An August 2005 trip
to Honolulu by budgettravels1
Quote: August 2005 Conference to Hawaii: Time limited to pre- and post-conference activities, but as this was my first trip to Hawaii, I wanted to make the best of it!
Hotel | "Waikiki Gateway"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 13, 2005
Waikiki Gateway Hotel
2070 Kalakaua Ave.
Attraction | "Pearl Harbor/Arizona Memorial"
The bus stop is just outside the door of my hotel, but I never saw any bus schedules, so I waited a few minutes for bus no. 42 (at about 7:30am) - you need exact change for the $2 adult fare. After many stops and about an hour (now 8:30am), we arrived at the Arizona Memorial. The line was long, but it moved quickly.
Hint: Take as little as possible with you, or plan to check your bags for $3 each - they are currently allowing nothing that could be concealing inside, and even small purses and camera bags are not allowed in. Cameras and water can go in.
I was in group no. 15 and got my free ticket at about 9am for 11:15am tour. You can spend the time between ticket pick-up and tour time in the museum, outside, or at the Bowfin next door. It’s $5 for an audio tour, but I didn't get it. Lots of food is available for purchase. When your time is called, you watch a short movie. Then you get on a boat to go to the memorial, and after spending time on the memorial, you come back on the boat. You can release flowers/lei at the memorial as long as you do not let the lei string go into the water. This historic location is not only a place of reflection, but also education. Some of my friends were not interested in this site because of the potential for sadness, but I am very glad that I went. I learned a few things and had time for reflection about this event and those who have more recently affected this nation and world. I released the flowers from my lei, and it felt good. I took the return bus to the Iolani Palace, so it was not a straight trip back.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 13, 2005
Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial
One Arizona Memorial Place
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818
I find the culture of Hawaii fascinating, as, being from the Midwest, we did not get that much exposure to it in school. The palace museum is very nicely put together and showcases events and lifestyles of the monarchy. The benefit of the guided tour is that you can see the interior of the palace and get the history from the guide. As I entered the self-guided part, there was a guide finishing a tour, and I could tell that she was knowledgeable and the guided tour would be useful, although the time/availability did not work for me. The next stop on the bus tour was the Ala Mona Shopping Center.
364 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96804
Staying on Waikiki Beach meant that the shopping was targeted to tourists, or very high-end (Channel, Gucci, and Prada), and the prices similar. Did I get what I was looking for at the price I was willing to pay? Sure, but for the effort, I would have spent more time and similar money in Waikiki.
Leaving the shopping center on the bus was also confusing, as the number I was on from Iolani Palace or the numbers that I know drop off next to my hotel did not pick up at the center as far as I could tell - the way directions are given on the island make sense, but only if you know where you are coming from and where you are. So I took a different number (no. 8) and had to walk a couple blocks back to the hotel. (There was no schedule or map, so I didn't know just how close the bus would eventually go - I got out where I recognized the location.) During my stay, I had been walking between my hotel, the convention center, the beach, and the streets in between. Unfortunately, I did not go more inland, so I would not recognize the buildings or street names/numbers. Not all the bus drivers were nice and helpful (some are though), so use caution or find a schedule.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 13, 2005
Ala Moana Shopping Center
1450 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814