Our flight departed at 1 p.m. on August 29th for San Francisco. The flight was about 3 hours long. Adeline is now 20 months and did pretty well on the flight. I brought her magic coloring book and marker, which kept her entertained, along with my old phone with downloaded movies from Netflix. Instead of a direct flight to Hawaii, we stayed in San Francisco for a night to break up the flight time.
The plan was to explore some of San Francisco for the night. However, we were skeptical of the city after the warning given by a Hertz employee who told us never to leave unintended items in the vehicle. We also watched the news; an elderly lady was beaten and robbed while leaving a Safeway. The crime rate has increased in the last few years, so we decided to stay in and order Doordash. We stayed the night at the Holiday Inn, 6 minutes from the airport.
We departed SFO at 9:20 a.m and Arrived in Honolulu at 11:45 a.m. The flight was about 5 hours. I book Hertz or Enterprise whenever we travel because they offer car seat rentals. After picking up the car, we headed to Pearl Harbor.
I tried to get reservations at The 604 restaurant before we arrived, but they were fully booked. Luckily, we went by and still got a table within 20 minutes. I tried their Poke; it was delicious.
After, we visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial. We were just in time for the last boat tour to the US Arizona. Adeline enjoyed it, and so did I. It was a windy day, but we could still see pieces of the warship. Dan captured a great photo of the oil still spilling out of the US Arizona. It touched my heart when the guide told us that some survivors wanted their bodies brought back to the ship once they passed. Professional divers have placed them back in the US Arizona, to rest with their shipmates.
The Outrigger Waikiki Beach Hotel is 30 minutes from the Pearl Harbor Memorial. Outrigger hotel is where we stayed for our first two nights in Honolulu. The room had great views of the beach and was very clean. We checked out the beach and pool, then ordered room service.
On Wednesday, we visited The Byodo-In Temple. The Temple and burial grounds are stunning.
Byodo-In Buddhist Temple in Hawaii is a replica of the historic Byodoin Temple of Uji in Kyoto prefecture of Japan, established in 1052.
Outside is a three-ton brass peace bell. Surrounding the Temple are large koi ponds that cover a total of 2 acres. Around those ponds are lush Japanese gardens set against a backdrop of towering cliffs of the Koʻolau Range. It welcomes people of all faiths to participate in its traditions.
After visiting the Temple, we headed to Waimea Bay Beach. The drive is Gorgeous. We passed Mokoli'l island on the way. Waimea Bay Beach is beautiful, and it was very windy. I had packed an inflatable beach lounge, which sadly went straight into the ocean shortly after inflating it and setting my bag on it. Two gentlemen swam after it, but the wind was just too strong. I was honestly scarred by how far they swam out to try and retrieve it, but they were seasoned swimmers. The amazon description should have read, "what not to bring to the beach." We had a good laugh after, but thankfully it wasn't plastic. I still wonder if anyone has caught it yet.
Our original plan was to go to Hilo, then Kauai. But, one of my friends had just visited Hilo and notified me that the Devastation trail in The Volcano National Park was closed. So we then decided to spend the next four days in Kauai. I had already checked into our flight to Hilo, so I had to go in person to the Hawaiian Airlines customer service desk to change the flight. We were able to get it altered and fly straight to Kauai. The flight was 40 minutes from Oahu to Kauai. Online, the only rental car available in Kauai was a convertible mustang at that short notice. I was nervous that all the bags wouldn't fit, but thankfully they had a Jeep Cherokee that just came available; they rented it to us at the same price. I booked through Budget, and they did supply a car seat. The wait at Budget Rental car was about an hour. It was sweltering, and a momma chicken flew up and tried to grab Adeline's Funyun out of her hand. Adeline held on tight, and the chicken didn't draw blood. I was nervous that all the chickens on the island would be aggressive, but they weren't, thankfully. Adeline was still a fan of the chickies too. They should put a sign out because it happened to multiple children waiting in line.
We checked into the Royal Sonesta, located six minutes from the airport. It is a captivating resort with a giant pool and sweeping beach views. We spent the rest of the afternoon and the following day at the pool and beach.
On Saturday the 3rd, it rained for the majority of the day. As a result, our Private flight with Ali'I Air Tours was canceled and rescheduled for the following morning. We drove to Wailua Falls and did some shopping after. Adeline and I got beautiful matching dresses from Tori Richard, Hawaii's first luxury dress brand. We spent the rest of the day in the room, with a lovely balcony view.
On Sunday, we had a perfect flight with Steve from Iflykuaui Ali'I air tours. We circled the island, looking over Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali coast, and even flew over Mark Zuckerburgs's place. One of the wettest places on earth is there in Kauai. We passed through multiple rainbows and over Wailua Falls. This was one of the best, if not the best, flights of my life. Adeline stayed awake and watched the entire flight. She enjoyed it. My cheeks were hurting from smiling so much.
After the plane ride, we headed to the Kauai Plantation Railway. We were able to feed some wild pigs and a horse. Adeline likes trains and loved this experience. If you are visiting Kauai with small children, this is a must-do.
We then headed to Tunnels Beach. This was my favorite beach that we visited. It is absolutely beautiful and is surrounded by mountains and a cave.
The parking is scarce. I ended up just parking along the highway, which ended in a 235 dollar ticket. Not my proudest moment. We ended the day with dinner at The Dolphins restaurant. The food was very good.
Monday the 5th, we flew back to Honolulu. We stayed at Sheraton Waikiki on the 18th floor. We could see the turtles in the ocean from our balcony. The Honu Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle is the largest hard-shelled turtle species and the second largest of all sea turtles. They are also some of the oldest animals currently living on the planet. Honu Turtles are 3 to 4 feet long and weigh 300 to 350 pounds. They are pretty impressive. We spent the rest of the day lounging around the hotel.
On Tuesday, We visited Sandy Beach and experienced a Luau.
Sandy Beach is beautiful, with great surfing waves. They also have a food truck serving Açaí bowls and delicious Pina Coladas. The Luau was held at Sea Life Park. It was an amazing experience, Adeline and I both loved it. The food was good and the dancing was phenomenal. We booked it last minute and were lucky enough to get the celebrity package and were front center stage.
Adeline fell asleep in the car ride back to the hotel, so I was able to have some time alone on the balcony patio. The moon was full, and the reflection on the ocean was just beautiful. It was very relaxing and rejuvenating.
On Wednesday, we flew back to San Francisco. Adeline was asleep most of the flight, so she had a lot of energy when we arrived. We stayed at The Hyatt Regency located at the airport. This made the trip back much easier. They have 24 hour room service as well.
Thursday, we barley made our flight back to DFW. Adeline had been up most of the night and I didn’t get much sleep. I woke up late so we were running through the airport. We made it thankfully and I was glad we could catch the Air Train at SFO from the hotel. We arrived in DFW around 4 p.m. and found the jeep easily.
Hawaii is truly amazing, it has always been a dream to visit. I am very thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given, and the places I’ve seen. It is one of my favorite places to have visited, and I am lucky to have been able to bring my sweet or should I say loud, Adeline along with me.
Till next time,