We arrived safe and sound in Oahu Wednesday afternoon. With no checked luggage, we quickly picked up the rental car and made a beeline for for Waikiki Beach and the hotel. Getting off the airline in Honolulu is always a joy. You step out of the gate area into open air...and it's almost always 80 or so degrees out. Suddenly wearing long pants is not the ticket. Our rental car this time around was a Lincoln Towncar...or as I called it, "The Love Boat". First time I've driven a Towncar. It was huge, but it drove nice.
We got downtown and the room was PHENOMENAL! We were staying at the Hilton for the first night, as Jeannie had points to use or loose (FREE ROOM!). We ended up on the 27th floor in the Rainbow Tower...the closest toward the ocean. We even had 2 balconies...one directly ocean view and the other looking north towards the airport and the West Shore. It was probably the most amazing view I've had from a Waikiki hotel. Here is what we saw:
Keep in mind this is a 3 picture panorama that I made shooting from the oean-view balcony. Turns out doing a pan of that much area gives the ocean a rounded look at the horizon, and the closer stuff doesn't connect together in straight lines (such as the seawall jetty at the far right of the first pic and far left of the 2nd). And the wave direction also doesn't work...but all in all it shows what we saw. We headed out soon after a basic unpacking and had our favorite Mai Tai's at the Hale Koa hotel's Barefoot Bar (the BEST Mai Tai's on the island IMO) before an early dinner.
Thursday afternoon we moved into the Hale Koa hotel which would be our home for the next 2 nights. This is the military hotel just next to the Hilton in Waikiki Beach on a gigantic piece of Army property. We stay there every time we go to Hawaii (as I'm retired Navy) and all I can say is Biba's restaurant downstairs has possibly the best Mahi Mahi on the island! (and their Mai Tai's ARE the best!)