Ha: Breathe of Life Show Review

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O’ahu 2016: Introduction
Hyatt Place El Segundo
Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina
Pearl Harbor Memorial
Makapuu Point Lighthouse
Polynesian Cultural Center’s- Ha: Breath of Life Show
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Polynesian Cultural Center’s- Ha: Breath of Life Show

My wife and I wanted to book tickets for a Luau while on O’ahu.  We asked our the concierge at our hotel what they recommend.  They gave a few options and we selected the luau at the Polynesian Cultural center.  We did get a call from another concierge at our hotel to tell us about the best ones on the island but those were over $150 per person for “VIP tickets” with ocean views in the background.  Our tickets costed about $80 per person.

We had a decent ride back up towards the North Shore side of the island.  We finally arrived after about an hour.  The parking lot was fairly full but we were lucky enough to find a spot up front. The Polynesian Cultural Center is a place where you could spend a few hours learning about the Polynesian Islands prior to the luau but we were tired and procrastinated and left just enough time to eat and see the show.

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Polynesian Cultural Center entrance
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Polynesian Cultural Center

After getting our tickets through the Continue reading

Makapuu Point Lighthouse

_____________________________________________________________________________
O’ahu 2016: Introduction
Hyatt Place El Segundo
Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina
Pearl Harbor Memorial
Makapuu Point Lighthouse
Polynesian Cultural Center’s- Ha: Breath of Life Show
_____________________________________________________________________________

Makapuu Point Lighthouse

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On our last day on Oahu we decided to try to hit up the Makapuu Point Lighthouse trail and Diamond Head. My wife felt that might be too aggressive of a plan so we just decided to visit the Makapuu Point Lighthouse.

When we arrived around mid day parking was at a premium.  We did manage to find a spot and quickly got our son in his stroller.  The pathway is paved nicely but is somewhat steep in areas but not too hard overall.  Slightly harder with a stroller and 85 degrees weather.

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Not far in we were treated to some nice ocean views.  There are numerous stopping points in which you can rest and check out the scenery.

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Scenic valley and ocean views

The normal tourist viewpoint at the top of the path was closed for construction. However just below that was another viewpoint area.  After 45 minutes of walking or so we go our first peek at the actual lighthouse.

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Makapuu Point Lighthouse

Just a minute or two or past the lighthouse is a very nice view point!

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Amazing views

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Amazing views

We took a few photos of the view and the family and just hung out for a few minutes to take in Earth’s beauty before starting our walk back down.

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The paved trail

My wife had stroller duties on the way down. Luckily there were some nice breezes hitting us to cool us down.

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Small pools at the bottom

Overall I found this simple hike to make an enjoyable afternoon.  A bit of light exercise with amazing Hawaiian views and something the entire family can enjoy! I recommend visitors to O’ahu to check it out!

-PointsPinnacle


 

A Memorial Day Visit to Pearl Harbor

_____________________________________________________________________________
O’ahu 2016: Introduction
Hyatt Place El Segundo
Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina
Pearl Harbor Memorial
Makapuu Point Lighthouse
Polynesian Cultural Center’s- Ha: Breath of Life Show

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Pearl Harbor Memorial

On Memorial Day 2016 my wife and I made a memorable visit to Pearl Harbor.  I booked our tickets through our hotel concierge.  Our tickets cost $1.50 per person. Our baby was free.

We had reservations for 11am and arrived closer to 10:20am.  It is recommended to arrive an hour early.  Parking was nearly full but we were able to find a spot. We arrived and got in the will-call line.  We recieved our tickets and were told where to line up to begin the tour.  Since we still had time to burn we walked around a bit and checked out some of the sites.

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USS Bowfin Submarine

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Flag at half staff

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The anchor of the USS Arizona

After walking around for about 20-30 minutes we got in line to enter a mini movie theatre which kicks off the tour.

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My wife and baby waiting for the movie to begin

The movie is a short 15-20 minute documentary on the attack on Continue reading

Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina Review

_____________________________________________________________________________
O’ahu 2016: Introduction
Hyatt Place El Segundo
Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina
Pearl Harbor Memorial
Makapuu Point Lighthouse
Polynesian Cultural Center’s- Ha: Breath of Life Show

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Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina

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Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina entrance

My wife and I arrived to the Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina resort around noon and were welcomed by the wonderfully amazing valet and bell staff! We were asked if we were checking in and given our valet ticket for the week.  I accepted the bellman’s offer with assistance with all of our luggage. I tipped the valet and bellman and we were escorted to the resort entrance.

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Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina exterior

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Four Seasons O’ahu Ko Olina entrance

We were met at the entrance by a local woman who was dressed in traditional Polynesian attire who adorned my wife and I with lei’s but none for our baby.

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Four Seasons O’ahu Ko Olina welcome lei’s 

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Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina reception area

I found the lobby to be big and bright with plenty of Continue reading

Hyatt Place El Segundo Review

_____________________________________________________________________________
O’ahu 2016: Introduction
Hyatt Place El Segundo
Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina
Pearl Harbor Memorial
Makapuu Point Lighthouse
Polynesian Cultural Center’s- Ha: Breath of Life Show
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Hyatt Place El Segundo

After a 5-10 minute or so drive we were dropped off at the Hyatt Place El Segundo by a shuttle bus driver.  The property runs multiple shuttles through 105 Parking. There was a momentary wait to check in due to other guests ahead of us in line.  We were greeted and checked in promptly and the front desk agent explained the complimentary breakfast starts at 6am.

Design wise I thought the hotel appeared to be in good shape overall and was welcoming at first appearance.

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Hyatt Place El Segundo lobby area

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Hyatt Place El Segundo seating area

Just off the lobby is the business center which consisted of three Continue reading

O’ahu 2016: an Introduction

_____________________________________________________________________________
O’ahu 2016: Introduction
Hyatt Place El Segundo
Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina
Pearl Harbor Memorial
Makapuu Point Lighthouse
Polynesian Cultural Center’s- Ha: Breath of Life Show
_____________________________________________________________________________

My wife and I love Hawaii and it seems we can’t stay away for long! We decided to take a vacation to O’ahu which is an island we haven’t yet visited.  This would also be our youngest son’s first trip to the islands and his 5th state visited in only 10 months!

One of the reasons I love planning trips to Hawaii is although it’s far from our home state of Wisconsin it is easy to get to. It’s also super easy using points to fly there for “free”!  I decided to use a combination of Southwest Rapid Rewards points and British Airways Avios points to get all 3 of us to O’ahu.  I use these points for all of my domestic economy travels nowadays and they are also great for positioning flights too.  I save my United and American miles/points for international first class flights.

We flew Milwaukee to Los Angeles on Southwest for 25,025 points and $11.20 roundtrip for all three of us using our Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.

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Southwest payment details

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Southwest snacks and beverages

The flight was 80% full so our baby was able to have his own seat and so he sat in his car seat for the nearly 4 hour flight which was nice. He napped and ate the entire time.

We decided to stay overnight in LA because we didn’t know how the baby would do with a connection and another 5 hour flight to Hawaii right away. We ended up using our annual Hyatt free night certificate good for a category 1-4 property. The Hyatt Place El Segundo was perfect for our needs and a category 4.

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Hyatt Place El Segundo room

After a good night sleep at Hyatt Place we shuttled back to LAX for our 8 a.m. flight on American Airlines. Our flight to Honolulu was full so we had to have the baby on our laps for the 5+ hours flight but it was a fairly comfortable flight except for the lady sitting on the isle trying to grab/hold of our baby. We were on American’s fairly new A321 planes.

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American Airlines payment details

Hawaii Cash price flight
The cash price of our flights had we paid via AA.com

Our flights were only $22.40 and 52,500 British Airways Avios points roundtrip for all us vs $683 per person just for the LAX-HNL roundtrip. We landed in Honolulu about 20 minutes early at around 10:40 a.m.  We booked a rental car for the week through autoslash.com and went to pick that up at Dollar Rental Car. The car rental was $200 for the week plus $60 for an upgrade to an SUV and I prepaid for a tank of gas because sometimes I don’t feel like stopping to fill up on the way back to the airport.

It took us about 30-ish minutes to drive to our resort for the week, the new Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina.  We arrived on the the grand opening of May 27th.  We booked our rooms through Four Seasons Preferred Partner, David Ourisman.  We had very high expectations and were excited to be some of the first guests to check out the property.

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Myself outside the Four Seasons O’ahu Ko Olina entrance

I will have a full in-depth review of the property in the coming installments as usual so stay tuned to see what we ended up thinking about the property.

We flew back home after 6 days on the island enjoying some nice rest and relaxation.  Our baby had tons of fun too! This was our first major trip with the baby and he did great! He was well-behaved on the plane rides and loved watching the birds from our hotel balcony!

Our routing home was exactly the opposite routing HNL-LAX to LAX-MKE except we had a 3 hour connection.  We enjoyed our time on O’ahu but we still rank Kuaui the best island thus far!  I think we will perhaps try the Big Island next year.

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Me and the lil guy playing on the beach

As always let me know if you have any questions or comments.

-PointsPinnacle