We have spent the last 4 days on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii and we both still agree that if we were to buy property in a tropical destination, Hawaii would be it. It’s safe, it’s clean, you can drink and eat anything without worrying about the consequences, there is good health care and it’s the only Island I have been to where I feel comfortable driving around. I love the freedom of being able to come and go as we want without being on a tour guide’s schedule.
We spent the first couple of days exploring the hotel and getting some R&R – lots of pool time, beach time and nap time. The Marriott Ko Olina Beach club is full of families and kids of all ages. There are lots of multi-generational families and because they offer lots of different sizes of suites – up to a 3 bedroom villa, it’s great for families of all sizes. It is also wheelchair accessible including lifts/chairs in the pools and hot tubs. They have a schedule of daily activities that comes out every morning (similar to being on a cruise ship for you cruisers out there). They have things like fish feeding, hula lessons and lei making for kids and yoga, golf lessons and ukulele lessons for adults. They have a market and gift shop on site for all of your forgotten or last minute necessities the staff is very friendly and helpful with any questions or needs you might have.
There is a little shopping center a few blocks from the hotel that has some restaurants (sushi, Mexican, pizza, a coffee shop, a trendy restaurant called the Monkey Pod with live music in the evenings) a few gift shops and the necessary ABC shop. Once my 5 year old discovered the magical world of the ABC shop, I didn’t think I would ever get her out of there…I did eventually, but we had $40 worth of treasures (junk) with us.
This afternoon we did something I had wanted to do on our last trip to Oahu, but never did; we took a drive up to the famous Oahu North Shore to see the surfers. It’s about an hour (or a bit more depending on traffic) drive from Ko Olina or Honolulu You head North through the middle of the Island and come out at the ocean in a town called Hale’iwa. It is a historic beach resort town with lots of gift shops and restaurants – we spent a good couple of hours poking around and had a really good (surprisingly) meal at a place called Breakers Bar and Grill. The best coconut shrimp I have ever had – I didn’t think I would ever top Las Palapas!
Just North of Hale’iwa is Sunset Beach – where the Bonzai Pipeline is. This is the end of the Surf Season in Hawaii and the Surf Season ends in Oahu. There are three big competitions on at this time of year. We hit the middle one the “Vans world cup of surfing” and it was on a Sunset Beach. Lots of the professional surfers are in Oahu now for the competitions and we saw some really great surfing displays. It was a very entertaining afternoon on the beach watching!
The one thing I can’t get over in Oahu is the traffic – 4-6 lanes of cars driving too fast and too close together… That’s the one thing that makes me miss Maui and would make me pick a different island next time. It just doesn’t feel like “island time” when you’re in the middle of rush hour traffic.
The next couple of days will be more pool and beach time, then we head off to Sydney, Australia on Thursday morning. Stay tuned for the next up date when we arrive Down Under!