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Author Archive for Clare Nolan

Aussie Clare Visits Hawaii

In September of 2015 I vacationed on the Hawaiian island of Oahu with a couple of friends from Melbourne. Our accommodation for the week was in one of the penthouse suites of the Hawaiian Monarch Hotel. The hotel is located in downtown Honolulu. The views were pretty great during both the day and the night.

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We decided we needed to plan our week out properly, so we stopped for lunch at a Japanese restaurant and took out the notebook. We found this restaurant as we wandered along Ala Moana Boulevard.

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Now we were full of beans and Hawaiian water. It took us a couple of days to adjust to the humidity in Honolulu. I mean, we expected it to be hot there, but the humidity was a lot more intense than anticipated.

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The Hawaiian Monarch Hotel was hosting a pool party on the Saturday we arrived…so we went downstairs to have a couple of poolside drinks, listen to the band, and soak up the vibe.

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It was kind of like being in one of those cheesy American Spring Break films. When’s the beer pong starting??

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Another thing we discovered about Hawaii when we were there was they love Spam. Like, they actually Really love it. This guy was wearing the coolest Spam board shorts.

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Surfboards for hire.

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My travel buddies. Also my work buddies. Sun hats and flip flops are essential in Hawaii.

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There was a burger lounge on the street corner opposite our hotel called Cheeseburger Waikiki. The food and drink were great, and all the staff were really friendly. And they had a terrific beer selection, so all in all, check check check!

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After a few days hanging out in downtown Honolulu we decided to get out of the touristy centre (which was filled with Aussies) and go and see where the real people of Hawaii lived. So we hired a car and drove to the North part of the island.

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Those iconic Hawaiian mountains follow you everywhere you go in Oahu. The view on the other side of this photo, where the little house faces, is the Pacific Ocean. How amazing is that? Mountains in your backyard and an ocean in your front yard.

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A Bud by the Pacific Ocean. It wasn’t mine. Wish I could say it was.

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This is the waterfall at Waimea Falls Park. It was a 20 minute hike to the falls, where we found a lifeguard on duty who was looking after all of the tourists who wanted to go for a swim. The national park is filled with thousands of different plants, trees and flowers. Park staff provide visitors with historical information about the area. It was a great place to spend a few hours.

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I’m not quite sure what this guy was doing. Or the one on the left.

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This is Serg’s Mexican Kitchen, it’s known locally as Serg’s, and it is the best Mexican cuisine on the island. There are only a few Serg’s, but if you’re in Hawaii, find one with your Google map app and stop in for a meal. I didn’t get to find out what a Flautas is.

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This was my lunch. Two grilled vege, soft shell taco’s and a mandarin soda. They weren’t licensed to serve alcohol, FYI.

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This is the pedestrian crossing right in front of Serg’s, Manoa. It is one of the most scenic pedestrian crossings I have ever seen. It is located on the corner of E Manoa Road and Keama Place. Manoa is a great place to visit. It’s a really short drive out of Honolulu and is a university town.

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Back at the hotel. When they say it is going to rain in Hawaii, it means that it will rain for five minutes, then the sun will come out again. But when it rains, it pours.

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What can I say about Kailua Beach?? The next few photos speak for themselves. The water is as blue as that. The sand is as white as that. Kailua Beach is the most idyllic place I have ever been to (and I live in Australia!).

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When I got back home to Melbourne, this photo was the screensaver on my phone for weeks. I hope I will go back to Kailua one day. The town itself is also terrific.

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This is the car park at the beach. And there’s those mountains again.

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I loved the colourful license plates in Hawaii.

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Our day at The Pearl Harbor Visitor Centre was fantastic. It is such a well organised place. The video’s, the tours, and the museum explain the events of the attack in amazing detail.

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After watching a short video in the theatre, that includes footage of the attack, we all took a boat across to the USS Arizona Memorial. The tour guide talked a lot more about the tragic events of the attack and encouraged people to pay their respects.

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The flag at half mast. It was a nice coincidence that we visited Pearl Harbor on September 11th.

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This is the entrance to the museum where you use a headset and audio guide to follow each exhibit in the room. The audio tour is voiced by actress Jamie Lee Curtis but also includes audio by survivors and sound bytes from the attack.

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This happy couple were getting their wedding photos taken in front of the Hawaiian Theatre in downtown Chinatown.

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