Aloha Oahu! Waikiki, North Shore, Kualoa, Aulani and More!

We had a wonderful time in Hawaii 💜 It's been 18 years since Don and I have been to Hawaii. We have fond memories of our honeymoon which was the beginning of our many adventures together as husband and wife. 

We did so much during our time in Oahu! I need a vacation from my vacation! In all honesty though, we were busy but it was great to have lots of quality time with the three guys I love the most. 

Here's our day by day itinerary:

Day One: 

Our flight was delayed so we got to Oahu later than planned, with just enough time to go straight to 6pm mass at Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, the oldest running Catholic Church in the United States. The cathedral is the resting grounds of the remains of St. Marianne Cope and a relic of St. Damien de Vuster. Within the cathedral is a shrine where churchgoers can pay their respects to these two figures who gave their lives to serve the Hawaiian community in God’s name.

Day Two: We have settled in to our happy place! We started our day at the Bishops Museum which houses the largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific cultural artifacts and natural history specimens in the world. Then we boarded a Glass Bottom boat where we saw a variety of different fish and a turtles with Waikiki and the beautiful blue ocean in the background. We ended the day exploring Waikiki a bit and watched the sun set from the beach.

Day Three: First stop of the day was Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy. The song “Aloha Oe” legend has it that Queen Lili’uokalani wrote this song while imprisoned in the Iolani Palace during the annexation of Hawai’i to the US. The last part of the palace tour shared this story and I had the feels my friends! 🥹

We walked around the capitol grounds and took a picture with the King Kamehameha Statue, in front of the Judiciary History Center which is featured in the popular TV show Hawaii 5-0. Close by was Kawaiahaʻo Church and the Tomb of King Lunalilo.

We then drove to the University of Hawaii Manoa so they boys could check it out.

We took a little stroll to see the awesome views at the Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, then off to Ala Moana Mall to do a bit of shopping and yummy poke at the Foodland market in the mall.

Day Four:

Pearl Harbor National Memorial - We revisted one of the most pivotal moments in US history: the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent entry of the United States into World War II. I love taking the boys places where they can experience the events they learn about in school. I'm grateful they enjoy it also!

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet - Hawaii's premier outdoor market, featuring over 400 vendors, crafters, artists from all over the world. It was so hot, I didn't take any pictures. Don took a few, only because he was scoping out outfits for our family photos.

Lounged at Pool at the Laylow - The heat got to us this day so we just wanted to take the afternoon to chill-lax. The boys and I headed to the pool and Don enjoyed an AC nap in the room.

Before heading to dinner we enjoyed the cultural song and dance show at the Royal Hawaiian Center with the island breeze under the shady trees.
Day Five:

Originally operated as a fruit stand beginning in 1950, Dole Plantation opened to the public as Hawaii’s “Pineapple Experience” in 1989. We took a train ride around the plantation and learned about the history of pineapples in Hawaii. The boys also attempted the world largest Maze located here. They finished it in 20 minutes.

Drove around North Shore with an obligatory stop at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck and Matsumoto’s Shaved Ice.

We ended the day at Shark’s Cove where they boys explored the reefs and Don and I soaked in the sun.

Day Seven:
Headed to Costco because I was curious what items they carried that we didn’t have. My mom asked for macadamia nut chocolates so we got them there.

Then off to our stay at @disneyaulani! As soon as we got to the resort, we walked the grounds to get the lay of the land. We changed into our swim gear, the boys took off to explore the lazy river and slides, and we headed to the quiet adult only area with the hot tub.

We met up with cousin Elmer and Lisa for dinner at Auntie’s Hot Pot 😋

Then made it back to Aulani for fireside story time.

Day Eight:
We attended Mass at St. Rita Parish in Nānākuli. We were able to attend their Hawaiian Mass where the Hawaiian language was used in the liturgy along with English. There were elements of Hawaiian culture all throughout the mass including the hula, placing lei around the Book of the Gospels, placing lei around consecrated hosts and chalice, and singing in English and Hawaiian languages using traditional Hawaiian melodies. It was beautiful.

Back at Aulani, we soaked in the sun and fun for it was our last day in Oahu.

We had such a wonderful time as a family. We are grateful and blessed to have been able enjoy our time together.