After an incredibly simple and fast disembarkation in Honolulu, we were picked up at the Honolulu Cruise Port by Sophie, Edie, and one of Sophie’s friends, Bernie, who was gracious enough to offer his vehicle and served as our guide for the day. We took a quick drive through Waikiki to show Darin the sight, but quickly made our way towards the coast to our first stop for the day, Diamond Head. This relatively short, but moderately difficult hike covers only about a mile each way, but had a substantial vertical climb handled by a number of switchbacks, staircases, tunnels, and tight circular staircases that were used by the military during WWII in their defense of Hawaii.
We were certainly not alone on the hike and this caused several traffic jams on the hike, so we broke up into groups with Darin and Bernie taking the lead and the ladies meeting us midway. Everyone made it to the top and enjoyed a very nice view of the coastline of Oahu as well as downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.
As the descended back to the base of the mountain, we made our way to an institution on the island, Leonard’s. This Portuguese bakery has a number of specialties, but today we picked up a dozen malasadas, Portuguese donuts hot out of the oil and covered in sugar and cinnamon. Sophie was kind enough to let Darin have his first malasadas in the car on the way to our next stop as long as he promised not to make a mess all over Bernie’s Ford Explorer. They were amazing and became a morning ritual for Darin for the remaining mornings of the stay in Oahu.
From here, we headed to the South East side of the island and picked up some lunch at a Greek restaurant, Greek Marina, where we enjoyed plates of Gyros and salads. Cousins Mike and Kelly were kind enough to allow us the use of their car while we were on the island, so we picked that vehicle up and made our way back across the island on the H-1 towards Ewa to check into our beach house for the next 5 days. Sophie picked up the keys nearby and we headed to Nimitz Cove, near Barbers Point, and checked into our 2 bedroom cottage that was literally steps from the beach and the ocean. The place was simple, with two bedrooms, a bathroom, a small laundry room, kitchen with table, and a living room, all with windows to take in the sun and sand. Off the back of the place was a porch with picnic table and loungers. As these beach cottages are on military land, they are private property, so we were only sharing with the other people enjoying their weekend at the cottages in our area, which meant about 15 people total. It was really neat and something that would not be forgotten.
A quick change of clothes and we were back in the car to head over to Germaine’s Luau, something of an institution on the island of Oahu. It’s been around for quite a while, but the entire place is like a family and it shows in the people, service, food, and the show. Sophie took care of all of the arrangements and we were able to enjoy a luau dinner, with drinks, and the show, which highlighted the islands of Polynesia, their cultures, and traditions. Fun to watch and was enjoyed with family and friends.
Headed back to the beach house and crashed as we have another big day tomorrow.