Panoramic view from the top of Diamond Head Crater, shot with Pano on my iPhone

I’m back! It’s actually been a week since I returned to the sub-zero climate of Edmonton and I’m glad to finally have some time to revisit the trip and share some things from it.

One thing that I wanted to be able to do was record more information about the trip using tools like Foursquare and Instagram. On my last trip to New England in October I stayed as far away from an internet connection as I could, just using my iPhone for finding restaurants and subway routes when I needed it. At the time I felt like I needed to unplug for a while and I certainly don’t regret that decision, but for this trip I felt like I could take advantage of technology to document the trip in a cool way.

Foursquare check-ins mapped in Google Maps

We (my family and I) stayed right on the beach in Honolulu which made relaxing and getting a (slight) tan very easy. We were also sure to travel around the island. One thing that surprised me about Hawaii is just how tropical it is. It is very much a tourist destination and as the 50th US state has a lot of western culture and niceties, but at the same time there is so much unique flora and fauna and traditional culture that makes it very special.

One restaurant in Honolulu that you have to try is Chibaken. It’s a Japanese restaurant with very fresh ingredients and surprisingly reasonable prices, and it was so good we went there twice during our stay. My highlight was the roe roll that came with the assorted sushi, it was bursting with flavor and color. The Yelp reviews are what brought is there in the first place and tell a pretty good story of what you can expect.

Diamond Head Basin taken with Instagram on my iPhone

Diamond Head is a hike up the inside crater of a volcano, finishing with a breathtaking 360° view of Honolulu. It’s not too difficult of a hike with some stairs and handrails, there were only a few slippery sections because of the recent rain, and it takes about an hour or so to do.

We also took a guided tour with Mitch from Best Guides of Oahu. Mitch is not only a wealth of knowledge on Hawaii but also survival skills and personal health and wellness. Between our stops at some of the hard to find places on the island he didn’t stop sharing his facts and tips until he dropped us off at our hotel. His enthusiasm for what he does was really incredible and inspiring. It was a three hour tour and I’d recommend seeking out a tour with Mitch if you have the time. We found him at the top of the Diamond Head Crater and booked the tour there.

I took the majority of photos using Instagram (my username is interstateone if you’re interested) on my iPhone, and some days I walked around with my GF1 out as well. Something that I learned about Foursquare’s new photo feature is if you share a geo-tagged Instagram photo on Twitter, Foursquare will automatically associate it with a recent check-in.

It was hard to return to Edmonton, simply because of the amazing climate that you get to experience in Hawaii. I really want to go back and explore some more areas of Oahu as well as the other islands in the future.