Swept Up On Waikiki Beach For The Holidays
I’m knee deep in plans for a trip coming up and decided to look back at our last trip for a moment. To wrap up our trip in Hawai’i, we hopped over from the Big Island to Oahu for a few more days to soak up the sun on the beaches of Waikiki.
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Not that the area is an unknown beauty or off the beaten path at all, but it was just what we were looking for. Every time I head to the States the obvious shopping for underthings and socks and pants with some room for hips has to take place and Waikiki wasn’t short on places to go shopping that was for sure. The boardwalk was lined with well known brand name shops and Hawaiian threads stores too. Restaurants, cafes and foodie delights galore, too. The beaches of Waikiki are perfect for families with small children as there is a section that has a barrier to break the waves where all of the small children can play without worry that they will be swept out to sea. While we were on the Big Island, most of the beach time was spent with the little one in tide pools and an ever watchful eye on her just in case because those Hawaiian waves can be intense. With the break wall on the famous Waikiki Beach, there wasn’t anything to worry about so it was a nice and a bit more relaxing time in the water. The wave break also provides a place where people can climb up to get shots of the waves breaking and splashing beneath them. Seemed to make for some stunning shots for some people that timed it just right and then some soaked laughing shots for the people that didn’t. Even with the barrier, the views were incredible and the surfers many. We even spotted a surf board parking lot…We took the necessary trip to Pearl Harbor which is on the list of most when in Oahu and learned even more about the event that is so often shown in movie reenactments. I can’t say much more about this because whenever I visit a site with such a history and such death, I do a lot of inner reflection and use the quiet time to think about those that we lost. When I write about sites such as this, that feeling comes back and I am at a loss for words to describe the immense feelings that a site such as Pearl Harbor really brings up. It’s a must see and I’ll leave it at that.
From boardwalk walks to sunshine beach days and hotel room nights with a baby that liked to get to sleep early, we were enjoying our time in the famous Waikiki and were especially lucky to be treated to a stay in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa by my mother who was enjoying some grandmother time on our trip to the islands.
While grandma was busy soaking up granddaughter time, we got a chance to head over to Diamond Head to take a little hike. Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone and is by no means a difficult hike. We went with Karen, a guide from Oahu Nature Tours because you can never be too safe when hiking in an unknown area, but in retrospect, the trails are very well marked and there are just so many people doing this hike that without a guide would have been easy enough too. We did have fun though, Karen was great and we learned quite a bit about the area and got some spectacular views. Diamond Head is estimated to be around 200,000 years old and has been inactive for about 150,000 years so it’s safe to head up and along as well. The interior of this cone was actually the home to Fort Ruger, a United States military site at one point do to the lookout vantage points from there that allowed lookouts to be very effective defensively. The panoramic views are now enjoyed by tourists like us and only a National Guard facility remains inside. In 1968, the area was declared a National Natural Landmark and has been protected since. We weren’t the only ones that were enjoying the hike over the Christmas holidays. While I have no pictures to prove it, because when famous people are enjoying family holidays I think it’s sort of pushy and rude to be snapping pics, Michelle Obama, her girls and a group of either friends or family were hiking too! Mrs. Obama passed within two feet of me at one point when her protective duty took her group around our group. Such an amazing lady and keeping fit with the family. I love it! You go girl!
To wrap up our time in Waikiki, we enjoyed a morning surfing lesson with some amazing guys from Gone Surfing Hawaii. We took a private group tour and had two guys teaching us the words and they were able to get every one of us (okay not the babies who waited on the sandy shore as their mamas and papas surfin safariied it out) up on our boards for a fairly decent amount of time. Because the lesson was so great and easy enough for this mix of beginner never have beens and beginner wannabes, we all thought surfing was definitely something we’d want to do again if given the opportunity.