Sunday, 29 January 2012

Beach Budget: Where to stay in Waikiki

View from the Waikiki Circle Hotel "Ocean View" Room
There are a LOT of hotels in Waikiki,  it's hard to choose where to stay!  I always refer to when deciding on a hotel.  However, the Waikiki Circle Hotel doesn't get the greatest reviews and it is my favorite place to stay when we go to Honolulu.  It's a no-frills hotel RIGHT across the street from the beach.  If there is a downside to the hotel, the rooms are pretty small...but who spends that much time in their rooms anyways when you've got endless beaches calling for name? The location is AMAZING.  It's got million dollar views at a serious discount.  And if you don't care about a view, you can get an even better rate.  Rates range from $80 - $120/night.  The rooms are clean, the staff are friendly, you can watch the ocean swallow the sun on your balcony while sipping a Longboard Lager on your lanai, and when you walk outside - Waikiki is waiting for you.  What more could you want?

So yes - if you've been following along with my blog, it is 100% possible to have a Hawaiian Vacation for two people at less than $1500.00.  You're welcome.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Beach Music: Streetlight Cadence

While walking the streets of Waikiki one night this past December, we walked by a busking group.  As a musician myself, I make a point of giving buskers money (good karma, right?), so I reached into my purse looking for some coin, which took just long enough to notice these guys were actually good!  Really good!  We ended up staying for their entire street side set.  They chose covers that got the growing curbside audience singing along, and when they sang their own songs they were full of great hooks and melodies.  I was particularly taken by the accordion player.  Every so often you see a musician who plays music not only by choice, but because they have to.  And I mean have to - in their soul.  Born to do it - have to do it.  I think he is one of those people.  As this new band grows and develops, I wish them much success.  And next time you find yourself on the streets of Waikiki, check for the college kid buskers with the stand up bass, accordion and violin.  You'll be glad you did.
Streetlight Cadence

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Beach Secret: How to fly to Hawaii for cheap!

If you are thinking of booking a trip to Hawaii and you live in the Pacific Northwest, do you have your Alaska Airlines Credit Card?  I tell so many people about this card that it sounds like I work for them - and I don't (though I should)!  It's a $75 annual fee, but you get about 20,000 miles just for signing up.  That's not the best part though...the best part is the $99 companion pass you get every year.  You book one flight, no matter the cost, and book your 2nd for $99!  I am telling you this because that means your $350/per person (that's right, they fly that cheap!) flight to Hawaii just became $450 for 2 people!  There is truly not a better deal out there.  Make sure your significant other gets the credit card too and suddenly going to Hawaii twice a year will seem more like a necessity than a luxury! :)  American or Canadian, you can get this card - you just need to live near one of their hubs (Seattle, Vancouver for example).

You can thank me later ;)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Beach Reading: Honolulu by Alan Brennert

I was given this book to read by my mother-in-law: Honolulu, by Alan Brennert. It is set in 1914, about a "picture bride" from Korea who moves to Oahu to marry and start a new life. Unfortunately, neither Oahu nor her husband are the picture of paradise she was promised...and well, I'll let you read the rest.  It centers around a fictional character, surrounded by real facts. The author tells a compelling story, and paints a beautiful picture with vivid descriptions of what Oahu was like back then, and if you've been to Honolulu, you'll recognize many of the street names, parks and other landmarks sprinkled into the text.  It would make the perfect book to read on the beaches of Waikiki and will likely inspire a little do-it-yourself tour of the island.  I, for one, can't wait to check out Iwilei and try to imagine what it was like back then :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Beach Movie: The Descendants

Went to see this movie when it came out for obvious reasons (and if you guessed George, though that is another good reason),. It is based, and filmed in Hawaii.  I loved it, of course.  It just won a Golden Globe Award which tells me that I'm not entirely biased, it really IS a great movie!

UPDATE:  This movie just received a few Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director


I've always had a "thing" for Hawaii.  My bed skirt is a grass skirt, I ordered a Hula Girl lamp and other Hawaiian decor and had it delivered to my door when I moved away from home.  Why?  Because I had never even been there, so I just kept bringing Hawaii to me whenever, and however I could.  I'd say call me crazy but once you've been there, you'll understand.  It's not crazy.  It's aloha.  Since then, I've been there many times, with another trip always around the corner.  In this blog I will share with you all things Hawaiian.  Movies, music, places I've been, travel tips...this will be my way of bringing Hawaii a little closer to you.