Oahu, Hawaii Trip Journal – Day 5 – Honolulu to North Shore

categories: USA Travel

Liz headed off to do her last class to be scuba certified. Joan went alone to snorkel from the boat and take some video of her diving using our underwater video camera.

Checking out of the Ohana Waikiki West was an inconsistent experience for various members of the party. Dave had to turn in his key, Mike was offered to keep his key so he could ride the shuttle for free. Dave and I were told we could not check in our baggage for storage with the bell captain unless we had all the luggage from the room. Joy and Melody were told they could check in their luggage separately since they were leaving in different cars at different times. Dave was told he had to turn in his beach towels, Susan and Kevin were told that it would not be a problem to turn in the towels later in the day. Detect a trend here?

Dave wanted to learn the Hawaiian sport of stand up paddleboarding. He and I went to the lagoon near the Hilton Hawaiian village where you could rent a paddle board, get a quick lesson and then paddle around the calm lagoon. He enjoyed the experience but it was less satisfying for me as the official photographer because he did not fall in.

standup paddleboarding paddleboard

We then met some of the rest of the gang and went to the Iolani Palace. We had to use on the street parking as the parking near the palace was full (there is not much). Parking at and near the palace is metered which made the tour a bit rushed (1 hour limit). The tour is $12 plus another $1 for an audio guide. You have to put booties on to protect the floor. You are not allowed to take pictures in the palace.

The palace was the home for the last few Hawaiian monarchs and eventually where the last Hawaiian queen, Liliuokalani, was imprisoned for a while after the country was taken over by a minority of rich (mostly American) business people. The only American who came off in a positive light was Grover Cleveland who told the provisional government to return power to the constitutional monarch but was ignored. The tour emphasizes how talented and well-read Liliuokalani and her brother and predecessor King Kalakaua were. The palace had electric lighting and a telephone before the White House and Buckingham Palace. King Kalakaua wrote what is now the state anthem but was originally the national anthem.

We ate lunch at the food court at the International Market where we waited for Liz and Joan to return from their trip and for Liz’s certificate to be printed out. But eventually, despite printer technology, Liz was certified.

We then joined the rest of the group at the North shore at a rental house not far from the Polynesian cultural center. We picked up pizza for dinner. We were surprised that we could not pick up beer or wine in Laie because it is a dry town. We suspect this is because of the significant Mormon influence (the Polynesian Cultural center, a Mormon temple and an extension of BYU). Stores also close on Sunday.

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

2 Responses to “Oahu, Hawaii Trip Journal – Day 5 – Honolulu to North Shore”

Pastor Jim


Props to Liz. Now you can see the rest of this amazing world God created and of course covered with water. It is even more amazing than the land above the water. : ) We should go dive together some time… Paul got certified last summer… off to St. Kitts tomorrow



Thanks for sharing about your experience in Hawaii. It’s a beautiful place with a slower place than the mainland. I love Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum, and Pearl Harbor for the history they share about the evolution of Hawaii from a Kingdom to a state in the union.

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