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Thread: The Shrink goes to Hawaii

  1. #1
    Bronze The Shrink's Avatar
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    The Shrink goes to Hawaii

    PFA has never led me astray for travel advice so I'd like to get tips on planning a trip to Hawaii. I recently won a trip valued at about $3500 in one of those charity lotteries. Biggest thing I've ever won in a draw. They had a default itinerary but we can change it to whatever we want and pay extra (which is what we'll do).

    A few things about our trip:
    -we're going in April or early May
    -it's just me and Mrs. Shrink
    -we'd like to venture outside a resort and explore a bit
    -we plan to stay 10-12 days

    A few questions:
    -which islands are must-sees?
    -in 10-12 days how many islands should we try to hit?
    -is a car rental recommended?
    -will I see Dog the Bounty Hunter?
    -is Pearl Harbor worth checking out?
    -should I eat poi?

    Thank you, and mahalo.

  2. #2
    I've only been to the big island and it is stunning. I could spend two weeks there again, anytime. I'm sure the other islands have allure, too. I'm told inter-island flights are not much of a hassle security wise, if you choose to go to more than one island.

    Snorkeling/diving is tops ever for me. Do it if you like these activities at all. No need to rent a boat on the big island- simply wade out into bath warm water to see turtles, huge fish, coral etc. Tour books will identify scores of spots to do this up an down the coast.

    You need to rent a car.

    Poi is like grits- no taste, meh. Taste it if you want, but its nothing more than liquid cardboard. Kava, on the other hand, is a local food item I kind of liked. Very mild druggy drink- like very mild weed, maybe. Relaxing. Great to drink a bowl before a massage.

    Other food is spectacular- poke (this is basically sushi in salad form), coffee, fresh produce all top top. Sushi or anything from the sea awesome, too.

     
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      The Shrink: great tips thanks

  3. #3
    I hear the meth is pretty good over there.....if you're into that stuff....

     
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      cleatus: you now fuck up more threads than fps did
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  4. #4
    hey shrink, enjoy the trip man...

    been out there and went for a couple of weeks and went to Kauai (western most island) and mauiÖ

    here are my suggestions:
    *if you are only going for 10-12 days, only go to 2 islands or you won't get to enjoy shit...
    *if you want to explore, definitely get a car...I didn't at either spot when I was out there and didn't go out exploring, but you need a car if you want to do that...
    *Kauai and maui are definitely two different spots...Kauai was much less commercial than maui...I enjoyed both because it's fucking Hawaii, but i'd suggest Kauai on your travels...
    *if you are a fan of sushi, definitely get poke when you are out there...best ive ever had...

     
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      The Shrink: Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Pearl Harbor is definitely worth going to. Make a reservation for the monument.
    Oahu is tourist-y but there are some great things about the island. Shark's cove on the North Shore is a cool place to snorkel.
    I have found Maui to be the island where locals are least friendly. Actually it's usually white guys who moved there and act like dicks. Beautiful island but I don't go there very often for the reason stated earlier.
    Kauai is a must. Amazing little island. Great people.
    Big Island is one of my favorite places but there are people who just don't like it. There's a lot to do. Volcanoes national park is out I guess.

     
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      The Shrink: Great thanks

  6. #6
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    You can hit 3 islands in that time. It's not hard to jump on planes between islands, as security lines aren't long and the flights are like 20 minutes.

    You want a car at all places.

    Best snorkeling I found in Hawaii was at the Hapuna Prince hotel on the big island. You even get to swim with giant sea turtles! From what I saw, they don't seem to notice or give a shit if you're actually staying there, and you can walk right through to use their beach. It's a nice hotel, though, and good value for the money, at least back a few years ago when I stayed there. Volcanoes National Park should be interesting to see since they had that recent eruption. Maybe try to go find the neighborhood which got destroyed by lava, if that's accessible. You can also drive to the top of Mauna Kea and see SNOW (well, maybe or maybe not in April), which is at 13,700 feet. The drive is easy.

    On Maui, take the famous road to Hana for a scenic drive. Don't be scared by the descriptions of it being treacherous or dangerous. It's not. Just take it slowly. You can also drive up to a mountain there called Haleakala, which makes you feel like you're on another planet, since it's dry and rocky.

    If you go to either Maui or the big island, you will want to bring a jacket, in case you choose to drive up to those mountains, where it gets windy and cold!

    Kauai is beautiful but small. You can cover it pretty quickly. There's actually a canyon there which looks a lot like the Grand Canyon (obviously smaller), and is worth seeing. In Lihue, there's the dual waterfall which was featured in the opening credits of Fantasy Island:



    Unless you want to just relax on the beach, though, I wouldn't book too many days in Kauai.

    Oahu is the populous part of the island, and Honolulu will remind you of any American big city -- except it has a beach. It's also the most touristy of the islands. Haunama Bay has good snorkeling, but it can be crowded, and you want to go early in the morning or the fish tend to disappear. Hiking up to Diamondhead (not too hard for anyone in average shape or better) will reward you with a great view of the Honolulu area. If you take the Pali Highway out of Honolulu, you can stop at the Pali Lookout briefly, which is very scenic. For another great view of Honolulu and the coast, go up Tantalus Road. The North Shore has the famous huge waves. I wouldn't recommend swimming or surfing there, but it can be interesting to see, especially if the waves are giant and the surfers are out. That area of the island is also a lot more mellow (and cheaper). Pearl Harbor is interesting to see, though as someone else said, you need to make reservations far in advance. Oahu can have some brutal traffic congestion, so if that stresses you out, maybe you want to avoid it.

    Regarding where to stay, you really need to shop around, check Tripadvisor reviews, and after you book, keep checking back on the prices. Do not book anything you can't cancel, as prices are known to fall sometimes as you get closer to the date you stay, and you want to be able to re-rate your reservation by calling in. In 2015, my last time there, the rates changed so drastically between booking time and the day of the trip that I was able to get a beautiful suite for about the same price I originally was going to pay for a regular room. Also beware of supposed "deals" and "packages" which seem like a good deal on the surface, but are often more expensive than buying each item individually! There is a wide variance in price and value in Hawaii, where you can end up staying in a mediocre place in a mediocre room and paying a fortune, or you can end up with a killer deal, or something in between. Some of this is luck, some of this comes from diligence, and some of this comes from shopping around. For example, in both Maui and the big lsland, I got a large, beautiful suite with a great view at a well-rated hotel for like $330 per night. However, if asked to duplicate this today, I probably couldn't.

    Since you'll have a car, try venturing out and eating at the non-touristy places. However, the only place I'd caution against that is in some of the small towns on the big island (the ones not frequented by tourists), as they tend to dislike outsiders.

    Have fun. I would like to go back there again in not too long. Hopefully I'll be able to get over my psychological issues and be able to fly again at some point.

     
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      The Shrink: awesome advice

  7. #7
    Bronze The Shrink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Hopefully I'll be able to get over my psychological issues and be able to fly again at some point.
    Great advice, thanks. We have to book through a specific travel agent because of the terms of the prize so I don't think we can book and monitor price changes in hotel rates.

    I'm available for free therapy.

  8. #8
    Master of Props Daly's Avatar
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    You will fly in and out of Honolulu which is on Oahu. Spend at least two days in Waikiki beach and do Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona. Thatís all you will need to check the box - the rest you canít go wrong with.

     
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      The Shrink: thanks

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by The Shrink View Post
    PFA has never led me astray for travel advice so I'd like to get tips on planning a trip to Hawaii. I recently won a trip valued at about $3500 in one of those charity lotteries. Biggest thing I've ever won in a draw. They had a default itinerary but we can change it to whatever we want and pay extra (which is what we'll do).

    A few things about our trip:
    -we're going in April or early May
    -it's just me and Mrs. Shrink
    -we'd like to venture outside a resort and explore a bit
    -we plan to stay 10-12 days

    A few questions:
    -which islands are must-sees?
    -in 10-12 days how many islands should we try to hit?
    -is a car rental recommended?
    -will I see Dog the Bounty Hunter?
    -is Pearl Harbor worth checking out?
    -should I eat poi?

    Thank you, and mahalo.
    I would vote Oahu and Maui...

    Absolute Requirements:

    Pearl Harbor (you have to do some planning to deal with all the tour buses, I did Arizona and Missouri on different days)
    North Shore
    Road to Hana

    Cool Stuff:

    Polynesian Cultural Center
    Dole Plantation
    South Shore Drive on Oahu
    Diamond Head Hike
    Sea Turtle / Dolphin Swims in open water
    Luau (would recommend doing one on Maui)


    Things I would Skip:

    Royal Palace


    I would approach it by spending the first 5-6 days in Oahu doing all the tourist stuff.

    Then spend the next 5-6 days in Lahaina, doing way less tourist stuff and spending some time relaxing.

    It gives you a nice rush of tourist stuff and then at the end the ability to just enjoy the beach and Hawaii weather.

     
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      The Shrink: good stuff

  10. #10
    Canadrunk limitles's Avatar
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    Lucky bastard and thanks for donating. Been there 4 or 5 times. Got married on the west shore of the Big Island just north of Kailua-Kona. A lot of what Druff said is accurate but yeah the Big Island is a must. Swimming with the turtles and checking out the lava flows. Don't steal any lava, supposed to bring bad luck. I did.

    Maui may have the most number of beautiful swimmer friendly beaches and great golf courses and you'll want to head up to Haleakala the volcano park for sunrise.

    Oahu by itself would be enough for me as I'm a freak about big waves and you've heard of the Bonzai Pipeline for surfers. Here's an area close by. North Shore Oahu Mahalo

     
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      The Shrink: those wave look legit
    I LOVE ME SOME DONUTS

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  11. #11
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    It's super kooky, but take a surf lesson with you and the wife. You'll have fun.

    I've been to Hawaii a lot - there's a lot to do on all the islands if you are an outdoors kind of person. There's a good set of guide books that were written some years ago by Andrew Doughty - There are some great nuggets in these books. A lot of the hidden gems aren't so hidden any more, but they are a great place to start.

     
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      The Shrink: I'll check them out

  12. #12
    there is really no reason to go to hawaii since one of barry obamas friends bought the magnum pi estate and tore it down

  13. #13
    Canadrunk limitles's Avatar
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    Couple other things, don't sweat making the wrong choices, there are none. Any island any time.
    You'll go back for what you couldn't cover.

    Waikiki beach is obv. a tourist destination. The best thing about it is it has pretty consistent low rolling waves which make it perfect for learning how to surf. Plenty of schools and there are no locals to scare you off of their beach
    I LOVE ME SOME DONUTS

    "When people see some things as good, other things become bad"
    Lao Tzu

    Asked if he had every prayed, Christopher Hitchens replied
    "once, for a hardon"


  14. #14
    Enjoy!

    Before heading to the water get some snug boardshorts. $50+

    Rental cars are necessary everywhere.

    Mokuleia Beach Park, Oahu was a mid-week favorite for snorkeling. Was and continues to be largely under used. Not to be confused with Mokuleia Bay, Maui. Could often find small (safe?) sharks outside the reef. Currently popular with kite and wind surfers, so sharks must be ok or gone. I always parked opposite Dillingham Airfield, where small planes pull gliders. Many photos here are of the Bay on Maui. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...7&ff=247891398

    Out east of Diamondhead is Sandy Beach Park. Worth a stop if it's on your way. Amazing shore break can occur here. Explore the power exerted below your knees. Boogie boarded here at least once a week so it can't be that bad. Was a spot for euros to walk out a bit, get swept off their feet, lose their speedos.

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    Avoid poi in any form. If you tire of tourists, much more than a bakery. https://www.yelp.com/biz/liliha-bakery-honolulu-2

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      The Shrink: I think Bourdain (RIP) went there

  15. #15
    Speedster Out of Clemson adamantium's Avatar
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    How many hours from LA to Hawaii?
    jet flyin son of a gun

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamantium View Post
    How many hours from LA to Hawaii?
    A little more than 5.

    So it becomes a pretty big production to go there from a place like New York.

    Kind of the same as going from LA to London.

  17. #17
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Shrink, regarding the "travel agent" making the hotel arrangements, I'm a little confused.

    You said you won a package worth $3500 and they need to book it. But are they going to book hotels of their choice? Or do you just need to choose and then have them book it?

    If it's the latter, you probably still have some flexibility regarding talking your way into upgrades.

    I'll explain further once I understand more.

    One thing to always understand is that the squeaky wheel always gets the grease at hotels, and that kissing a little ass to ta front desk person or manager, even on the phone, can work wonders.

  18. #18
    Bronze The Shrink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Shrink, regarding the "travel agent" making the hotel arrangements, I'm a little confused.

    You said you won a package worth $3500 and they need to book it. But are they going to book hotels of their choice? Or do you just need to choose and then have them book it?

    If it's the latter, you probably still have some flexibility regarding talking your way into upgrades.

    I'll explain further once I understand more.

    One thing to always understand is that the squeaky wheel always gets the grease at hotels, and that kissing a little ass to ta front desk person or manager, even on the phone, can work wonders.
    Yeah so it's kind of weird because I won the package which had a set itinerary but the lottery rules were that you could apply the same value to any other trip (it just needs to be booked through a specific travel agent). The lottery had a monthly draw for a year so there were 12 grand prizes of trips of varying values (worth between $3000-$4000) - so basically the set itineraries are for show ("This month's draw is for a trip to Jamaica at resort X") because most people are going to just choose their own trip.

    So I've been in touch with a travel agent from this company to book the trip and they asked me the approximate dates, the islands we want to go to, and how much we want to spend over the budget of the $3500 prize.

    As I mentioned we're going in April/May and we've settled on Maui and Kauai. I didn't give her a number over $3500 because she'll just max out the itinerary to whatever I say.

    She's sent back a proposed flight itinerary (not much choice there - we're on the Canadian east coast and it looks like we'll be making a stop in Newark --> Hawaii). Then she sent me two or three options for hotels on each island.

    Couple of things - the Maui hotels look great. I don't like the Kauai options she sent. None of them appear to have a "swimmable beach" whereas I've looked on Tripadvisor and there seem to be many hotels in Kauai on beaches that are swimmable. So I'm planning on asking her if we can choose our own hotel or if they only book certain hotels. It will be ultra-dumb if it's the latter. Also, these hotels in Hawaii all appear to have outrageous cleaning/resort fees. One of them charges $350 USD per stay? What the fuck is that about?

    Finally, it sounds like a car rental is a must. Should we rent at the airport or do you rent at the hotel after getting a transfer to the hotel?

  19. #19
    hey shrink...I stayed at the grand hyatt in Kauai...don't know if that's in your price range but thought it was really nice...as far as swimmable beach, guessing that means you just want to be able to swim in the ocean...this hotel was right on the beach, which was private to the hotel...it was a fairly long stretch and if you went down far enough you could have a whole expanse of beach to yourself where you could go in the ocean and swim...went down there a couple of times and was wondering where the hell everybody else had gone...definitely did not see that kinda thing in maui…

    EDIT: shit forgot I got "stuck" on Kauai coming back to the mainland because our plane had a transponder issue so we couldn't fly over the ocean...so I stayed at a second place when I was there...cant remember the name of it, but it was fairly close to the airport and while it wasn't a dump or anything like that it definitely wasn't as nice as the grand hyatt...
    Last edited by GambleBotsChafedPenis; 12-06-2018 at 11:03 AM.

  20. #20
    Canadrunk limitles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleatus View Post
    Enjoy!

    Out east of Diamondhead is Sandy Beach Park. Worth a stop if it's on your way. Amazing shore break can occur here. Explore the power exerted below your knees. Boogie boarded here at least once a week so it can't be that bad. Was a spot for euros to walk out a bit, get swept off their feet, lose their speedos.

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    Yep, been to this beach when the red flags were up and was treated to some monsters. Most I just dove into.
    My brother in law got slammed hard into the sand and he was done for the day.
    I LOVE ME SOME DONUTS

    "When people see some things as good, other things become bad"
    Lao Tzu

    Asked if he had every prayed, Christopher Hitchens replied
    "once, for a hardon"


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