We’ve been in Hawai’i for four and a half days now, dividing our time fairly equally between hiking, going to the beach, seeing friends, and eating (and sometimes doing two or three of these at the same time). Oahu was a whirlwind of activities. Here’s a quick summary:
Monday: Took a limo (not our plan — that’s just what was in the taxi line, a limousine circa 1988) to Manoa. Dropped off our stuff at Tom’s house and walk to Long’s drugstore and the crack seed shop (on the way home, two ripe mangoes crashed to the ground on the street next to us just after I’d looked up at the mango tree and said, “too bad it’s not mango season yet”). Drove to Chinese food at the Little Village Noodle Shop (after discovering that our favorite Thai restaurant, Mekong II, has closed), then had malasadas at Leonard’s. Early bedtime for the jet-lagged crowd.
Tuesday: Hiked up on Tantalus from the Hawaii Nature Center, tromping through everything from eucalyptus to ginger to general rain foresty stuff. Shave ice at Waiola (the first of many). Lunch with Steve and Cathy Levinson at Ryan’s in Ward Center, then over to lie on the beach and swim at Ala Moana. Home for a golf cart tour of Midpac (Tom’s school). Dinner with Tom at Hale Vietnam (spring rolls and shrimp & calamari fondue — so yummy), followed by a movie (The East — just ask Pres to make fun of it, and he’ll do so for an hour) at the Kahala Mall.
Wednesday: A long hike up the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail, up above Laukahi (having been turned back by the mean gate guard woman at Hawai’i Loa Ridge because we don’t have Hawai’i IDs). Wonderful hike, spectacular views, though we got socked in at the top and only saw the windward side for about 3 minutes. Another visit to Waiola (this shave ice stand will be a theme). Disappointing buffet lunch at Indigo, one of our old favorite restaurants that has clearly gone downhills. Wandered briefly around Chinatown buying mango and pineapple, then spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out on Diamond Head beach, watching the kite surfers, surfers, and boogie boarders romp in the waves. Dinner with Claudia and Paul — went to her house in Kahala for pupus, then picked up yummy ahi sandwiches at the Diamond Head Grill and had dinner on the beach at Sans Souci in Waikiki.
Thursday: Worked out at the downtown Y (where we now have a pass that we can use 13 more times this year!). Tina went to see the Ansel Adams/Georgia O’Keefe-in-Hawai’i exhibit a the Hawai’i Museum of Art while press hung out at Thomas Square Park. Then we drove to Punahou, where Tina met with Jim Scott, the Head of School, while Pres wandered. We made another stop at Waiola (where I concluded that shave ice at Waiola does not need ice cream or mochi). Lunch at a wonderfully authentic (we assume) Japanese hole-in-the-wall called Hakkei, where we had an oden set and a grilled fish set. Then over the Pali to Kailua, where we stopped to do errands (bookstore for T; haircut and snorkel mask for Pres) and sit on the most beautiful beach on Oahu. Dinner with Tom at Siam Palace, which has terrific (if super-spicy) Thai food. Ordered the usual: spring rolls, green papaya salad, and evil jungle prince. Stopped for ice cream (and mochi ice cream!) at Bubbies, which we ate at Tom’s (along with another round of beergaritas …).
Friday: Tom joined us for the Waimano Pool hike. The pools were pretty small and the waterfalls nearly nonexistent, but we had a great swim in both pools. Then we went home for a quick shower, packing, and fish tacos before Tom drove us to the airport.
After a couple of hours of flight delays, we met J & Dusty at the Lihue airport in Kauai! Drove to Hanapepe for their Friday night art night, which is basically three of four blocks of open galleries and craft salespeople, a lot of corner street musicians (all you need are a uke or a guitar and your voice), and a few food vendors. Ahi tacos and garlic shrimp for dinner before heading to our house on Akekeke Street in Kekaha. We can see the ocean from our balcony lanai, and went to sleep to the crashing of the surf.