Hawaii – December 2019

My fourth visit to Hawaii was definitely the most enjoyable due in large part to having family living there.  Significant Other’s son and daughter-in-law have been stationed in Hawaii for the past three years.  During that time, they’ve explored Oahu and discovered places that were “must see.”

White Plains Beach

Our hotel was in Kapolei, about 25 miles from downtown Honolulu.  It’s a quiet area that’s not as touristy as other more popular spots.  White Plains Beach is about 10 miles from our hotel, again in a quiet area frequented by surfers.  There’s a small park, fairly calm waves and a view of Diamond Head.

North Shore

Then we went to the North Shore of Oahu.  Having heard legendary stories of Big Waves and awesome views, I couldn’t wait to see them.  First stop, though, was the Dole Pineapple Plantation where we enjoyed a “pineapple whip” … basically pineapple flavored soft serve ice cream.   The day was overcast with occasional showers; so we headed toward the North Shore.

Big Waves … check!  Big Traffic … double check!!  We stopped at Haleiwa Joe’s (we were ready for a break) for an awesome lunch.  Then, back in the car for more Big Waves and more traffic.  We passed the Polynesian Cultural Center but didn’t stop.  As it was, our trip to the North Shore and then back to our hotel took about 5 hours.  A long day but worth it!

Honolulu Zoo

The next day, after a great lunch at Uncles Fish Market & Grill, we went to the Honolulu Zoo. We arrived about mid-afternoon, found a parking spot close to the front gate. It’s a smallish zoo with plenty of open space, native plants, animal sculptures and shady spots.

Some of the animals were a little reluctant to be photographed and actually turned their backs on us.  But, after they realized this was a photo op (not some random point & shoot), they began to pose.


Other animals just kept doing what they normally do.


When we saw the lions, the female sat up and waited for us to take photos.  The male just kept on napping.

And here are a couple more random shots from the zoo.

Byodo-In Temple

The Byodo-In Temple is a non-denominational temple located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.  The grounds are quiet and serene  quiet with walking paths, koi ponds, and small shrines as well as the temple with a statue of the Lotus Buddha.


Orchid Farm

So many orchids but I didn’t think they would survive the trip home on the plane.  So, I bought some air plants (tillandsia) instead

Ford Island/USS Utah

Our last stop before the airport was Ford Island, an islet in the center of Pearl Harbor. It was at the center of the attack on Pearl Harbor and on the U.S. Pacific Fleet by the Imperial Japanese fleet on December 7, 1941.  The USS Utah lies in a shallow spot off the coast of Ford Island.

From here, we headed to the airport and home.