Sunday, January 13, 2019

A bonus day on Oahu!

Our alarms went off at 4:00am so we could make our 7AM flight. As I went to check my phone, I had a text message that our 7AM flight had been delayed to 5PM?!? I had to read it three times to comprehend what it was saying. Total bust. I had a work meeting on Friday around noon I really wanted to attend, so I tried my best to get back by Friday. But, the earliest we could make it back was 2:30PM on Friday and that was with an overnight in Los Angeles. They looked at all kinds of other airlines and everything, but nothing had openings. The standby lists on all the flights were ridiculous, so, we figured it'd be better just to stay in Hawaii another day. We booked the flight that left the next morning at 7:55. SO, another day in paradise for us!!!

We went back to sleep at this point and enjoyed a nice nap. Once we woke up we got ourselves a daily bus pass and headed into town.

We found a great hotel deal on where I had a few free nights to for $30 (including a resort fee and taxes) we got a great little hotel right at the edge of Waikiki. It's apparently the only privately owned hotel left on the Waikiki's called The Equus and it has this horse theme everywhere that is adorable. They also have a great little coffee bar that turns into a bar in the afternoon. When we arrived at the hotel around 10AM, the woman at reception was adorable and told us to go have a coffee and she could have a room ready for us in about 15 minutes. It was great! We were able to drop our bags and be ready for the day.

We walked about a mile to Ahi Assassins for yummy poke. It was on our list and we didn't make it there earlier in the week, so it was great to get to go. They only serve poke to go so we walked towards our next stop and found a park where we could enjoy our yummy lunch. SO good. Definitely the best poke we had on the island.

Then, we did some shopping at Ross for new clothes for our flight home on Friday. Our next stop was Wailua Shave Ice. We ordered the Obama's Rainbow with a snow cap. Pretty yummy.  From there we walked to Target to finish our shopping for clothes to wear on Friday and stock up on more sunscreen.

Then, Mike went on a little brewery adventure via the bus and Alison stayed at the hotel to get some work done. When all the work was done, she headed down to the hotel bar for her free welcome drink and waited for Mike to get back from his adventure.

Then, it was time for a walk along the beach to explore some of the hotels of Waikiki. We first stopped at House without a key for a sunset drink and coconut shrimp. Then, to the beach for a fantastic last sunset.

Then, happy hour at Mahina and Suns. We got a yummy pizza called The Naked Pig. Delicious. And the hotel (Surfjack) pool here was amazing!

Then, we strolled back towards our hotel stopping at the Royal Hawaiian and The Outrigger to see some of the old hotels. Our final stop for the night was Suzie Wong's Hideaway near our hotel for one final drink.  It was great to have one extra, stress-free, unplanned day on the island!! And we loved every minute of our Hawaiian adventure. We will be back!

Never say never!

Today we had lots to cover in our final day on the island.

First up was a hike up Diamond Head Crater at sunset. We were running a little behind, but got to the top just in time for the sun to rise. The hike up was pretty fun and lots of fun things to see. By the the top if you go left instead of right you save yourself lots of stairs!!!

On the way back to the Airbnb, we stopped at Leonard's Bakery for malasadas. These delicious doughnut like treasures were made to order and they were amazing. SOOO yummy. We had an original, chocolate filled, and mango filled. Must do.

Then, we went back to the Airbnb, got cleaned up, packed everything into the car, and headed to Kailua. This little town on the northeast side of the island was adorable! We went to check out a few food/drink things, but next time we might stay longer. It was way more relaxed than Honolulu and just much more enjoyable. Our first stop was Manoa Chocolate Factory. This place was great! Romi had purchased some of this bean-to-bar chocolate as a wedding gift for us, so it was fun to visit the place it came from. We got a tour of their factory and that got to sample all their bars and have chocolate tea. They even have a machine there that separates the nibs from the shells that was made by Maru chocolate in Vietnam that Mike visited when he was there this past fall. A fun connection.  SO fun! Highly recommend it if you're in the area...the tasting is free and the bars are all really good.

Then, it was time for some Foodland poke. We'd heard a lot about the grocery store's poke selection and we were not disappointed! We got two different types and ate in while sitting outside on a bench. Cheap and easy lunch.

Then came lunch #2 at Konos. We knew we needed some Kalua pork while we were in Hawaii and this place was the place to get it. We shared three sliders that had guava bbq sauce on them. YUMMY! A great second lunch!

Then, we walked over to Lanikai Brewing and had fun in their new tasting room. This chicken was trying to cross the we had to get that photo!

After a walk back to the car, it was time for our next adventure: Manoa Falls. We had a 2:30 reservation at Pearl Harbor and calculating travel times we had about 40 minutes to do this hike and get back on the road. I first decided there was no way we could squeeze it in, but decided to risk it. And it was so worth it!! The hike through the forest was beautiful. We went crazy fast and made it up to the top in 18 minutes. We enjoyed the falls for 5 minute or so and ran back down to the car with a minute to spare. We'd do this hike again if we were in the area, but it may have been our favorite of the whole trip (despite doing it so quickly). Definitely a good workout moving at that pace.

We got to Pearl Harbor just in time to join the movie that had just started. The ramp to the memorial is closed for repairs so right now you get a movie explaining the history and then a little boat tour of the harbor. Definitely interesting and I learned a lot about Pearl Harbor and its history. Bummed we couldn't go onto the memorial, but was glad we took some time to see this important part of American history.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with food and drink before we headed to the airport for our flight. Paradise Ciders was our first stopped and we enjoyed it. Then, another Foodland stop for more poke and then Underdogs Sports bar for some dinner. Poke nachos for Mike and pork and tots for Ali.

Then, we went to two breweries: Aloha and Honolulu Beerworks. We were in a bit of a hurry again at that point, but Mike still got to try lots of good beers.

We got to the airport in plenty of time to return our car, get checked in, and grab some food for the plane. THEN, they asked for 2 volunteers to take a later flight. We checked and there was a morning flight that would get us in at 10PM instead of 1:30PM, so we decided to take the $300 vouchers each and stay one more night (on United). Why not, right?! Seemed like a good idea. Read the next blog for what happened next.