There are four inviting lagoons in Ko Olina, on the western shores of Oahu, about 30 minutes from Honolulu International Airport. If you prefer to be far away from the madding crowd, the Ko Olina resorts are an option. Each resort has its own private lagoon, which, even on the weekends is uncrowded. While first time visitors flock to Waikiki and locals congregate at Ala Moana Beach, Ko Olina remains off the radar screen except to those who belong to the Marriott Vacation Club. The Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort and Spa and the Ko Olina Beach Club are open to non members.
As of this writing, there is construction going on for more units which will surely impact the peace and quiet of this area. For now it is a great place for lazy days on the water, for energizing walks through all four lagoons, for rejuvenating mind and body, for watching the sunset, and for being grateful for yet another beautiful day in paradise.
Waikiki Beach. While many visitors to Hawaii complain that Waikiki is way too crowded, there are many others who love to be in the thick of things. Waikiki is the place to walk on the beach, people watch, have a sunset drink, try surfboarding for the first time and shop, shop, shop.
ABC Stores. Speaking of shopping, you'll find most of the things you need and more at the ubiquitous ABC Stores.
Aloha shirts. The most trendy aloha shirts are sold by Tori Richards and Reyn's. Reyn's made the faded look chic with its reverse printed shirts. You can also buy aloha shirts for a good deal less at the Flea Market at the Stadium. It's open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The Hula. The hula tells a story so the dancer must be a good storyteller. This song tells it all, "Lovely hula hands, graceful as the bird in motion".
Ukelele. The hula is only complete when the dancers are accompanied by a trio of singers, one of whom plays the ukelele.
Duke Kahanamokou. The father of modern surfing. Duke is never without a lei, another quintessential Hawaiian piece.
Surfboard. If there' a surfing legend, there are surfboards for legends in training and all wave enthusiasts.
Shave ice. This 4th of July look is a strawberry, lychee and piña colada concoction. Matsumoto's in Haleiwa is listed in many Oahu guidebooks as the place to pick up the best shave ice on the island.
Malasadas. While malasadas were introduced to the islands by the Portuguese settlers, they are truly the local sweet treat. Leonard's malasadas in Kapahulu has both plain and filled malasadas. You can choose from haupia, custard, or chocolate fillings. They also have malasada trucks around the island of Oahu.
Saimin. This is no ordinary cup of noodles. It's full of flavor and comes with your choice of meat or toppings. Zippy's Restaurants serve regular or large bowls of saimin starting at $2.60.
Bento box. There are many to choose from. You can pick up a salmon, mackerel, sashimi, or sushi bento box, among others. Take it to the beach and eat lunch there with friends or eat dinner while watching the sunset. These boxes are from Shirokiya, 2nd floor at the Ala Moana Mall.
Hawaiian sunset. Sitting on the beach watching the sun dip slowly down the horizon. What a way to end another beautiful day in Hawaii!
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* I haven't forgotten about SPAM. I just need to take a photo of it.