We flew to Hawaii for a final holiday after living in (fantastic) California for nine months. It takes about five hours to fly to Honolulu from San Francisco, so it's a serious jump into the Pacific Ocean. There's something gratifying about travelling long distances away from the populated mainland, similar to not reading a newspaper or watching the news on vacation. Sometimes it's nice to leave the world behind for a few weeks and just enjoy life.
First stop was the island of Oahu, home to the capital Honolulu (aloha!) and its famous Waikiki Beach. There's Pearl Harbour of course, but this didn't make the short 2-day itinerary and we didn't fancy mixing it with thousands of tourists after our exhausting U.S. roadtrip.
Generally speaking we liked the place, nice laid-back city feel, nice beaches, but we didn't find it to be the tropical paradise that the media would have you believe. We wish we had more time to see some of the other parts of the island (especially the north), but alas we were confined to the city centre. We did manage a brief trip out to the west coast for a traditional, albeit 'touristified', Hawaiian Luau festival for my birthday. Spit roast kalua pig was served, cocktails were shaken and girls in grass skirts danced the night away ... it doesn't get much more Hawaiian than that!