We’re back and we had a great time!!  With not having what felt like a summer this year this was the well needed vacation to get some!  The weather was great – not a day of rain!

We went to Honolulu for 7 days.  I won’t lie to you the flight is LONG!  We flew Westjet and left around lunch and had a 3 hour stop over in Vancouver then a 6 hour flight to Honolulu so we arrived late at night.  It was good though since the kids slept well that night and didn’t wake too early!  We stayed at the Outrigger Regency on Beachwalk.  It was a great location.  Not in the super busy section of Waikiki but really close to the beach for the kids.  We had a one-bedroom suite that had a kitchenette.  The grocery store was a bit of a walk but we loaded up the stroller with food and were able to cook our breakfasts, lunches and many dinners which was great with the kids.

So what did we see?  Well a lot and yet there’s still so much more we’d love to go back and see!  We did the Waikiki Aquarium which after visiting Vancouver’s and Monterey’s really wasn’t that exciting but W did enjoy the fish immensely.  We did the Honolulu Zoo which the kids loved – we had never seen tortoises so large and there were lots of reptiles and really neat trees!  We of course walked Waikiki beach and checked out all the stores along the way – there are so many stores!!  After early dinner we took the kids out down the main drag to see the lights and check out several hotels that had free hula dancing and singing.  The nightlife was so different from our city!

For beaches we really liked Ala Moana Beach Park for the kids.  It wasn’t crowded at all and the sand was perfect for them to make castles.  They also had showers for the kids to wash the sand off after.  Walking back along the docks we watched people fishing for sardines and then noticed the water was full of fish we have have only ever seen in fish tanks!

We hiked Diamond Head with the kids.  We had to carry W since his little legs just couldn’t keep up but almost 4-year old K did it all through the heat and many stairs!  It sure wasn’t something I’d recommend with kids but if your kids are good troopers then it is definitely worth the view!

We got around with a stroller and a lot of walking.  We had got a used Graco stroller with a basket underneath and managed for long distances to stick K in the front seat and W in the bottom basket.  He loved stretching out in it and slept a lot in the bottom.

We took the bus one day to get to the Bishop Museum.  It was a LONG ride out there and not something you could walk from Waikiki.  The museum was great for the kids.  It had an amazing exhibit on the formation of volcanoes and the island as well as undersea life.  There are also amazing Polynesian and Hawaiian cultural exhibits which teach you a lot about the island history.

We also rented a car one day so that we could tour the island.  We did the south and north shores and headed back down through the middle on the way home.  It was a great way to see the island outside of Waikiki.  Hanauma Bay was a highlight even though the kids were far too young to do the snorkeling.  The beach was full of coral where you can swim with the fish in the clear bluey-green water.

We tried 3 restaurants while there.  The first was the recommended Duke’s grill on Waikiki beach – it had a great outside patio on the beach and perfect for sunset dinner.  The food was good but portions were outrageously large for preschool age!  The second was Roy’s in Waikiki.  It was at the end of our street and while we peeked at the menu a passerby told us it was the “best on the island”.  It was expensive but well worth it!  The food was amazing – the butterfish was ‘oso and the kids were so well taken care of.  They were served little appetizers and the meal was good for them and the colouring book was a cute momento of the island.  The last place we tried was the grill in the Outrigger Reef – again at the end of our street.  It was simply pub-style food but had live music which made for an entertaining meal.

It was a great trip and one that I am sure the kids will remember for a while.  My daughter’s favourite part?  Well she tells me it was the water and sand and my son simply said “bee” (meaning beach)!