Act like a tourist
When we first arrived, our house was empty (ahhh familiar!) and our car was still in transit, so we drove with G to work, aided by some early jet lag, and took his car to explore the island.
I spent some time in Honolulu with GL when she was only 20 months old, and at the time we were staying in Waikiki without a car. We got to know the area well over ten days as tourists, walking up and down Kalakaua Boulevard, finding little beach access lanes and going to Starbucks at 5am with all the other jet-lagged east coasters who had already been up for hours.
Every day we walked to the Hilton Hawaiian Village which, at the time, was home to a small colony of penguins. We ate breakfast as they ate theirs, walked during the day, took time in our breezy high-rise hotel overlooking the beach in the afternoon, and ate by the tiki torches as the sun set on Waikiki at night. It was really lovely and indulgent, so it felt like the obvious place to start exploring with two extra babies by my side six years later.
My priority and concern was always making the transition for them as smooth as possible. Thankfully, pretending to be on vacation in Hawaii has the same effect as actually being on vacation in Hawaii. We went down to Waikiki where the smell of coconut-scented sunscreen fills the air to a soundtrack of Hawaiian music. There are tons of happy, relaxed, sun-kissed tourists and almost as many ruffled, white, sun-worn pigeons hobbling alongside them. We played on the beach with Diamondhead as the backdrop, ate shave ice and ice cream, talked to some Aussie tourists and took an impromptu hula lesson. We were one surf lesson short of a honeymoon. Well, maybe not so much a honeymoon as a vow renewal ... or something less romantic and more child-focused.
One night we went down to Waikiki for dinner with G and we were walking down the street with hundreds of tourists, S in my arms. In her tired splendour, she started to shout out "Ayúdame! Ayúdame!" repeatedly. G asked what she was saying and I told him "she is saying 'help me!', in Spanish". It seems that Dora is quite the teacher. G pointed out the fact that a baby calling out for help in the middle of a busy tourist area *might* raise a red flag, but nobody seemed to notice or care.
Waikiki is just far too happy for such negative concepts. Our few-day pretend vacation was the perfect introduction to island life, since I'm starting to think that island life is basically one long vacation. Shoes optional.