Monday, December 19, 2011

Oahu Trip | Day 2: Relaxing and Planning

We always spend the first full day of a vacation planning the rest of our trip and just relaxing, and this time was no exception.

I woke up around 5am and managed to stay in bed and sleep on and off until 6:40am. Then it started getting light outside and I got out of bed.  The morning view from our living room.
Then we turned on NFL Sunday Countdown on TV.  We looked over the This Week In Oahu booklet and checked on a couple of restaurants and tours on Yelp.  Around 8am we went across the street to McDonald's for breakfast, instead of the free continental breakfast downstairs.  Todd didn't want to sign up for run-of-the-mill tours with the people running the free breakfast.  There's free wifi at McD, so I brought my iPod Touch with me.  The McDonald’s in Hawaii has local-style breakfast!  So I got a coffee and a spam, rice, and scrambled egg plate.  It was under $4. 
Todd got a McGriddle Sausage Sandwich and a caramel latte.  He thought it was decent.

We saw an older couple with their dog all dressed up like Santa with sunglasses on!  She was in a Christmas decorate stroller and it was fantastic.  I got a photo even and talked with the dog owners.

After breakfast, we went over to ABC Store and Todd got some cornnuts, because they didn't have microwave popcorn.  Then we stopped by a bakery called Saint Germaine's and they had cream puffs!  It was a Chinese/Japanese style bakery.  Todd bought the cream puffs and put them in the fridge to eat later.

Then we went back to the condo to plan the rest of our vacation.  We wanted to go on Hawaii Nature Tours and also the Hawaii Food Tour.  I created a calendar and list of things we want to do this week, on a spreadsheet using my internet-less computer.  (Ha!)  Then we started filling in some of them into the calendar.  Then it was time to take showers and go to lunch!  The walk in shower was nice-sized and water was good and warm.  I styled my hair all nice, only to step outside to lunch and get hit by some monsoonal winds!  It was so windy and sort of raining that we almost got blown over!

There was a short line at Marukame Udon, but we got in pretty fast.



I saw the noodle making machines and they were awesome.  Fresh noodles!  The noodle man was super-nice and posed for a photo for me.

Oodles of fresh noodles!

You go through the line and order cafeteria-style.  Pick the udon noodle soup, then the tempuras and musubis.  Then you find a seat and chow down!  It was really fantastic and only cost us right under $20, plus they said no tip!  What an awesome and unique place. Oh and if you go, bring cash because they don’t accept credit cards.
Todd got curry udon while I got ontama bukkake udon.  He got eggplant and karaage vegetable tempuras, while I got shrimp, squid, asparagus, and sweet potato tempuras, and also salmon musubi.  Yes, I shared some with Todd too, otherwise I would have felt a little piggy-ish.

Todd thought it was fantastic and super-nom. And check out his monsoonal windswept hair.  :p
I couldn’t stop smiling because the food was so good and so cheap!
After lunch, we tried to find the Hawaii Nature Tours office.  According to the address on Yelp, it should have been near our hotel.  But it was nowhere to be found, so we came back to the hotel and called them.  We booked the Hawaii Food Tour first, then the Hawaii Nature Tours (2 hikes).

We found a place that sells good shave ice nearby (according to Yelp), so we walked over to Ailana Shave Ice to try it out.  20111211-IMG_9051_600

Todd got the Azuki Lover.  It has azuki beans, ice cream in the middle, sweetened condensed milk, and mochis.

I got the “Tropical Trio”.
Both were very good!  Another good find on Yelp again. When we walked in, the owner was making the mochis by hand,  so fresh!  He also took a lot of care in making the shave ice. 

After shave ice, we walked around Royal Hawaiian Shopping center and enjoyed the Christmas decorations.  Another tourist offered to take our photo.  Everywhere we went on the trip, both tourists and locals offered to take our photos.  So nice! AND, I never felt awkward or embarrassed to use my camera and take lots of photos of everything, including food, because LOTS of other people were doing it too!  For once, I didn't feel out of place or strange taking photos of my meals, LOL.

The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center had a courtyard with lots of trees and hanging lanterns.  They must look so awesome all lit-up at night.

We walked back to our condo, the Royal Kuhio.


Then I took a nap and Todd read, until it was time to leave for Safeway to buy groceries.  So glad we brought our Garmin GPS for the car!  Everywhere we went, we would look stuff up on Todd's phone, or get the addresses from Yelp, then enter into our GPS and get turn by turn directions.  Safeway was easy to find, but not the H1 East freeway after that.  We took a couple of wrong turns until we finally was heading in the right direction.  (GPS thought we were already on the freeway.) I noticed that this was a road I ran on in the 2000 Honolulu Marathon.  After 10 minutes we turned into a shopping center and found the Kona Brewing Co.  Todd was so excited to eat the pizza there again, after having it on Big Island in 2008!  He'd been looking forward to it ever since then! 

He got a t-shirt, we waited about 20 minutes, then we got seated in the bar anyway.  It was way windy/drafty, and super-loud in there.  We got a salad that was not very good, but the pizza showed up about 5 minutes after that.  We got pepperoni, parmesan sausage, roasted garlic, and half wild mushroom half jalapenos.

It was really good, but the wind drafts totally cooled the pizza off in a hurry.  The waitress didn't give us timely diet Coke refills.  So the pizza was great but the experience was not that good.  We did bring back half the pizza to the condo and planned to heat it up with the oven and eat it the next day too!

On the way home, I wondered what NBC plays out here in Hawaii after Sunday Night Football is done, since it was still prime time.  We soon found out.  It was an Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Special.  Todd ate the cream puffs that he had purchased in the morning, and they were great.  Then he finished the 3rd book in the Hunger Games series. 

The night views from our condo was awesome!


We went downstairs again to the Speedy Mart to get some milk.  We were in the hotel when the fire alarm went off.  I changed back to regular clothes and we got ready to go downstairs (again!), but Todd finally got a hold of security and they said it was a false alarm.  Someone was smoking in their room and set off the fire alarm.  Lame!

Then we finished planning the rest of the trip and went to bed!  Tomorrow (Monday) is our big Food Tour!


  1. Looks like y'all had volcano-sized shaved ice..(get it? Hawaii, volcano.. hehehe)

    Loving the vacay's almost as good as being there!

  2. Gosh, this is SO making me want to be in Waikiki right now. That dog is so cute.

  3. I'm getting excited for our trip now! Great tip in bringing the iPod touch so you can check yelp. And loving all your pictures.

  4. I'm so living vicariously through you! Love seeing your Hawaii photos and reading about the trip. The night view is so lovely!

    Ann M.

  5. Hahaha, you've been to several restaurants that I have never heard of before and now I'm dying to try them. The udon place looks fabulous. There is a soba place in Waikiki that makes their own soba and is delicious. I want to try the udon place right now. I can't wait to hear about your food tour next. Kinda curious to see where they will take you. If you have any questions or recommendations, please send me a note. Not sure if you are still in the islands or not.

  6. So much fun in your day of relaxing and planning. :)

  7. Ok what?? That shaved ice place looks amazing too!! Thanks for sharing your foodie experience with us!


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