Hawaii Photo Diary
Trips to Honolulu have been a Wang family tradition for awhile now, but recently we’ve established more permanent ties in the form of a vacation home – so you can expect many more posts about Hawaii in coming years ;-)
This time was a girls’ trip with my besties – we all share a love for the sun (some of us more than others) and a voracious appetite (pretty evenly matched in this department), so collectively we had our priorities straight. Below is a list of our favorite finds:
Lanikai Pillbox Trail – Although I’m a bit athletically challenged, I enjoyed this hike thoroughly – the breathtaking views were unrivaled (yes, better than Diamond Head's) and the trail was short and sweet. Just make sure to wear shoes with traction and as little clothing as possible because it gets hot as hell.
Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck – Shrimp trucks are an obligatory stop in Hawaii, thanks to Giovanni's, which many credit with jumpstarting this trend. Their classic shrimp scampi is fresh, succulent and positively drenched in garlic butter. Tip: Ask for a side of hot sauce for dipping (but only if you can take the heat!).
Shark’s Cove in North Shore – Bring some snorkel gear to see a whole other world underwater. We foolishly didn't bring flippers to protect our feet from the jagged rocks, but whatever – the schools of fish surrounding us made it all worth it.
The Hibachi – So everyone says Ono Seafood is the place to go for poke bowls, but the Hibachi happened to much closer to Lanikai Beach, and I’m unsure how it can be beat. We purchased a bottle of white wine and some lobster dip in their adjoining liquor store and proceeded to enjoy one of the best meals of our trip.
Musubi Café Iyasume – Anyone who hasn’t yet eaten spam in musubi form is missing out, and Iyasume supposedly makes them best. Just check out their 4.5 stars on Yelp, where they have 1800+ reviews and counting.
Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach – The prettiest beaches with the prettiest sand, especially Kailua, but beware – my friend got stung by a man o’war tentacle (which our lifeguard said was a pretty common occurrence here).
Island Snow – It’s a pretty weird concept – a shave ice shop and clothing line in one – but Island Snow is apparently President Obama’s favorite spot, so there’s that. You have the option to top your shave ice with condensed milk and ice cream, but I’m a purist and stuck with just the artificial coloring/flavoring. It was all a bit sugary for me, but then again I’m not a dessert person, so you really ought to try it for yourself.
On Dong Chinese Restaurant – This is my favorite place to get zhajiangmian (Chinese black bean noodles) on this side of the world. The noodles are hand-pulled and the perfect texture, and the sauce is gooey and great with sweet Maui onions. Yum.
Island Magic Catamaran – Many of the local catamarans offer open bar on their sunset rides, but we heard they use the cheap stuff, so we opted for BYOB with Island Magic instead, where we could bring our own nice bottle of wine to share. There’s just something magical about sitting on a boat watching the sun go down in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.