Aloha. I am Roxanne and I was asked by my sister Samantha over at Golden Age Traveling to write a bit about my visit to the Island of Oahu, Hawaii in August of 2015. To be perfectly honest, when she first asked me I thought how in the world could I come up with a few paragraphs about my vacation to Hawaii? Obviously, I had never been to Hawaii. Now having been there and experienced the true beauty of the island of Oahu, and learning just a little bit about the natives of Hawaii and how they live and the pride they hold for their beautiful state, has left me in awe.
As a Californian all my life I never realized how extreme the chaos of day-to-day life is here. Not too many people take the opportunity to say hello to a passerby or to slow down just for a second to literally smell the roses. In Hawaii, it is quite the opposite of any of that. The natives of Hawaii live at a much slower pace than we do in California and by no means is that insult in any way. The eight days my husband Mike and I spent there taught us to slow down, take a deep breath, appreciate everything, and really enjoy the simplest things because sometimes those simple things are the most beautiful things.
We stayed at a beautiful hotel by the name of Turtle Bay Resort which I would recommend to everyone. The staff was very friendly and the view from every room is a breathtaking view of the ocean. Turtle Bay offers two beautiful pools to swim in as well as 2 jacuzzis and of course the lovely ocean. One of the things that I’d like the most was that they offer two free hours of snorkel gear for each guest every day that they stay there. Mike and I were extremely shocked to see all the beautiful fish with all the exotic colors and we were even lucky enough to swim with sea turtles on two separate occasions (by far one of my favorite parts of the vacation)
We visited a beautiful botanical garden and took a very nice hike that led to an amazing waterfall. Saw so many different plants and flowers that I have never seen in my 47 years of living. There also was an abundance of birds I have never seen as well and we were greeted at the beginning of the tour by a beautiful peacock.
One night during our stay we attended a luau. The name of the luau was Chiefs Luau and even though I only have attended this one luau, I would recommend it highly to anyone visiting Hawaii. It is a very comical, exciting, and interactive experience. The natives taught us how to make headbands out of palm tree branches and also taught anyone willing to learn how to do a hula dance. The food was amazing and the experience was unforgettable.
At the end of the evening, the Chief asked that anyone celebrating an anniversary please come up on the stage. At that point we were asked to tell our names and what has kept us together for so long. We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary but there were some there celebrating their 10th, 50th, and 60th anniversary. It was very exciting and there was also a gentleman proposing to his girlfriend and thank goodness she said yes!!!! Then all the couples danced on stage to a beautiful Hawaiian love song sang by the Chief himself and all the women were given a beautiful bouquet of flowers by him afterward. It was a great experience, one I would do over again.
While in Oahu we visited Pearl Harbor and said a prayer for all the lives lost, and we learned a bit more about the tragic event. The monument that they have built over the USS Arizona pays a beautiful tribute to those lives lost, and after spending a few hours there I definitely left Pearl Harbor feeling total gratitude and pride in our country. God bless America!!
Now I would say one of the most exhilarating experiences I had while we were on the island of Oahu was doing a three-hour zip lining tour at a place called Climb Works. We got to go on eight different zip lines, each one more exciting than the previous!!!! We zip-lined across beautiful plantations, the rain forest areas, and parts of the city I hadn’t seen.
The 3 zipline instructors who lead us were amazing and gave us a lot of interesting facts about Hawaii. One that shocked me the most is that they only have an eight-day supply of food and drinking water in Hawaii all the time so when you go to Hawaii and you have to pay a bit more than you’re hoping, try to be understanding about why. Unless it gets shipped in they are left without.
Last but certainly not least, my husband and I decided to commemorate our 25th wedding anniversary with a matching tattoo. We decided on a tiki wearing a lei with the number 25 in the center. That too is another amazing experience. The young man giving us our tattoo told us a lot about the culture as well. Did you know in the Hawaiian culture if you quit in the middle of getting a tattoo because you cannot tolerate the pain you will be disgraced and disowned by your family? A lot of people probably would never know that but because this was part of our visit to Hawaii we now know that.
I discovered during our visit to the Island of Oahu, Hawaii that family and friends are so very important and dear to the Hawaiian people. Their beliefs are strong and unchanging. Their welcoming smile and handshake are nothing but genuine. So Take a moment to stop along the road and get a fresh plate of shrimp, talk to the man giving you the barbecued corn on the cob (you may just learn something you never knew about Hawaii), stop at least once a day for the amazing shaved ice it is a wonderful way to cool down.
Most importantly just forget about all the things that don’t really matter. Things Like being on a rushed schedule, and taking a few minutes to really look around you if you’re sitting in traffic and see the beauty you’re getting to see along the ride vs complaining because it does just take a bit longer to get here and there. Take a walk in the soft sand and swim in the crystal clear blue and turquoise waters. Take a moment to talk to that person selling something on the side of the road (you might learn something) we sure did.
Last and certainly not least make sure you thank God for every moment you’re getting to spend in this beautiful state and try not to get too down when you’re on your way back to the airport to go home, you might just be lucky enough to run across a couple of natives playing their ukuleles and singing beautiful Hawaiian songs while you’re waiting for your shuttle as we did. It was a perfect way to end a perfect trip!!!!
From Samantha – Just wanted to say THANK YOU so much to my sister Roxanne for sharing her wonderful trip to the Island of Oahu, and her insight into the Hawaiian culture. She did a great job and I hope she can travel more so she can share more with us. Mahalo, Roxanne.
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