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Post by Joseph Mains
Waikiki Vacation, Three Generations in the Sun
We met our folks at ‘Alohilani Resort on Oahu for an adventure with their grandkids. Perfect. No one has to host, and we can all get some quality time together in the sun. We’ve got the grandparents and kids in connecting rooms so they can see more of each other (and we can have some extra space). After everyone got settled in, our rendezvous was the fifth-floor Swell Bar, where we shared small bites. We watched the sun set behind the Pacific from the infinity pool that first night, and let the little ones head off to the heated kids’ pool to watch a dive-in Sunday movie at the Monkeypod Kid’s Club.
In the morning we met the grandparents and kids on the second floor at Lychee for breakfast. The grownups caught up over coffee and local fresh fruit — grandparents relaying the stories of last night with the kids, how they’ve grown and all the rest — while the kids kept themselves busy with Upside-Down Lychee Strawberry Pancakes (twin-layer cakes with crystallized lychee and strawberry, coconut whip, heaven).
After breakfast, the whole family stopped by O Bar to catch the daily lei making class. We sat in front of the huge oceanarium and learned how to make flower and Ti leaf lei. Our teacher shared the history and fantastically diverse uses of the ti plant for native Hawaiians, and we each walked away with our own handmade lei. It was a beautiful way for our family to connect over craft making, and a great chance for the three generations of our family to learn together.
Next, we grabbed a shuttle to Hanauma Bay at the front door of ‘Alohilani. We rented snorkels and fins, found a secluded spot off to the side of the action and set up shop with parasols and blankets, snacks and reef-safe sunscreen and lots of cold drinks. The water brisk and mellow, everyone took some time to snorkel and explore this special reef that once was a favorite get away for native Hawaiian royalty. The kids showed off for their grandparents. Grandparents told their stories. We laid back, closed our eyes and listened to the sea and birds and let the sounds of the beach lull us into a semi-trance of bliss until it was time to head back to the resort.
Back at ‘Alohilani, we took the kids along the Waikiki strip while the grandparents enjoyed the peaceful late afternoon from the shade of their ocean view lanai. We checked out the banyan trees and Duke Kahanamoku statue, did some shopping and stopped for bubble tea and people watching before wandering our way back to ‘Alohilani.
After a day packed with adventure, we decided to take it easy on ourselves and stick to the resort for dinner at Morimoto Asia Waikiki. We got a table on the patio overlooking the beach and ordered family style for the table — perfect for letting the kids try new dishes, and honestly for the adults to do some of the same, since Iron Chef Morimoto is so thoughtful and unique in his approach to region and flavor. As dessert came and the conversation wound down, the grandparents graciously spirited the kids away to their rooms while we took a little time for ourselves, night waves gently lapping the soundtrack to our multi-generational adventure.