PRE-FLIGHT: One of my most brilliant ideas ever! Why not take a Blue Hawaiian Helicopters tour of Oahu between our morning flight from Lanai and our afternoon flight on United Airlines to Newark? Of course, this all relied on perfect timing, as our Hawaiian Airlines flight arrived at Honolulu at 10:32 a.m. and our United flight was at 3:10 p.m. The heliport lies just two miles from the airport, and we would have to take an Uber or taxi to check in for our noon tour. The tour ended at 1:05 p.m. All looked good on paper, and all worked out perfectly on the ground.
The Uber driver had a little trouble finding the spot, but you cannot miss the iconic Blue Hawaiian helicopters taking off and landing. Check-in included reviewing our government-issued identification, weighing each passenger and watching a complete safety video. Once we were ready for takeoff, we were marched out and told to stand in predesignated circles on the tarmac. From there we walked two by two to the chopper for loading and seatbelt check. There were six passengers and one pilot, Lorne, who introduced himself and went through the pre-check details. Lorne wanted all to know where the “comfort bags” were and commented they were there to be used — and we could keep them if we used them! His dry sense of humor added to the flight experience.
IN-FLIGHT: We were seated in the primo spot, next to the pilot — the best viewing, for sure. Lifting off at a busy airport like Honolulu takes some nerves and experience, and Lorne, as an ex-military chopper pilot, knew what he was doing. During a sweeping turn away from the airport, on came the Hawaii Five-O theme song, which was a real hit and terrific introduction to the tour. Lorne spoke throughout, asking us where we were from, if we had ever been to Hawai’i before and if we’d ever been in a helicopter. As we flew over historic sites he added his commentary.
The flight path took us over Honolulu, Waikiki, Diamond Head and the coral formation at Kaneohe Bay. Lorne pointed out where various movies have been filmed, such as Jurassic Park. We hovered over the cliffs of Nuuanu Rainforest and Sacred Falls and then flew to the North Shore for some aerial surfing visuals. Some of the best viewing of the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor concluded the tour as we headed back to busy Honolulu.
On this trip we stayed at some of the best hotels in Honolulu and Lanai and had some fantastic times, but this was a topper!
A must-do for any trip to Hawai’i.
BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS
Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, a light breeze dancing on your face, and views so beautiful you begin to think it is a simulation. The United Kingdom is teeming with unique accommodations that will please your eyes. Check out these stays with stunning views on your next U.K. adventure.
AdventureWomen, the travel company specializing in adventure tours for women, announced a partnership with African Wildlife Foundation. The organization supports the conservation of Africa’s wildlife through education, community development and sustainability projects. As part of the partnership, the two organizations will host a women’s safari to Zimbabwe in May 2022.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, where innovative wellness and balanced indulgence come together in one extraordinary beachfront setting, recently partnered with First Responders Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization providing financial support to children and families of first responders. This partnership formed the Carillon Cares: Summer of Heroes offers, including a donation to the foundation for each stay booked, which supports giving back to those who fought on the front lines during the pandemic.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Although much changed in the past year, Cancún still has the joie de vivre we need right now after months of cabin fever — even with safety measures in place. In fact, the first half of 2021 may be a good time to rediscover Mexico’s home-grown Caribbean resort town in a slower, more relaxed mode that contrasts its rollicking “spring break” reputation of old. One place to take in Cancún at its best is JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, a mile up from the convergence of night clubs, chain restaurants, souvenir emporiums and shopping malls along Avenida Kukulkan.
June marks Pride Month, largely credited to bisexual activist Brenda Howard who organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade in 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots. The parade eventually become the New York City Pride March, leading to Pride Month and similar parades and marches around the world.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Haven Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, an all-suite, adults-only, all-inclusive oceanfront resort, announces a new experience suited for epicurean travelers: The Chef’s Table. At Haven’s fine-dining restaurant Olios Mediterranean, The Chef’s Table offers the best seats in the house, right in front of the chef’s working station and open, top-of-the-line kitchen. And the actual table is beautiful in its own right: made from reclaimed wood and complemented by a turquoise glass chandelier.