Impressions from my trip to Oahu and Kauai

Well, I’m back home in North Carolina now. I’ve had quite a few impressions from this recent trip that I wanted to share with you. So, here goes:

  • The Aloha spirit is alive and well! Each time I visit Hawaii, I always surprised at the kindness of the people of Hawaii. We experienced the warm Aloha spirit many times over on this trip. Here’s just one instance, we struck up a conversation with a fellow in Hanalei on the North Shore of Kauai, the next thing we know, he gave us a bag of sea shells. He wanted nothing in return. Wow!
  • Andy and I both noticed that more of Hawaii has become accessible for the disabled.  We noticed noticed several new ramps in Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Parks on Kauai. We also noticed how many curb ramps there were in Honolulu. 
  • Waikiki has really spiffed up! From the beautiful stone sidewalk along Kalakaua Avenue to the hotel facelifts, Waikiki is more attractive than ever. 
  • There’s many new posh shops along Kalakaua Avenue. I’d say that it now rivals Rodeo Drive. Unfortunately, I could only afford to window shop, but still that was fun!
  • I appreciated the Waikiki Aloha Ambassadors that were around to answer questions.  The night of my arrival, I needed directions and it was so nice to have the assistance of an Waikiki Aloha Ambassador. They’re very visible in neon green shirts. (Here’s an article with a photo of the ambassadors.)
  • Hawaii restaurants, hotels and shops offer some phenomenal live entertainment! We heard Grammy award winning slack key guitar master Ledward Kaapana at Kona Brewing Company and Na Hoku Hanohano award winning artist Jerry Santos at Chai Island Bistro. (I’ll have more on these two great Oahu restaurants in the future.)
  • I’m always amazed by the abundance things there are to do and see on the islands. Each time I visit, I end up leaving Hawaii with a to do list for my next visit.  I have a feeling that this list will be never ending and I kind of like it that way.
  • Even though I travel light with only carry-on luggage, I over packed again. There were three shirts and a skort that I didn’t wear at all.  Next time, I’m going to practice more discipline and force myself to pack less. Will you hold me to this promise?
  1. Sheila, it is always so nice to read about your trips because you truly love and appreciate Hawaii. Or, as my daughters say, “you get it.” ha! After living in HI for many years and returning as a visitor, I was so pleased with all the recent changes in Waikiki. I had a great time shopping at the shops along Beach Walk and made several purchases that weren’t overly expensive. There is a lot of good energy there, a really festive atmosphere. And the North shore of Kauai is my favorite place on earth…is there anyplace more beautiful? But, as always, it is the beauty and the people of Hawaii that keep me returning year after year. It is an addictive thing, this place with so many cultures and things of interest that I never get bored with. If not for my adult children that have now settled on the mainland, I would be there today. We are fortunate to be able to spend a month or more there every winter (one of the advantages of now being empty nesters,) but I have to admit that my heel marks are still in the tarmac at the Honolulu airport where my husband dragged me on the plane for our move to the mainland:=) Keep posting your wonderful experiences, and hopefully, you will inspire folks to visit the most beautiful place on earth!

  2. @ Keahi – Yeah, the Aloha spirit is more in some than others.

    @ Janice – It’s always nice to get your comments. It’s comments like yours that keeps me working on this labor of aloha. 🙂

    @ Andy – you noticed those heel marks, eh? 😉

  3. I am flying out of Kauai to Monterey CA today to work for a week. I know exactly what you mean by overpacking, it seems like I always have a shirt that is still in the laundry plastic wrapper when I return, so I will keep your thoughts in mind as I pack.

    And if Kauai loses our Aloha spirit, we have little left.

  4. @ Stephen – Isn’t it frustrating when you have a freshly ironed shirt that you bring with you half way around the world, you don’t wear it and then you get back home with that clean, but wrinkled shirt? I hope you pack just the right amount.

    And at least from my point of view, Kauai isn’t in any danger of losing it’s Aloha spirit.

  5. Welcome back and thanks for the great updates! Leaving Hawaii is always a bummer but planning the next trip back is always so exciting!

  6. @ Eric – you hit the nail on the head…the only thing that can help you recover from coming back home from Hawaii is to start planning the next trip! To be sure, Andy and I have already set those wheels in motion. 🙂 When is your next trip to Hawaii? Where will you be going?

  7. Sheila,
    Sorry, I’ve never introduced myself. I’ve been a longtime lurker of your site, which is absolutely fantasic. I proposed to my wife in Hawaii a few years ago and went back and got married there too!

    We would love to go sometime next year to the Big Island (never been). I’ve been to Oahu 3x, Maui, Lanai (daytrip), and Kauai, and love them all! Where is your next trip??

  8. @ Eric – Nice to meet you! I’m glad you stepped out of the lurkness and into the comment light. 🙂

    Hawaii is such a special place and I think it’s great that you can associate such momentous points in your life with Hawaii! Celebrating your anniversary is a very nice excuse to get to go to Hawaii each year! 🙂

    The Big Island is really amazing. I hope the lava will be flowing at a visible point when you’re there. We were able to see it flowing to the ocean in March and it was really amazing.

    As for our next trip….we’re mulling that over. We got back home on Monday evening…by Tuesday night we were already talking about going back and narrowed down our next visit to either Maui or Oahu. We seriously contemplated taking advantage of that Grand Wailea deal I posted today.

    Mahalo for your kind comments!

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