About Last Night
My head is pounding as I try to open my eyes. My ears are still ringing from the loud music at the Club. Make it stop. Everything is still a blur. I don’t remember much about last night. I vaguely remember getting back to the condo. As memories of me pounding shot after shot at Scarlet Honolulu come flooding back in, the echoes of Rihanna’s nonsensical Work song fill my ears again.
“Rise and shine!” exclaims Duke as he draws the curtains open. Light floods the room. Like a vampire, I groan as if the light is detrimental to my health. I run to the bathroom to find solace and make myself feel better. “I need my latte!” I scream, sounding more like a cry for help.
Let’s see if we can turn this day around. Although extremely hung over, the best plan for me is to get some food and caffeine. Luckily, every Saturday morning, there’s a Farmers market located next to Kapi’olani Community College famous for its fresh produce and food trucks.
Notable quick stop
Diamond Head Trail (Open from 6 am to 4:30 pm)
Three years ago was our first time on the Island. I remember hiking all the way up the Diamond Head Trail early Saturday morning and going straight to the Farmers market after. The hike itself was not too bad, if I remember correctly. I would classify it as moderate because of the stairs and switchbacks. The view from the top is worth the sweat and tears. Sweat from exertion and tears from the night of binge drinking catching up to you.
Today is not going to be like that for me. We are skipping the hike altogether. But if you are a morning person and likes getting up early before the sun is up, I encourage you to do the hike and have breakfast at the Farmers market right after.
Plan to go early when going to the Farmers market, as early as you can muster. They are open from 7:30 to 11 am. I’ve been to a lot of food truck festivals but none compares to this one. Bring cash if you can, it just makes the transaction faster. Parking here is limited. Depending on how late you arrive, you may have to wait for someone to leave or park further away.
Notable quick stop
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
If you’re looking to snorkel, this is the place for it. Hopefully, the day brings lots of sunshine in order to help illuminate the coral reefs. This is a popular spot. If you’re not here before 9 am especially on a weekend, you may have to come back another day because parking is limited and they will turn you away. However, if you’re one of the lucky few, you’re in for a treat. Snorkeling is the best here. There’s a small fee per person and a quick video orientation before heading down
to the beach. The video shows the do’s and don’ts when snorkeling. They ask you to rinse off and not put on any sunscreen because it is bad for the reefs. Long sleeved swim shirts with UV protection are a must. Also, remember to always snorkel with a buddy. Be safe and have fun.
From Here to Eternity Beach
The next stop is a classic. From the parking lot, which is above sea level, you look down at this pristine beach. The view from up here is just breath taking. Can you guess the movie they filmed here? The famous kiss on the beach? The way down is not too bad. Just take it nice and slow. Don’t be discouraged! I have seen people in flip flops go down and they made it back up in one piece. Trust me, you’ll be fine. Once you’re down there, get in the water. I have to warn you though that it is very wavy. But that’s what makes it fun. There’s a tiny cave at the foot of the hill. I never had the courage to go all the way in, but maybe you can let me know what’s at the end of the cave. The cave of wonders.
Let’s head to Waimanalo beach. This beach is stunning. The sand has a brown tint to it. The shore has a lot of trees providing shade for those seeking shelter from the sun. This beach has a gorgeous backdrop of lush green mountains. It is just absolutely beautiful. I would say that this beach is great for boogie boarders. The waves will absolutely pound you if you’re not paying attention. They have a restroom facility and outdoor shower at the site. That’s always a plus.
And if you get hungry, it’s a ten minute walk or a minute drive to a handful of mom and pop restaurants. I recommend going to Ono Steak and Shrimp Shack. Get the half steak half shrimp plate on a bed of rice and macaroni salad and your stomach will be saying Oh Yes!
After lunch, let’s head to Byodo-In Temple. It is Buddhist temple in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. There is a small fee to get in the grounds and they only take cash. I believe it is $3 for adults. Is it worth going to? Absolutely! I’m a beach person and there’s nothing I’d rather do than lay on the beach. But seeing and being in this place is indescribable. You get a sense of peacefulness and tranquility. You walk the grounds in silence and admiration. If you’re not spiritual, that’s fine, you’ll find inspiration in something else for sure; be it the temple, the koi pond, or the mountain ranges behind the temple. You will be leaving inspired I can assure you. Before you leave, make sure you check out the giant bell. They say that if you hit the bell, it’ll get rid of negative energy. Best believe, I’ll sound that bell multiple times.
Mike’s Huli Chicken
What can I say about Mike’s Huli Chicken that Guy Fieri of Diners Drives-ins and Dives hasn’t said? Well, get here around lunch time. You’ll get fresh from the grill Huli Huli Chicken for sure. What is Huli Huli Chicken you ask? It’s grilled chicken marinated in soy sauce, pineapple juice, ginger, garlic, Brown sugar, ketchup and chicken broth. Does that sound good? Stop by and you can take a photo next to Guy’s life size cardboard cutout.
It’s pretty late in the day. Do you think you still have one more beach outing in you? We can head to Kailua for a night swim. Around this time of the year, you can expect people still swimming around 8 at night. There is something romantic about the moon from a distance, casting a silvery glow on the water. The water is calm on this side of the island. It is the perfect time to just unwind and float. Let the water carry you and your worries away.
Ala Moana Center
The late night swimming probably worked up your appetite. So why don’t we have some Japanese food at the Ala Moana Center’s Shirokiya Japan Village. Cherry blossoms and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling add a little something extra to the ambience of this place. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from the food court plus some of them serve alcoholic beverages. They’re open until 10 pm except Sundays. When it gets later in the night some of restaurants have discounted prices on their dumplings, gyoza and draft beer. That’s a win for everybody.
Waikiki Shopping Plaza
Compared to Ala Moana Center, this area is livelier especially at night. You’ll see street performers, people doing some late night shopping, and bar hoppers.
Are you tired? It’s pretty late. We are not going out drinking tonight (sorry). Our place is not that far. Let’s walk back and get some sleep. Are you ready for Day 3?
#Oahu #hawaii #waikiki #quickgetaway #cheaptravel