Aloha, Honolulu! After nineteen hours total travel time, including a layover at LAX, we are finally here. We arrived about 9pm local time last night, both exhausted and excited at the same time.
We are staying at the Moana Surfrider hotel in Waikiki for our first couple of nights, to ease into our transition. It was one of our favorite spots from our last trip. While we didn’t stay here then, we were drawn in while walking past. Its grand and open style was so welcoming we had to go in and have a look. The view out back from the lobby is what hooked us: a lovely courtyard with a huge banyan tree at its center, flanked on two sides by a wraparound veranda with seating for the bar/lounge and restaurant — all of this on the beach facing the ocean.
While discussing our trip and our first plans upon arrival, we envisioned ourselves sitting on that veranda with a couple of Mai Tais asking ourselves “What’s next?”.
While special to us, the Moana Surfrider is notable in its own right for its history here in Honolulu. Also known as ‘The First Lady of Waikiki’, it was built in 1901 and was the first real hotel in Waikiki, allowing for increased tourism to Oahu. It was built in the old colonial style architecture, yet with several additions over time and modern buildings and shops all around it now, the Moana Surfrider remains a beautiful reminder of that period in Hawai’i’s history. In fact, its original Banyan Wing is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
So, what’s next? For now, we have a couple of rental homes lined up to take us through the end of March, by which point we hope to have found a more permanent place. In the meantime, we’re happy to spend the next day and a half here at the Moana Surfrider, having it as a temporary home base while we check into and stock our first rental home and get our bearings.