I mentioned this before, but we got flights for $22 of taxes to Honolulu – so we decided to jump at the opportunity and make a long weekend of it. We flew there on a Friday morning, and back on Monday morning. It is a 5 hour flight, but it was direct, so it wasn’t bad at all.
Since we got our flights for so cheap, and weren’t staying long, we decided to get a room at the Moana Surfrider Hotel. We really wanted a hotel right on the beach. We didn’t choose to pay the extra money for an ocean view room, and kind of wished we had, but live & learn.
As soon as we got there, they gave us leis and a coupon for 2 glasses of champagne. Our room wasn’t quite ready, so we had lunch and enjoyed the beach while we had our champagne.
We walked about 3/4 of a mile down the street from our hotel and found the zoo. It was really cheap, so we went in and saw the animals. It was about 1:30 at this point, but it was a fun way to kill an hour and half.
The one thing about this trip was that we decided not to make any plans. Normally we “travel” – not “vacation.” There are itineraries, and things we want to check off, and we come home 10x more exhausted than when we left. This time we made zero plans, had zero expectations, and were hoping to come back somewhat refreshed haha.
After the zoo, we decided to try Mai Tais at Duke’s Waikiki. It is definitely a tourist spot, but several locals we talked to suggested it as a must do anyway. Turns out, I hate Mai Tais – they taste like alcohol lol. So I asked for a glass of wine instead.
We got dinner at Maui Brewing Co and John tried a Moco Loco – a bison burger patty over rice, with gravy and an egg. He loved it.
We realized we could still catch the sunset from our hotel, so went over to the beach and watched the sun go down from the ocean. It is crazy how warm the water is that late in the evening! I confessed to John that I LOVE Pina Coladas – so we got drinks and figured out what we wanted to do the next day. We decided the 2 things we did want to do while we were there were hike Diamond Head & snorkel in Hanauma Bay.
The next morning we slept until we both woke up, got coffee & croissants from Kona Coffee & B Patisserie and took an Uber to Diamond Head. It is an easy mile-ish hike/walk up to the top. It is most paved and stairs. There are a TON of tourists. There might have been slightly less if we had tried to get there right when it opened at 6am, but hard to say as a lot of people go at sunrise. I wouldn’t need to do it again, but it was fun to see once.
The only run I needed to do while we were there was 6 miles easy. John said he’d run a 5k with me, so we ran from Diamond Head park back to the hotel & then I did 3 more miles solo.
We went to a place called Paia Fish Market for lunch and it was the BEST. It was about $50 for these 2 plates + 2 drinks – but worth it for the quality. The burger is called the Obama – and its not on the menu. It is Oho with cajun seasoning. The other thing we got was Mahi Mahi grilled with rice and home fries.
Next up, we laid on the beach for a few hours. I meticulously applied sunscreen every hour or so, and was rewarded with a fantastic sunburn on the spots I forgot.
We went to a place called Herringbone fhttps://www.yelp.com/biz/herringbone-waikiki-honoluluor Happy Hour. And we got achieved the most expensive happy hour possible by ordering one of everything on their happy hour menu lol. They sucked us in with $2 oysters and it escalated from there. But the food was great and we enjoyed sitting at the bar. They had a corn hole tournament on TV which was hilarious to us – or maybe the sunburns and drinks had something to do with that.
The next morning we went to Hanauma Bay to snorkel. There are a ton of tours you can do that would have been cheaper than what we did – BUT then you were committed to almost 4 hours of the tour’s schedule. We just grabbed an Uber from our hotel – about a 25 min drive, rented snorkeling stuff and a locker ($50 total) there, and took an Uber back. It was a better option for our timing – and still wasn’t too expensive all told.
It is really shallow most places, but so so beautiful. And the water was really warm.
We got lunch at Duke’s when we got back for one more round of fish tacos.
We decided to do one last thing and go walk the Manoa Falls trail. It was a very simple walk/hike, and had quite a few tourists – but it was the jungle/straight out of Jurassic Park hike that we hadn’t done yet. It was really pretty. Probably 2 miles total – John walked in his flip flops and I could have too, but I always protect my runner feet lol.
For our last dinner, we decided to eat at the hotel. My parents and John’s grandma had given us some Visa cards for Christmas – so we decided to have a nice dinner and use those. Thanks Mom & Barbara!! We got a cioppino style seafood stew and ahi, and split them.
For dessert we got a peanut butter crunch bar and mango sorbet. I bet you can guess who picked which dessert and which dessert was better 😉
We got to see the sunset one more time before heading home!! It was a great trip all in all.