We’re in the hotel for a few days more. We board the ship on 5/7.
We attempted to have breakfast at a local restaurant. Attempted. We went to several places only to be turned off by the long lines. Hawaiian vacations are too short to mess around with lines. We went to McDonald’s for breakfast outside of Waikiki on the way to Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours. We took the Blue Skies of Oahu tour.
On Oahu, Waikiki Beach is just the beginning. In one amazing tour, you'll experience the phenomenal scenery of this Island's hidden rainforests, lush valleys, and stunning historic sights. You'll glide over the vivid turquoise coral reefs of Waikiki, look down into the extinct volcano of Diamond Head, view crescent-shaped Hanauma Bay, white-sand Waimanalo beach, Chinaman's Hat and the beautiful coral formations in Kaneohe Bay. You'll soar over the cliffs of the Nuuanu Valley rainforest, then fly along the breathtaking coastline to legendary Sacred Falls and the panoramic Dole Pineapple Plantation. Your Blue Skies of Oahu adventure will also include sweeping views of Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri.
Above/Below: Our helicopter and our pilot, Kristi. The orange things are life preservers.
Kristi Hickey was an awesome pilot. She narrated the tour nicely and most importantly, she fly the helicopter like an expert. She was an expert. She’s retired military. She flew helicopters. She mentioned she’d be flying for Blue Hawaiian in Hilo, on the Big Island later in the week. We told her we’d be there and had another helicopter tour scheduled. We asked for her on 5/10’s tour while in Hilo and once again got her! Funny.
Here’s some more photos of our helicopter tour. Honestly, the photos don’t do the colors justice. When I wore my yellow tinted sunglasses, the shades of water (shades vary on water depth) popped. It was gorgeous.
If you’re extremely bored, here’s a hour long play list of the tours professionally done video. You can skim through it. The helicopter had a few cameras including one into the cockpit that’s interesting to see.
After helicoptering about, we started the Shaka driving tour. I downloaded this app for my phone. Here’s the Android store’s description: Shaka Guide is like a local tour guide in your car as you explore Oahu! It works OFFLINE, using GPS to play audio narration automatically as your drive, telling you interesting stories and driving directions, with local Hawaiian music in between.
This tour was absolutely awesome. We saw things we wouldn’t have been able to via a tour bus or without this tour. Around step 4 we stopped for lunch at Koolau Drive Inn. Many places are called “Drive Inns, not even “ins” in Hawaii even though they’re not a drive-up, order and have food brought out to your car establishment. I have no idea why they are called Drive Inns. Anyway, this place was Hawaiian with a typical strong Japanese influence. The place was a dive and we wish we had never walked past the open view kitchen and saw the meat being handled. I bet this place would have failed some state’s health inspections. Oy.
Jim had the traditional Loco Moco.
I had the teriyaki beef.
We continued with our tour. We stopped at nearby Japanese temple, Byodo-In.
There were many things to see. We didn’t even finish the tour. We did a little of it each day we could. I can’t remember exactly what picture was for each stop but it really doesn’t matter. It was all so gorgeous.
Above: Polynesian Cultural Center. This is owned by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and therefore their luaus have no alcohol. Although this is the more popular place to see a luau, we chose to luau elsewhere. Aside from no alcohol, they also don’t have the entertainment tableside. You eat in one place and then go to a theater for a show. We thought a beach luau with dinner and entertainment altogether was a more traditional way.
Another Walmart run sometime during the day lead to these interesting photos. Why are they “locked up”? It’s not very expensive. High theft item?
We went back to the hotel, freshened up and then went to a nearby restaurant for dinner, Flour & Barley Waikiki. Nothing exciting. We had interesting pizzas.