Renting an AirBNB in Honolulu on the island of Oahu has provided my family tribe of seven plenty of bonding time as well as time to explore. After unpacking on day one, we hit Kahala Beach. This small sandy beach proved to be a perfect introduction to the warm currents, soft breezes, and frothy breaks of the Pacific. There were far fewer people and commercial interests than we found on the gorgeous sands of Waikiki on another day!

During our stay here, we also drove over to Pearl Harbor and toured the USS Missouri. The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 became the impetus for US involvement in World War II and the Deck of the USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay, Japan at the time, became the site of the surrender that ended the war in 1945. My father shipped out aboard the USS Langfitt just after the surrender. In Japan he, as a medic, and two American dentists would come face to face with Tojo, incarcerated at Sugamo Prison. Tojo ordered the bombing of Pearl Harbor and later hung for it.

This same massive warship spent time in Korea during the “Forgotten War” where so many soldiers died, some say of government neglect. My uncle, Marvin May, somehow survived the horrors of this war.

Climbing Diamond Head in the center of a magnificent crater brought calf pains to nearly all on day two, but the celestial views and panoramic greenery was well worth the trek! At the bottom, unbelievably delicious pineapple drinks awaited any parched hikers. We saw a few young hikers, whose impulse control unfortunately got the best of them. I say unfortunately because you will definitely need your hands for the rails both ascending and descending!

We spent New Years Eve on the shores of Hotel Kahala where we could practically reach out and pocket the colorful sprinkles falling down. Ringing in the new year couldn’t have been more spectacular!

A quick drive to the Halona Blowhole Lookout afforded three of us the opportunity to do a little rock climbing at a churning, misty, turquoise paradise point. Our last day on Oahu kept us busy cooking, doing laundry, hot tubbing for leg pains, and packing up before our flight to the big island of Hawaii. Aloha Oahu!

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