Diamond 50 Hawaii
Miles runs are pretty normal in the world of frequent fliers, and The Old Man was no different at the end of 2018. With only a few miles, well maybe more than a few miles, away from reaching Diamond status on Delta Airlines. A perk that had many advantages, advantages the Old Man needed for 2019 with more than a few trips planned to India for work.
Doing research led to the fact that the Old Man could fly from Tampa, where we spent the holidays, to Honolulu Hawaii to get enough points by the end of the year to achieve his goal but cost less than an international flight. This trip would also help the Old Man achieve the goal of visiting his fiftieth state. Seeing as that was also a goal I wanted to achieve the Old Man booked a flight for both of us for 36 fun filled hours on the island of O’ahu.
After the horrible year that was 2018 this trip seemed like a perfect way for us to end the year on a high note going into the new year. We made so many plans for our few hours in Honolulu. In fact we ended up planning a bit more that we could do in such a short and in reality more than we wanted to do with the sun, sand, and Mai Tais calling.
The Old Man and I never put Hawaii high on our travel list, even when on the road we talked about how we would have to visit Hawaii to check off number fifty, but there were so many other places we wanted to visit first. Coming from Florida with its white sandy beaches it just seemed redundant to go visit another place with beaches and warm weather. I am going to just say it (y’all are all thinking it) we were idiots. Hawaii is amazing and a whole other world that I can’t wait to explore more.
I had a co-worker on vacation on the Big Island at the same time as we were there. They did their vacation the right way stayed for a week or so and planned for months before. Their photos made me jealous while I sat on the tarmac leaving from our 36 hour get away.
Even with a bit of Hawaii vacation envy the Old Man and I managed to get in a little fun in our short time on O’ahu. When we reached our hotel I was banished to the lobby while the Old Man “took care of some things”. I didn’t complain it was fun to people watch and gave me a bit of time to digest that I was in Hawaii.
Those “things” turned out to be a bottle of champagne and some presents for our fifth anniversary, it was truly a surprise and perfect way to start off our mini vacation. After a few sips of champagne and some more reflecting on the fact that we were indeed in Hawaii, we headed off to find some food and maybe another drink or two. We headed over to the Hilton Resort Village to Tropics Bar and Grill. While maybe not super local, it was within walking distance and gave us a chance to see what we were missing seeing as we picked Marriott over Hilton for this trip.
With an hour wait we found ourselves two seats at the bar ordered up two beers and some garlic shrimp. We started to plan the rest of our night when we realized that after a long day of travel all we really wanted to do was go to bed. With a sunrise hike planned for the next day finishing our dinner and heading back to bed seemed like the best plan. I am not sure either one of us was awake when our heads hit the pillow.
Thanks to jet lag we were up early enough and refreshed enough to find our way to Makapuu Lighthouse trail. The hike was amazing! Granted on the way up it was dark, but that just made it all the more fun and there was a beauty in the dark moonlit landscape. Sadly it was a cloudy morning so sunrise wasn’t as wonderful as it could have been, but it was still amazing and the hike down was beautiful in its own right. We choose this hike because the path was paved, it was listed as a great place to see sunrise, and my personal favorite a lighthouse. All things that hit a few of our goals for this abbreviated trip.
Giddy from our hike we stopped at a few more turn outs to enjoy the view and take in some of the amazing Hawaiian landscape. Then it was time to pick up our bikes, find some breakfast, and then get started on our bike tour. This is where things went a bit off schedule. We rented our bikes, we ate breakfast at Sweet E’s Cafe, and we started our bike tour, when we got to Diamond Head and realized it was a hike up to the top with our bikes we decided that maybe just maybe it would be ok if we biked back to the hotel (7 miles is a good enough bike ride, right?), enjoyed a few Mai Tais and got ready for our most touristy event of the weekend, a Luau
We did find our way to the beach and took a quick dip in the Pacific Ocean. The Old Man took a bit more of dip than I did, but i got my feet and knees wet. The Old Man figured it was the best way to wash 2018 off of us and move forward clean into 2019.
The Luau was a must do in the Old Man’s book so he booked us a VIP trip to the Paradise Cove Luau. It was quite the experience with the small merchant village, location on the water, and of course the roasted pig. During and after dinner we were granted a wonderful show of cultural dances and traditions. With the buses driving us home we had few too many, but that just made the whole event that much more fun. Plus after a lackluster sunset the night before we were able to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen in awhile. Oh how I do miss the water living in Dallas!
After getting back to the hotel we packed our bags and got ready for an early flight back to the mainland and reality. I wasn’t too excited about either of those things. It was sad to leave the island with so many things left undone. We never made it to Pearl Harbor as it would have taken a whole day and we choose a few things over one thing to make the most of our trip. We missed so many hikes, and a trip to the North Shore just to name a few.
On the plane we vowed to make a return trip to O’ahu and then maybe head onto the Big Island. The next trip we will plan better and stay longer, but Hawaii proved to be a great place to make a miles run and have a bit of time to step out of our day to day and into a little bit of paradise.