Some Observations on Hawaii

Posted: July 21, 2016 in Ramblings

This is not a recap of our vacation, but more like “things people should know before traveling.”  If we had known about all this, it might have made a difference.  Also, this experience is making us rethink the “DC in Summer” trip for next year!

  1. It’s hot.  Yes, yes, everyone knows that, but we hadn’t realized just how hot it actually is.  Within a minute of exiting the hotel, both Alex and I were uncomfortable and sweating; if we didn’t go inside within 5 minutes (to an air-conditioned building), or into a pool or lagoon to cool off, we both got cranky (crankier?) and I felt several times that I would faint.  (For the record I am unable to do any hot yoga or similar warm-environment activities.)  Chris didn’t have a problem with any of this, though.
  2. Possibly because of the “air-conditioned hotel followed by hot outside air followed by air conditioning,” Chris got a cold on our second day.  He dealt with it manfully and by the time we left Honolulu he was mostly over it…but Alex had caught it.  We spent our first Big Island day loafing around and relaxing, and the next day Alex was well enough to go out and do sightseeing, etc.  But…a day or two later, I caught it, and I still have it.  This may also be just random chance, something we caught from another traveler, but it happened.
  3. All these islands are much bigger than we’d expected, and Waikiki in particular was insanely crowded.  It is built up, right to the edge of the beach, and although we were “at a beach resort,” so were a million other people.  Leaving the resort put us right into a city driving situation.  Now, we only went to Oahu to visit Pearl Harbor.  Therefore, if we were planning this vacation from the start, we would probably have made home base on the Big Island, and taken a day tour from there to Pearl Harbor one day.  The Big Island, at least where we stayed (at the Fairmont Orchid), was lovely and isolated.
  4. As a result, Oahu was nothing like what I had expected “Hawaii” to be like.  But the Big Island certainly was.  Most of it is undeveloped.  The area in the north where the Fairmont is, is like a little oasis of civilization in the midst of lava fields.  We really liked this, except that it was still too hot, etc.
  5. The south end of the Big Island is temperate enough and developed enough that it felt like driving through rural Virginia or Pennsylvania, except for the palm trees.  Down at road level all the buildings looked pretty standard, as did the infrastructure and landscaping.  We didn’t visit the east side of the island so I can’t report on that at all.
  6. Kona Airport (on the Big Island) is not an enclosed building, but a series of open-air huts and breezeways.  This is not so bad if you’re just sitting at the gate (especially if there is a breeze), but standing in line for security was another excruciating experience due to the unsoaped masses and the heat.
  7. Bags of any type are not permitted at Pearl Harbor.  Luckily Chris owns a pair of cargo shorts, so we stuffed them with his and my medications and our wallets and phones.
  8. Only an idiot would take a knitting project made with wool yarn to Hawaii.  Next time I’m taking a cone of 10/2 cotton and knitting it into an enormous i-cord, to be made into a top when I get back.

Anyway, we are home now, and I’m collecting photos and memories.  Stay tuned for another post today with more sightseeing observations in specific.

Oh yeah – did I mention it was hot?  😡

  1. vallere says:

    RE: D.C.. Remember, Father knows best.

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