Romantic Getaway to Hawaii
Hawaiian Discovery Tour
If you're thinking about vacationing in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, you might like to consider the four-island Hawaii Discovery Tour offered by Trafalgar Tours.
My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a romantic getaway to Hawaii.
It had always been our dream to go to Hawaii and our 25th anniversary seemed like the perfect opportunity. Our children were old enough to look after themselves and we had saved up some Airmiles loyalty points to get us there cheaply. After some research, we decided to book a Trafalgar Tours 11-day, four-island Hawaiian Discovery tour which took us to:
- Oahu: Home to Honolulu, Waikiki and Pearl Harbor
- Hawaii, the Big Island: the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands, and twice the size of all the other islands combined, it is a land of mountains and volcanoes.
- Maui: The most popular with tourists, Maui has many famous attractions including Haleakala Crater, the historic whaling town of Lahaina, the Iao Needle and the spectacular road to Hana.
- Kauai: the oldest island and less developed than Maui, Kauai has spectacular scenery including the Waimee Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific
The tour included all transportation between islands, and bus transfers between hotels to airports. Initially we were concerned about being on a bus tour but our fears were completely unfounded. We quickly discovered that we were with a great group of people, generally couples celebrating various special anniversaries from their honeymoon, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and even their 60th wedding anniversary! We made friends for a lifetime and have kept in touch with many of them.
Trafalgar Tours were excellent. The tour guide was knowledgeable, entertaining and reliable. Every trip added value to our vacation and often included local guides. I would not hesitate to recommend them and travel with them again (and I'm not even getting commission)!
The Hawaiian Islands
The Language of Hawaii
The Hawaiian language is unusual in that it only has 7 consonants and 5 vowels. These are the only12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet:
- Vowels: A, E, I, O, U
- Consonants: H, K, L, M, N, P, W
In the Hawaiian language a consonant is always followed by a vowel which means all Hawaiian words end in a vowel. Words are most easily pronounced when they are broken down into single syllable segments. For example, Wai-ki-ki is pronounced phonetically why-key-key. Sometimes the letter W is pronounced like a V. For example, the traditional pronunciation of Hawai'i was phonetically pronounced huh-vi-ee rather than huh-why-ee.
The meaning of Aloha: The state nickname for Hawaii is "the Aloha State". Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassion and mercy but in more recent times it has come to be used as a greeting to mean both "hello" and "goodbye".
The other common word that you will need to know is Mahalo, meaning "Thank You".
Interesting Facts about Hawaii
- Hawaii was the 50th state admitted to the union on August 20th, 1959.
- The state of Hawaii consists of eight main islands: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and the Big Island of Hawaii.
- Hawaii is the most isolated population center on the face of the earth. Hawaii is 2,390 miles from California; 3,850 miles from Japan; 4,900 miles from China; and 5,280 miles from the Philippines.
- From east to west Hawaii is the widest state in the United States.
- The Hawaiian Islands are the projecting tops of the biggest mountain range in the world.
- Hawaii has its own time zone (Hawaiian Standard Time.) There is no daylight savings time.) The time runs two hours behind Pacific Standard Time and five hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
- Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee.
- More than one-third of the world's commercial supply of pineapples comes from Hawaii
- Hawaii, The Big Island is the worldwide leader in harvesting macadamia nuts and orchids.
- The State Fish is the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a or Reef Trigger Fish. This looks impossible to pronounce, but if you follow the rules above and do it phonetically, it's simply "who-moo-who-moo-new-coo-new-coo-ah-poo-ah-ah". Memorize it before you go and impress your friends!
- The State Bird is the Nene, or Hawaiian Goose.
- The State Flower is the Yellow Hibiscus
- The State Tree is the Candlenut Tree
Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole
I must confess that I love the music of Hawaii. There is something about the tone and rhythm that I find completely relaxing.
Like many romantics, my all-time favourite song is Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World'. And one of my favourite comedy movies is '50 First Dates' starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore which, by coincidence, is set in Hawaii. Anyway, at the end of the movie there is a fabulous medley of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' and 'What a Wonderful World'.
Of course, I had to know who recorded it, and this was how I first discovered the famous Hawaiian musician Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole.
What a Wonderful World by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole
IZ first became famous outside of Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993 which contains the medley that attracted my attention and which was subsequently featured in numerous films, television programs, and TV commercials. Through his ukulele playing, IZ remains one of the major influences in Hawaiian music.
Born on May 20, 1959, he died prematurely on June 26, 1997 at the young age of 38 from complications of obesity. On July 10th 1997, the day of his funeral. the Hawaii state flag flew at half-mast and his coffin lay in state at the state capitol building in Honolulu. He was just the third person in Hawaiian history to be awarded this honor. Approximately ten thousand people attended the funeral and thousands of fans gathered as his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at Mākua Beach two days later.
Here is the official music video of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", released posthumously by Mountain Apple Company, which commemorates IZ's life with glorious scenes of Hawaii,and emotionally ends with the scattering of his ashes.
Tribute to IZ: Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Island hopping was easy and painless with Trafalgar Tours. On travel days, we would pack our bags and leave them in our room. After breakfast, the coach would take us to the departure airport where we would check in and fly to the next island. On arrival, we'd be picked up by coach, enjoy a guided tour of local attractions on the way to our new hotel where we would find our bags waiting for us in our new room!
The flights between islands were fairly short, ranging between 40 and 90 minutes. We mainly flew on the Bombardier Q 400 series 'whisper' jets which have been specially designed to lessen their noise profile so they can land at metropolitan airports.
Island hopping gave us a great opportunity to see the Hawaiian Islands from the air, including some of the smaller, less inhabited islands and coral atolls.
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Hawaii. To read more about our Romantic Getaway To Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary, you can explore each of the four islands here:
If you're looking for more ideas to celebrate your special wedding anniversaries, then you can check out Romantic Getaway Ideas.
And for those of you with a wedding anniversary this year, here are some Wedding Anniversary Ideas that will help you to celebrate in style!