June 25, 2015

Hawaii Trip Flashback

I'll never forget my time spent on the tropical island of Oahu, Hawaii, nearly 6 years ago. I traveled to Hawaii with 100 members of my marching band family, so we hit the most touristy spots. I just so happened to be there on my sweet 16th birthday, so I had the embarrassment of having a giant birthday cake placed in front of me at the Hard Rock Cafe, where my band family sang "Happy Birthday." That week, we stayed in the grandest hotel I have ever seen, with a sparkling waterfall and wide open front entrance. Pineapple syrup is a thing there, so each morning I heaped my plate full of hot pancakes drizzled in pineapple syrup. Make sure to take a tour of the Dole Pineapple Plantation, and order a fresh pineapple shake or smoothie made right on the spot. There's also a macadamia nut farm where you can fill up on free samples of various nuts. BBQ on the beach is a popular activity, and typically involves some fresh fruit, salads, and pork or chicken. If you're looking for an adventure, or just an intense workout, try climbing a volcano at the local state park. The view from the top is extremely rewarding! You could also rent a boogie board or surf board and try your hand at it in the Pacific Ocean. I'd highly suggest spending an entire day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, where you may weave fish out of long strands of grass, see s hula dance performance, and ride a kayak down a koi fish filled river. It can be an emotional experience, but you can also visit Pearl Harbor, and take a ferry out to the USS Arizona memorial in the middle of the water. It rains almost every morning in Hawaii, but always clears up by early afternoon. This means that every evening you will be treated to the most astonishing sunset over the water. For a romantic evening, take a dinner cruise and enjoy live music, dancing, and possibly a peak of some nearby dolphins or whales. Most people do not drive on the island, but instead take bikes, scooters, or walk. The night life of Hawaii was one of my favorite parts. Artisans, musicians, street performers, and stands to buy anything imaginable line the streets. Food and souvenirs are relatively cheap, but clothing and housing is unbelievably expensive. Waikiki is home to the world's largest outdoor mall, but be prepared to see mostly designer label stores. They are also home to the world's largest flea market, where hidden gems cost little to nothing. Hopefully you enjoyed joining me on my flashback review! Everyone should be able to see at least one island of Hawaii in their life, and I hope I am able to visit all the islands someday!

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