Blue Hawaii

Blue Hawaii

Gone on holidays…to Hawaii

Hawaii has been a destination on my bucket list for many years. As a teenager I was heavily influenced by the surfing culture. From skateboards to Beach Boys music, surf posters on my bedroom wall to wearing shell necklaces and lathering my body in coconut oil to get the perfect suntan.

At every opportunity I would hang out with my older cousins at the beach, watching them surf at Point Leo, Torquay, or Bells. Surfing the pipeline in Hawaii was considered mecca for surfers who were riding the waves and living the dream.

I had been longing to see Hawaii ever since I started watching Gilligan’s Island as a kid and was super excited to have booked a holiday to the Hawaiian Islands archipelago. Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island (Kona and Hilo) were in my reach.

Discovering Aloha

Everyone says Aloha in Hawaii. The word literally means sharing the same breath or air. It is also the Hawaiian word for love affection and peace. I was very comfortable adopting this greeting however but not so much the hand gesture for “hang loose” which was tricky. I felt warm and welcomed in this tropical setting.

As Karen “the Science teacher” I love travelling the world discovering and was excited to.

  • See amazing mountain ranges and lush tropical forests.
  • Photograph indigenous plants & animals.
  • Taste the local cuisine in all its various forms.

These things make me happy, therefore, it was a no brainer that I would be wanting to walk through a rainforest to see majestic waterfalls, watch the Humpback whales in Kona Bay, snorkel at Kahaluu Beach coral reef, swim with the sea turtles, visit the smoking Volcano Park and drink lots of Tiki cocktails.

Blue Hawaii

Our holiday started and ended in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian resort at Waikiki beach. A location famous for being the set of an Elvis movie Blue Hawaii and the perfect place to relax.

To begin with we found it difficult to sit still so we scratched our itch to explore the island and rented a Mustang convertible, downloaded The Grand Tour App and did the south to north circuit, up the east coast and down the middle. “WOW”

The pristine beaches of the east side were so close to the road we could touch them. Stunning views of crystal-clear waters, unbelievably white sand, flanked by rugged cliffs. But it was the mountains that drew my attention as they were never out of sight.

Beach hopping, souvenir shopping and eating local Hawaiian spit roasted chicken with macaroni salad washed down with locally brewed beer seemed like the perfect plan. We passed by lookout points which charge entry, so missed out on the waterfalls, canyons, and rainforests on this tropical side. Jurassic Park was fully booked out, but we did visit the Dole Pineapple plantation and try their pineapple soft serve which was so delicious!

The north shore of Oahu is home to the world-renown surf break, Bonsai Pipeline and Sunset Beach. I sat the beach and gazed wistfully at the surf wondering how my 15-year-old self would have felt. Apart from the other tourists and a couple of professional looking photographers with telephoto lenses it was not the booming surfing scene I had expected.

Hawaii is full of contradictions from fully serviced beaches with life savers next to signs making it perfectly clear that the ocean conditions were unsafe for swimmers and to stay out. Very confusing!! Waimea Bay is another great surfing location worth a visit and although cautioned by multiple signs we decided to throw caution to the wind and got a dunking for our insolence.

Afternoon Delight

All the Hawaiian Islands we visited in the archipelago chain were lush and inviting. Chickens roamed freely and hibiscus flowers were abundant. I can still hear the waves lapping and peals of laughter from children bobbing up and down on inflatable tubes.  What a luxury it was to recline lazily on a cabana under the shade of an umbrella on Waikiki beach reading a book while sipping on Mai Tais and Pina Coladas.

There’s no sunset quite like a Hawaiian beach sunset and I have photos to prove this. Tall palm trees in silhouette sway gently in the sea breeze while the soft white sand and clear blue waters fade to grey as the sky lights up in burnt orange and yellow splendour. My afternoon delight was seeing the transition atop a bar stool sipping on a Blue Hawaii cocktail.

Pineapple based rum cocktails were the centre of every delicious cocktail I tasted in Hawaii. The taste of tropic fruit cocktails has reinvigorated my palette, recharged and inspired me. I miss drinking rum cocktails to the sound of waves rolling gently across the shore and sunset-filled evenings. On the bright side I have discovered another drink I love!

Time to rekindle those fresh sweet memories with Hawaii and the frozen cocktails I pine for let’s do frozen slushies this weekend.

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