Since the wedding ended pretty early (10 p.m.), people headed back to Ho’Onani Estates for an after party. At the wedding everyone was happy and having a great time. We were drinking but no one got so drunk that they did anything crazy or embarassing. I can’t say the same is true for the after party! There was a wrestling match, drinking games, made up games, people falling asleep, people falling down, madness! I won’t really get into the details of the party, since it would be embarassing to everyone, but a good time was had. Most people left and I went to bed finally at about 3:30 a.m.!
I tried to take a video while ziplining. Mostly all you see is blue sky and my hair in the wind!
Since we had so much fun ziplining with Donna and Dustin on Maui, Dallas decided early on in our vacation and wedding planning that he wanted to coordinate a zipline tour for our friends. I didn’t want another thing to plan, but Dallas was all for it, so I let him take it and run with it.
Paul & Jeannette on the suspension bridge.
Shannan. The guides told us to run across the bridge and not use our hands to hold on. It was ok til they started shaking it like crazy!.
Stephanie. The ravine was really deep and you could see straight down it between the bridge slats. Scary!
Dallas did all the research and found that Princeville Ranch Adventures would best suit our needs. We were interested in the Zip ‘N Dip Expedition which lasted 4.5 hours, included 9 ziplines, a suspension bridge, lunch and an hour at a hidden swimming hole. Dallas sent an email to all of our friends and within less than a day we had 34 friends interested, which worked out great because we could do 12 people per time slot so, including us, we’d take up 3 full time slots (out of 4) that day.
A short hike between lines. Richard, Amanda, Tien, Jessica, Shannan, Kate.
Dallas split everyone up into the following groups: Team Discovery Channel: Caroline, Tammy, Limey, Kristin, Chad, Brian, Jill, Jess G., Trent, Loden, Allison, Herm. Team Packerrific: Rachelle, Richard, Amanda, Stephanie, Paul, Kate, Tien, Shannan, Jess B., Ted, Jeannette, Yvan. Team OG Kush: Dallas, Jordan, Liz, Cousin, Ross, Matt, Adam, Christine, Brian, Sara, Todd, Kelly. So, needless to say, all of my photos are of Team Packerrific.
Guide Taylor showing off!
Our guides were Keiki and Taylor. Keiki was a local guy, born and raised in the Princeville area. He said he lived about ten minutes away from Princeville Ranch. Taylor was a transplant, I think. Keiki was super jokey, teased me a lot for being the bride, and also told our group about local culture. Taylor was fun, too, but more straight-laced.
Most of the people on our tour had never ziplined before. Maybe no one, except me, I think. And even though I’d done it before, I still had a few moments of panic! It’s so fun, but can be freaky too. I thought Amanda was going to have a heart attack before the first line, but by the 4th one she was running off the platforms. You can run if you’re brave, but most people just step off and let gravity do its thing.
Ted and Jessica racing down the last line, a double line called King Kong.
Richard and Amanda racing down King Kong.
King Kong is 1200 feet long, the longest line of the day.
The ladder up to King Kong is 26 feet tall.
Looking down from the King Kong platform.
Guide Keiki getting Kate locked in.
Paul and Kate racing across the King Kong line.
Paparazzi at the end of the King Kong line!
The last line is called the King Kong and it’s 1,200 feet across! This zipline actually had two lines and you were supposed to race. Most everyone in our group was coupled up so the couples all raced against each other. Leftover was me and my niece Stephanie, so we raced. I thought I’d beat her for sure, just because I weigh more, but when the guide said “1, 2, 3, GO!” I hesitated and Steph ran off the platform when he said go. So I lost!
While on Oahu we stayed in Waikiki. Thanks to Donna and Dustin we got a friends and family rate at the Moana Surfrider. Last time we visited Oahu we got a special rate at the Royal Hawaiian. These are awesome hotel/resorts that we probably would not be able to afford without the special rate, so big mahalos to D&D!
The Moana Surfrider is a really beautiful and historic hotel. The lobby is all open, which is probably where the hotel gets its name. Moana means “open sea” or “ocean.” The front the hotel is open to Kalakaua Avenue. You walk through to a huge banyon tree, the beach bar, the pool and right out to the ocean.
The Moana Surfrider is built in a Hawaiian Gothic style. As we were telling people how to get to the hotel we’d just say “the big white one with the columns.” Most people know what you’re talking about when you say that, as the hotel looks very unique.
Our room was small, but nice. See the left-hand tower that jets out in the two photos above? Our room was on the second floor on the right side. My only complaint is that it was loud. One of our windows faced the driveway and the other faced out onto Kalakaua Ave. The noise level reminded me of living in New York City again. Luckily most nights we were so tired we had no trouble falling asleep!
One more of the exterior of the Moana Surfrider, which is also known as the First Lady of Waikiki.
The Moana Surfrider opened its doors in 1901 and was the first large hotel in Waikiki. It’s considered the flagship of Hawaii tourism and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On our floor there were many historic photographs and even a Historical Room where you could learn more about the history of the hotel and Waikiki.
This was the staircase up to the second floor where our room was located. There was also an elevator, but it was kind of clunky. The staircase is so pretty and lined with historic photographs, we mostly just took the stairs up one floor.
Looking down into the lobby from the stairs.
The only problem with taking the stairs all the time? The Moana Surfrider hosts a lot of weddings. Tons. Mostly Japanese weddings. And many times there’d be brides or families or bridal parties getting their photos taken on or nearby the stairs.
All day, every day Japanese brides and grooms and families were in the lobby, in the hotel, in front of the hotel. Always the brides were in fairy tale, cinderella American-style dresses. Not our style at all, but still fun to see so many happy couples and families all over the place.
I only took a few photos, but believe me, the Moana Surfrider was churning them out!
Through the lobby is the beach bar. We had drinks here when we arrived, but after that we just used the beach wait service so they brought us drinks right to our beach chairs!
This is the pool area, next to the beach bar, between the hotel and the ocean. I dipped in a few times, but I mostly hung out by the beach.
Finally, here’s one shot from the beach. The Moana Surfrider was a great hotel. I liked how it was right in the thick of things and was central to both ends of Kalakaua Avenue and everything going on in Waikiki. As far as the property, though, I think I preferred the Royal Hawaiian. It was quieter and more spread out, which was really nice. But then again, the Royal Hawaiian is farther up and when we stayed there we only hung around one end of Kalakaua. And it’s set back, so it is a little bit more walking to get to stuff. Also, as you’ll see in a bit, the Moana Surfrider had food and drink service on the beach and the Royal Hawaiian did not.