Vlad's Parents Visit Hawaii: North Shore, Pearl Harbor, Lanikai Beach & More
Four days after we arrived in Hawaii, Vlad's parents came to meet us there. They were very happy to break up the cold Canadian winter with a week long visit to Hawaii. It was their first time there and we were excited to show them around. For our weeklong stay we rented a one bedroom condo hotel room in the heart of Waikiki.
The first day we spent walking around Waikiki and the Fort Derussy Beach Park area. The weather was beautiful and we took lots of photos. The following day we drove to the North Shore of Oahu, stopping by Green World Coffee Farm, the Dole Plantation, the famous Giovanni Shrimp Truck and two beautiful beaches. The following days we hiked Diamond Head, drove along the south-east coast, visited the beautiful Lanikai beach and attended a traditional hula show. We also paid our respects at the Pearl Harbor Arizona Memorial.
Our hotel condo. Views from the balcony on Waikiki Beach. Kings Village shopping center is on the right. Vlad with parents on Waikiki Beach. Mom on Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head in the background. How cute that her outfit is matching the ocean. Photo-bombed by a classy lady by the statue of Duke Kahanamoku who was a famous Hawaiian competition swimmer credited with spreading the sport of surfing. (PS. I am afraid that the lady in blue is stealing the spotlight here hehe).
The beautiful Spanish & Moorish style Royal Hawaiian hotel was built in 1927. It is one of Waikiki's oldest hotels. Mom by the pool at Sheraton. The cool thing about Waikiki is that you can walk on the grounds of many hotels, mainly to get to the lobbies that host various shops and restaurants. Koi fish watching at Hilton Hawaiian Village. We wrapped the evening with a free one hour long hula show. Iolani Palace built in 1879 is the only palace on US soil. Before the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani governed the palace and King Kamehameha III, IV, V, and Lunalilo had their main residences here as well.
On our way to the North Shore we stopped by Green World Farm where you can buy a cup of coffee... ...or some beans which are roasted on premises. The farm also has 7 acres of land where they grow around 2,000 arabica coffee trees. Next stop on the way to the North Shore was the Dole Plantation where you can find these beautiful rainbow trees (aka eucalyptus deglupta). There was a pond where tourists could feed fish. The pond was big but all the fish were gathered by the viewing platform waiting to be fed. It was an unbelievable sight.
Of course the main attraction at the Dole Plantation were pineapples. There was a small garden near the entrance that showed different kinds of them. Dole plantation sells delicious pineapple frozen yogurt as well as some other cute souvenirs. Hawaiian themed dolls. I just loved those bright colors.
I also upgraded my wardrobe and accessories. For lunch we got some garlic shrimp from the original Giovanni's Famous Shrimp truck. We arrived at Laniakea beach hoping to see some turtles but had no luck. Five years ago, when we first came to Hawaii, our friend Anita brought us here and we chilled with three big turtles. North Shore of Oahu is known for big waves; many surf competition take place here. It definitely was not safe to swim there. Vlad staring into the ocean. We drove a bit further and got to Waimea beach to swim in the big waves. Vlad and Dad playing in the waves. Those waves were no joke. Hiking Diamond Head. Dad really enjoyed this hike.
Towards the top of the hike there is a set of stairs and a tunnel, followed by some more stairs. The view from the top was worth every drop of sweat. At the very top we got to admire the view of Waikiki and the rest of Honolulu. Diamond head is a very well maintained, easily accessible hike, that is popular with many tourists. Dad left us behind; he showed us what good shape he is in. Driving along the south-east coast of Oahu, we stopped by a few picturesque lookout points. Cockroach Beach looked very tempting. We vowed to come back here (and we did). Lanikai beach was on top of our list of places to show Vlad's parents. It's one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The parents really enjoyed this beach. Vlad and Mom playing in the water. Can't resist a selfie here. Driving home we stopped by Nu'uano Pali Lookout. A quick detour off of Pali Highway offers amazing panoramic views of the windward coast of Oʻahu (including the spectacular Ko'olau mountain range). At the lookout we spotted some wild cats... ...and a wild hen with her chicks. Quite a normal sight in Hawaii. First glimpse of the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Under that white structure is the sunken USS Arizona ship, which is a resting place of 1,102 US Sailors & Marines killed in the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This event triggered US's direct involvement in WW2. A short boat ride took us and other visitors to the memorial. You can still see bubbles of oil coming out from the sunken ship. We found out that they will continue to emerge for another 75-100 years.
Wall with names of Navy and Marine men that died in the attack. There was also a very informative museum where we learned more about what happened 75 years ago. In addition, all visitors watched a 15 minute movie with some original footage and commentary about the event. We were very impressed with the entire grounds. The cost of this visit was $1.50 per person (online reservation cost). Family shot before the parent's departure.
It was great to see Mom and Dad in Hawaii and show them around our favorite spots as well as visit some new ones. Join us on our future expeditions around the island of Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island.
It was really a pleasure inviting us to join you in Hawaii. Thank you very much. We had a good time. For sure it fulfilled our dreams of visiting Hawaii. We love and will treasure every moment we spent with you.
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