MAPLE LEOPARD: 06/30/15

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to Make the Most of Your Hawaiian Vacation













Hawaiian Sunsets are the most beautiful sight to behold!












Hello friends, the middle week has arrived and the long weekend is almost here! Summer is in full swing now, and that means mostly everyone is planning a vacation or mini getaway.  This past week was my 4th time to visit the island of Oahu.  It never disappoints and I always discover something new that I didn't see in former visits.  It was a great time celebrating my daughter's high school graduation.

Swimming on Waikiki beach is always the highlight of my stay in Hawaii.  The water is the perfect temperature, and you can walk pretty far out and the water never goes above your waist.  Choosing where to swim on the long strip, is key.  I have ventured to other parts of the beach, and the location right in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel is where we like to hang out.  There are no rocks on the bottom to cut your feet, and the waves to body surf or boogie board are fabulous!  Stay away from Queen's surf down by Diamond head, unless you like to swim in hiking boots!  Also make sure you lather up with a high SPF sunscreen lotion.  I used sunscreen spray on this trip, big mistake.  I ended up with quite a nasty burn.






If you are a fashionista , the endless selection of stores on the strip will keep you entertained for hours.   There are many specialty boutiques, fast fashion retailers, and several luxury chains as well.  If you are a bargain shopper like me , no worries at all.  There are many stores to accommodate deal seakers such as H& M, Forever 21, Ross, Macy's and too many more to mention.  There is also a huge outdoor mall, Ala Moana, that is a short shuttle ride away, as well as the huge flea market located at the Aloha Stadium

One of my favorite things to do in the early a.m. was to discover all the quaint coffee shops tucked away from the hum and buzz of the strip. Oh yes I was up with the birds every morning at 5 or 6 am, dang time change ha ! My internal clock is set to pacific time, and Hawaii is 3 hours behind Seattle time.  Anyway, this visit I discovered Island Vintage Coffee, tucked up high in the palm trees. It had a "tree house ambience", and the cup of jo was pretty good too!  Another great coffee stop is connected to the Moana Surfrider Hotel, the Westin Resort just down the road from Cheesecake factory.  It has all the feel of a luxury plantation.





To top off your stay in Waikiki, make sure you reserve a spot at a Luau, it is the ultimate Hawaiian experience.  This visit was my first time to attend one.  The food was a fine selection of Polynesian cuisine, the pulled pork and mahi mahi were to die for!  The Diamond Head Luau was superb and a very affordable price. This Luau also includes fun activities to make lei's and head pieces, as well as the cultural presentation showcasing the island dances.  My daughter and her friend managed to snag a Hawaiian hottie for a picture!

If you've never been to Hawaii, I hope this has inspired you to make a visit soon!  If you have been, please do tell your favorite spots and activities, maybe I will discover something new once again!