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Highlights Of A Trip To Hawaii

Old Oct 1st, 2008, 10:14 AM
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Highlights Of A Trip To Hawaii

I was just on the island of Oahu for 15 nights, my first trip back to the islands in about 10 years. (I had spent four previous vacations in the 80's and 90's in the islands.) We decided to concentrate on Oahu this time, not visiting Maui, Kauai or BI at all this trip.

Our first week was spent very near Kailua Beach on the Windwind Coast, in a 1-BR apartment, which was part of a house with two other units. It was phenomenal ... very large, very tropical ... with a well-furnished lanai adjoining a gorgeous yard, with palms, plumeria trees and tropical flowers. It was about a 20 min. walk to Kailua Beach Park, I'd say, which was a little far for me in the September heat.

Kailua and Lanikai Beaches are drop-dead gorgeous. We saw the sunrise a couple of mornings ... awesome! Unfortunately, there was a shark sighting (very near by) AND a jellyfish invasion at Kailua Beach while we were there so we got in the water only once ... and still got stung!!! I was vinegar-sprayed by a handsome lifeguard, and the pain was gone in 20 minutes ... (At least it wasn't the shark that got me ... )

We had a rental car for the first week so we drove to all the beaches on the East coast and up around the North Shore. Such beauty, jaw-dropping, really. I'd almost forgotten just how gorgeous Oahu is! I love the other islands but they have nothing on this one ...

Good things about Kailua Beach Park area: Kalapawai Market (& restaurant) ... friendly staff, great food, and neat little covered patio to enjoy your brunch/lunch. I had wonderful lox & bagels, as well as one of the best Reubens ever. The coffee drinks were excellent ... can't say enough good about this place.

Buzz's Steak House ... very friendly, good food (the seafood chowder extraordinary) but terrible mai tai! Tasted like dark rum and very watery fruit juice. We were there twice ...great location looking out at the water. Would go back, but I'd drink beer!

Lucy's Bar & Grill ... overpriced for what you get. The food was good but BARELY WARM, even after I'd sent it back once. Service was LOUSY. Mai tai not much better than Buzz's. I would not go back there.

Pinky's Pupu Bar & Grill ... simply great! Located on a canal, where the resident ducks love people to bring out boxes of left-overs to feed to them after dinner. The mai tai's here were some of the best of the trip, in big frosted goblets ... simply superb! The food was yummy ... the mac-encrusted opah something to write home about. The second night we ate there happened to be kids' night ... which was noisy but tons of fun as they had two of the best balloon artists I've ever seen. They did Disney characters that made you shake your head with awe ...

One of our fave experiences was visiting the traveling Farmer's Market behind Long's Drugs on Thursday evening. Fried Green Tomatoes to make you howl, roasted corn ... but bread pudding very plain and not so good, though it was supposed to be "brown sugar/berry." We bought tropical flowers to grace our apartment, also local honey for our tea, and magnificent papayas. It felt good to support the local economy.

Second part (a bit more on Kailua and Waikiki) coming, if you're interested. This entry is getting *cut off* when I try to post more ...

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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 11:17 AM
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Kailua ... Continuing:

We bought Taco Salads (with Kailua pork) at Maui Tacos to bring back for lunch on our lanai one day. Excellent, and I'd loved to have eaten their food again.

We visited the Byodo-Inn Temple on a Sunday afternoon, gorgeous with it's ponds teeming with so many fish, and swans swimming among them. The cemetery there, set against the mountain range, with the tropical flowers on the graves ... was just magnificent. We had our first picnic at a cemetery! We also went on to visit the Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens, at least a small section of them, that day. I was almost devoured by mosquitos, so bring your bug spray if you decide to visit there.

One of our best times was on the North Shore, when we stopped at Romy's Shrimp Truck! OMG ... unbelievably good shrimp (I had the sweet & hot, DH had the garlic butter.) Shelling shrimp, licking your fingers, feeling the tropical breezes and admiring the beautiful view ... doesn't get any better than that!

At this point, I have to thank WHOEVER wrote here on Fodor's about buying POG and rum as soon as they got to the islands, so they could have it on their lanai that night! We stole your idea, loved the drink and had them everyday while in Hawaii. Now that we're home, we continuing ... One of our first nights there, we were sitting on our darkened lanai, with just a candle glowing, drinking our POGS, when a neighbor puts Brother Iz on to play ... (sigh ....) I knew everything was right with the world.

That's about it for my Kailua segment. Kailua is wonderful ... though the beach was not quite as calm as I'd hoped it would be, at least not when we were there. (I'm a bad swimmer and like the placidness of the Gulf beaches in Florida. Don't guess you find quite that anywhere in Hawaii...) So then we had another eight (fabulous) days in Waikiki ...

Aloha ... thanks for reading so far!


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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 07:59 PM
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Nice TR.

I'm glad you had a good time on Oahu.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 12:25 AM
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You know that when you get stung by a jellyfish, you're supposed to pee on it, right? That's really the best thing the handsome lifguard could have done.

Extend your vacation with some free Hawaiian music from United Airlines!
http://www.hemispheresmagazine.com/3PD/Oahu/day1.php
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 07:46 AM
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At this point, I want to say thank you to Dusty and suze, and to everyone who gave me great tips for this trip. They were so appreciated ...

Melissa, yes, I had heard about the *pee* remedy! The lifeguards only offered vinegar spray, though.

Further Kailua notes: Be sure to have the shave ice at Island Snow! We did the rainbow ones ... mine was passionfruit, pineapple, strawberry; DH's was coconut, raspberry, pineapple ... delicious to sip on as you walked the beach!

At Kalapawai Market, my DH had a BLT on white bread with avocado spread, that was fabulous. I couldn't decide what was better ... his sandwich or my Reuben. (So I kept eating both ... ;-) )

Also, the Foodland Supermarket has a really great bakery ... their breads were wonderful! We bought a round walnut-raisin sourdough loaf that I sliced and toasted for breakfast, also bought a whole-grain wheat bread that I used to make grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches a couple of times. (Delicious with the fresh pineapple and papaya that we'd bought at the Farmer's market. BTW, be sure to squeeze lime on your papayas ... super!)

Back to Pinky's Pupu Bar, they have a very good sampler platter, which we split, with buffalo wings, spring rolls, coconut shrimp and bbq spareribs. Very tasty, with their incredible mai tai's. Also, the macadamia-crusted opa that I mentioned above came with lilikoi butter and pineapple salsa, with parmesan mashed potatoes on the side. HEAVEN!

If you go to the Farmer's Market on Thursday evening, DON'T eat anything substantial before you go. There are food vendors there cooking and serving box meals of wonderful stuff. We made the mistake of eating lunch at Buzz's that day before going, so we could only do the tomatoes and corn for dinner, but I'd like to have eaten more!

Another note on Kailua: one of the friendliest places I have EVER been, and I live in the South!!! If anyone there isn't happy to see tourists, I didn't meet them! Local residents would come up to talk to you at the beach, market, etc. Delightful.

On to my Honolulu/Waikiki segment ...
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 09:10 AM
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Aloha, Elsie! Your trip report is making me wish I were on O`ahu...and making me hungry!! Looking forward to the next part....
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 06:18 PM
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"You know that when you get stung by a jellyfish, you're supposed to pee on it, right?"

Why would you want to pee on a jellyfish?

Just kidding!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 07:07 PM
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oh, the pun, the pun....!
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Old Oct 7th, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Then you can thank me twice (haha) I'm sure that was me mentioned the POG & rum cocktails to make "at home".
;-)
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 03:36 PM
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Hope you don't mind me topping your trip report, since we were just discussing it today on Part 2.

My newest favorite cocktail to make in the hotel room is vodka, pineapple juice, soda water. Yum.
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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suze, now you've come up with another drink for me to try ... thanks!
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