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    Honolulu, Hawaii USA (August 2014)

    Waikiki Beach Sunset

    Hawaii is everything you’d think it would be. So chill. So relaxing. So beautiful. Warm. Beach. Sunsets. Tan. Waves. Surf. Expensive. Touristy. Drooling just thinking about those Hawaiian BBQ joints. Ah. WHY CAN’T DELICIOUS SWEET AND JUICY SHORT RIBS AND HAWAIIAN MACARONI SALAD BE WHOLE30 COMPLIANT?! (Here is a link to a paleo Hawaiian BBQ sauce recipe I haven’t tried yet and couldn’t find a paleo alternative to the macaroni salad.)

    I went to Honolulu for a short trip back in August 2014 with my family of 12 (yes, it does get more complicated the more people you have to plan for/manage in a vacation but could be more fun); this trip was joint with a week in Tokyo, Japan. Just being there for a few days was amazing though. I wish I could’ve spent more time there. The culture there is so chill and the natives seem to be pretty nice (that’s probably because almost all the natives I interacted with deal with tourists all the time). Yahh braddah. Total 360 from the NYC vibes. I remember seeing a lot of love for spam (yes, the canned ham); even McDonald’s featured spam in some of their sandwiches. Oh and long lines for the popular Hawaiian BBQ joints even at closing (~9PM). And an ABC convenience/souvenir store on every block. If you need some R&R, get your butt here. I’d love to go back and travel to other areas/islands. I hear the best way to experience Hawaii is just to rent an apartment and a car and just drive around to different areas on an island. I did thoroughly enjoy that our hotel was like 1.5 blocks away from the beach.

    Since I was asked about travel tips for Hawaii and spent some time trying to recollect what I did 2 years ago, I figured I’ll post it here hoping it helps others as well. As it was 2 years ago and my Squarm game wasn’t as hot back then, there are missing details from the trip. I’ll try my best to cover as much as I remember.

    More details after the jump, but here’s a high level overview:

    Thursday, Day 1

    • Arrived at HNL Airport at 1:26PM
    • Prearranged a shuttle (for the 12 of us) to the hotel from the airport
    • Checked into Aqua Queen Kapiolani Hotel (we arrived to the hotel around 3PM and check in did take awhile. I highly do not recommend staying at this hotel)
    • Dinner at Marukame Udon (Japanese)
    • Walked around/shopped close vicinity of the hotel
    • Checked out Waikiki Beach’s sunset
    • Because we ate dinner so early, ate a snack at Me’s BBQ (Korean, BBQ)

    Friday, Day 2

    • Grabbed breakfast at Tucker & Bevvy Picnic Food and ate at the beach
    • Morning beach time at Waikiki Beach
    • Commuted to Hanauma Bay by bus
    • Ate a quick lunch (nothing special, just convenient) at Hanauma Bay
    • Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
    • Took bus back to Waikiki
    • Ate dinner (I forgot where)

    Saturday, Day 3

    • Grabbed breakfast at Starbucks near hotel
    • Commuted to Pearl Harbor by bus
    • Pearl Harbor Visitor’s Center
    • USS Arizona Memorial (free tickets.. details below)
    • USS Bowfin Submarine ($17.50/ticket as of today.. would recommend buying)
    • Lunch at Pearl Harbor (nothing special, just convenient)
    • Commuted to Dole Plantation by bus
    • Dole Plantation
      • Train, Maze, & Garden (Combo ticket is $20.00 as of today.. wouldn’t recommend any of them; if anything, only the train is decent as it’s a ride around the plantation)
    • Took bus back to Waikiki
    • Dinner at Hula Grill Waikiki (good food/drinks, but pricey)

    Sunday, Day 4

    • Breakfast (I forgot where)
    • Walked to Diamond Head State Monument (~50 min, 2.3 miles)
    • Hiked to top of Diamond Head (~2 hrs round trip)
    • Commuted by bus back to Waikiki
    • Lunch at Duke’s Waikiki (wouldn’t recommend lunch buffet)
    • Shopping for Souvenirs / Beach
    • Dinner at Uncle Bo’s (decent spot for dinner, don’t do the unlimited appetizers option)

    Monday, Day 5

    • Breakfast (I forgot where)
    • Beach day at Waikiki Beach
    • 1 hr surfing lessons (I think we went to Star Beachboys, but I honestly do not remember. I would yelp around)
    • Dinner at Rainbow Drive – In (long lines and not much seating but yummmmm!!!)
    • Walk around vicinity of hotel, last minute shopping
    • Ate free samples at Honolulu Cookie Company (lol typical asians)

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