Initial Impressions of Hawaii
Hawaii ranks as one of those once-in-a-lifetime destinations everyone must visit. I finally had my chance, albeit on a work related trip, to explore the 50th State in the United States. Though much of my time was spent in the hotel and in meetings, I did get to explore a bit of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu (above) and the town of Kona. With a whirlwind 5 days on the ground, here are my initial thoughts/impressions of Hawaii.
- Waikiki Beach and Honolulu are nothing but mega tourist centers. I couldn’t believe the crowds.
- Japan loves to travel to Hawaii. A booming business of tours, restaurants and hotels catering to the Japanese exists. At times, it seemed like there were more Japanese people than American people.
- The sunsets in Hawaii are spectacular. Period.
- Food is extremely expensive in Hawaii. How expensive? Meals in tourist centers of town average $25 per entree.
- Gas is at least a whole dollar per gallon more expensive too.
- I still don’t understand why Hawaii loves SPAM. I tried it, don’t get it.
- Hawaiians do love to surf. Board shorts and flip flops reign supreme.
- Many taxi drivers didn’t take credit cards. I spent nearly $100 in taxi fares. I never bring that much cash!
- The fact that you are on an island, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean makes Hawaii cool.
- True Hawaiians are blood-related to the original inhabitants of the island. Otherwise, you are just born and raised in Hawaii.
- Hawaii IS in the United States. It’s not a new country. Several locals told me stories of people from the mainland referring to Hawaii as another country.
- You don’t get leis when you disembark the plane – but you can buy them in the airport terminal.
- The Kona airport is cute, one of the cutest in the country (but not as cute as Phalaborwa). It’s completely outdoors.
- Floral print shirts are common, even in professional settings!
- Everyone has to eat at Duke’s on Waikiki Beach. They have an endless salad buffet and live bands on Sunday. Eat during sunset.
- You’ll find all the major, American brands here. And a bunch of luxury brands too.
- Macadamia Nuts are called Mac Nuts.
- Hawaii is the place you’ll want to return to.
- You can spend forever exploring all the different Hawaiian islands.
- I love traditional, Hawaiian music.
- Walking the beach with the sand between your toes in Hawaii is just, plain, great.
- The lava formations of The Big Island are unlike anything I’ve (you’ve) ever seen before.
- The Big Island is called The Big Island and not Hawaii (it’s true name).
- The Big Island still has an erupting volcano. Watch out!
- The Big Island has all but 2 of the climate zones found on earth. And yes, you can find snow in Hawaii.
- To truly appreciate Hawaii, you need to stay there longer than 5 days and get out of your hotel!
Have you ever been to Hawaii? What did you think? Share by commenting.
I’ll see you out there…!