Friday, December 23, 2011

Oahu, Hawaii - Day 1

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I am not an early riser, but thinking about our much awaited travel to Hawaii did wake me up when the alarm rang at 4am. We boarded United airlines at 8.41am from San Francisco International Airport and the five and a half hour non-stop flight took us to the Honolulu International Airport at 11ish Hawaiian time (i.e) 2ish PST.

We drove a rental car from the airport to Sheraton Princess Waikiki hotel and parked ourselves in a room on the fourth floor, overlooking a murky parking lot. It was hard for me to believe that such a big hotel in Waikiki does not have a hair dryer in the room. Yes, I had to call the reception desk to borrow one! I was also pretty irked by their $18/day car parking fee.

We refreshed ourselves and walked for about a mile, passing the Ala Wai Canal (a 1.5 mile man-made waterway) to Rainbow Inn Drive. The walkway along the Ala Wai Canal is popular for jogging and morning/evening walks.

Ala Wai Canal

Rainbow Inn Drive:

Rainbow Drive Inn

It is a small restaurant that is popular among the locals. We heard very good reviews about this place and that the food makes up to the dingy ambience.

I ordered a Beef BBQ plate, which turned out to be absolutely delicious and my husband ordered a boneless chicken plate with brown gravy and he ended up eating the beef from my plate, so you know how the chicken was.

A cold drink named Slush is a must-have over there; soothed us in the swelteringly hot weather.

Statue of Princess Kaiulani:

Princess Kaiulani (Image from website)

After a good lunch, while walking on the way back to the hotel, we saw a statue of Princess Kaiulani, who was once known as the Peacock Princess. She died at a young age of 23, when she couldn't recover from her illness after riding on a horse in the rain. Realization then dawned on me that the Sheraton hotel in Waikiki is named after her.

Farmer’s Market:

Farmer's Market
Hot n Yummy Malasadas

We saw a Farmer’s Market opposite to our hotel and decided to ramble. I have heard about the popularity of malasadas in Hawaii, and saw women selling them in multiple flavors. We got one pineapple flavored malasadas, which looked like a donut and tasted like pineapple cream stuffed inside funnel cakes. 

Other stores

Then, we explored other small stores in the Farmers Market.

International Market Place:

A couple of blocks away from the Farmer’s Market (and our hotel) was the International Market Place, where there were numerous small shops and artisan stands.

International Market Place

We strolled along the neighboring area and while walking on the way to the hotel, we stopped to see street performances - hula dance, magic shows, spray painting, etc. By the time we reached our hotel, we were completely exhausted and called it a day.

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