Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States



(Check out some photos by clicking the Hawai'i link under "Photos" in the left sidebar...)

Time for a quick recap of our recent visit (and my first!) to Hawai'i.

We're lucky enough to have a friend, K, from West Sac who's working in Honolulu for 6 months, so we stayed with him at his condo near Waikiki. Thanks to United miles, we got our 2 round-trip tickets for about $100 (not to mention 2 free round-trip tickets for future use on the way back for being voluntarily bumped and spending an extra 3 hours at LAX). Overall, a fairly economical way to travel to the Islands!

Wed 11/8
Arrived about 3 hours late due to equipment issues in SFO. K picked us up and did a brief driving tour of Honolulu and Waikiki.

Thurs 11/9
We got up and set out to run to Diamond Head via Montsarrat (northerly route) before the big crowds hit. We arrived around 8:30am and met another runner couple on their honeymoon (which included doing the NYC Marathon the Sunday before). This friendly German couple didn't know they'd need $1 per person to enter the park, so luckily we had enough cash to spring for a little "wedding gift" for them. We jogged up part of the path but then walked once the going go too rough and uneven. Quite a workout to climb all the way up, but the views were more than worth it! Then we headed back down and ran back to the condo via Kalakaua (southerly route), which took us through Kapiolani Park and along the Waikiki beaches again. All in all, about 10 miles of running, plus lots of climbing hills and stairs...
After breakfast at Starbucks, we set out to walk to 'Iolani Palace and the City Hall but ended up taking a detour through Ala Moana Mall and the Ross Dress for Less near Ward Center. I had success in finding a new bikini, and Mr. E purchased a new blue "aloha" shirt. At that point, we decided to start heading home, with stops at Jamba Juice, the Ward Farmer's Market, and the ABC Store (gifts and groceries) along the way.
Once K got home, we had some puu-puus up on the sky deck, then headed to Brew Moon for dinner.

Fri 11/10
Since K's spouse, M, was due to arrive in the early afternoon, we decided to hit downtown Honolulu in the morning before meeting up with her. We retraced our path through Ala Moana Mall and continued along Kapiolani Blvd to 'Iolani Palace and the State Capitol (which was closed - perhaps due to Veteran's Day???). Then we continued our walking tour down Fort Street, paused in another Ross but didn't make any purchases, and ended up at the Aloha Tower on the Marina. We went up to the observation deck to get a great panoramic view of the City. M met us there, and we lunched at Don Ho's.
Since M had the car, we then drove out to Pearl Harbor and walked through the museum to see the USS Missouri and USS Arizona exhibits (didn't actually wait to get tickets to go to the memorial itself).
Then back to the condo to swim a bit before K got home. Our big dinner out was at Alan Wong's - my meal of "Da Bag" and "The Coconut" was fabulous!

Sat 11/11
After working out a bit, we piled into the car to head up to the North Shore. First stop was the Dole Plantation, where we walked around the gardens a bit, fed the scary-vicious koi, and had some pineapple slush.
Next we continued our route up to Waimea (I think) and our final destination of the Polynesian Cultural Center. We wandered around the different Islands, saw the Tonga drummers, sampled some poi, did a little bit of hula, and enjoyed the canoe parade of all of the different performers.
We returned to Honolulu via the shorter route through the middle of the island. K, M, and Mr. E went swimming while I went for a run along the Ala Wai Canal and inadvertently ended up on Kapiolani Blvd where I found my Mom's old address @ 2459.
Back at the condo, we gathered some puu-puus, dinner fixings, and wine and headed up to the sky terrace to grill out for dinner.
Once someone started roasting garlic on the grill, we beat a hasty retreat to the elevators and went for a walk along Kalakaua to the International Market Place with a return along the beach.

Sun 11/12
Slept in a bit, then went to Snorkel Bob's to rent gear for me and Mr. E before heading to Hanauma Bay. My first time snorkeling, and it was great - so odd for me to swim in WARM ocean waters, since I'm used to the cold Atlantic Ocean on the East Coast!
We had packed lunch so we went up the coast a bit to Sandy Beach to watch the boarders as we ate.
Then back in the car to head towards Honolulu and the Bishop Museum. We toured some of the exhibits, watched the planetarium show, and had fun in the hands-on Science Adventure building.
After dropping stuff off at the condo, we headed out to stroll along the beach and stop at Duke's for a drink. Since the place was way too busy and loud, we kept walking and ended up at Tiki's to have drinks and a light dinner on their patio above Kalakaua Street. Then it was off to Big Kahuna's 3D Glow Mini Golf - 9 holes of this experience was enough for all of us!

Mon 11/13
M got up to drive K to work, then met us back at the condo. I had gotten up early to run the loop around Diamond Head (without the climb to the summit), so then M, Mr. E, and I went to hike to Manoa Falls.
On her way to the airport, M dropped us off at Hilo Hattie's to do some last-minute shopping. We took the free shuttle to Ala Moana Mall to finish up our final purchases, then walked back to the condo to pack in anticipation of our departure the next day.
Since K had to work late, we decided to got to the bargain movie theatre at Restaurant Row to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. K picked us up afterwards, and we finished off some wine at the condo before heading to bed.

Tues 11/14
Up bright and early to get to the airport by 6am. Our flight to LAX was uneventful, and once we got bumped to the later flight, we went to the International terminal to find better food options for dinner. I had yet another bowl of udon (this was at least my fourth during the trip, starting with lunch at SFO back on the 8th). Since our luggage had left on the earlier flight, it was waiting for us when we got back to Sacto, and we got home to Q Street around 10pm. Miss Muffin was VERY happy to see us, and she loves her new tropical collar, too!

A great trip! Wonderful sites, fabulous hospitality, great time with friends. And we'll get to host K and M for Turkey Day and the special J Pinotage vertical tasting next week. :)


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