November 20, 2011

hawaii diary

Day 1
9:15AM: Set off in our plane towards Honolulu. Midway, an unfortunate passenger became ill. Plane did a 180° over the ocean back to SF. Airline sits at SF terminal for 3 hours doing paperwork. No food.
1:00PM: Finally lift off again towards Honolulu. Crappy airplane food served. Arrived 4 hours behind schedule with no energy or time but enough to destress on homemade udon noodles at Marukame Udon. Life is good again.

Day 2
7:00AM: Woke up to fresh hot green tea prepared by my boo. Such a sweetie :) Soaked in the daylight for next two hours before driving off to Boots & Kimo's in Kailua for their famous mac nut pancakes.
11:00AM: Headed east 10 minutes towards the most beautiful beach we've ever stepped onto, Lanikai Beach. Its bright turqoise waters and silky soft sand welcomed us warmly.
3:00PM: Hungry tummies growled for some roadside pizza and Island Snow, Obama's favorite shaved ice place(?). There are lots of pictures with him hanging around the joint. Then drove over to Nuuanu Pali lookout in the middle of the island. Cold, windy, beautiful.
6:30PM: Luckily found parking in the 3 spaces probably reserved for VIP behind the streetside strip mall which housed our dinner destination, Sushi Izakaya Gaku. Two things to recommend: negihamachi tartare and sushi bar seating. Guaranteed memorable dinner.

Day 3
9:00AM: Slept in a little later, woke up more relaxed and in sync with our normal sleeping schedule.
12:00AM: Ordered a loco moco plate at Rainbow Drive-in, practically a Hawaiian fast food. Found out all fast foods are equal. 
1:00PM: Took advantage of our protein energy and ascended the hike to Manoa Falls. Felt like I was in Jurassic Park. Really wished the ground lit up like Avatar. So cool.
3:00PM: Needed to cool off badly and what better stop on our route back to Waikiki than Bubbies! Homemade mochi in like 20 different flavors? Yes please with many mochis on top.
4:00PM: Hit up Marukame Udon again. It will never get old. Niku udon is suddenly my favorite.
7:30PM: Yup, napped from the udon coma and woke up to eat some chow at Uncle Bos. Great place to take a date or go with a group of friends before heading off to another more debaucherous place with alcohol. But our combo of the night was eat, sleep, eat, and sleep. But not before our last stop at Leonard's Bakery for some famous fried malasadas.

Day 4
1:00PM: Very easy morning, woke up two hours earlier and perhaps with vacation laziness finally setting in, decided to order takeout from Ono Hawaiian Foods.
2:00PM: eat, eat, eat, nap, nap, nap.
4:00PM: Set out on a one hour drive through horrible traffic to the western side of the island to take part in the tourist must-do Paradise Cove Luau. Got our obligatory mai tais, polynesian tattoos, and fire dancer show.

Day 5
11:00PM: Probably the worst time to hike under the direct sunlight but being the last day, we could not miss out on hiking Diamond Head Crater. As much as I wanted to give up in the beginning leg of the hike (which was just from our parking lot to the start of the actual trail), I'm glad my boo pulled me through to the top because the views you share with your lover or friend is unforgettable.
12:00PM: Another one hour drive this time to Haleiwa, North Shore. Stopped at the one and only Giovanni's Shrimp Truck. Ordered 6pc shrimp scampi and just had to try their 6pc hot and spicy shrimp (it's so hot their description said 'no refund'). Amazing as expected.
2:00PM: Cruised a few blocks down to Matsumoto's for another famous shaved ice. This time got a unique green tea flavor with azuki beans at the bottom.
2:30PM: A couple more miles down Kamehameha Hwy were some very diverse beaches. First stop - Laniakea Beach (Turtle Beach). Saw some live, big, gentle sea turtles on the shore line. I could stare at them for hours. But that probably got a little boring since we ended up napping on the beach under some palm tree shade. Second stop - Sharks Cove. Ideal for snorkeling, repurposed as a photoshoot location. Third and last stop of Hawaii's shoreline - Waimea Bay. Relaxing, last chance to tan and dip in the water.
8:00PM: After quite a busy day, no place was more perfect than eating Taiwanese hot pot for dinner at Sweet Home Cafe. The healthy herb broth brought warmth and life back to our tired bodies. The free Taiwanese shaved ice at the end of dinner would have closed out the dinner nicely if it wasn't for the waiter scolding at me for wasting their sauces. I must've misunderstood their sign above their sauces which clearly said "Take as much as you like!!"
9:00PM: Another day, another bakery. So glad we didn't miss out on the coco puffs and green tea puffs from Liliha Bakery.

Day 6
6:00AM: Hustlin the packing and cleaning in the morning. Had to hit up two more restaurants we didn't get to try this past week. Yes, food is that important to us.
11:00AM: Sat down for a brunch at Helena's Hawaiian Food. In my opinion, much better than Ono and cheaper. Get their fried butterfish collar, spareribs, and poi. I absolutely love how most places give you haupia for free.
11:45AM: Ate fast and drove 6 minutes over to Pier 38 for Nico's furikake ahi to-go. So glad we did not miss out on this. Perfect airplane food.
2:25PM: Said our last goodbyes to Honolulu and took off to our cold, rainy home in California. Seriously considering making November our annual beach vacation month.

No comments:

Post a Comment