Category: Hawaii

There is a lot of competition for getting on “the best beach” lists. I have my own list, but if you want to mix a perfect beach, and nearby amenities, it’s hard to beat Kailua on Oahu, in Hawaii.

Even in season, Kailua is pretty deserted during the week. During the weekends locals descend on it, but otherwise, the long crescent beach is almost empty. It has astounding views at every step; there are ancient craters and an endless horizon to watch, with an occasional whale pod to discover if you stare long enough during the winter season.

What I like about Kailua is the absence of high-rises. This ultra exclusive beach area has no resorts or monolithic condominiums — just houses, some of which are mind-bogglingly expensive, others, more modest — but still more expensive than most of us can even imagine affording. Still, the whole feel of the place is casual. This is not a particularly showy stretch of houses and most are not hidden behind forbidding walls. Continue reading »

1 Comment | Filed Under Hawaii, North America, Romance, Travel, United States

Everyone knows that the Hawaiian Islands are romantic. But perhaps you don’t know how much more romantic they are off-season. I recently returned from a September sojourn in Kauai and Hawaii (the Big Island) and the unhurried and uncrowded islands were a special treat.

Like many people, when my kids were young, I had to arrange most of my vacations around my children’s schedule — which meant trips around school holidays. I had gotten in the habit of traveling to Hawaii around Christmas even when I could have gone other times. Big mistake.

This September, we had perfect weather every day of our two week vacation (not so likely in December) and all dining and tourism options were open and easy. Continue reading »

Leave a Comment | Filed Under Hawaii, Romance, Travel

I’m sure I am not alone in “not getting” why gas prices are so high when oil is selling so much lower than last year. The San Francisco Bay Area is particularly bad; this photo is from last summer. I remember visiting Hawaii and realizing we paid more for gas in San Francisco than an island in the South Pacific, but go figure…

I also don’t get why it’s more to pick your own fruit at an orchard than to buy it at Farmer’s Market. Anyway, I do get that as summer is around the corner we are going to get hit with even higher prices to fill up. I thought this Rand McNally list was very helpful. I particularly like the bit about open sunroofs causing a significant decrease in gas mileage. So buckle up, gas up, close your sunroof and get ready for a lot of summer driving OR DON’T. Let’s hope we don’t see these prices again. Even though I think it’s a good thing to decrease driving, I can’t stomach these prices.

Leave a Comment | Filed Under Budget Travel, Driving Trips, Eco Friendly Travel, Family Travel, Farmer's Markets, Hawaii, Northern California, San Francisco, Travel, Travel Tips

With inauguration excitement building to a crescendo in Washington and around the country, saying that interest in Barack Obama is high is like saying the sun rose this morning. People want to know where he came from, what his favorite places are, what he likes to do in his spare time.

We can all get a little insight into this by poking around his neighborhood, and thanks to Gayle Keck we can explore Obama’s Chicago. Her story in Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle travel section takes readers on a whirlwind tour of the new president’s former haunts.

Going back farther, the online feature Hawaii Insider looks at tours of Obama’s Hawaii, including pointing readers to a site loaded with Obama-related Hawaii offerings: Obama’s Hawaii Neighborhood. The site links to loads of background reading on the new president and offers a walking tour of Makiki, the district of Honolulu where he lived as a boy.

If you can’t make it to Washington for the inauguration, maybe you can get your Obama fix in Chicago or Hawaii. But with all of this interest in Barack Obama, will the Obama Washington DC tour be next?

2 Comments | Filed Under Chicago, Hawaii, Illinois