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acurtis75

Taking kids along on business trip to Oahu...what should we do?

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Help me plan this trip! I'm looking for some btdt advice.

 

We are taking the kids along on a business trip to Oahu next month. I'm very excited and it really hasn't really seemed real enough to me to actually start planning. Lodging and transportation is taken care of but we haven't planned what we will do while we are there. We don't have a huge budget but I'm looking for suggestions of "must-see" or "must-do" activities. We have an 8 year old and an almost 1 year old. Another family with similar age kids will be there with us.

 

 

We will have some babysitting available so the occasional adult only activity is okay. We will be Waikiki for 5 days and then on the North Shore for a week. We have business meetings off and on during the Waikiki days so half day activities would be best. I'm open to any and all suggestions and of course free is good :).

 

So google has told me to go to Pearl Harbor, watch whales, surf in Waikiki and hike Diamond Head and possibly tour the Dole plantation. If you've done any of these things I would like to know if you think they should be on our list.

 

 

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Oahu doesn't have a lot of 'touristy' type things ala Orlando, Florida.  Touristy stuff involves a lot of beach days, snorkeling, hiking trips. 

 

Wikiki will have a lot more people but the beaches are nice for kids to splash around in. North Shore can be a bit rougher but we still went there frequently.  There is some nice snorkeling in the North Shore. Buy a cheap mask/snorkel  and enjoy playing around with it. Turtle Beach on the North Shore is nice - you can see...wait for it....turtles! (Sometimes - but we frequently had good luck)

 

Some of the fun things we did while we were there included hiking Diamondhead, (full day trip) Snorkeling on the North Shore, weekend market at Aloha Stadium, walking around. Dole plantation is nice. Your son will enjoy running around the maze and trying to find the checkpoints. You can enjoy a pineapple freeze when you finish.

 

The Arizona trip is great - but plan to be there early! Tours fill up fast. My youngest enjoyed it but you do need to maintain a respectful quiet during the time on the memorial - so determine whether it would work for your son.

 

On the leeward side of the island is a water part. It is okay but if you have access to other water parks at home, I would skip it. We had season passes but we lived 10 minutes away and it was all we had. 

 

There is a WWll museum in Wikiki right near the HIlton/Hale Koha hotels. My husband enjoyed that.

 

The Hilton does fireworks on Friday nights at 8 (They did 3 years ago when we lived there. Double check) If you are military or DoD you can have access to the pool at the Hale Koha. It's nice for a change from salt water. The snack bar there (Smileys) is open for non-military id holders. They have cheap shave ice.

 

There are some touristy tours that are kind of pricey. We did the sub tour which is nice if you can find discount vouchers. Again, if you are military or DoD  check with the MWR on Schofield and they frequently have deals.

 

I'll add more as other things come to mind.

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My sister is Mrs Mungo, she lives on Oahu and she showed us around.

 

My children were about the same age as yours when we went to Oahu. There was a tropical storm while we were there so we didn't get as much beach time as we would have preferred. Some of the boat things were also closed so we didn't do those.

 

The Pacific Aviation Museum is near Pearl Harbor, we enjoyed it. It has a lot of interesting artifacts.

 

I would definitely not miss Pearl Harbor, also near it is the Bowfin, a WWII submarine and the USS Missouri. Those things will take up a full day.

 

We also enjoyed the Polynesian Culture center as well as the Bishop Museum. The Polynesian Culture center will take a full day. We went during the day, left during the Luau and went to somewhere cheap for dinner and then went back for the show. :lol: The Luau was rather expensive. On the way to the Polynesian Culture center we ate at the shrimp trucks which are er...trucks by the road. It was great. The Polynesian Culture center is really kid friendly. There are fun crafts and demonstrations for them. My dd loved it. The show is a story featuring various Polynesian dances.

 

I think I ordered seafood at nearly every restaurant we went visited. We loved Breakers on the North Shore. We also ate at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville but it was lame. I liked the local places better. I would rather have shrimp truck than Margaritaville but shrimp truck was SO delcious! :lol:

 

We went at a different time of year so I am not sure which beaches are best atm. We went during the summer, those beaches are too high and rough atm.

 

Since we had a little one we put his things in our other bags so we went one bag short of what we were allowed. We then purchased a suitcase at the weekend flea market at aloha stadium I would buy any trinkets and souvenirs there. They are cheaper than at most other places.

 

The Aquarium was nice. I would not miss the shaved ice.

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Yes on the shaved ice. Mmmm.

 

Yes on Pearl Harbor. The have vets there who tell their stories while selling their books/autographing. It was wonderful. My kids loved it.

 

Yes on beach time and snorkeling/scuba diving for turtles. That was an experience I'll never forget.

 

We were not impressed with the Dole plantation ourselves. *shrug*. The ice cream is the same as Disney's so if you like that, may be worth it. Shaved ice is better.

 

My 11 yo son loved surfing.

 

Oh and yes, Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville was lame. LOL. We did it just to sing. And it happened to be at the hotel we stayed at. :)

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My recommendations, depending upon time and funds:

 

near Waikiki-

Pearl Harbor, the Bowfin, Pacific Aviation Museum, etc (this could be two half days or a full day)

 

Hana'uma Bay, it has great snorkeling and a nice wide beach for the kids. You have to watch a video before you enter. It is best to do this on a day you can get there early. You can get lucky with parking around lunch time.

 

Kailua Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches to visit this time of year. There are lots of shops and restaurants in Kailua. If you want to kayak, then you can arrange that with a shop in Kailua too.

 

I think Diamond Head is a tough hike with kids that age, jmo. If you are all avid hikers, go for it. But, Makapu'u is an easy paved hike with a lovely view. It is easy with kids. The Moana Falls hike is a more muddy adventure type hike with a waterfall at the end.

 

The Foster Botanical garden is really nice with lots of trees and plants that you won't see anywhere else in the US. If you like museums, then I highly recommend the Bishop Museum. There are several buildings, but you really want to hit the Hawaiian and Polynesian Halls.

 

Do a whale watching catamaran tour. Do NOT do one of the big boats with a dinner and everything.

 

Near Turtle Bay:

Shrimp trucks, my favorite is Romy's. Giovanni's is probably the most famous, but they don't devein their shrimp, yuck!

 

Ted's pies near Sunset Beach-you can watch surfing at Sunset this time of year, but probably shouldn't get in the water, depending upon whether the surf is up.

 

There are lots of great shops and restaurants in Hale'iwa.

 

Other parts of the island:

If you want to do a dolphin tour, do the one that leaves from Ko'Olina on the leeward side.

 

There is a book called Oahu Revealed that is chock full of good, updated advice.

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My dh and I are UH grads and have been taking the kids to Oahu to visit the grandparents almost yearly.  I thought I'd mention what worked best when we traveled with an almost one year old.  

 

The Bowfin museum was a huge hit with my little kids.  Toddlers cannot go on the sub itself, but the museum has cool exhibits both indoors and out, and it is the large outdoor area that so great with little kids.  There are big guns to climb on, and periscopes and large grassy areas for running around.  The Arizona Memorial (Pearl Harbor) was one we didn't do til the kids were older just because of all the waiting around with little to do. There is a grassy area there, too, but sometimes it can be very crowded.  Just be aware that you cannot take purses or camera bags or diaper bags into either place, but the Bowfin does have some storage areas for a small flat rate.  Both the Bowfin and Arizona memorial use the same parking lot.  

 

The Bishop Museum also has lots of grassy areas for toddlers to run around.  

 

There is a zoo on the Diamond Head end of Waikiki and an aquarium.  Neither is especially amazing, but sometimes you need something simple and close by!  Both are fairly inexpensive.  Fort DeRussy beach on the Hilton side of Waikiki is nice, not quite as crowded as the main beach, and there is a large grassy area there, too, with shade, that is good for the kids to run.  

 

Hmmm -- your kids may not need the space to run around like my kids did!!  But rest assured that Hawaii is a very kid friendly place, so don't worry about getting out and exploring with the kids.

 

Don't forget the sunscreen.

 

Mrs. Mungo -- do you have a favorite place to recommend for plate lunch?  I can only think of L&L.  Anyway -- part of going to Hawaii is eating the food, and plate lunch is a must do!  You get meat, such as teriyaki chicken or kal-bi beef with 2 scoops rice and mac salad. Zippy's is the local fast food chain -- my nephew eats there but it isn't a place I seek out.  Ask at the hotel for some recommendations. Leornard's bakery is on Kapahulu just outside of Waikiki, and they are known for Malasadas, which are Portuguese doughnuts --  yeasty, airy puffs of deep fried dough rolled in granulated sugar.  Better than and more evil than your basic doughnut!

 

And just a warning that traffic is horrible!!  But drivers tend to be very polite and will let you change lanes or merge.  We love to drive over the Pali Highway to get to Kailua, and always make a point of stopping at the look out (follow the signs).  It is breathtaking.  You can circle back to Waikiki once you are in Kailua, or turn left and head towards the north shore.   There is a beautiful buddhist temple nestled against the mountains in Kaneohe, which I believe is free to visit.

 

 

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go to pearl (go early to get passes for the arizona.  they're free, but you must have a pass for the boat.)

go snorkling in hanauma bay (my favorite.  they have optical goggles if you wear glasses)

go to the north coast

polynesian cultural center - the evening show was fabulous.  

kailua

 

things I wish I'd done

valley of the temples

dole plantation

gardens on the north side of the island

the punch bowl - it was on our list, but we ran out of time.  my grandfather's brother is buried there.

 

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And just a warning that traffic is horrible!!  

 

:iagree: I come from a bad traffic area.  honolulu/waikiki is worse.  there is a loop (H201) that goes behind the mt between pearl and honolulu.  use it.  big improvement.

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:iagree: I come from a bad traffic area.  honolulu/waikiki is worse.  there is a loop (H201) that goes behind the mt between pearl and honolulu.  use it.  big improvement.

 

Just to give you an idea of how much worse - when I had an appendicitis, I chose to go to the crappy hospital on the leeward side of the island rather than fight 6 am traffic to get to Queens Hospital on the other side. I knew there was no way I would make a 20 mile drive through 2 hours of traffic!

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Thanks for all the responses so far. I have a busy schedule during the day this week but will be reading and checking out these options late at night.

 

I love all the food recommendations :)

 

After I have a chance to read and research more thoroughly I'll post some additional questions.

 

We have been warned multiple times about traffic which contributed to our decision to stay 5 days in Waikiki and then move to a house on Kamehameha Hwy in Haleiwa

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I thought of one additional question. One member of our group on a scooter. Would any of the hikes mentioned be accessible to a scooter. We normally take the kids and he stays at the hotel if it isn't accessible but Mrs Mungo's comment about the paved hike made me think that might be an option everyone could do. Being able to take the stroller would be another plus.

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This article is perfect for activities for kids on Oahu: http://www.familyvacationcritic.com/oahu-attractions/dat/

 

This is perfect for restaurants:  http://www.familyvacationcritic.com/oahu-restaurants/drt/

 

Planning and tips: http://www.familyvacationcritic.com/oahu-planning-and-tips/dtp/

 

Also, The Bus is awesome. It's a fantastic way to get around on the island.

 

Have a great time!

 

Signed,

 

Jealous

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This thread has been so helpful for me!  We are hoping to take a military space-a hop (if we can get 11 seats, ha) over to Hickam in February to visit some friends of ours who live in Kaneohe.  I've just started looking at things we should plan to do, and these lists are perfect for me to research!

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This thread has been so helpful for me!  We are hoping to take a military space-a hop (if we can get 11 seats, ha) over to Hickam in February to visit some friends of ours who live in Kaneohe.  I've just started looking at things we should plan to do, and these lists are perfect for me to research!

 

If you are military or DoD look into the Admiral's tour of the Arizona. Smaller group, longer tour, Admiral's boat.

 

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Mrs. Mungo -- do you have a favorite place to recommend for plate lunch? I can only think of L&L.

Young's Fish Market is good, Rainbow Drive Inn (nearly every place in Hawaii is a Drive Inn, don't ask me) is pretty good. Ted's (the pie place) has a decent plate lunch. If you like Poke, then you shouldn't miss The Poke Stop in Waipahu, even if it is a bit out of the way. Anyplace but Loco Moco, we have only eaten there once, but there were maggots in our rice.

 

The temple is a really lovely for a non beach day. There are often WW2 veterans there signing books (seriously, don't try to reconcile things in Hawaii).

 

I would offer a caution about staying in Hale'iwa-if the surf is really up (waves of greater than 20 ft), then you will not be able to drive anywhere in or out of Hale'iwa due to the surf contests. If you had asked here first, then I would have recommended renting a house in Kailua or staying at Turtle Bay. But, if the surf isn't up, then it should be fine.

 

The Makapu'u/light house hike is *mostly* accessible for a scooter or stroller. There are some stairs at the ver end for the last part, but you get very nice views without doing that bit. Neither Diamond Head nor Manoa are even a little stroller accessible, never mind a scooter. In fact, I have had to warn people in the parking lot of the Manoa hike that they should put their stroller back in their car because the walk to the trail head makes it seem like it might be okay, but it is *not*.

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If you are military or DoD look into the Admiral's tour of the Arizona. Smaller group, longer tour, Admiral's boat.

 

Yes, we are, and yes, I will!  Would that be good for our 4 oldest boys (ages 16-10) and my dh, or just the 2 teenagers and dh?

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Yes, we are, and yes, I will!  Would that be good for our 4 oldest boys (ages 16-10) and my dh, or just the 2 teenagers and dh?

I think there is a minimum age. (I'll check with DH when he gets home. But, I know my daughter did it when we lived there and we left when she was 11. So, I thing the ages are fine - but again, I'll double check. It was a very nice tour. I've done both general public and Admiral's tour and if you are eligible, I would definitely do the latter.

 

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Young's Fish Market is good, Rainbow Drive Inn (nearly every place in Hawaii is a Drive Inn, don't ask me) is pretty good. Ted's (the pie place) has a decent plate lunch. If you like Poke, then you shouldn't miss The Poke Stop in Waipahu, even if it is a bit out of the way. Anyplace but Loco Moco, we have only eaten there once, but there were maggots in our rice.

 

The temple is a really lovely for a non beach day. There are often WW2 veterans there signing books (seriously, don't try to reconcile things in Hawaii).

 

I would offer a caution about staying in Hale'iwa-if the surf is really up (waves of greater than 20 ft), then you will not be able to drive anywhere in or out of Hale'iwa due to the surf contests. If you had asked here first, then I would have recommended renting a house in Kailua or staying at Turtle Bay. But, if the surf isn't up, then it should be fine.

 

The Makapu'u/light house hike is *mostly* accessible for a scooter or stroller. There are some stairs at the ver end for the last part, but you get very nice views without doing that bit. Neither Diamond Head nor Manoa are even a little stroller accessible, never mind a scooter. In fact, I have had to warn people in the parking lot of the Manoa hike that they should put their stroller back in their car because the walk to the trail head makes it seem like it might be okay, but it is *not*.

Thanks so much for all the info.

 

I've never heard of it but Loco Moco is now permanently off my list of potential restaurants. :crying:

 

Our business associates rented the house and are paying for most of it so we didn't have final input on the location but when you say we can't drive anywhere is that due to traffic? If we stay in the area and do things like going to the farmer's market or eating at local restaurants will it be okay? Are the contests every day? I might PM you the address to see what you think. Our plan is to do tours when we are in Waikiki staying at the Hilton Hawaiin Village and to be more relaxed when we go to the house on the beach. We understand from the people we rented the house from that the water is a little too rough to play in on the North Shore but that there is a little pool like area shielded by a reef and turtle and whale watching are possible from the house. 

 

It sounds like the light house hike would work for us so we'll plan for that. Did you say how long that hike takes? I can't seem to scroll far enough up while I'm typing to see your previous response.

 

Two more questions I have after reading your responses.

 

1)  Should we invest in paying for a tour to take us to Diamond Head since the hike might be too tough for the kids (all under 10). If so, it it worth it to do one of the circle tour things so we can see it or is it possible to drive there ourselves? I'm having a little trouble visualizing the layout of the island. Is it closer to Waikiki or the North Shore? We plan to have a car for the week on the North Shore but use the buses in Waikiki.

 

Our company has this package available for about $50 per person and it runs from 7-4

Featured Attractions

  • Diamond Head
  • Exclusive Kahala Estates
  • Hanauma Bay*
  • Halona "Blow Hole" Lookout*
  • Nuuanu Pali Lookout*
  • Byodo-In Temple*
  • Chinaman's Hat
  • Mormon Temple
  • Kualoa Ranch* (includes Legends and Legacy tram tour)
  • North Shore surfing beaches
  • Waimea Bay
  • Pineapple Field
  • Dole Plantation*

 

2) Several people mentioned the Polynesian cultural center but you didn't. Do you think it is worth the money? If so, is the day time experience enough or should we splurge for the Luau?

 

Again, thank you so much for taking time to answer these questions. We travel a lot but for some reason the planning for this trip is more confusing for me than other trips. 

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When you're in Wikiki, you can do pretty well with buses. Once you're on the North Shore, I think you will benefit from having a car if you want to take any day or half day trips. Also, traffic IS horrendous but only during rush hour. We lived in Kapolei (lee ward side) and my girls worked at restaurants in Wikiki and heading into the city at dinner time or heading home at midnight thy could make the trip in 25-30 minutes where as trying to do it during rush hour would have taken two hours,

 

So, plan your trips to keep you off the road during the early morning commute and the dinner rush and you will be fine.

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Our business associates rented the house and are paying for most of it so we didn't have final input on the location but when you say we can't drive anywhere is that due to traffic? If we stay in the area and do things like going to the farmer's market or eating at local restaurants will it be okay? Are the contests every day?

Yes, Kam Hwy up there is a two lane road. If there is a surf contest, then traffic is a total nightmare. We have a photog friend who drives up for the contests and leaves his house at 4 am to get up there. Getting out of the area might be easier than getting into the area. They contests are not every day, and you might miss a window entirely. It is hard to predict.

 

It sounds like the light house hike would work for us so we'll plan for that. Did you say how long that hike takes? I can't seem to scroll far enough up while I'm typing to see your previous response.

With kids? Probably a couple of hours, including viewing time at the top. Go early because it gets hot and there is very little shade.

 

1) Should we invest in paying for a tour to take us to Diamond Head since the hike might be too tough for the kids (all under 10). If so, it it worth it to do one of the circle tour things so we can see it or is it possible to drive there ourselves? I'm having a little trouble visualizing the layout of the island. Is it closer to Waikiki or the North Shore? We plan to have a car for the week on the North Shore but use the buses in Waikiki.

I would rent a car for a week, part of your time in Waikiki and the whole time you are on the N shore. I would go to Hana'uma while you are in Waikiki. I would skip the sort oftouryou describe. You can easily get to most of these locations on your own and most of them have free entry.

 

Our company has this package available for about $50 per person and it runs from 7-4

Featured Attractions

[*]Diamond Head---easy to pull off the road and see, even if you aren't going to climb it

[*]Exclusive Kahala Estates---meh

[*]Hanauma Bay*---you can easily do this on your own

[*]Halona "Blow Hole" Lookout*---this is right off of the road, you will see all of the cars pulled off in the parking lot

[*]Nuuanu Pali Lookout*---easy to drive to on your own, right off the Pali Hwy

[*]Byodo-In Temple*---you can find directions online, very easy to get to

[*]Chinaman's Hat---right off the highway, there is a park there where you can get photos and everything

[*]Mormon Temple---easy to find in Laie

[*]Kualoa Ranch* (includes Legends and Legacy tram tour)---this is easy to arrange on your own, I would recommend the place called Tropical Farms instead. Their tour and mini show is very campy and hilarious. They have also been in several films like Fifty First Dates. Unless you are enamored with Jurassic Park, I don't think Kualoa is worth the time.

[*]North Shore surfing beaches---free and near where you are staying anyway, they are right off the road

[*]Waimea Bay---ditto

[*]Pineapple Field---ditto

[*]Dole Plantation*---ditto, with the exception of a small fee to do the maze

 

 

2) Several people mentioned the Polynesian cultural center but you didn't. Do you think it is worth the money? If so, is the day time experience enough or should we splurge for the Luau?

 

The daytime experience is fun and the show is amazing, very worth it. I would not do their luau. I PMed you more info, but I would do Paradise Cove, if you really want to do a luau and eat at the snack bars or whatever for dinner at PCC.

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 I would do Paradise Cove, if you really want to do a luau and eat AT&T he snack bars or whatever for dinner at PCC.

Is this the one in Ko O'lina?  If so, I would second the recommendation.

 

We had a wonderful time - and then it poured so they refunded our money! (So, I liked it even better!)

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Is this the one in Ko O'lina? If so, I would second the recommendation.

 

We had a wonderful time - and then it poured so they refunded our money! (So, I liked it even better!)

That's the one!

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Yes, Kam Hwy up there is a two lane road. If there is a surf contest, then traffic is a total nightmare. We have a photog friend who drives up for the contests and leaves his house at 4 am to get up there. Getting out of the area might be easier than getting into the area. They contests are not every day, and you might miss a window entirely. It is hard to predict.

 

With kids? Probably a couple of hours, including viewing time at the top. Go early because it gets hot and there is very little shade.

 

I would rent a car for a week, part of your time in Waikiki and the whole time you are on the N shore. I would go to Hana'uma while you are in Waikiki. I would skip the sort oftouryou describe. You can easily get to most of these locations on your own and most of them have free entry.

 

The daytime experience is fun and the show is amazing, very worth it. I would not do their luau. I PMed you more info, but I would do Paradise Cove, if you really want to do a luau and eat at the snack bars or whatever for dinner at PCC.

 

I figured the tour was probably overpriced but I guess I needed someone to give me a nudge to be adventurous and just figure it all out.

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A new question. Any recommendations for a beginner surfing class. Beginner as in not experienced not kids. I want to take a surfing lesson. It will need to someone who provides all equipment and is patient with middle-aged slightly overweight but moderately athletic moms who have never surfed before. I work out (even playing full court basketball a few days a week) but am not super coordinated and have never tried to surf. It's always been a dream so I'm doing yoga to strengthen my core and I'm going to give it a shot. It might be America's Funniest Video worthy but I'm doing it.

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2) Several people mentioned the Polynesian cultural center but you didn't. Do you think it is worth the money? If so, is the day time experience enough or should we splurge for the Luau?

She probably didn't mention it because her kids are likely in rebellion against the Polynesian Culture Center. They have been there 50000 times because they take everyone that visits her and our *huge* family all visits her now that she lives in Hawaii. *L

 

She took us and we had a great time but her kids have memorized the little tour guide speeches. :lol:

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A new question. Any recommendations for a beginner surfing class. Beginner as in not experienced not kids. I want to take a surfing lesson. It will need to someone who provides all equipment and is patient with middle-aged slightly overweight but moderately athletic moms who have never surfed before. I work out (even playing full court basketball a few days a week) but am not super coordinated and have never tried to surf. It's always been a dream so I'm doing yoga to strengthen my core and I'm going to give it a shot. It might be America's Funniest Video worthy but I'm doing it.

I know several people who have taken lessons with this group:

http://www.northshoresurfgirls.com/hawaii-surfing-lessons.php

 

and with this group:

http://www.hawaiianfire.com/Irons/

 

For military people (I know there was at least one military person who had posted?), there are lessons through MWR at White Plains beach, those are the best deal by far.

 

And *I* can get up on a surf board, so I'm sure just about anyone can. :D

 

She probably didn't mention it because her kids are likely in rebellion against the Polynesian Culture Center. They have been there 50000 times because they take everyone that visits her and our *huge* family all visits her now that she lives in Hawaii. *L

 

She took us and we had a great time but her kids have memorized the little tour guide speeches. :lol:

Seriously, my kids ruin the punch lines of their jokes, lol.

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I don't have a rec for surfing but I'll tell you that my son, with huge fine and gross motor delays and patience issues, was surfing within half hour. I'm not saying anyone can learn but if he can in that short amount of time, it can't be too terribly hard. :)

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I don't have a rec for surfing but I'll tell you that my son, with huge fine and gross motor delays and patience issues, was surfing within half hour. I'm not saying anyone can learn but if he can in that short amount of time, it can't be too terribly hard. :)

 

That is encouraging. Of course if I can't do it I'm going to pretend I've never see this post and that it is VERY HARD  :lol:

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That is encouraging. Of course if I can't do it I'm going to pretend I've never see this post and that it is VERY HARD :lol:

As you can see, I didn't say I learned. Just by trying, you will have already won. I was too chicken. LOL

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