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Honolulu Trip Review w/ pictures!

By Goran_K following x   2018 Aug 28, 10:21am 713 views   22 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


So Goran and the family spent some time on vacation and decided on Oahu. Haven't been there in a while, and have fond memories of a younger Goran enjoying the high life there in years past.

I spent two weeks there and decided to kind of go all out. Back in the day, I'd be okay with getting some dingy studio in some run down motel on Ala Moana. This time, with a little bit more change in the pockets, I decided to get a Hilton Penthouse right on the water. The views did not disappoint. Service was top notch. I'm talking new towels EVERY morning, macaroons on the pillows, and a toilet scrubbed clean and shiny. I have no complaints.



Walking around Honolulu, I notice a lot has changed. While the city is unquestionable nestled in the bosom of one of the most beautiful areas on the planet, it's undeniably become a city where there are haves, and have nots. Spending time at the International Market, you get to see the one of the biggest Saks Fifth Avenue stores I've seen outside of New York, yet mere 50 yards away, homeless are sitting in a circle, eating discarded food from the trash can, on the streets asking for spare change. It's not as bad as Anchorage, Alaska which I visited last year where you could clearly see the social fabric of Anchorage scarring the city. The blight wasn't obvious, more "under the table" if that makes sense. It just felt weird walking into a store selling $2,500 purses, then walking out and seeing a group of people snacking on half eaten rice bowls.



That being said, the water during my trip was amazing. I'm talking about warm enough to bathe in. I've spent time at the best beaches in the world, from Malibu, to Ko Samui, but Waikiki was just so warm, clean, and inviting. I spent hours a day swimming, enough that my shoulders were sore after 2-3 days. I even did some snorkeling around the island, and the fish are totally not scared of you. You can swim within feet of them, and they'll swim around you like you were another fish. Awesome. I did get burned the first couple of days. Apparently you should re-apply sun block every hour or so, not apply once and then swim for 3 hours. So as a result, Goran is sporting a decent island tan now.



I rented a nice SUV (Chevy Tahoe), and drove around the island seeing as many places as possible. One thing you'll notice about Oahu is that even though the temps are in the 80-90 degree range, you're not suffering. The reason is because the constant pleasant trade winds wash away the sweat, and you're never suffering or dripping wet from sweat. Still I'd recommend shorts and short sleeves. We explored North Shore, which is kind of like a country/farming area of Oahu. Got to eat Giovanni's Garlic Shrimp (of Food network fame), and it was worth the drive. The island is roughly 30-35 miles across, and honestly, with light traffic, you can drive around the entire island in less than 3 hours. One thing you'll notice is the really artificially low freeway speed limits, we're talking 50 MPH on the main highways. But part of that is because the freeways are very poorly designed. The on ramps don't seamlessly flow into traffic, it's more like short abrupt ramps that have you screaming for your life hoping some huge semi doesn't cream you as your enter the freeway.

That being said, driving around the island is undeniably scenic.



I went on a few boat cruises, ATV guided tours, and even did some attempted surfing (I caught MAYBE 1 wave out of 20). I can see the appeal of Hawaii as a family vacation spot. There is so much to do, the weather, for the most part, is always pleasant, and the people are friendly. I didn't experience the outright "Haole" hostility, maybe because my wife isn't white, but people were super friendly. So that was nice.

I did a lot of eating. One thing you'll notice is the seafood at every restaurant is fresh as fresh can be, I guess they have no excuse. My favorite place ended up being a place called Marukame Udon. It's a place that sells Japanese type udon noodles, and you pick tempura to put on top of your noodles. The price point is decent (under $12), and you get a good meal for the price. That being said, Oahu isn't cheap, and expect to pay 30-40% more for everyday food items (cans of coke, bags of chips, etc). Everything is afterall, shipped to the islands.



Would Goran go back again? More than likely. I actually did look at 3 properties with an agent while I was on Oahu. The real estate prices are extremely high. We're talking 1 bedroom condos being listed for over $500,000. I can't help but think it might be worth it though to own a piece of property in an area that is literally built for relaxation and recreation. I haven't felt this relaxed in a long time, and it's a feeling that I definitely want to experience again.
1   Ironworker   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 10:29am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

How’s Gardnerville Goran? Are you still loving it?
I bought 40 acre parcel just outside of Gardnerville. Planning to build little cabin with kids there.
2   Goran_K   ignore (1)   2018 Aug 28, 10:32am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ironworker says
How’s Gardnerville Goran? Are you still loving it?
I bought 40 acre parcel just outside of Gardnerville. Planning to build little cabin with kids there.


It's excellent. I don't want to hype it up too much because one of the best aspects of living in an area like this is the "lack" of people. Humans IMO weren't meant to live 10 feet from each other on two sides. I get to ride an ATV everyday, can't complain.

Also I'm building one of these to house my toys.



Money just goes so much further when you're not living within 25 miles of a major metro area. I'll never go back to city living.
3   Ironworker   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 10:37am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I love it! I was there for few days a month back. The views on sierras are spectacular from my land. I know the area is growing, but I hope it's not growing too much. What do you think Goran? Are planing to stay there? Or are you planing to move eventually. Or is this a really place you call home?
4   Goran_K   ignore (1)   2018 Aug 28, 10:50am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ironworker says
What do you think Goran? Are planing to stay there? Or are you planing to move eventually. Or is this a really place you call home?


It's hard to say man. I'm getting old, had a long career where I basically traveled 11 months out of the year, and settling down just seems logical for an old guy like me.

On the other hand, I have property in Alaska, and who knows maybe Oahu later? So even if my primary home is in Nevada, I could see myself spending 3-4 months somewhere else every year.

But for right now, I love it. Like you, I worry that more and more people will eventually come, and then one day I'll be driving down 395 and see some big sign on the side of the freeway advertising a "Brand New 500 tract home development starting at $299,000!" That's actually one of my biggest fears.

Too many people = More problems
5   Tenpoundbass   ignore (11)   2018 Aug 28, 10:53am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Goran_K says
I'm talking new towels EVERY morning


I remember a time the health department would shut them down if a Motel 6 didn't give you fresh Towels every day.
6   Ironworker   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 11:00am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yes I agree! Let's hope it won't be ruined by that. I like zoning on my property. 1 Single family home residence per 20 acres :)
7   Goran_K   ignore (1)   2018 Aug 28, 11:03am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Tenpoundbass says
I remember a time the health department would shut them down if a Motel 6 didn't give you fresh Towels every day.


It's one of my pet peeves actually. I stayed at the St. Regis in San Francisco one time for a conference (go ahead and look at the per night price for that hotel), and I swear I didn't get a towel refresh until day 2. So aggravating.
8   Goran_K   ignore (1)   2018 Aug 28, 11:03am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ironworker says
Yes I agree! Let's hope it won't be ruined by that. I like zoning on my property. 1 Single family home residence per 20 acres :)


There's a reason for that, a lot of these guys target shoot on their properties.
9   Ironworker   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 11:22am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yes that's correct. Lots of guns there. Virtually no crime at all.
10   Ironworker   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 11:23am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I've never been to Oahu. I visited Kawai twice and Maui twice. Kawai is fantastic. M favorite island so far
11   Goran_K   ignore (1)   2018 Aug 28, 11:28am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ironworker says
Yes that's correct. Lots of guns there. Virtually no crime at all.


It's weird isn't it? When you get responsible gun owners who probably own AR15s, AKs, long range target rifles, a dozen handguns, and you have nearly ZERO gun crime. It's almost as if guns aren't the problem...
12   bob2356   ignore (3)   2018 Aug 28, 12:20pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ironworker says
Yes that's correct. Lots of guns there. Virtually no crime at all.


Curiosity overwhelms me. How much crime did you expect with 1 house every 20 acres?
13   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 12:23pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Going to be honest and am genuinely not trying to be a dick. A little underwhelmed by the photos. Have plans to do Hawaii when SW gets their route going. You've actually made me concerned about those plans now. Sounds like there's stuff to do, but there always is in any tourist destination.

The photo with the bus and those high rises reminds me of a tropical Soviet Union. 1 and 3 don't seem any better then a Miami or Panhandle of FL with 6 hours of less travel for me. And yes, before the troll train comes out, I know it's only 5 photos. And yes, I appreciate Goran taking the time to post this. Seriously.

Any reason you didn't do a house (VRBO, AirBnB, etc)? The 2nd to last photo is the stuff I like. Great views, less people. I've always found the house to be a better value, albeit I haven't rented one in Hawaii, so maybe it's different there and I know you kind of said fuck it for this trip and maybe a hotel was easier. No issue either way, just wondering.

For the price of a spectacular hotel room per night, you can get an entire house and take the 4 minutes to wash your towels in the morning. Or they have more in the closet. I'm being a bit sarcastic there, but it's kind of true. You had the car is one of the reasons I ask. The Soviet style buildings would turn me off and I'd rather get away from the tourist spots and only go to them on my time when I want to. Not be in the midst of it all for a week or two.

Seems like you had fun though, which is all that really matters and not my opinion on it.
14   Tenpoundbass   ignore (11)   2018 Aug 28, 12:41pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yes without the hot obsequious Polynesian greeting women, the whole Hawaii experience gets diminished.

But of course Liberals suck all of the fun out of every experience. So no Polynesian culture appropriation to greet tourist on the tarmac, and damn sure ain't going to be attractive women if so. I'm surprised they don't have trannies in grass skirts trying to kiss every male that steps off the plane and put a lay around their neck made out of plastic dildos.
Oh I'm thinking about Key West.
15   CovfefeButDeadly   ignore (4)   2018 Aug 28, 1:03pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Goran_K says

Would Goran go back again? More than likely. I actually did look at 3 properties with an agent while I was on Oahu. The real estate prices are extremely high. We're talking 1 bedroom condos being listed for over $500,000. I can't help but think it might be worth it though to own a piece of property in an area that is literally built for relaxation and recreation. I haven't felt this relaxed in a long time, and it's a feeling that I definitely want to experience again.


Just FYI, I don’t know if you got over to the east side of Oahu, north of Waianae. Most tourists don’t go there because the road dead ends and also it’s considered the rough neighborhood.

I think the rough aspect is overblown and I’ve lived in way more dangerous parts of Los Angeles. It’s where I’d live if I moved to Hawaii as it’s more relaxed and less crowded. And $500k buys you a house.and it’s stunning.
16   Goran_K   ignore (1)   2018 Aug 28, 1:08pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Tenpoundbass says
I'm surprised they don't have trannies in grass skirts trying to kiss every male that steps off the plane and put a lay around their neck made out of plastic dildos.
Oh I'm thinking about Key West.


Oh trust me, if they had trannies trying to "lay" me, I'd be throwing haymakers.
17   CovfefeButDeadly   ignore (4)   2018 Aug 28, 1:08pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
Going to be honest and am genuinely not trying to be a dick. A little underwhelmed by the photos. Have plans to do Hawaii when SW gets their route going. You've actually made me concerned about those plans now. Sounds like there's stuff to do, but there always is in any tourist destination.

The photo with the bus and those high rises reminds me of a tropical Soviet Union. 1 and 3 don't seem any better then a Miami or Panhandle of FL with 6 hours of less travel for me. And yes, before the troll train comes out, I know it's only 5 photos. And yes, I appreciate Goran taking the time to post this. Seriously.

Any reason you didn't do a house (VRBO, AirBnB, etc)? The 2nd to last photo is the stuff I like. Great views, less people. I've always found the house to be a better value, albeit I haven't rented one in Hawaii, so maybe it's different there and I know you kind of said fuck it for this trip and maybe a hotel was easier. No issue either way, just wondering.

Maybe the Big Island for you

Of course Waikiki still has its selling points
18   Goran_K   ignore (1)   2018 Aug 28, 1:09pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CovfefeButDeadly says
Just FYI, I don’t know if you got over to the east side of Oahu, north of Waianae. Most tourists don’t go there because the road dead ends and also it’s considered the rough neighborhood.

I think the rough aspect is overblown and I’ve lived in way more dangerous parts of Los Angeles. It’s where I’d live if I moved to Hawaii as it’s more relaxed and less crowded. And


The furthest east I got was Lanikai Beach (which was gorgeous). I did some swimming (no surfing). But I heard the locals can get pretty aggressive when it comes to "stealing" waves, etc. I never got a dirty look the whole time I was in Oahu.
19   Goran_K   ignore (1)   2018 Aug 28, 1:12pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
Any reason you didn't do a house (VRBO, AirBnB, etc)?


My wife had two requirements, had to have views of Waikiki, and short walking distance to Waikiki sand. Waikiki is pretty much dominated by large hotels on the sand.
20   Goran_K   ignore (1)   2018 Aug 28, 1:15pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CovfefeButDeadly says
Of course Waikiki still has its selling points


I'd say people should experience it, and try it for themselves. No pictures will do Oahu justice IMO. You just have to experience it.

I can type about warm, turquoise, clear beach water, and how comfortable it is to just plop down and sit in it, and watch the girls in their 2-piece bikinis play water polo, or just watch the breeze blow the palm trees back and forth. But it will never come close to actually being there and feeling it all.

If you can swing it monetarily, I suggest anyone to go and see it for themselves.
21   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 1:48pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Goran_K says

My wife had two requirements, had to have views of Waikiki, and short walking distance to Waikiki sand. Waikiki is pretty much dominated by large hotels on the sand.


Happy wife, happy life. Understood.
22   WookieMan   ignore (0)   2018 Aug 28, 1:55pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

CovfefeButDeadly says
Maybe the Big Island for you


Hawaii is of course beautiful, don't get me wrong. For me I just like to be a touch more secluded. Not a fan of the high rise hotel or condo building. Not saying it's bad, I've done plenty of trips staying in them, but I love having my own place, no shared walls. Definitely not judging and it sounds like the trip was a blast for Goran which is all that matters.

Photos is comment 15 are spot on with what I dig for scenery. Doesn't look like there's housing there, but I'd get as close to that as I could.




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