Unlike the other islands, Oahu is pretty Americanised and commercial. For us, it had the perfect balance of beautiful beach with palm trees and sunsets and the American shops and restaurants. We were staying in an area called Waikiki and our hotel was right on the beach.
Upon arrival at the airport, we were greeted by our shuttle service with a traditional Hawaiian lei garland - just like in the films! What a great start after the 5 hour flight from San Francisco!
We just chilled out on the first night as we didn't get to our hotel until 10pm. This meant we were up early the next day to go and explore.
The beach was so beautiful and the sea so clear. I was having a paddle at one point and somehow failed to notice a 6ft wild sealion heading straight for me! I caused much amusement as I made a poor attempt to run through water as fast as I could! The view above is of Diamond Head - a famous tourist spot in Waikiki. I believe they offer trekking tours to the top but I decided that was far too active!
The good thing about it being Americanised is the restaurants - how could I resist another Cheesecake Factory visit? And of course, there was only one thing I could order - a genuine Hawaiian pizza!
We wondered down to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort (an amazing looking hotel) and found a rep that helped us book some events. We had pre-booked Pearl Harbour before going but with 5 days to fill we wanted something else to keep us entertained. Kieran being the water lover, signed us up for parasailing and banana boating and I chose a Luau. Apparently, the Luaus in resorts are not very authentic so it is best to book one a little further out for a more genuine experience.
We were attached to the sail on a pretty sturdy harness and then slowly released further and further up. In the end, we were 1000ft above the sea. The view was amazing and it was great fun - I'm so glad I did it! Being reeled back in was a bit scary as we had to make sure we hit the boat properly - we missed a few times and were soaked!
After the dinghy back to shore, Kieran was so seasick we had to give the banana boat a miss. I have to say I was mightily relieved as I did not want to do it at all!!!
We signed up for Pearl Harbour before we left and it meant a really early start! We were picked up at 6am to go and visit the historical site.
It seemed so strange that such a battle could go on in such a beautiful place. On the way back, the driver took us on a tour of Honolulu which is the main city on the island. It was really nice to be able to see parts of Hawaii outside of the resort area.
Before we knew it, in between lounging on the beach or at the pool, late night shopping (most shops were open til midnight!) and eating plenty, it was time for our next destination... Las Vegas!