My vacation in Hawaii

Let them embrace you
View photo on Flickr


The check-in, flight, landing, and luggage pick-up was smooth. Continental Airlines rocks pretty well, especially with the in-flight entertainment and frequent drinks.

After my uncle picked us[1. Leslie (my cousin), Juan (her boyfriend) and I] up from Honolulu Int’l, we got lunch at Zippy’s before going to his house. Ate, unpacked and settled in for a bit. (Onebag’s method of packing works, too! I barely had wrinkles.)

We drove Jason[2. Leslie’s brother] to his friend’s house because they were working on some slideshow stuff for his party on Saturday. The majority of my photos from this day were while driving around.

When we got back, we helped make tiny boxes that would hold candy for parting gifts on Saturday.

Sleep happened early for us since we were three hours ahead.

Don't let the waves take me (166/366)
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We had to wake up early to take Jason to Hawaii Pacific University in downtown Honolulu for some placement test or something. It would be a couple hours, so we ate at McDonald’s for breakfast before having our own [exhausting] walking tour, led by Leslie, of course.

We saw the skyscrapers, Iolani Palace and Iolani barracks, Ali?i?lani Hale and the Kamehameha Statue, Prince Kuhio Federal Building, and ended up at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park to hang out at the beach.

I think the total walking distance was at least 5 miles. When we told their mom how far we had walked, there was a look of shock. Then, their dad said we needed the exercise. (How appropriate.)

Jason done, we headed back to the house — but not before picking up lunch at a Korean BBQ place.

We didn’t go anywhere else for the rest of the day and I didn’t take any photos after 2pm. Jason and his friends were working on slideshow stuff[3. For not that long, though], and I was helping make table arrangements with Leslie, her mom, and Juan. They were stressed.

I shall devour you
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It was all about the party. After last-minute stuff at the house, we went to the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki. Juan and I photowalked around the beach for half an hour while the women got ready for the party, then we setup some decorations for the party.

Insert 8 hour chunk for Jason’s high school graduation party stuff.

Juan and I took tons of photos. He did the posed photos with guests and Jason, while I took the candids (fortunately for me).

Finally, the stress was over and the party finished around midnight. Everyone left except for Juan, Leslie and me, because we had a complimentary room for the night. We wandered a few blocks around Waikiki for a place to chill and have a drink, but were unsuccessful. Leslie went back to the room, but Juan and I didn’t give up. We finally talked to someone and found Mac 24-7, which was a block away. 🙂

The best Mai Tais ever
View photo on Flickr


Slept in, photowalked around the Waikiki beach for a bit, checked out, then went to some malls for Juan’s search of shoes. He didn’t like anything he saw, so we got Beard Papa’s cream puffs as a consolation before going back to the house.

I processed photos for a couple hours while Juan played the Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on his Nintendo DS Lite and Leslie unwound. Then, we went to the North Shore to try the famous Mai Tai at Jameson’s by the Sea.

The beach there was so chill, I had to hang out for a bit while Juan and Leslie got info about surfing lessons.

When we got back to the house, they had Pizza Hut and chicken wings for dinner.

To finish the day, we popped in a movie that was just lying there: Blankman. (Roll your eyes at the stupidity.) Meanwhile, Leslie hung out with her mom and cousins.

A panda's paradise
View photo on Flickr


Leslie drove us to M?noa Falls for a hike to the waterfall, then the beach at the Ko Olina Resort (the opposite side of the island).

After a couple hours of swimming and relaxing, we headed back to the house. But, not before stopping at Leonard’s for some hot malasadas. They’re like donuts, but incredibly better. Unfortunately, it’s only available in Hawaii. 😦

Get up there


We slept in, then drove to the Polynesian Culture Center for half the day. Simply amazing. The performers are very lively and humorous. We stayed for the evening luau and night show, too.


Like a unicorn
View photo on Flickr


We woke up at 4am and headed to the airport. Leslie gave up most of her miles so we could tour the Big Island for the day. Juan and I paid for the car rental, which was a 2008 Dodge Caliber from Enterprise Rent-A-Car[4. It was fine, but also happened to be the only car rental that wasn’t available at the airport. That’s probably why it was cheaper.]. We saw Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Mauna Loa Macadamia Visitor Center, Akaka Falls, Hilo Farmers Market (because papayas are cheaper there than in Honolulu), downtown Hilo, and finally, Rainbow Falls.

Our flight back to Honolulu was around 10:45pm, but we dropped off the rental car at 9pm and took a cab to the airport. I forgot to charge my iPod and phone the night before, so those both died. I stared at the ground for a long time before we were finally called to board the plane.


My last day in Hawaii. We went to Zippy’s for brunch, then drove Jason to buy a Macbook from one of the military places (my uncle was in the Navy, so he gets that discount). Back at the house, I packed and processed photos from Jason’s party so they could have them on a disc. My last activity was dinner at the house. My uncle and Leslie grilled chicken wings (oh, so yummy batter) and BBQ spare ribs.

Then, we all piled in a van and drove to Honolulu Int’l. *sniff*

Click here to view my Flickr photoset of Hawaii (2008) — I’m still processing and uploading photos.

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

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