oahu day 1
ok, now in detail.
//waikiki/kapahulu, ala moana
no photos yet, because we didn't want to look like tourists. although we were probably pretty obvious despite not whipping out the camera.
LUNCH_at ono hawaiian foods (just outside of waikiki in kapahulu).
known for its traditional hawaiian special plates. we got the chicken long rice plate. chicken long rice has glass noodles in a salty, slightly gingery broth. very soothing, asian-y comfort food. especially if you mix the rice into the soup. the plate included a bunch of mini dishes--pipikula (like beef jerky, but fresher & more moist), lomi salmon (diced raw salmon + tomato/onion stuff), rice, poi, onions to sprinkle with sea salt then dip in the poi, and haupia (jello-like coconut dessert). we also ordered a side of ahi poke that was simply seasoned with sea salt and limu. good & fresh enough, but not wow. not really sure *how* authentic this all was, but it was delicious and fun.
WALK/SHOP_walked around ala moana center.
a cross between fashion island and south coast plaza. smaller/more compact than both.
scored t&c t-shirts on sale (buy one get 2nd 50% off) for the bear's buddies. so retro (at least in california, since it seems they haven't sold t&c since the mid 90s here) of us.
snack at shirokiya (japanese dept. store & food court in the mall). we had char siu baked manapua (manapua = bao = bready/bun things with meaty centers you get at dimsum) and ahi poke. poke was not so good but was cheap.
while at the mall, we picked up dinner at foodland's deli/poke counter on our way out. foodland is a grocery store that is known for a deli counter of many different types of poke. that night, we tried the spicy poke (favorite!), chili pepper poke (we think same as spicy poke without shoyu), and wakame (seaweed) salad.
HOTEL_checked into condo (fairway villas, waikiki) & ate dinner.
this place was clean (timeshare unit through vacation internationale, you'll see why i mention this later), conveniently-located, and included a parking spot. however, i wouldn't recommend it to most as it's kind of weird in that it's actually a condo building in which people have primary residences. some units are rented out. some are people's vacation homes which they rent out to visitors (and you can rent for pretty cheap through sites like vrbo.com).
the only unit available when my mom booked was a studio, and we ended up on a murphy bed. it was that or the couch bed. oh, and the parking garage is very tight (although our spot was relatively easy to get into), has scary, single-lane ramps to go up/down, and has residents that drive super duper fast up and down despite the single lane ramps. it was harrowing to get in and out, even with the satisfaction of knowing we had free parking in waikiki.
if you have a timeshare to trade through VI or its partner companies or are on a budget and anticipate cooking in order to save $ on your vacation, then this would be a great choice. otherwise, pass. also, it seems another timeshare company has units in this building, too, and no idea what condition those are in.
WALK_walked the waikiki strip.
we did this pretty much every night since we were just off of it, the weather was warm, and we had to walk off all the food we ate. plus there's some good people watching.
shrine outside the apple store.
surfing bear! i'm the girl bear standing directly beneath him and crying because i can't figure out how to surf. this is a store in waikiki that has a teddy bear museum upstairs. it's purportedly like "it's a small world," but with teddy bears in different places and times. if we had kids with us, i would totally have used them as an excuse to pay admission to go upstairs.
next: day 2. in which we discover many favorite eats in one day.