Waikiki Getaway During PregnancyAugust 2, 2010 No Comments
My wife was about 4 months pregnant and I wanted to plan one last vacation as a couple before the baby arrived. It was our first baby and although I was excited about becoming a Dad, I was also very concerned about how much our lives would change once the baby arrived. Although we had been on many vacations with family and friends, it was rare that my wife and I had a chance to get away just the two of us. My wife was already showing, but the nausea was finally gone so we decided to seize this small window of opportunity and book a 10 day vacation to Hawaii!
It was May, 2009, and I managed to book our entire vacation including round trip flights, hotels, and rental car online on expedia.com. We didn’t need a rental car on our first half of the trip where we stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki in Oahu. In this article I wanted to outline the wonderful time we had on this part of our vacation because although we really enjoyed our second half on the Big Island, it really felt like two separate vacations! Waikiki is known to us as the more touristy, and glamorous island with high rise hotels like the Sheraton, the fancy restaurants and glitzy shopping malls like the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.
We did not need to rent a car because everything we wanted to do was within walking distance from our hotel. We love the Sheraton because of its beach front location right next door to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The hotel stands 31 stories tall and our room was on the 27th floor facing the ocean and pool! We had a pretty standard sized room with a King size bed, but our view from that height was far from standard and it just took our breaths away! When we first entered the room, we walked over to the balcony and took in the amazing scene in silent awe.
As expected, all of Waikiki Beach was a constant throng of locals and tourists. It was already about 12pm when we arrived so there was little or no hope of securing a good spot at the pool. This was not a problem since all we wanted to do when we first arrived was go exploring. The first thing we did was walk over to the Royal Hawaiian to check out the shops, restaurants, and overall premises. As a kid I stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel at least once a year with my family, and being there brought back many of those slumbering memories. I remembered how we loved to go up and down the elevators, always taking the “bathers” elevator directly to the pool area which led to the beach. I recalled the many times my older cousin and I rented those long surf boards so we could ride the notorious long running Waikiki waves. It warmed my heart to think about how wonderful it was to be here all those decades later with my wife and soon to be born son!
Because of the time change, we had very little trouble waking up early so we could reserve our seats at the pool. We found the perfect place each morning on a small section of grass right between the pool and the boardwalk facing the ocean. We set up our lawn chairs with towels and umbrellas along that stretch of grass, and with the palm trees above us we had plenty of protection from the sun. Each day before lunch I would leave my wife at the pool for about 1 hour while I got a quick workout at the gym. While I was gone my wife continued to enjoy the view of the ocean and the people walking by as she devoured her tabloid magazines.
We ate breakfast a few times at the Royal Hawaiian’s Surf Lanai. It was a very nice and casual atmosphere right next to the pool and beach. The food was great, especially the papaya, pineapple, and other fresh fruit. I especially liked the wonderful fresh guava and orange juice. I must have had at least 4 glasses of guava juice each time!
The best breakfast was of course at the Hanohano room. It was a buffet style brunch located on the very top floor of the hotel. The food was absolutely to die for, and it felt like we were dining at the top of the world! I rarely eat desert, but at the Hanohano room I could not resist the bread pudding even after about 3 trips to reload my plate!
One day I ran into a my old friend Brent from Manhattan Beach California. He was there on business but it was a Sunday afternoon and I saw him on the beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian. I introduced him and his friend to my wife and agreed to meet them later at Duke’s for a drink or two. What a coincidence to randomly run into an old friend on a remote island on a beach with thousands of people! It was amazing, so I made it a point to meet up with them later for a drink. It was a Sunday, so I knew Duke’s would be crowded and full of drunk people as it is every Sunday. My wife agreed to let me go there by myself for a couple of hours while she went back to the room to relax and get ready for dinner. While I was there my friend suggested that my wife and I have dinner upstairs at Chuck’s Steakhouse. It was really funny because I asked him if he could recommend a good steak and seafood place in the area and all he did was point up! We were very pleased with his recommendation! Our food was excellent and it was a pleasant and serene atmosphere despite all of the debauchery going on directly below.
Our stay at the Sheraton Waikiki was a wonderful experience that we will never forget. This was our second time staying at this hotel and we were just as pleased the second time as we were the first. The exciting part about it was that after 5 days and nights of luxury and bliss, we still had one more island to visit! Of course I’ll leave that story for another time.
Read part 2 of our Hawaiian Vacation: Hapuna Beach Prince Hawaii Vacation