The Makani Catamaran was part of our Go Oahu Card deal. We did see turtles and several types of fish; I just didn’t get them on digital. Read more about our tour and see other links at our Oahu page. Find out if the Go Oahu Card is worth it.
This page will contain links to information about our Hawaii trip and Oahu in general when they become available:
- The Honolulu Cookie Company and its spirit of Aloha!
- Oahu Photography Tours helps people see all of the island!
- Go A-Round with Top of Waikiki Restaurant and creativity
- Oahu blog posts
- Leonard’s Bakery
- ABC Stores
- King’s Pizza Cafe
- Diamond Head Hike with Kaimana Tours
- Makani Catamaran
- Photos from Makani Catamaran’s Afternoon Tour
- Is the Go Oahu Card Worth It?
- Polynesian Cultural Center Review
- Family at the Polynesian Cultural Center
- Waikiki Beaches: Kuhio and Queen’s near Kapahulu Avenue
- Cheeseburger in Paradise
- Waikiki Transportation
- Pearl Harbor
- Staying at the Waikiki Grand Hotel by Castle
- Oahu Photos part 1
- Scenic Photos from Oahu
My wife and I are going to Oahu! While I would love to see the active volcano, I suspect that we will be spending all of our time in or near Honolulu. In the coming months before the trip, I will endeavor to find people to interview electronically about the island and seek out interesting facts like Oahu is the only home to a royal palace in the United States, loco moco is a local delicacy of egg, hamburger patty and gravy, and the true Hawaiian dessert is called “shave ice” — no ‘D’ much like Carmelo Anthony’s game. (Man, why did I have to bring Melo into this. He’s just chillin’ in Houston and looking to play for a championship. Sorry, got distracted…)
So, Oahu. Why did we choose to go to Hawaii?
There are a lot of places that require Russians to have a visa but not Americans or Americans to have visas but not Russians, and it’s not easy to get a visa to a foreign country as an American living in Russia. I would have to fly to Vladivostok or Moscow, which is expensive and far. My wife already has a visa to come to America, so Hawaii won over Puerto Vallarta.
We are heading out for my Grandma’s 90th birthday celebration in California. Hawaii is kind of on the way from Far East Russia.
I wanted to go see the volcano, but flights were just a little out of our overall budget. Oahu is where the plane stops first and the flight was cheaper enough to make it the only place to stop.
OMG, have you seen the rain in summer in Blago? No? Check out this video on YouTube, and this one with the Amur River level higher than I’ve ever seen it. This hasn’t been a summer. It’s been a monsoon. I’m hoping that Hawaii has a little more sun in November to help us recharge our batteries.
In an interview with “This Week Oahu” (Nov. – Dec. 3, 2018, p.28), Publisher Kent Coules asked ABC Stores President and CEO Paul Kosasa why Kosasa would explore opening restaurants and other businesses rather than just continue to open more stores in his already successful franchise.
“’We like to experiment,’ says Kosasa ‘Doing the same thing over and over again breeds complacency. You have to take risks… By expanding our expertise, we’ve learned things that we’ve brought into the ABC Stores – and vice-versa.’”
Risk taking is essential for creativity. When you do something new, it is a risk. You could fail; you could make a mistake. It’s all part of the learning process, and risk-takers use those mistakes and failures as stepping stones to success.
Creativity happens at the intersection. With the expansion of his business operations into other fields, Kosasa has been able to bring what he’s learned from one domain (restaurants) to another (convenience stores).
One more point Kosasa made in the interview is that he drew inspiration for the Island Country stores from magazine photos. The Island Country stores are upscale grocery stores on Oahu.
Media is a good way to get inspiration and to refill your creative well. With more information input, you can make more creative decisions. The hardest part is knowing when inspiration is going to strike – maybe in a free magazine with an article about a local business that has extended its reach internationally.
Pearl Harbor is an all-day tour. The greatest tragedy in American naval history, Pearl Harbor exhibits commemorate the soldiers that fell during the Japanese sneak attack on docked battleships. Starting with the Arizona Memorial, the film before you go out on the boat shows what led to the Japanese attack and why it was so successful. The Arizona Memorial dock is currently under repair, so visitors get a tour by the memorial with a guide who explains the story and answers questions. Get your tickets online, or you may not be able to go aboard the boat for this FREE tour.
The Bowfin Submarine and its museum are included on the Go Oahu Card as are the below mentioned attractions. The audio guide explains the life of a submariner. I listened to the family version of the guide and found it much more entertaining than the adult version, but you can choose just by punching in the right number.
A shuttle takes guests from the arrival center over a bridge to Ford Island. There, you’ll get to stand on the decks of the Missouri that stands watch over the Arizona. The Mighty Mo was where the Japanese formally surrendered to the Allied Forces. It also saw service during the Korean War and Desert Storm.
If you love planes, the Pacific Aviation Museum is for you! A lot of restored aircraft occupy the two hangars. For me, the most interesting was a B-17 Bomber found in the swamps of New Guinea. Dubbed the “Swamp Ghost,” its insignia was drawn by Disney artists and features Donald Duck in the role of the Swamp Ghost.
If you get hungry while at Pearl Harbor, your best choices for food are at Ford Island. In the shadow of the Mighty Mo is a food truck,and the Pacific Aviation Museum features a counter service restaurant. Both offer better food to eat than the $7 hot dog and the snack shop at the visitors’center.
Oahu Photography’s Circle Sunrise Tour takes its guests on an all-day adventure where guide and participants become fast friends. A smaller group and De-Jay’s, the guide, openness make these friendships possible. Full of humor, knowledge and a genuine sense of love for the state and the people he is showing it to, De-Jay provides and easy entry into the sights of Hawaii and how to photograph them. Be prepared for lots of dad jokes and a modicum of movie-based humor.
Groups are purposefully kept small, which allows each person to receive as much or as little personal interaction and instruction from the guide, who is also a professional photographer. The tour itself can be adapted within set parameters to accommodate different impulses of the guests, and there’s never any rush to get in and get out of the van. If someone wants to spend a little more time taking photos of a certain area, they are welcome to do so. This flexibility also allows the group to adjust to local weather patterns and ensures that everyone has the opportunity to get his or her perfect shot.
When you come to Hawaii, give yourself a couple of days to adjust to the climate and relax. Then take this tour. That way, your photos will be better than ever for the rest of the trip, and you’ll have the inside scoop about where to eat from someone who lives on the island. Don’t forget to purchase the photo package ahead of time to get photos of you and your group (or loved one), both candid and posed, from a pro!
For more about Oahu Photography Tours, check out our Oahu page.
Alex Wilson, and manager of Oahu Photography Tours took some time out of his schedule to answer our questions about Oahu and his business:
- What’s the one thing people shouldn’t miss on Oahu and why? “People should get out of Waikiki. They need to see what else is out there other than the city,” says Wilson.
- What does your business bring to the Oahu community? “We bring a great way to see Hawaii in is best form. They get to walk away with amazing photos,” says Wilson.
- How does your business foster creativity? “Photography … :)” says Wilson. Check out Oahu Photography Tour’s post on manifesting creativity: “Everyone possesses creativity, you need only learn how to manifest it!”
- What makes your business different from others on the island? “It’s unique, original and inspiring,” says Wilson.
- What is the best thing about Hawaii? “Its history of the Polynesian people,” says Wilson.
Wilson founded Oahu Photography Tours in 2010 to help people get more out of their stay in Oahu. Offered tours include the “Circle Sunrise Island Tour,” which is a 10-hour tour of Oahu, and the twice monthly “Full Moon Tour” to watch and photograph the moon emerging from the ocean. Tour members can be of any level of expertise. The professional photographer guides give instructions and tips when asked. Tours are generally limited to 7 people.
Check out these Oahu links for more about our trip to Hawaii.
Our hike at Diamond Head was facilitated by Kaimana Tours. Diamond Head trail starts at the bottom of an extinct volcano and delivers views of Waikiki and other parts of Oahu. Walk with us.