A Travellerspoint blog

A Visit to Hawaii

The Island of Oahu, American History & Island Cultural Diversity

For most of my life, the state of Hawaii appeared to be a far away paradise filled with palm trees, sandy beaches and the home of Hawaii Five O and the Magnum PI television series. It was not until I studied World War II and the bombing of Pearl Harbor at Auburn University as a History Major that I realized what a huge part of America the Hawaii Islands really are. When my husband and I finally decided to take a resort vacation to that state, I did not hesitate to suggest our first trip be to the island of Oahu and the city of Honolulu, the location of Pearl Harbor.

The Hawaiian Islands are Americas 50th state and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It occupies most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of Australia. Hawaii has natural beauty, a warm tropical climate, inviting waters and active volcanoes. It is a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists. Because of its mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many North American and Asian influences along with its own native culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oahu.

Hawaii is one of four states that were independent prior to becoming part of the United States. The Kingdom of Hawaii was sovereign from 1810 until 1893 when the monarchy was overthrown by resident American and a few European businessmen. It was an independent republic from 1894 until 1898, when it was annexed by the United States as a territory, becoming a state in 1959. Hawaii was the target of a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japan on December 7, 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor and other military and naval installations on Oahu, carried out by aircraft and by midget submarines brought the United States into World War II.

Our 7 day vacation on Oahu began with an 8 hour flight from Atlanta to the city of Honolulu. After several months on a waiting list, I was fortunate to secure our accommodations at the beautiful Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club, about 20 minutes away from downtown Honolulu. My husband and I arrived at the resort late in the evening after the long flight and we were anxious to get to our villa unit. Walking through the door we were very pleasantly surprised at the accommodations. Comfortably furnished and beautifully decorated, the 1 bedroom villa was everything we could ask for and I knew we would not miss the absence of an ocean view. Too tired to fully unpack, we decided to call it a night and start fresh in the morning.

Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club

Villa Kitchen and Dining area

Villa Living room

Villa bedroom

The next day brought a clear warm sunny morning. The first order of business for me was buying groceries to eat during our stay. I had been warned that food on the island was pretty expensive because much of it had to be imported from the mainland. I made a quick trip to a nearby shopping mall on the resort shuttle and was completely taken aback by the grocery store prices. $10.00 for a pound of ground beef was a lot to take in and the prices for milk and cheese was just as off the charts. I would not be gaining weight on this vacation!

After breakfast I set about planning our itinerary for the week. I planned our activities around those of the resort, which included everything you can imagine as well as a Luau near the beach. My plans included a trip to downtown Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, a circle the island tour, and a visit to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial for our Wedding Anniversary near the end of the week on December 6th. This day, our first full day on the island was reserved for rest and relaxation beginning with a walk around the resort. The Ko Olina was a stunning property. We walked around familiarizing ourselves with the layout of the resort before finding a lounge chair near the beach to relax and look at the ocean.

Ko Olina pool area

Ko Olina beach area

Later that evening Reginald and I had a great time at the resort Luau. Sitting with other resort guests eating delicious island food as the sun went down was a fantastic experience. The entertainment was wonderful and the drinks flowed freely. Everyone enjoyed themselves late into the evening.
Our first day on this island paradise was just as I had hoped it would be and I was excited about visiting Honolulu the next day.

Ko Olina Luau

Luau Dancers

Coming up next, a visit to Waikiki Beach in Honolulu and a circle the island tour. To Be Continued.......

Gerrilyn Grant Gipson Esq.
Meetings & Events Unlimited Travel Services

Posted by Gerriv 07:39

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Your blog has become one of my favorites! I love the way you write and must admit a little jealous! :)

Can't wait to hear more about Hawaii. I have been there once and I am planning a trip there for 2012.

by Tanja Rieck

Hi Tanja! THANK YOU for that lovely comment! I really enjoy writing this Blog and to know that people like you are enjoying it so much means the world to me!

I have a lot to say about my first and second trip to Hawaii so stay tuned. I hope you will enjoy it!

by Gerriv

  • gasp!*

I'm beside myself...Hawaii has ALWAYS been one of those places I wanted to visit. You hear about it, you see it on a map, you see flashes of it on TV...

$10 for a pound of ground beef? : O I won't be eating much meat on my visit.

As usual, excellent work!

by Kiyra Holt

Thanks Kiyra! Yes, the price of groceries was quite a shock! I won't mention the restaurant prices, YIKES!

by Gerriv

Excellent blog, and great destination discription. Will be adding you as one of my blog favourites. keep up the good work

by Freda Gore

Hi Freda!

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments! I am so pleased that you like my Blog. I really enjoy writing it.

by Gerriv

Can you explain your comment about the waiting list?

by Mari Anne

Hi Anne!
My husband and I are Marriott Timeshare owners and we were on a waiting list to exchange our week at our home resort in Florida for a week at the Marriott K'Olina on Oahu. It is an extremely popular resort.

by Gerriv

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