Note: Most links in the post will direct you to our reviews of the places. Links to all related/previous posts are at the bottom of this post.
Originally, we had planned to go to Hawaii for our family vacation since our 10th wedding anniversary is coming up, and it would have been ten years since we went to Kauai for our honeymoon. But we couldn’t pass up the chance to visit Australia while we have family living there! Fortunately, we got to do both since having an overnight layover in Honolulu was actually cheaper than flying directly to Sydney. And it was also super nice to have a break between flights.
Since we were staying in Oahu, we flew Hawaiian Airlines, but word on the street is to take Qantas if you’re not making a stop in Hawaii. Take-off from OAK was at 9:35am, and it took 5 hours and 17 minutes to get there. Thanks to our pilots Lee (didn’t catch his first name) and Frank for getting us to HNL safely. There was turbulence almost the entire flight. Luckily, the girls didn’t even notice.
Very surprisingly, screen time for this first leg of our trip was minimal…about 20 minutes each. (This will change through the course of our trip as you will see…) They brought some books too, and I think they were just excited about their adventures to come!
We landed around 12:47pm Hawaii time. We had planned to bring all our luggage as carry-ons, but the big one was too big (for this flight only out of the six planes we were on), so we had to check that in. We waited quite awhile for a shuttle to arrive to take us to baggage claim. (It would probably have been faster to just walk there, but we didn’t see any signs directing us there.)
Hilton Hawaiian Village
We took Charley’s Taxi to Hilton Hawaiian Village. Our driver was not talkative, but told us a little about the things we can do in the area as he drove by the places. We stayed in the Ali’i Tower, where you can bypass the long lines checking in at the front, and just check into the tower.
Pronto Pickle Grab & Go and Lanikai Juice Hawaii
First order of business was the get some grub. We settled on some pizza, teriyaki yakisoba, coleslaw, and baked ham sandwich from Pronto Pickle Grab & Go and smoothies from Lanikai Juice Hawaii. Both restaurants were at our hotel. Check out our review HERE.
We headed out for some beach time. The girls decided to play at the lagoon since it meant we wouldn’t have to trek as far out to get to the water and no big waves. Surprisingly, for kids who have never taken swim lessons, they have already really enjoyed swimming pools, and the beach even more! I guess it’s time for lessons.
Wailana Coffee House
Since we had a late lunch, we also had a late dinner. It was actually super late since California is two hours ahead of Hawaii. We ate at Wailana Coffee House. So, it was actually breakfast for dinner. There was the usual breakfast foods, but with an island twist. Check out our review HERE.
Click on the link to view the DAY 1 ALBUM.