Monday, October 18, 2010

Oahu part 2: From Here to Honolulu

We did manage to ditch the inlaws one day. Mostly because we went on and on about how we were going to spend the WHOLE DAY in Honolulu. ALL DAY. That's right, early morning till after dinner. The thought of spending an entire day without a nap, OUTSIDE, was horrifying. So they agreed to just meet us for dinner.

Which meant we got to get some real exploring in. As we entered Honolulu it began to rain. As we drove up the windy and supposedly scenic Tantalus Drive all we really got to see was wetness. Wetness and gorgeous trees. I'm always impressed by the change in foliage on the Hawaiian islands. Tantalus Drive was so tropic, it seemed as though it had been misplaced from our Kauai vacation last year. When we arrived at the top, the rain clouds cleared and we were rewarded with an amazing view of Waikiki, including Diamond Head, the unofficial mascot of Oahu.

I already told you about Thatboy swimming with the turtles, and now for his other highlight: The Halona Blowhole.

But first, Halona Beach! Made famous by a very famous movie scene in From Here to Eternity.

You don't know what movie I'm talking about? You will when you see it!

But if you look in the other direction you're treated to the blowhole itself.

Wait for it....

WHOOMP, there it is!

But our view from the top wasn't good enough for some people. So Thatboy and Thatbrother headed down for a closer look.

Around this point my heart was beating almost out of my chest. That's my husband down there. I was fairly sure he was going to be swept right out to sea, never to be seen from again. And frankly, he doesn't have enough life insurance to make it worth my while.

Have you noticed something missing from this trip report? You betcha, shaved ice. Sadly I only have pictures from one stop, and it was our least favorite. Although you may recognize it if you've been watching Hawaii 5-0.

Waiola Shave Ice!

For reference, our favorite shave ice on the trip was on the North Shore - at Aoki's Shave Ice.

After some disappointing shave ice, we went for a walk through downtown Waikiki. Waikiki was NOTHING like I imagined. I kept picturing something more like Lahaina in Maui (which was very unimpressive). I loved Waikiki! It was like NYC's 5th Avenue with sand! And what a beautiful beach it was.

In honor of my husband the surfer, I was sure to take a picture of Duke Kahanamoku. I was also tempted to pick up an "Eddie Would Go" sticker, but I wasn't sure where I'd put it. (I know I'm setting myself up with that one)

Okay, enough with the glamour shots, let me show you the food highlight of our trip: dinner at Alan Wong's.

There are some places that are raved about which are SO not worth the hype. This is not one of those places. Everything here, from the warm rolls with garlic butter all the way to the "shave ice" made from shaved pineapple was amazing. And Thatboy described it best when he said that it was the innovation in the dishes that really stood out.

We started out with the Hamakua Springs Tomato, Beet, and Avocado Salad.

Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Roasted Beets, Avocado, and Hearts of Palm. It was light and refreshing. Crisp greens with juicy tomatoes is always the best way to start a meal.

Next came our fabulous main courses. I had the twice cooked short rib, soy braised, grilled Kalbi style.

My ribs came with gingered shrimp on top, but it didn't need to. These were hands down the best short ribs I have EVER had. They didn't have that "tastes like potroast" problem. Instead they were tender and flavorful in their own right - tasting more like steak than a roast.

Thatboy had the Kona Lobster, Two Ways.

The one of the left is a butter poached lobster on top of a shrimp mochi cake on top of edamame truffle puree. The one on the right is a "lobster lasagna" with Cioppino Sauce. He loved both, but was most impressed with the lobster lasagna, which was really a lasagna noodle wrapped around lobster and baked.

Good food can always put you in a good mood - and I was thrilled to be able to have such a fabulous meal to remember the trip by.


  1. Well at least you got ONE in-law free day! And it sounds like you really made the most of it. Man that meal at the end looks amazing.