mahalo hawaii

May 29th, 2011 / by / in: travel / 2 Responses

So what does one do when they have less than one day to spend in Honolulu?

We left Toronto at 10am on Saturday and had about 12 hours of sitting-on-the-plane flying time. (You can read about the magical mystery tour flight here.) We arrived at around 7pm and our flight home left at 4pm the next day, so we had about seven or eight hours of actual awake, non-airport time in Honolulu. After landing, we dropped our stuff off at the hotel and wandered around Waikiki a bit before getting some food.

Downtown Waikiki at night. It’s a lot like Las Vegas. If this was all I had seen of Honolulu, I would have never wanted to come back. (I hate Las Vegas.)

Even though we had been awake for a zillion hours, it was time for another Mai Tai. Obviously.

Looking out on to the ocean. I still sometimes find it baffling that I can wake up in my bed in Toronto, and find myself 4600 miles away, sitting on the beach in Hawaii in the same day.

Mai Tai + time difference = awesome

Ahi poke tacos

Some kind of ceviche with TARO CHIPS. I love taro a lot. Maybe even an unreasonable amount.

Oh hello, my favourite store. There were a bunch of open-air malls and everything was open late, which added to the Las Vegas-like feeling.

The next day, Mike decided he wanted to blend in with the locals.

Downtown Waikiki in the daylight. Much nicer. Aaah, palm trees.

Hawaii Mike has surfer hair.

I took a bunch of Waikiki Beach photos and put them in a separate entry. We wandered around, dipped our toes in the very blue ocean, and watched the surfers.

And then! We found a musubi place! We were specifically looking for Spam musubi, a Hawaiian specialty. Sounds disgusting, but since the Spam has a teriyaki glaze, it’s actually surprisingly delicious. (Musubi is another word for onigiri.)

Cho kawaii! Hawaii is more Japanese than I thought. Almost every sign is in English and Japanese. I mean, I know that a lot of their visitors are from Japan, but most people that I saw were Asian, and there were Japanese-only tour groups going by constantly. Our cab driver on the way from the airport commented that tourism had been way down since the tsunami. There seemed to be a lot of tourists anyway.

Unsurprisingly, this “Hawaii Kona Blend Coffee” was made in Japan.

Spam musubi! Apparently even Obama likes Spam musubi.

Um, how great is this 50s cocktail party guy in a suit?

My love for palm trees seems to be a recurring theme here.

I wanted to get sushi, but we ended up getting Puka Dogs instead. I’m not usually a big fan of hot dogs, but if it’s good enough for Anthony Bourdain, it’s good enough for me. (Here’s the segment of No Reservations where he eats a Puka Dog — it starts at about 5:45.)

The strange, medieval contraption used to make Puka Dogs. Pointy, no?

Exotic sauces!

Puka Dogs have a round bun that’s crispy inside and we got ours slathered in garlic mayo, pineapple relish, and Hawaiian mustard. YUM. (I had the veggie dog version.)

After our hot dogs, it was around noon, so we headed back to the hotel to check out and sit around the pool for a bit. Then, it was back to HNL for our flight home.

The Red Carpet Club lounge in HNL was almost entirely empty.

We arrived in ORD at around 5am the next day. It was very empty and quiet (for ORD, anyway).

I was pretty tired, so the airport looked like this by then. ORD had been having some weather problems (as per usual), but our connecting flight was on time and it was blue skies all the way home to YYZ.

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