Whenever I’m asked me where I live I always get the same reaction when I tell them that I live in Hawaii. My declaration never fails to impress. Whether it’s a taxi driver in Rome, the tour guide in Russia, a shop keeper in Istanbul, or fellow travelers on a cruise ship, my response is met with awe mixed with just a tinge of envy. It seems that the 50th. State is on almost everyone’s travel bucket list.
The mention of Hawaii invokes images of pristine beaches, crystal clear ocean, and amazing sunsets; it promises adventure, luxury, and romance. Hawaii is all of that and more. Our islands abound with beautiful beaches, exotic sealife, and exquisite sunsets.
If you’re looking for romance Hawaii is the perfect destination for Valentine’s Day. Our world class resorts with their friendly staff will surpass your expectations. Here is a list of the most romantic hotels on our islands. Perhaps it will inspire you to visit our lovely islands.
Royal Hawaiin Hotel
The iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel is nicked named “The Pink Palace of the Pacific”. It opened its doors on
February 1, 1927 and today is a member of Starwood Hotels’ Luxury Resorts Collection. It is also a member of
It is located in Waikiki on the island of Oahu. The resort is nestled in a 15 acre tropical garden on the shores of famous Waikiki Beach.
Book your romantic getaway here!
The Moana Hotel
The Moana Hotel also know as The First Lady of Waikiki. Its door opened on March 11, 1901, today it is a Westin Hotel. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of Historic Hotels of America.
It is located in the heart of Waikiki on the island of Oahu on the shores of Waikiki Beach. Indulge in a sumptuous afternoon tea on the veranda that’s steps away for the beach.
Book your romantic getaway here!
The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Located on Oahu’s Gold Coast The Kahala Hotel & Resort has it all; luxurious suites, award winning restaurants, and dolphins.
Have a personal encounter with these intelligent creatures right in the hotel’s lagoon.
Book your romantic getaway here![spacer height=”-20px”]
St. Regis Proceville
Located in the resort community of Princeville in Hanalei on the northern shore of The Graden Isle, Kaui, is the St. Regis Princeville. This resort marks this legendary brand’s first resort in the 50th. State.
Enjoy unparalleled sophistication and serene luxury on what many consider to be one of the most spectacular destination in Hawaii.
Book your luxury vacation here!
The Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay
The Four Season Resort Lanai at Manele Bay has everything you’ve come to expect from a Four Season’s property.
Book your luxury vacation here![spacer height=”-20px”]
The Ritz Carlton Kapalua
The Ritz Carlton Kapalua on the island of Maui is luxury at it’s finest. Hike through the island’s lush forest, snorkel among Maui’s coral reef, or get pampered in a cabana by the pool. Whatever your interest the Ritz Carlton staff will provide you with a memorable experience at one of Hawaii’s most beautiful resorts.
Book your unforgettable vacation here!
The Grand Wailea
The Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort is in Wailea on the island of Maui. On the shores of Wailea Beach the resort boast 9 sparkling pools, champion golf courses, award winning restaurants, and spectacular views.
Book your dream vacation here!
The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’ūpūlehu in Kailua Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. This resort will exceed your expectations of a Four Seasons property. Impeccable service, outstanding food, and views to die for.
Book your romantic vacation here!
I know when you hear Hawaii images of beaches and palm trees swaying come to mind. I doubt you think “waterpark”. Yes, Hawaii is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. And yes when you visit or live on the islands you will definitely find yourself at one of our world famous beaches, it’s what we’re known for! But when you have kids to entertain, and even if you don’t, a waterpark maybe just what you need. Hence a trip to Wet ‘N’ Wild Hawaii is a good choice.
Wet ‘N’ Wild Hawaii is Oahu’s one and only waterpark. Located in Kapolei on Oahu’s Leeward side the park isn’t huge, but it’s packed with slides, pools, and other fun water attractions.
My family recently spent the day at Wet ‘N’ Wild Hawaii. We took my twin grandkids, Sadi and Harper, 20 months old, their cousin Chase, 2 years old, and my grandsons Dion, 13, and Devon, 8. All of them had a blast!
The toddlers enjoyed the Keiki Kove, the children’s splash zone. Keiki Kove was just their speed! It’s filled with small slides, spraying water, and Sadi’s favorite, the mushroom shower.
Devon loved the Water World Playground. It’s got the giant water bucket that dumps water each time it’s full, some fun slides, and other water activities.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Dion and the adults had a great time on the moderate and extreme rides including the Tornado, Island Racers, and Waianae Coasters.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
And we all loved the Kapolei Kooler, the park’s lazy river.
Here are a few things you need to know for your day at Wet ‘N’ Wild Hawaii!
From Waikiki – take the H-1 West towards the airport, it’s about 20 minutes away from the airport so continue on H-1 to exit 1E. The entrance to the parking lot is on the right (mountain side)
From the Ko’olina Resorts (including Disney’s Aulani) – Take HI-93E to exit 1B to HI-93W (in Makakilo) this will take you back to the parking lot, it will be on your right.
General Admission $49.99 + tax
Junior Admission (under 42″) $37.99 + tax
Senior Admission (ages 65+) / Handicapped $37.99 + tax
Children 2 years and under FREE
Local Residents with a valid Hawaii State or Military ID
$34.99 + tax
Right now thru the August 31, 2016 there is a Ka’amaina Special – Wednesday only $25 for Adults & Juniors with a state ID.
Admission tickets don’t include parking, special events, cabanas, lockers, personal tubes, mini-golf, or the flowrider.
For more info click here!
$8 for private cars
You may not bring outside food in to the park, they check bags before the gate. You may bring water.
Windjammer Cafe has a variety of fast food choices (it’s pretty pricey for mediocre food! Large Soda $4.99, french fries $6.99, chicken fingers with fries $9.47)
Carts around the park sell lemonade, ice cream, and snacks (Dip ‘N’ Dots ice cream small cup $4.99)
Sweet Spot Flow Bar sells alcoholic drinks to adults, the smoking section is nearby[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Lockers are located behind the Guest Services Counter.
You can rent them from the machines in front of the lockers. Small locker (will barely fit a backpack) $13, Large locker (2 backpacks) $18.
You can also rent personal tubes at the counter.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Look out for specials, they seem to be always running them! Or you can buy a season pass for the price of the General Admission. (you can upgrade this for $25 to include parking, mini-golf, and other things).
Here’s a short video of our day at Wet ‘N’ Wild Hawaii!
One of our favorite Disney activities is a the Character Breakfast at a Disney Resort. Until recently we had to fly to Orlando or Los Angeles to participate in this activity at either Disneyland or Disney World. Now we can have breakfast with Mickey and his friends right in our own backyard at Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa.
Last week we took the twins to the resort for the Character Breakfast. I’m not too sure the twins were thrilled to see their favorite Disney characters up close and personal, it’s one thing to watch them on TV, another thing to see the over-sized mouse at your side. But we enjoyed it!.
We’ve been to several Character Breakfasts at the other Disney resorts they’re all pretty much the same. A photo op with Mickey before you’re seated, a breakfast buffet, and other Disney characters stopping by your table. So what makes Disney’ Aulani Resort Character Breakfast different?
Well first off the pre-seating photo with Mickey is out doors, not against a painted backdrop like the one at the Paradise Pier Hotel in Los Angeles.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
You also have the option to dine outdoors on the Makahiki restaurant’s lania that overlooks the resort’s pool.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Disney’s Aulani Resort’s character breakfast has a Hawaiian flare; from the Aloha shirt clad characters to the local additions to the buffet to the ukulele playing Auntie this breakfast definitely has lots of local color.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
The breakfast buffet is pretty impressive. The kid’s buffet offers their signature Mickey Mouse waffles, which the twins loved. This section also offers bacon and eggs, just like the other buffets do.
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The next section is filled with fresh fruit and pastries including this adorable “dolphin” banana in a pail of blueberries. Harper’s favorite!
The pastry section has hot mini- malasadas, fried bread balls rolled in sugar, a local favorite, and Hawaiian Sweet bread french toast with a choice of maple or coconut syrup. Yum![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
The buffet also offers Portuguese Sausage, scrambled eggs, fried rice, and grilled local fish as well as an omelette station at the end.
Don’t miss the Pina Colada yogurt, it’s delish!
Disney’s Aulani Resort’s breakfast buffet definitely offers more choices than the other Disney Character breakfasts buffets I’ve ever been to. I was stuffed for the rest of the day!
During breakfast we were visited by Goofy and Minnie. The twins were not happy!
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We were also entertained by Auntie who played the ukulele and sang for us. She led the children in a couple of parades around the restaurant, adults were welcome too!
By the way this character breakfast isn’t just for kids! There were plenty of folks that weren’t accompanied by kids. In fact the table next to ours held a group of young ladies who were staying at the hotel for a bachelorette party! They had a great and memorable time! So don’t be shy, go a head have breakfast with Mikey!
The buffet cost $35 per person and includes juice and hot beverages. Kids up to 9 are $18 and kids under 2 are free. If you’re not staying at the resort you can valet park for free with validation. The validation is good for up to 4 hours so you can walk around the resort grounds and have a look around after breakfast, it’s so worth it! We liked it so much we’re planning on booking a staycation soon!
The resort has several pool areas including the Waikolohe Pool and stream. This is the main attraction and features waterslides and a lazy river where you can enjoy a tube ride.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Then there’s the Rainbow Reef the resort’s private snorkeling lagoon.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
For younger kids there’s the Menehune Bridge and the splash zone.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
There are other pools on the property some tucked away in a corner for a bit of privacy. There are also 4 whirlpool spas as well. And don’t forget the beach is just steps away! Where you can rent water sports equipment.
Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa has something for the whole family. It’s definitely worth a visit![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
It’s that time of year again! Time to plan our holiday schedules. One of our family traditions is having breakfast or lunch with Santa!
It started years ago when my girlfriend Susan and I first took our then toddlers, Jenny, my daughter, and her son, Brian, to Lunch with Santa at Liberty House. We did this every year, adding more friends and their kids. Now Susan and I, and our other girlfriends take our grandchildren to breakfast with Santa every year; and every year we have more children to take with us.
Liberty House is long gone, replaced by Macy’s, who does not do a breakfast/lunch with Santa to my knowledge. Since 2011 we’ve been taking grandkids to the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel for their breakfast with Santa, although last year one of my girlfriends couldn’t fit it in to her schedule and ended up at the Mariposa’s breakfast in Neiman Marcus.
These days the event usually includes breakfast as well as fun activities, entertainment, a gift, and of course a picture with Santa!
My daughter-in-law’s schedule this year may not work with the Outrigger’s schedule so I’ve been searching for an alternative. I’ve found quite a few! Here is a list of all the places hosting a meal with Santa in the Honolulu area. Whether you are a local or here just for a visit on those dates it’s a good idea to make reservations as soon as possible, they do sell out. Click on the links for more info.
Tuesday & Wednesday December 15 & 16, 2015
8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Children 5-11: $14
Children under 5 are free[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Bubba Gump Ala Moana Center – 808-949-4867[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
They will be hosting a breakfast with Santa on Saturday,
December 12, 2015
Times and prices were not yet available when I called. They said to call and check back before Thanksgiving.
Dave & Buster’s Honolulu
Sunday December 20, 2015 at 8:00 a.m.
Children 3-10: $12.99
2 & Under free
You can buy tickets from Ticketbud click here!
Sunday December 20, 2015
Call 808-956-111 and ask for banquet department for reservations and more info or reserve online by clicking this link!
Saturday & Sunday, December 19 & 20, 2015
9:00 a.m. – Noon
Children 6-12: $35
5 & Under are free
Saturday, December 12 & 19, 2015
Sunday, December 13 & 20, 2015
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Children 6-12: $40
Children 0-5: $20
Sunday, December 13, 2015
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Children 5-10: $14
Under 5 free
Purchase tickets online use code SANTA for $2 off your entire purchase. Click here!
Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii’s Annual Brunch with Santa at the Pomaika’i Ballrooms in the Dole Cannery
Saturday December 12, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Children 2-9 : $25
The Mariposa Restaurant at Neiman Marcus Ala Moana Center usually hosts a Breakfast with Santa. When I called them to inquire, information was not yet available. You can call them at 808-951-3420.
Last year’s adult price was $50.
Last Friday was shopping day. The weather was cloudy and the boys still needed clothes for this summer’s vacations, shopping seemed a better way to spend the day. We set out for a day at the Waikele Premium Outlet in search of shorts, shirts, and shoes.
Waikele is the only real outlet mall on Oahu. It is home to many of our favorite kids’ clothing and footwear brands including Polo Ralph Lauren, Carter’s, OshKosh B’gosh, Converse, and Vans. Not to mention the one and only Off Fifth, which is one of my favorite outlet stores, I always find great deals there on my favorite designer brands; and this time was not exception; I managed to walk out of there with 4 pairs of shoes along with great clothing for the boys.
You’ll also find Michael Kors, Coach, Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, Bebe, BCBG, and even Godiva. What more can a Savvy Nana ask for?
Before we hit the stores we had to fortify ourselves with lunch at Genki Sushi. The kids love the new conveyor belt that delivers sushi and more on brightly colored sports cars!
The Waikele is really 2 different centers, the Premium Outlet and the shopping center across the street. The Outlet side has a small food court but the shopping center has more restaurants including Chili’s, Genki Sushi, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Little Ceasar’s (located inside K-Mart), and other small places.
Old Navy, Gap, Lowe’s, Petco, and other stores are located in the shopping center. A free trolley shuttles shoppers between the two centers, or you can walk or drive across.
After lunch we hit our favorite shops and found some great deals. We ended up with a trunk full of shoes, shorts, shirts, and even sunglasses; but somehow we couldn’t find the “right” pair of socks!
Shopping was hard work! After several trips back to the car to stow purchases they needed a snack. This time they opted for Dippin’ Dots, the “space age” ice cream. The little shop is located in the Outlet’s food court area.
After a short rest and ice cream we decided to head out to the new TJ Maxx in the Kapolei Shopping Center to look for socks. Thankfully we found a few pairs of the “right” pair and were able to call it a day.
A quick stop at the supermarket and we were home just in time to make dinner. I’d say we had a great day!
A day at the beach when I was growing up in New York City was a big deal. It included everyone in the family, meaning a caravan of multiple cars heading to Jones Beach. Food preparation started the night before, usually Friday night, when the whole family got together at our house to cook and pack the food we’d be taking to the beach.
The next morning my dad would get us up at the crack of dawn to load all the food, towels, beach toys, etc. in the cars. He insisted we had to leave the house by 5:00 am to avoid the beach traffic, get a parking space, and a good spot on the beach before the crowds rushed in. We’d get to the beach sometime around 7:00 am, cart all our stuff to the “perfect” spot, and eat, swim, build sandcastles, and play until 1:00 – 2:00 pm when we’d have to do the whole routine in reverse. My dad insisted we had to leave the beach by 3:00 pm to avoid the traffic home. We’d get home by 5:00 pm, tired, sunburned, and sleepy. A day at the beach was more of an ordeal than fun!
In the mid-70’s my family moved to Hawaii. I was thrilled that I could go to the beach pretty much anytime without all the hoopla and preparation it usually involved. Best of all no one had to wake up at the crack of dawn to head out to a beach!
These days I don’t get to the beach as often as I’d like, but this summer with my grandson’s visiting from Georgia I’ve been taking them to the beach as often as I can. Today we headed out to Ala Moana Beach Park, particularly to Magic Island, the man made peninsula within the park.
A day at the beach means a beach picnic so our day began with a quick stop at the Aiea Manapua & Snack shop for a box of Char Sui and Shoyu Chicken Manapuas, some fried chow mein, a bag of Crispy Gau Gee (fried meat filled pastries), and cold bottled drinks.
We were stocked and headed into town (we say town when we go to Honolulu from our home on the west side of the island). After another quick stop at the vet’s office (not really part of the beach day, but it was on the way and we needed to pick up flea and heart worm meds) we made it to Magic Island before 11:00 am. (We left home about 10:00 am).
Surprisingly the beach wasn’t busy. We found parking close to the beach and a spot on the sand not far from the water’s edge.
Magic Island is popular with the locals it has a nice sandy beach, mostly calm water year round, and shady trees, barbecue pits, and tables for picnics. Best of all it’s located in the middle of the city across the street from Ala Moana Shopping Center and close to many Waikiki hotels.
The kids played in the water and dug a huge hole in the sand with my cousin Chris, a new transplant from New York and Las Vegas.
Then it was lunch time! So we dug into the manapuas, noodles, and gau gee.
For dessert we had sweet lychees. The only thing we brought from home!
By 1:30 everyone had enough food and sun so we decided to head home, but a day at the beach wouldn’t be complete without a cone of shave ice, the refreshing island version of a snow cone.
When in town the best place for shave ice is Shimazu Store on the corner of School and Frog Streets in Kalihi.
So that’s where we headed, it’s on the way home, sort of!
After a huge shave ice (what you see is the smallest size) it was time to go home. With a stop at Lowe’s and the supermarket we were home by 3:00, plenty of time to clean up and even cook dinner!