The summer is coming to an end, and sadly, the summer holiday is over. It’s back to work again, back to the daily routine. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t still enjoy the memory of our vacation! If at all possible (considering days off from work and of course our budget) we try to visit the United States every Summer. This year we had a special destination: Hawaii.
So our annual road trip was a lot shorter in driving miles this year: we traveled to Oahu, to Maui and to the Big Island. Although we didn’t make a lot of miles driving around like we normally do, we had our fair share of travel related hassle. Flying from one island to the next and picking up a new rental car three times does require some careful planning! But thanks to Alamo and IslandAir, the trip was very smooth.
First stop: Oahu. Most people look at me with question marks floating above their head, but when I add to that: “Honolulu, Waikiki” recognition dawns. Those are the hotspots the island is well known for, but there’s much more to enjoy. Of course, we had a mental image too, it was what prompted the idea to visit in the first place: we wanted to see the stomping grounds of Magnum PI for ourselves. Not that I was under any illusion that I’d find Tom Selleck himself. At least not looking as good as he did back then!
Having seen the show in the 80’s as it first aired on television it made an impression and it’s still one of our favorites. You wouldn’t believe how many times we have watched the series ever since we invested in buying the DVD’s. We couldn’t wait to see the Robin Masters estate, the base of TC’s Island Hoppers and some other landmarks that appear in the show. As soon as we were settled in we drove around the island visiting the sites.
The Robin Masters estate is privately owned which means it can’t be visited. A pity, as we certainly weren’t the only crazy people to see it out. While we were peering through the gates, that were in dire need of some renovation, other tourists were looking for it too. This house with the tidal pool was sold in 2015, rumors say to a friend of Obama’s. We couldn’t see a lot as foliage obstructed our view, but we did see that it didn’t look as grand anymore. Still, it was very recognizable.
The pier that housed TC’s base for his Island Hoppers operation in the show was still there, and is called the Makai Research Pier. The War Memorial Natatorium was still closed as it was during the Magnum episodes and still waiting for someone willing to invest in restoring it. The Byodo-In Temple impressed me, not only because of the building itself, but also because it was part of a huge funeral area called the Valley of Temples that was home to burials of all kinds of cultures and religions.
We saw the King Kamehameha statue in the center of Honolulu, with the Iolani Hale behind it. Might be better known to many of you as the offices of Hawaii 50, another very successful series that brings the Hawaiian feeling across so well and in reality
Which brings me to another part of our visit to Oahu: Honolulu. We visited the Iolani Palace, home to the Royal Family when Hawaii was still a separate country with its own King. The Palace was 130 years old, nowhere near as old as some of the country houses we are used to visiting in the UK. But it was the first house where we had to use cover slip-ons and rightly so, it was an amazing place. I was surprised to hear that the Palace had electricity before the White House or even Buckingham Palace did. The Royal Family was very Europe-oriented, and it showed throughout the house.
Waikiki was every bit as you’d expect. Crowded, lots of surfers, skimpy bikinis and a laid back feeling to the place. Duke Kahanamoku statue ( Native Hawaiian competition swimmer who popularized the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing) had some flower lei’s around his feet. Even fully dressed as we were and not into surfing, we picked up on the Hang Loose vibe. One other place in Honolulu brought us all kinds of joy: Ala Moana Shopping Center. I’ll gladly admit that although I love the vistas nature has to offer and enjoy some cultural pursuits, a good mall gets my blood pumping too.
The last place I want to mention is perhaps best known over the world: Pearl Harbor. A sight of historic significance, with the USS Arizona Memorial as its most impressive experience. The way the sunken ships hull is still bleeding oil after all those years seems only fitting!
Love that you shared this! Hawaii is a place I would love to visit someday. I used to watch Magnum PI with my parents as a baby. Apparently, “Magnum” was my first word! Lol!
Lol indeed! That’s so funny, Carrie, your first word! Most people look at us with astonishment when we tell them we went for the Magnum highlights, haha!
Looks like you had an awesome vacation! I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. I’m such a beach bum that it’d be hard to tear me away from the sun, sand and surf! Maybe someday 🙂
If you love the beach, Hawaii is absolutely the best place to be. Everyone seemed to flock there in the weekends! Me, I’m not much into sand and sea. I contemplated taking surfing lessons, but there’s no way that I’d be able to get up after lying on the board, haha
The beach is probably my favorite place to be! 🙂 I just love looking at the ocean, it’s so peaceful. Aww haha! Surprisingly I’ve never been surfing, I think I’m too clumsy for it!