Oahu - Another Great Insiders Trip

Discussion created by erc on Dec 18, 2013
Latest reply on Dec 19, 2013 by kharada46


As several of you are aware, my family just completed a terrific vacation on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. I often tease about the Rewards programs 'enhancements', but as it relates to several of my trips, the Insiders (with due credit to the Marriott Rewards program for providing it) once again proved to be a true enhancement. Not only did we get terrific suggestions for restaurants, activities, and events, but the interaction among members during our stay added fun for all family members that by the end of the trip, had my daughters saying, "hey Dad, iahflyr  (born in IAH, you're daughter #1's favorite) and pluto77 (as a performer, daughter #2 is a fan) will get a kick out of this, or tell lakersfan about you mapping out every lookout, even Granny joined in, "make sure jerrycoin knows I got a sweet deal on a pearl necklace at the International Market", and it was Mrs. Erc who said, "we're coming up to Schofield Barracks, didn't you say an Insider (bpelican and anadyr) was stationed there?" And of course, the cherry on top of this vacation sundae was the dinner with the Insiders' own Hawaiian Fodors Man and his, far cuter than he probably deserves, bride - the kharada46's. It was a great trip from start to finish (even the nail biter of connecting flights to reach the Island) and we felt Insiders were with us all along the way. Here are some photos to give you an idea of the fantastic time we had. I'm not clever enough for photo albums, so just grab your favorite beverage and scroll and stroll away.
I may be one of the last Insiders to shop here. Scheduled to be torn down year-end,
with the Ritz Carlton just up the street 90% sold out of residences from 900k to
$15 million, it's understandable why, but still sentimentally sad.
One of several beautiful sunsets we experienced - this one at Duke's
Because I took the entire clan and had adult daughters who wanted retail activity and the buzz of the city, we opted to stay in Waikiki rather than one of the several impressive Marriott timeshares or JW. Needing three rooms made it a no brainer to go with a condo, bypassing the two Marriott properties, although as you'll see, we did stay at the Waikiki Marriott during our departure day, as well as rent from the Hertz on location, with a good rewards member discount, and were treated very nicely by the entire Marriott team, at an excellent location for access to the beach.
Booked thru VRBO, fortunate enough to get 3BR condo w/great views


Marriott Waikiki - great view - opted out of resort fee (thanks merb for info)
arkwright, bpelican and I just finished discussing the importance of
establishing relationships in this new world of lodging. Thank you Ms. Wong!
A trip to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial is always a special occasion, but this one was additionally wonderful as we got to spend time with our good friend and his wife, Rear Admiral Williams, Commander Navy Region Hawaii, who not only gave us a marvelous tour but also welcomed us into his (the Navy's) lovely home on the base where Commanders have lived since 1914. As someone who is "always on", he actually found our 'shenanigans' refreshing (because trust me, no one on the island razzes him like we privately did!) and we all had a marvelous time, just relaxing among friends.
   Admiral Williams, Fleet Commander of the Pacific Region and the Gaggle

             The U.S.S. Missouri watching over the U.S.S Arizona

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Waterfront Memorial (Bowfin in background) honoring the 52 submarines
and over 3500 submariners on eternal watch lost in WWII

Honolulu Memorial/National Cemetery (Punchbowl) another moving place

At the risk of my enthusiasm pummeling you with 'family vacation shots', here are some glances of the numerous activities we enjoyed, virtually all of them recommended, discussed, and truly enhanced by the Insiders forum prior to our participation;
     Waikiki from Diamond Head, as I fulfill my commitment to iahflyr
             Hanauma Bay, great views and great snorkeling spot
                               The Halona Blow Hole
           Iolani Palace - only residence of royalty in the United States
              Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens - North Shore
                                      Waimea Waterfalls
           Waimea Bay Jump Rock (yes, that's a relative)
And of course, the Insiders meet and greet with the kharada46's
Tiki's Grill across from the Waikiki Marriott - another great choice by kharada46
Thank you for coming along with us Insiders, may your holidays be as joyful as our trip. Aloha.