June 29, 2007

you can't get lost in waikiki

(Map found on discounthotelshawaii.com.)

Last May, I visited Waikiki for the first time! Talk about excited! I couldn't think about anything but Hawaii during those long months leading up to the trip! :)

In Waikiki, at first glance, I was a bit weary. It seems almost like a "Little NYC" with all the skyscrapers within a one square mile radius. But after a day or two of walking around and staring at my tourist map, I realized it's almost impossible to get lost in Waikiki. OK ... here's how I got my bearings. There are three main streets in Waikiki. Yep! Just three!

The one that almost everyone will find themselves on is Kalakaua Boulevard, the beautiful avenue running closest and parallel to the Pacific Ocean. Here are most of the hotels and resorts, restaurants and shops, markets and ABC stores, and of course the gazillion tourists from all over the world ... including me! One of the hotels we stayed in on this trip was right off of this street. An unbeatable location!

Then there's Kuhio Boulevard, running side by side to Kalakaua Boulevard, perhaps a block or so inland. Most hotels actually congregate between Kalakaua and Kuhio Boulevards. The famous outdoor International Market has an entrance off of Kuhio also. And yes, you have to visit this market! It's one of the few places where tourists can bargain until their hearts' content. Kuhio is not as crowded as Kalakaua, and so if you want to go out to dinner but don't feel like bumping into too many tourists, pick a restaurant off of Kuhio. There are plenty of good ones to choose from. I even spotted a Vietnamese restaurant!

Last but not least is Ala Wai Boulevard which for me stands for the end of Waikiki since beyond it is the serene Ala Wai Canal. I did a quick reading on the internet and found out the canal was built in 1922 to help drain rainwater coming down from the mountains above Waikiki. And so thanks to the Ala Wai Canal, Waikiki is no longer a swampland full of fish and duck ponds. It's funny that almost every local we talked to mentioned that they're from or live in the Ala Wai Canal area. I guess it's where the tourists drop off, and the real life begins.

Well, that's about it on our brief geography crash course of Waikiki! :) Here's our snapshot of Ala Wai Boulevard with the mountains beyond. We came upon this corner almost daily during our week-long stay on the island. :)

June 28, 2007


I've always wanted to do this ... press the shutter button and spin round and round just to see what magic would come out of it. And so this is it! It's amazing what a little point & shoot can do!

In case you're wondering where this was ... we were on a family reunion/vacation in Orlando, and on this particular day ... we had such a blast exploring Islands of Adventures. :)