to leave valuables in your rental car). The girls had had enough beach time so we drove to Diamond Head, pass some very exclusive real estate only to find the parking lot full. Drove around a bit and back to Waikiki for a late lunch and yes, a little more gift shopping. By now they were looking forward to going home.
It was a wonderful adventure for all of us. Another reason to keep physically fit as get up in years. Climbing and hiking can be strenuous and a tad hard on the knees, but I managed to keep up with the teens. I think the hike around and down the crater rim took a toll on Jene’s already achy knees and hips. I was determined to be a part of their journey through paradise. To always have them remember when we took them to Hawaii. Sara will turn 16 in a year and a half and I can’t wait to see where her wish will take us. Not sure what kind of shape I will be in 13 years when Lily comes of age.