One good thing about a 5 hour time difference is that a dedicated night owl like me has a fighting chance of getting up even before the crack of dawn! People who know me will be flabbergasted to know I was up, dressed and on my way to a classic old Honolulu diner for breakfast by 7 am! The delightfully divey Wailana Coffee House was walking distance on Ala Moana Blvd. between the Ilikai and Thrifty Rent a Car on Kalakaua, so it was a perfect stop for breakfast. John had a great Belgian waffle (he is a connoiseur of Belgian waffles) and I got my first (and sadly only) taste of coconut syrup on pancakes. Fear not, this is one of several Hawaiian foods I shall figure out how to make for myself and I will post my results.
With a belly full of pancakes and waffles, we picked up our dirt cheap rental car which we scored through Waikiki Discount Rental Car, fired up Garmina (our “pet” name for the lady voice in our Garmin – creative I know!), and headed for our first stop of the day – Diamond Head. I read that you want to get to Diamond Head early in the day for 2 reasons: (1) the parking lot fills up quick, and then you are stuck walking an extra mile from the other lot; and (2) it can get hot hiking up to the rim later in the day. I also read that many people get to Diamond Head before sunup so they can watch the sunrise on the rim. Hmmm. You better bring a great flashlight, because it is a rocky, twisty trail!
Hiking to the top of Diamond Head is a definite must if you are in Oahu. They views are great, and I dunno – you just have to! If you spend any time at a gym at all you will find it an easy 1.5 mile round trip hike. The steep, long flights of stairs at the end are a bit scary, especially if it is windy, but nothing to stop anyone from going. Here are some of the views from the top:
As you can see from these pictures, the weather was not quite ideal. An extremely unusual weather system parked off the northeast corner of the Big Island for the duration of our trip, bringing lots of wind and frequent, short showers throughout the islands. Thankfully Oahu didn’t get much of the rain, but it was a little too windy for us to enjoy the beaches. Guess we’ll just have to come back!
Our next stop on our tour of Windward Oahu was a house on Kahala Ave which was used for filming several episodes of Five-O and served as the Angel’s home base in all the season 5 Hawaii episodes of Charlie’s Angels. I was very tickled to see this place in person!
Okay, now we’re off to real Oahu sites. We took HI72/Kalanianaole Hwy along the shore, past Hanauma Bay to two amazing scenic lookouts. The first didn’t seem to have a name, the second was the incredible Halona Blowhole. The wind was crazy, which made for quite a show!