– Denton, Texas to Honolulu, Hawaii –

Greetings from the Aloha State! I hear I’ve had lots of requests for blog posts from Hawaii, despite the fact that we’re missing our star, and I’m happy to comply. Ripley is back home with her grandma and grandpa in Gainesville, tormenting their dogs and sleeping on the sofa (which she’s not allowed to do at home).

Hawaii is the 50th state for Mark and me to visit together. It would be Ripley’s 50th state as well, but she will sadly only ever achieve 49. The quarantine laws around getting a dog into Hawaii are pretty complicated, and even if they weren’t, I’m never putting my baby in the cargo hold of a plane. I just can’t do it.

Packed bags waiting for our ride…

I was pretty sad to leave her this morning, though. It’s been a very long day. The three of us were up at 5am, and my parents came to take up to the airport at around 6:15. That’s Texas time, of course. Hawaii is five hours behind, so it was still midnight here in Honolulu when we got out of bed. As I type this, it is 1:23am in Texas. The fact that I’ve been awake for almost 24 hours means you should cut me some slack if you spot any typos.

We’re here on Hawaii for three reasons: to get our 50th state, to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and to visit Haleakala National Park. It’s also just a neat place, so we would’ve come eventually anyway, I expect. Our first stop was Honolulu in Oahu. We will be here for 3 days. Since Haleakala and Hawaii Volcanoes are on Maui and the Big Island (respectively), we’ll be visiting 3 islands in total, which means we have to get on a plane again every couple of days. Packing up that often probably will not be fun, but we aren’t there yet.

Honolulu Airport

Our flight here was 8 hours long, with about an hour delay before we took off because something on the plane was apprently scraped or scratched, and mechanics had to come out and certify that it was still safe to fly. That’s never really something you want to hear about the giant metal tube you’re about to ride through the sky over the Pacific Ocean. But, spoiler alert, we lived, so I guess it was all fine in the end.

Veggie Ramen from Japan Ramen

On the flight, in honor of this Hawaii trip, we watched Moana, which is a new-ish Disney cartoon about Hawaii. It was actually pretty cute, so if you ever get really bored, it might be worth watching. If you have kids, it’s certainly a good idea.

We finally landed in Honolulu around 12:45pm Hawaii time, which is 5:45pm back home in Denton, so we were pretty tired. Mark was starving, too. It took us forever to get off of the plane and pick up our rental car, so we weren’t out of the airport until after 1:30. Luckily for Mark, we found food pretty quickly at Japan Ramen, which had vegetarian ramen options. It’s on the north side of Honolulu as you head out of town.

Grassy mountains in the distance

This morning, while discussing what we were going to do with our day, we finally decided on driving up the eastern side of Oahu to the spot where Highway 93 ends. Before we left, I marked all of the really interesting things that I thought we might like to see on our map, and this particular coast didn’t have anything spectacular, so we decided it made sense to do it while we were tired and didn’t have a huge amount of time to waste looking around.

Makua Cave

It isn’t a long drive from the airport up to the end of the road at Keawaula Beach. A little over an hour or so and we’d made it all the way there. We mostly just looked around today. We took some photos from the beach parking area at the start of Ka’ena Point Trail, which we may take from the other side of the island before we leave here if we feel like it. It’s looking a bit doubtful, though.

We also happened upon a little cave that I hadn’t marked on the map. It’s called Kaneana Cave, or Makua Cave, depending on who you ask. It’s really very small, almost just a hole in the rocks, but I think there’s a bigger one somewhere nearby that is listed as Restricted Access. We didn’t see that cave, or how to get to it, and I don’t think we would have even if we could’ve figured it out. They write about it all over the place online, but my mother taught me better than to do things that you aren’t supposed to do. Or I’m just a wuss. Take your pick.

Mark’s new sun hat and his photography face

From the cave, we stopped at a McDonald’s for tea and a bathroom break on the way back to Honolulu and our hotel. The tea here, though unsweet (which is what we like), has an interesting fruity flavor that I can’t quite place. It was really good, but not what I was expecting from McDonald’s iced tea. Generally I expect the tea to be way too strong and bitter when they make it. We will probably get more as we travel around the state.

Kaena Point area

It took about an hour and a half or so to make it down to our hotel, which is called the White Sands. The reviews on TripAdvisor were a little sketchy, but it’s actually reasonably nice here, considering the price. I can’t imagine anyone that regularly stays in budget hotels anywhere else in the U.S. having any problems with it. Obviously the people reviewing the hotel didn’t know that you get what you pay for. Actually, here on Oahu, the prices are high enough that you get a little less than you pay for, but I digress. It’s nice enough. It’s clean. It has a kitchenette. The AC works. What more can you ask of a hotel? Well, probably a lot, but not for the price.

Not so Surf and Turf Tacos

Once we had dumped off our stuff, we walked around downtown Honolulu just a bit. We had tacos for dinner at a local taco shop called Surf and Turf Tacos, which doesn’t sound very vegetarian friendly, but they actually had a vegetarian option for every item on their menu. It was fine, though I can’t say I recommend, as a person from Texas, getting tacos this far from Mexico.

Beach and cityscape in Honolulu

After dinner, we walked down to the beach and took some pictures, then stopped by a grocery store to pick up a few things for our breakfast. The White Sands Hotel doesn’t have breakfast available for guests, so we’ve had to buy our own. Of, and parking costs $25 a day. That’s not great.

Clouds over Honolulu

Tomorrow we will get up and go for a run along a path that runs along a water channel behind our hotel, then head down to the beach for a swim. After that, I think we will go see the museums and such down in the Pearl Harbor area, then set off to explore more of the island. We have a list of things to get to, after all.

– Trip Total : 82 miles

One thought on “Hawaii Trip: Day One

  1. A very good start to your stay in your 50th state! And so far, we haven’t killed your basil plants. : )

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