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Beach sunset panorama

O’ahu brings to mind The Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head and surfing the North Shore. But there is so much more to this Island that I’ve visited so often. I recently spent a week on O’ahu studying with the Visitors Bureau to become a Master Specialist. There were lots of course work and cultural studies. But it also included resort tours, from luxurious 5-star properties to amazing beach cottages, sampling the delicious food, a wide range of excursions as well as some time to get to know the feel of the Island. Which included early morning walks along the shore, enjoying the breeze, the beauty and the sound of the waves.


We spent a morning touring Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial. There are museums and a Park Service Movie that tell the story of the attack where World War II began. It’s very sobering as you pay your respects at the memorial. Oil still bubbles to the surface from the Arizona. One legend is that the oil represents the tears of the 900 plus soldier entombed below.


We spent some time at the Kualoa Ranch. There is so much to do on the 4000 acre family owned ranch. Horseback riding, ATV tours, zip lining and more. We took the Movie Site tour. Scenes from Hawaii Five-0, Jurassic Park, Godzilla and Lost. Plus the views throughout the Ranch were stunning!

 

 

Time spent at the Polynesian Cultural Center was fascinating with villages and exhibits representing the island cultures of Hawaii, Fiji, Aotearoa, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga and Easter Island. There are canoe tours, hand crafts, food and traditions being portrayed in the live villages. At the of the day enjoy a traditional Luau and a live show. The food and the entertainments was fabulous.

 

We were honored to be invited to spend some time at The Paepae o He’eia Fishpond, an ancient Hawaiian pond built for sustainable fish farming. Our host provided great insight on sustainability and then we all had the opportunity to do a little fishing for predatory fish.


We had the privilege of being taught Gyotaku, traditional Japanese art, by Naoki, a leading local artist.

Time spent in Waimea Valley was like walking through paradise. Not only are you treated to beautiful trees, flower and bushes, but exotic birds and peacocks wonder the ground. At the end of the main path is a beautiful waterfall.

 

 

Sailing on a catamaran, snorkeling and swimming with dolphins and turtles in their natural habitat was an experience I’ll never forget. And we were blessed to have the fabulous Meredith of Sunn Photography join us to capture these amazing shots.

 

Do I have your interest? Not yet? How about sitting on a beach, feeling the gentle trade winds, drinking a Kona Longboard, listening to a slack key guitar concert and watching the sun slide into the night….I’m ready to go back.

I’d love to help you experience these type of adventures. Call me and we can start creating this amazing trip for you!

 

 

Terri Kunselman
Travel Designer
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