If someone asked me to describe the perfect habitat for me, it would read like a travel brochure for any tropical isle: "Warm golden sunshine. Bright blue skies. Fluffy white clouds. Clear turquoise waters. Pristine beaches. Paradise. Heaven on earth." Yes, that's me, and yes, I intend to make it more that just a dream. But more on that later. Right now, I'm in search mode and I must admit, investigating is so much fun.  It had been nearly thirty years since I'd been to Oahu and lots had changed. There were far more hotels and shops on the Waikiki Beach. North Shore saw some development, too, with some restaurants and resorts dotting the shoreline, and nice, accessible roads. In the city there was much more traffic. There were more museums and exhibits in the Pearl Harbor area, and the luaus seemed canned, scripted for tourists. But it was still Oahu, beautiful, warm and welcoming. It's a wonderful place to have local contacts who can recommend restaurants, events and cultural institutes that might not show up in your typical hotel lobby brochure.

You can see most of the island in 4-5 days, but I'd definitely recommend renting a car. Some parts of the center of the island aren't readily accessible.