If you have read my blogs in the past you know I am not a person who can sit around and relax on vacation. I need adventure, excitement, and something to look forward too every day. However, since I was visiting Oahu for my honeymoon I penciled in one full day at the beach and one full day at the pool. So six out of the nine days would be filled with fun, action and adventure. Before arriving in Hawaii I planned to visit Pearl Harbor, the Dole Plantation and Diamond Head National Park. Even with built in rest days I still had room on my itinerary for more fun. My plan was to rely on the staff at the hotel to guide me in the right direction for the open gaps on our schedule.
Despite all the traveling the first day we arrived in Oahu I managed to wake up at 8am on the second day. Rather than wake my wife I headed out on the balcony to admire the gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean and the beach in the distance. I planned for our first full day in Hawaii to be a pool day so once she woke up we changed into our bathing suits and headed down the lobby for breakfast. Once downstairs there was a good buzz in the hotel. There were not a lot of people around but we could hear happy chatter coming from the lobby, the pool and the restaurant area. We decided we were going to have a character breakfast which took place from 7am-11am at Makahiki. During breakfast Pluto, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse and Goofy stopped by the table to take pictures and sign autographs. At the end of breakfast we received a special encounter with Mickey Mouse right outside the restaurant. During the meet and greet a Disney staff member took a professional picture and we were able to chat about our current nuptials and his marriage to Minnie.
The dinning at Makahiki was top notch; especially for breakfast. For table service we had the option of sitting outside near the koi pond or inside amid a colorful décor in an air conditioned room. Tough choice. The items at the buffet breakfast are subject to change but the items you cannot miss are the omelet station, fresh fruit, fried rice, Portuguese sausage, moco loco, and the legendary mickey waffles. Do your best to have two plates worth of food and take as much fruit as you can carry to go to the pool or back to your room. I still dream about this breakfast on random mornings while I commute to work in New York City.
After breakfast we headed back upstairs to the main lobby area to speak with the concierge desk about setting up excursions on the island. The concierge desk sent us down the hall to the Holoholo Travel Desk. Upon sitting down the rep provided us with a book and proceeded to ask us questions so she could gain a better understanding on what we were looking to do on the island. After chatting with the representative we decided on Germaine’s Luau, surf training with Hawaiian Fire Department and the Manoa Valley Rainforest and Bamboo Forrest Hike. Our rationale for picking the excursions was simple. We could not come to Hawaii and not attend a luau. Dinner by the water, show, sunset and beach bar were not a hard sell. My wife loves the ocean and I am convinced she was a mermaid in another life. The idea of her learning how to surf in Hawaii was another brilliant decision. Lastly, I always heard about people having great times hiking through rainforests and seeing waterfalls. Since I am terrified of wild life, I had the rep confirm there was nothing in the forest that could kill me while on the hike. No poisonous frogs or snakes on Oahu and no alligators or killer crocodiles. The only creature of consequence would be a wild boar but she assured me that I would be able to hear it coming and I would have plenty of time to plan my escape. In addition the rep told me in all her years on Oahu she had never seen a wild boar or heard of anyone being attacked by a boar.
When speaking with a representative about purchasing your tour ask a lot of questions. Most parks, monuments and memorials on Oahu are free. Do not pay for anything you do not need to pay to see. The Pearl Harbor Memorial and Diamond Head National Park are free. If you have your own method of transportation, do not pay a tour guide to view these places. One excursion we considered but passed on was the Kualoa Ranch Private Beach and Horseback Tour. Included in the tour was a catamaran ride, food, drinks private beach and horseback riding through beautiful Hawaiian landscape. It was over two hundred sixty dollars per person and the excursion lasted all day. It started around 11am and did not finish until 6:30pm. If you have the means, love horses and beaches this might be the excursion for you. However, I was not ready to throw down that much cash for an excursions on my first trip to Hawaii.
The rep was actually able to get us in for Germaine’s Luau the same day we spoke with her. The party started at 6pm and the rep emphasized we needed to be on-time to guaranteed a good seat. We decided to head out to the pool and enjoy the day before getting ready for the luau at 6pm. Next episode I will discuss Germaine’s Luau on Oahu in Hawaii.