I promised last week that I’d share the photos from our trip to Hawaii, and today is the perfect day. We are in a deep freeze over here once again, and just from looking at the pictures, I can almost feel the sun right now. I hope this helps warm you up a little bit!
Like I mentioned in my post on California, we were flying into Honolulu from LAX, which was only about five hours away. After a quick visit with Brad at the Hickam Air Force Base where he was training, we had a delicious lunch of lechon with garlic rice, and then off to the beach house we went. First thing on our agenda: sunsets drinks! We stayed at a beachfront cabin in Waianae and it was just the perfect spot to finish our day.
The next day, we planned to hike the Diamond Head, a volcanic crater that was used as a strategic military lookout and now a national landmark. To fuel our hike, we stopped by Leonard’s Bakery for some of their famous malasadas, or Portuguese doughnuts. They were soft, pillowy, with different cream fillings like coconut and chocolate, and as the locals would say, just plain ono!
From the bakery, it only took a short drive to get to Diamond Head. The trails can be very steep (and hot since there is no shade covering) and you go through lots of stairs, dark tunnels, and old military bunkers. It’s well worth the effort because at the very top, you get a glimpse of it all with sweeping views of Oahi’s entire south shore, with Waikiki on one side and the Koko Head crater on the other!
We worked up quite a sweat on our hike, and we were looking forward to go to Hanauma Bay for some snorkeling, but it turns out the Bay was closed on Tuesday! Since we were already on the southeast part of the island, we drove to the Halona Blowhole and found a rocky cove that was perfect for swimming!
There was a rocky, somewhat steep hike down to beach.
James found a perfect spot and dived right in! There’s a bit of a splash, but a pretty solid 8 all around :)
As for me…I think I just fell into the water. A jaw-dropping 0 :p
After our hike and swim, we were starving! The best part about visiting a new city is trying new foods and restaurants in my opinion. My friends who had been to Hawaii had given me a list of foods and places to eat at, but honestly, there is no shortage of great places to eat in Oahu.
Of all the places I had on my list, I was most excited to try Kimukatsu, which is famous for their tonkatsu. What’s so special about it? Well, it’s made from 25 paper thin layers of pork, breaded and deep fried. The layering makes for a tender, moist pork cutlet.
I tried the original flavor while James had the curry tonkatsu, and we both licked our plates clean!
Another must-see for anyone visiting Oahu is Pearl Harbor. The entire experience was just informative, powerful, and touching. We viewed a film documenting the events leading up to the attack, which included original footages from the historic attack, and were then taken to the USS Arizona Memorial on a boat. I highly recommend it as a place to visit and experience an important piece of American history, and more importantly, pay our respect and remember those who had lost their lives on that day.
Up next…Waikiki Beach. Just before dusk is the perfect time to visit, as the area and surrounding water take on a peaceful peachy glow as the sun sets. There are many hotel bars on the beach that are the perfect viewing spots to watch the world go by before the day is finished! James and I snacked on a saimin, a Hawaiian noodle soup dish, with our mai tai’s.
For dinner, James’ parents took us to Roy’s, which features Hawaiian fusion cuisine by Roy Yamaguchi. We all ordered fish as our main course (except for James who has fish allergy) and we all enjoyed our dishes very much. The misoyaki butterfish was definitely the highlight; it was perfectly seasoned, tender, and just melted in my mouth! To finish, chocolate soufflé and pineapple upside down cake couldn’t hurt. They were a delicious finish to our amazing meal!
This vacation recap is running longer than I thought, so tomorrow I’ll continue with the second half of our trip. Stay tuned!