ohana means family...

...and family means no one gets left behind. our mini potato+bear family went to oahu last week. whee!

downtown honolulu walking tour
[hawaii theater, downtown honolulu. love the typeface on the marquee.]

prepare to scroll. for days.

first, a summary itinerary. thought this would be helpful because we wished we had something like this before going so we'd know how to group things better geographically. detailed description and photos (yay!) to follow in future blog entries. we kept our plans flexible, didn't book anything ahead, and just made must eat/must do lists to choose from while there. because that's just how we roll.

i do also need to thank lilcee for giving me her lists of food, winnie for warning me about diamond head, and the bear's friend who grew up in honolulu and gave us good food and sightseeing tips.

for reference, we stayed in waikiki in a condo just off the main strip (a graduation gift from my mom--she traded some timeshare time for us), rented a car as the condo we rented came with a dedicated spot for no extra charge, and stayed on oahu for the full week.

//monday - waikiki/kapahulu (which is just off of the main strip of waikiki), ala moana.
ALOHA, BITCHES!_arrived at HNL midday & picked up rental car.
LUNCH_ono hawaiian foods (just outside of waikiki in kapahulu).
WALK/SHOP_ala moana center (ala moana, near waikiki).
DINNER_takeout from foodland's deli/poke counter on our way out (the one inside the mall).
HOTEL_checked into condo (fairway villas, waikiki) & ate dinner in our kitchen.
WALK_walked the waikiki strip, window shopped, avoided parrot picture people, laughed at tourists.
NIGHTCAP_primo's beer from our foodland run back in our room.

//tuesday - waikiki, mccully-moiliili, haleiwa/north shore, ala moana.
BREAKFAST_at rainbow drive-in (just off waikiki in kapahulu).
BREAKFAST-CAP(?)_kona longboards at rock island cafe (tourist trap, waikiki).
SURF_rented boards from koa board sports. surfed waikiki. well, i pretty much just paddled.
LUNCH_da kitchen (mccully-moiliili, honolulu).
DRIVE_traffic, just like at home. took the central route through the island to the north shore.
SURF/LAY OUT_haleiwa regional beach park (north shore).
DRIVE_scenic route along eastern coast back from north shore. after dark. boo.
PIT STOP_water, snack, and wine from foodland (ala moana).
DINNER_marukame udon (waikiki).
NIGHTCAP_wine. in our room. fully stocked kitchen had a corkscrew.

//wednesday - kapahulu/waikiki, hawaii kai.
BRUNCH_ono seafood (kapahulu). not the same as ono hawaiian foods, but just down the street, a few blocks away.
SWIM/SURF_i swam inside the breakwater/jetties. the bear surfed (waikiki).
PIT STOP_gifts/souvenirs and beer from the food pantry (cheap spam & jalapeno macadamia nuts!!)
DINNER_koko marina pub/kona brewing company (hawaii kai).
DESSERT_bubbie's mochi ice cream (hawaii kai).
NIGHTCAP/WALK_beer in room. then walked waikiki.

//thursday - chinatown, haleiwa/north shore.
BREAKFAST_royal kitchen for manapua and dim sum (chinatown). because char hung sut was on vacation. :(
SURF/LAY OUT_haleiwa ali'i beach park. different from tuesday's haleiwa (north shore).
LUNCH_macky's kahuku sweet shrimp truck (haleiwa, north shore).
DESSERT_matsumoto shave[d] ice (haleiwa, north shore).
DINNER_teddy's bigger burgers. because the bear's other name is "teddy." (waikiki).
NIGHTCAP_mai tais at the beach bar at the westin moana surfrider (waikiki).

//friday - hanauma bay, waikiki/kapahulu, ala moana.
SNORKEL_rentals from snorkel bob's (kapahulu). snorkeling at hanauma bay nature preserve (hanauma).
LUNCH_rainbow drive-in (kapahulu). yep, again. needed to try plate lunches, not breakfast.
SHOP_waikiki. we got iphone 4Ses! on the release date! just waltzed in! no lines! paid way less sales tax!
DINNER_combo ahi bowls from ono seafood (kapahulu). yes, again. our favorite ahi poke.
"GO OUT"_dave & buster's at ward entertainment center. meh. (ala moana)
NIGHTCAP_five-o bar & lounge (waikiki).

//saturday - chinatown, downtown honolulu, pearl harbor, waipahu, waikele, waikiki, university of hawaii manoa adjacent.
BREAKFAST_more manapuaaaaa!!! at royal kitchen (chinatown).
WALKING TOUR_aia honolulu architectural walking tour (downtown honolulu).
MORE TOUR_world war II valor in the pacific memorial (pearl harbor).
LUNCH_tanioka's seafoods & catering (waipahu).
SHOP_waikele "premium" outlets (waipahu).
DINNER_choi's kitchen (international market, waikiki).
DESSERT_bubbie's (near university of hawaii manoa).

//sunday - kailua, nu'uanu pali, diamond head, ala moana, waikiki.
BREAKFAST_boots & kimo's (kailua).
SCENIC DRIVE_nu'uanu pali lookout (off pali highway, on the way back to honolulu from kailua).
HIKE_diamond head state monument (diamond head).
LUNCH_fort ruger market (diamond head, near kapi'olani community college).
SHOP_ala moana center (ala moana).
HAPPY HOUR/DINNER_beer garden at shirokiya (ala moana center).
NIGHTCAP_attempted duke's. ended up at the beach bar at the westin moana surfrider again (waikiki).

//monday - waikiki/kapahulu, airport.
BREAKFAST_zippy's (kapahulu, near waikiki).
LUNCH/DINNER_extra zippy's plate lunch that we took on the plane.
bye bye! :( :( :( HNL > LAX

the above seems packed, but we still had plenty of time for naps, bad tv (storage wars and extreme couponers, mostly), and traveling on island time. we *did* get up early most days since we were still on LA time, but we did do a lot of relaxing and took our time.

//getting around
if you're used to socal traffic, traffic really is not that bad at all on oahu. especially if you're heading to the beach, toward ono eats, or anywhere that's NOT WORK. well, not that i'm really working right now anyway. details, details. "TheBus" seems reasonably priced and like it goes everywhere you need, but i can't speak from firsthand experience.

//i'm gettin' paper!
yeah, things are expensive, but not that much more than southern california. plus sales tax is cheaper. we didn't spend much more there than we would in a normal week at home. if you eat mostly local food and go on a poke quest like we did, you'll get large portions of filling food at moderate prices. we didn't do any fine dining since hey, we've got roy's and better fine dining at home, didn't want to wear jackets to the restaurant at halekulani, and we could get FRESH ahi for like $12/pound at hole-in-the-wall places. if you do helicopter rides, boat/sailing/snorkeling/fishing trips (which i've found are pretty much the same in any tropical/beachy locale whether in the atlantic or pacific), or book tours to do stuff, yeah, you'll spend more than us. but honestly, it was super easy to do stuff on our own/not be bussed out with a bunchy of fobby tourists to sites-- we paid less, spent the amount of time we wanted in each place, and got to keep our schedule flexible.

[haleiwa regional beach park, north shore]

detailed food & sightseeing reviews to come.


  1. We went to a lot of the same restaurants, possibly because we also used Lilcee's list ;-)

  2. just fact checked: these restaurants were mostly on the bear's list, which he compiled from much research. they happened to coincide with lilcee's list and his local friend's list.

    sincere apologies to the researchy bear.

  3. Sounds like a fabby vay-kay! Color me jealous!

  4. You feel off my reader homie. WTF. Just re linked you from the MM response. I am so behind on tater life..

    Catching up! Looks like a great vacay!

  5. great job with everything - nice organization, great pics, great activities, great food. You, madamn, are one great potato.


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