Waimanalo O’ahu Hawaii was an amazing small beach town. The family and I packed a whole bunch of relaxing and outdoor adventure stuff (well I did) in two weeks. Let me tell you….I’m relaxed and sun burned from being outdoors all day.
Our home “base” for all our adventures was the lovely Bellow Air Force Station in Waimanalo. Now you are probably scratching your head asking what is so cool about staying at a military resort or base? Well this place really has a best kept secret. The beach! This beach is a private beach except for Friday afternoons to Monday mornings when the public is allowed to use it ( during the week it is used by the Marines for training) (CORRECTION: there are two beaches at Bellows. The first beach as you drive in is the public beach which is open to the public from Noon Friday to midnight Sunday. The the rest of the week is closed for the Marines to use as training ground. The second beach where we stayed is past the second military guard station. This is the private beach.). This place has the best beach in all of Oahu (has real white sand, unlike Waikiki!) and no one fighting over space! Plus cute military guys in uniforms (if you are into that sort of thing). But the best part was being able to walk out the door of the bungalow right on to the beach and you can even see sea turtles.
Waking up at 2:45am to catch a flight to Honolulu at 8:45am made for a long day. Going through security this time was a no hassle which is amazing at times with most of the lines being backed up. A secret I would share with all of you is to pack your bags as a carry on. Why? Because when you check your luggage at the gate you do not pay a baggage fee due to volunteering to check. Handy right? I still would check with the airline to make sure this is possible on international flights.Lucky for us our flight left on time and arrived five hours and eight minutes later at Honolulu International Airport. When we landed it was the Hawaiian sunny weather and a warm breeze blowing.
Since we got to Bellows AFS early before check in, we all decided to have some lunch at the little cafe and explore the park area until it was time to check in. Our beach cabin was right on the beach. All you had to do was open up the back door and you were practically on the beach! An hour later my cousin who is stationed on Oahu came by with a friend to hang out for a little bit.
Next morning I got up at around 6am to see the sunrise over the ocean. Sunrises on the Pacific are very beautiful and stunning! Then after breakfast we all headed for the Marine Base up the road for some weekly supplies we needed to get for our cabin. I headed for the Post Exchange or more like it the MCX (Marine Corps Exchange) to see what they had for summer clothing. I found a very nice Aloha dress I thought would make not only a great evening dinner dress, but a dress I can wear anytime. Then off to the Commissary for groceries. Oh boy! What a mad house that experience was! Seemed like the whole base was at the commissary trying to get groceries on a Sunday. Later we found out Friday was their pay-day and so they all much stock up on their monthly supplies around that time. The rest of the afternoon was spent with my cousin and some of his friends came over to hang out on the beach.
The real fun began when we all headed over the other side of the island to Waikiki and Honolulu for the day. First stop was a small farmer’s market where we picked up some fresh fruit and Hawaiian baked goods. After two weeks in Hawaii, I have been spoiled by how fresh the fruit is here. Mango, pineapples, dragon fruit, and passion fruit are much better tasting in Hawaii than in the stores back home. I may never eat another store-bought pineapple after this trip.
After a stop at the farmer’s market we all headed into Waikiki to spend some money. The Hilton Hawaiian Village is where I picked up some things I just had to have. At the Honolulu Cookie Company I picked up dark chocolate swirl short bread cookies ($7.95), and mini bites short bread cookies ($6.95). I was thinking of have them on hand for when friends come over for tea I have something nice to serve. Then on to the famous store in the Waikiki area, the ABC store! Now I went a little crazy in this store, and who doesn’t? I bought three pairs of earring ( I seem to lose mine at times and was running low), and a shirt with Hawaii printed on the front.
You cannot go to Hawaii and not have ice cream right? Well there is a place where they serve the only ice cream flavored passion fruit. The only place in the Hawaiian islands is Lapperts (the one we went to was in the Hilton Hawaiian Village). I had a little bit of passion fruit, but what I tried was the camel coconut macadamia nut ice cream ($4.70). Oh my goodness it was so good! I recommend this flavor to try.
After an ice cream treat we all walked around the Hilton Hawaiian’s gardens and pool. Waikiki beaches are a lot hotter in temperature than the other beaches around Oahu. The Hotel has penguins and turtles in the garden.
We walked through Fort DeRussy Park and Recreational to cool off from the heat of the sun. Then I came across this tank outside the Army Museum. I tried to make it look like I was running away from the tank, but failed at it.
Three days down in paradise was just the beginning of an adventure.
Mahalo for reading!