Monday, April 2, 2012

Hawaii - Days One through Three

One of the wonderful benefits of working as a consultant for Close to my Heart is that they offer us incentive trips. This past year I earned my very first one, to Hawaii on a cruise! I'd like to share a few photos and some of my stories from the trip this week, hope you enjoy!

My husband and I, taking the first vacation alone since our eldest was born 19 years ago, wanted to go into Hawaii a few days early. The ship sailed on March 3rd but we went in on March 1st. The trip to Hawaii from Michigan is a long one, we first had to drive from Michigan to South Bend, Indiana. We took a plane from there to Chicago, then to Los Angeles and then onto Oahu. In other words, we were in an airplane or airport for almost all of March 1st. We landed in Oahu, hopped a shuttle to our hotel and went out for a short walk around the city! (Photo by Rachel Ventura)
We can definitely recommend the Ohana East (photo by Rachel Ventura), the staff was great and the bed was so comfortable. The best part was that it was centered right in the middle of Waikiki so we were just steps from shopping and dining!
The next morning we headed out to find a beach. The closest one was Kuhio Beach, from what I understand, it's part of Waikiki Beach. I have to say, Mark and I were a bit disappointed. We'd heard about this beach our whole lives but the sand was minimal and there was a lot of construction going on the beach and in the water. We definitely didn't feel it was a beach we could lay out comfortably.
On Kuhio Beach, there was a big bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku. Duke was a true Hawaiian hero and one of the world's greatest watermen, a master of swimming, surfing and outrigger canoe paddling according to the statue and what we've read about him.
We did love the restaurants in the area and found a fun place down the street from our hotel that had wonderful hamburgers. I'd always wanted to try a mai tai and they served them there with cute little umbrellas.
On our second day in Oahu we'd found a cultural festival in the convention center. It was a long walk (we took the bus back) but we were determined to find the place! They had a lot of music there and the girls with these drums were especially impressive.
The artwork was cool too with lots of booths offering free samples of unusual foods! We enjoyed the festival and even had time to stop for haircuts!
When we used to live in Los Angeles we went to The Cheesecake Factory all the time. Now that we're back in Michigan we have to drive all the way to Chicago to visit our favorite restaurant so we were very happy to see one down the street from our hotel. (photo by Rachel Ventura)
You can see by our happy faces that we'd just had a great meal there! Now we were ready for the cruise! Stay tuned tomorrow to see our first day at sea.


  1. Sounds like fun! I am sad for you that you didn't take lots of pictures!

  2. Barbra, you are SPOILED by the Lake Michigan sand. There is no sand in Hawaii like Lake Michigan sand. The water is so warm and gorgeous though!

  3. What wonderful time you must have had! I'm guessing that is why you didn't take a lot of pictures, huh?! Congrats on earning the trip!!! Woo-hoo!

  4. I didn't Linda but luckily a lot of other Close to my Heart cruisers did Linda. I'll post more tomorrow.

    Laura, you are so right, I honestly couldn't didn't see a beach as wonderful as Silver Beach right here in St. Joseph.

    I think Robin, that I was much too busy having fun!

  5. What a fun begining, except the long flight, to your Hawaii cruise. Looking forward to seeing some more pictures.

  6. Very Beautiful ... I love the pic with you holding your "drink"..must have been a very exciting trip