Trip Report Oahu and Big Island Dec 2021

Old Dec 18th, 2021, 06:41 AM
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Trip Report Oahu and Big Island Dec 2021

Since there has been so much discussion of what a hassle/how expensive/how bad the weather in Hawaii is now, I thought I'd post a brief report of my recent visit from Dec 2 to Dec 13.

I flew from Long Beach which now has two airlines flying nonstop to Honolulu (Southwest and Hawaiian Airlines). There had been some great fares on SW and perhaps HA was matching those (without the free checked bags but a better overall experience). I started planning in August but my plans changed multiple times even up to two days before, when I dropped Kauai entirely.

I don't do shopping, sunbathing, barhopping, golf or ocean swimming/snorkeling. I did a few tourist things, Hilo Farmer's Market, Volcanoes National Park to see the Kilauea eruption, the Bishop Museum, Punchbowl Cemetery, a walk through Waikiki looking at holiday decorations, the Royal Hawaiian hotel, etc.. Saturday I drove around Oahu, and walked out to Kaena Point to the Albatross colony (6 miles return), and saw the big surf that day. I also spent a lot of time "birding" including two days with a guide on Hawaii island.

My final flights, lodgings and rentals
LGB to HNL (on HA)
4 nights in Waikiki (2 at Astin Waikiki Circle right on the beach, 2 at Ilima Hotel near the Ala Wai Canal with free parking)
2 days weekend car rental (I drove out to Kahuku, Kaena Point and around the island, as well as shorter trips to the Punchbowl Cemetery, Bishop Museum and the Halona Blowhole.
HNL to ITO (on Southwest or WN)
7 nights in Hilo (2 at SCP Hilo and 5 at Dolphin Bay). I switched 2 nights in Volcano at an Airbnb to Dolphin Bay due to the damages around the National Park, but it turned out that I could have gone as all was restored within 2 days. I was lucky to find the extra 2 nights at DB.
3 days car rental from ITO ( I drove up to Volcano NP and also over to the Kona side over the Saddle Road). I also spent two days with a birding guide to go to two restricted reserves on Mauna Kea.
ITO to LGB with a connection in HNL (WN).
Meals were nearly 100% carryout or prepared back at the hotel. Mosty poke bowls, udon/saimin and one table service happy hour meal at an upscale Thai place in the Royal Hawaiian Center.

My flights from LGB and the interisland one were $400 return, would have been less if I hadn't dropped WN at nearly the last minute and swithed to HA ($259 OW with one checked bag).

My lodging was $1800 for 11 nights (would have been la little less if I'd been able to stick with two nights at the Volcano AirBnB).
Car Expenses and airport transfers were $700 including gas
I spent less than $160 for food including taxes and tips.
My guide was $650 for two days (one day a private tour) and that included two lunches and all the tangerines and rambutan that I wanted.
Total cost for 11 nights and 12 days was $2700 including my Ubers from home in LGB to the airport.

I really liked Hilo, BTW. Actually feels like Hawaii.

I'll write another post on the weather later today.
For now a few photos.

Big Surf at Kaena Point

Paddleboarders worried about the front over Waikiki

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Old Dec 19th, 2021, 07:20 AM
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Sunset at End of the Chain of Craters Road

Kilauea Eruption Dec 8-9

Hilo, December 12
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Old Dec 19th, 2021, 07:22 AM
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Loving the sunset and volcano eruption photos, wow.
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Old Dec 19th, 2021, 08:15 AM
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That's what I said!
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Old Dec 19th, 2021, 11:30 AM
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Not a single purchase from an ABC store

Udon bowl from KTA in Hilo. I crisped up the shrimp in a saucepan in my kitchen at Dolphin Bay.

Poke Bowl (Spicy Ahi) with Cucumber Kimchi and Watecress Salad, over Sushi Rice (From Poke N Sides at Hilo Farmer's Market)

Famous "Snow Puffies" from Paalaa Kai Bakery (North Shore)

Maguro Spot poke bowl, made to order ahi/marlin mix on brown rice with Hawaiian and Creamy Sesame sauce, add cucumber

Noi Thai Happy Hour dine-in, Waikiki

Breakfast for two mornings, Astin Waikiki Circle
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Old Mar 11th, 2024, 02:08 PM
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I have no idea why sometimes posting photos to Fodor's works, and sometiimes it doesn't.
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