Friday, March 27, 2015

Hawaii Trip Report Part 10: Picnic on the Beach and Waikiki

Trip Report so far:

Vacation Video
Part 1: Getting There
Part 2: Hiking Diamond Head Crater
Part 3: First Day at Aulani 
Part 4: Tuesday in Hawaii (Girls Version)
Part 5: Tuesday in Hawaii (Boys Version)
Part 6: Dole Plantation and the North Shore
Part 7: Out to Sea
Part 8: Friday at Aulani
Part 9: Kualoa Ranch

Part 10: Picnic on the Beach and Waikiki

Still Saturday, March 14, 2015

We finished our tours at Kualoa Ranch before noon. We had packed lunches and decided to eat at the nearby beach at Kualoa Regional Park. We could see the entrance from Kualoa Ranch, and it had a lot of parking, picnic tables, a huge grass area and restrooms (that happened to be closed for construction while we were there).

The day we were there it was super windy. We didn't notice the wind while we were at Kualoa Ranch, but it had picked up. Nevertheless, this was a great place for a picnic lunch.

There were a lot of locals having picnics, doing yoga and just hanging out there.
After lunch, we walked to the beach. It was a little rocky, but the kids didn't seem to care:

And the gorgeous mountains were behind us:
After the park, we drove back to Honolulu for our last night on Oahu in the Waikiki beach area. We checked into the Hilton Hawaiian Village for one night (two free rooms with Hilton free weekend certificates from a credit card). Hilton Hawaiian Village is a huge hotel with many towers, restaurants and pools. This is the open-air lobby:
We were assigned to two non-connecting rooms in the Kalia tower. Each room looked like this:
We had been upgraded to an ocean view!
Directly underneath our rooms there was a pool on the 4th floor roof:
We decided to spend some time at that pool before our dinner reservation since it was the closest pool. What we soon discovered is that this hotel doesn't heat its pools and the water was FREEZING! The temperatures had been in the high 50s and low 60s at night, which doesn't make for pleasant water in the day. I thought if we just got in and spent some time in the pool our bodies would adjust, but I was wrong. So we mostly hung out in the hot tub.

We went back to our rooms to change before going to the famous Duke's restaurant of Waikiki. A few months prior to our trip, I made a reservation for 4:45 p.m. (the only time I could get). Since it was a Saturday night and the beginning of Hawaii's spring break, I knew the Waikiki area would be packed.

We asked at our hotel if we should walk on the street or walk on the beach to get to Duke's, and the employee recommended the beach. So we started along the paved path of the beach and then discovered it ended and we had to walk in the deep sand on the beach and walk through hotel bars to get to Duke's. By the time we got there, we were starving.

We got seated after a few minutes, ordered an appetizer and started with the salad bar. We were seated on the covered patio section of the restaurant, and there was the bar below us with a live band playing. It was a very fun, festive atmosphere.
The food at Duke's did not disappoint! Brian and I each ordered fish:

And we shared this huge piece of Duke's famous Hula pie!

The sun was beginning to set. We took a few photos on the beach before we walked back to our hotel (but this time we walked on the street):

That's Diamond Head in the distance:
We passed by a Christmas ornament store and bought an ornament for a souvenir from our trip:
The view from our balconies in the evening:
The boys slept in the room with Brian, and Alyssa and I had a room all to ourselves. She fell asleep by 7:30 p.m., so I watched TV for a few hours before doing the same.

Up next: Our last day in Hawaii

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