Honolulu is surprising in the best sort of way. Familiar restaurant chains dot the main roads in Waikiki like beacons to the average tourist. There’s a street of luxury brand stores meant to entice. But, thankfully, in between all of this is bits of culture that helps set this city apart from Anytown, USA. (They also really love Spam here and that’s definitely a first for me).
Other than eating all the different sorts of cuisines that are on every corner (Udon! Tempura! Poke! Ramen! Mochi doughnuts! I could go one with all the rather exciting culinary delights here), my biggest goal while here in Hawaii is to appreciate the natural beauty. Even though it was cloudy during my time in Waikiki, it is still really gorgeous here. (It definitely makes me look forward to exploring the other islands).
First up, I made the trek up to the popular Diamond Head Crater. Even though it was a fairly quick hike (though I try to take these things slow as I’m still coming off of office life where I sat down all day), it will definitely make your heart race. The inclines are not steep but they do not let up. Oh and did I mention the stairs? The stairs are killer. But you are rewarded in the end by an exhilarating view of Honolulu.
My second full day was spent at the Kualoa Ranch and Nature Reserve. Although this is a working ranch it is very popular for another reason. It has been used in numerous movies and TV shows – most notably Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. I admit that I adore those movies for the sheer ridiculousness so this was kind of cool for me. We drove through the Indominus rex’s paddock from Jurassic World and through the valley from the first film. We also saw old sets from Kong: Skull Island and Lost. It was a lot of fun and the ranch itself is stunning.
Tomorrow I board a flight to the Garden Isle – Kauai. I have a busy couple of days planned for my time there – whale watching, a luau and a helicopter ride (if I haven’t gained too much weight from all the ramen). Until next time, aloha!
Shameless plug: If you want to see more pictures, make sure to follow my Instagram (link under the title). I tend to post more pictures there as I travel around.