We slept in on Thursday…all the way until 4:00! Darn jet-lag! The only positive was that we were going to bed so early we were still getting a decent amount of sleep.
We had planned something completely different for the morning — an e-bike ride and climb of Diamond Head. I was a little apprehensive about both activities but we put on workout clothes, grabbed a quick breakfast, and headed out. We had arranged a ride to the starting location with Charley’s Taxi, and were glad we did. It was a little further than it seemed on the map. It would have been a long walk trying to follow the blue dot on my phone to our destination in an unassuming building a few blocks away from the major hustle and bustle of Waikiki Beach.
The e-bikes took some getting used to, but they were a lot of fun! I thought the experience was kind of a cross between a bicycle and a moped, and I appreciated the assist on some of the hills! Most importantly, neither of us fell off, so that aspect alone made it a great day!😂
We started out riding along Waikiki Beach, stopping at places of interest for pictures.
Ryan, the owner of 808 eVentures was great! He was very patient while we learned to ride the bikes, and very patient with my pathetic, plodding pace while we climbed the volcano! He took lots of pictures along the way.
I really enjoyed the bike part of this tour. It was fun zipping up the hills with ease! We arrived at the base of Diamond Head in one piece and got ready to start our climb.
I’ll tell you right now that this was more difficult than I anticipated. The climb isn’t overly steep, but the terrain is very uneven and it was HOT! Add to that I should have chosen different shoes (I wore regular tennis shoes and had a hard time with my feet moving in the shoes) and the climb kind of kicked my butt! There really is no correlation between walking on a treadmill at an incline in air conditioning (my preparation method) and climbing an extinct volcano in full on sunshine!
Still, I persevered and the views on the way up and at the top were well worth it!
What goes up must come down, and we were no exception! I thought the downhill hike was easier physically but a little more treacherous if that makes sense. There were lots of places where I thought it would have been easy to lose my footing or twist an ankle. Since I’m a klutz and I’ve had vacations impacted by my klutziness before I was extra careful. I was amazed at the people doing the climb in flip flops while I was wishing I wore hiking shoes!
We left Diamond Head and rode through some residential neighborhoods on the way to our reward for our efforts…a shave ice! We went to a tiny but popular place away from the tourist areas and all 3 of us had a delicious treat for less than $10 total. Most of the shave ice I saw in the tourist areas was at least double that!
Back at our hotel (we took an Uber) we decided on a light lunch at the Kani Ka Pila Grille. Unfortunately the concept of a “light” meal is foreign to them. I had an appetizer portion of coconut shrimp and a side salad, and even after some pretty strenuous morning activity I still thought it was too much food. Jim had what he called his first Poke Bowl of the trip, but I’m not sure he ever had another one so maybe it was his first and last!
This would have been a great time for laundry! Alas, the laundromat at the Outrigger Reef was taken out during the recent renovations, and taking an Uber or a taxi seemed like too much effort. We draped our hike and bike clothes on every available surface to let them dry before we banished them to sealed ZipLoc bags🤧, and decided a nap was in order.
I don’t think I slept, but I did rest for a while and I went through pictures, so I guess that counts as down time.
At 4:30 we were off to our next event, the Aha’aina Luau at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It was a fairly easy walk from the Outrigger Reef — about 10 minutes or so.
The luau was pricy, but they all are. We debated a little, but finally decided since we hadn’t been to Hawaii before we needed to splurge.
We chose this luau for a couple reasons, and we thought we made a good choice. First and foremost, we wanted to attend a luau outside by the ocean, and the Aha’aina delivered. We also wanted something close to our hotel, so that eliminated a lot of the big names that required an hour on a bus in each direction. Hmm…walk vs. take a bus? It was an easy decision for us.
I thought the event was very well done! The luau takes place out in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel with a view of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head in the background.
The food was good, not great. They no longer have a buffet. Instead you are served a pre-plated meal. Three drinks each were included, and we both thought two was plenty.
The show was very entertaining. All in all it was a great way to spend the evening.
Once the luau was over we were done for the night. We walked back to the hotel and did a little souvenir shopping along the way but we didn’t find anything we liked, so we decided to save that for another day. We were looking forward to “sleeping in” since we had a later start to Friday’s Tour — a “Beautiful Colors of Oahu” photo tour with Oahu Photography Tours.
Charley’s Taxi — https://charleystaxi.com
808 eVentures — https://808eventures.com
Waiola Shave Ice — https://www.facebook.com/WaiolaShaveIce/
Aha’aina Luau at the Royal Hawaiian — https://www.royal-hawaiian.com/dining-overview/ahaaina-luau/