I’ve got so many stories and pictures to share from my recent trip to Hawaii I’m going to have to break this up into multiple posts. I already talked about my time in North Shore. Now it’s time to recap my time in Waikiki. Here’s part 1:
A room with a view
Josh’s conference was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It’s a beautiful hotel that’s right in the middle of everything in Waikiki but doesn’t need to be. The hotel has everything you need for an amazing vacation right on property.
Our view every morning. It never got old.
There were penguins in the lobby! Josh did not support my plans to kidnap them and bring them home with us.
There were so many restaurants around the property. Josh and I celebrated the second leg of our trip with drinks at Tropics.
One of the four pools on the property. It was craziness. We had an amazing time at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and would recommend it to any family and friends planning to vacation in Waikiki. The staff treated us well and the value was incredible.
My new favorite breakfast
My Aunt is a foodie which I love and appreciate. (The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right?) She took us to a newly opened restaurant called Koko Head Cafe. Pretty much everyone that eats there is local. It’s crazy good. Fresh squeezed juice, a frittata, corn flake French toast, and breakfast bruschetta. Breakfast bruschetta is one of my new favorite foods. I can’t even accurately describe its amazingness. I need to recreate this at home.
Hiking Diamond Head
Despite my multiple trips to Hawaii, I have never hiked Diamond Head! I was so excited when my Auntie Kathi suggested doing this one day as it is such a quintessential Hawaiian vacation activity. I was really looking forward to sharing this new experience with Josh.
But first, I needed to sunscreen. He wins the award for best human coat hanger/ most patient husband. 😀
Feeling on top of the world.
We made it to the top! It was such a beautiful hike.
My first acai bowl
I’ve been hearing so many good things about acai bowls recently. Unfortunately the trend has not yet reached Omaha. When I got to Hawaii and realized acai bowls were big all over the island I knew it would be the trip I finally got to experience one. Thanks to Yelp reviews the three of us decided to check out Jewel or Juice after our hike. It was AMAZING. I ate many more acai bowls throughout this trip and need to convince an Omaha restaurant to start making them. (Or not be lazy and do it myself.) This would be the perfect lunch.
Shopping with a show
I had to show Josh Ala Moana Mall. The place is huge, with every designer you can possibly imagine, all in a beautiful, open-air setting. When we got there they were putting on a hula show in the courtyard. I loved it!
My veggie version of Hawaii’s best sushi
I was SO excited to meet up with my friend Maile on this trip. We met when we both worked at Macys in South Williamsport and became fast-friends. Unfortunately she moved back home to Hawaii and I moved to Omaha. I wish we lived closer so getting to see her wasn’t such a rarity but I was so excited for the time I did have. We went to Mitch’s for lunch, which is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that is supposed to have the best sushi on the island. I got veggie sushi so I can’t speak on the quality of the fish, but mine was really good. I got veggie sushi again on this trip from a different place and it was nowhere near as good. We finished off our yummy meal with mochi ice cream! I love that stuff.
While Josh was off working and doing his conference thing I was checking out restaurants and vacationing solo. It’s not as much fun as sharing the experience with him, but I still had a good time. ;p I got breakfast one day at Hula Grill. The view was incredible. The food was good but not amazing. I want to keep it real with my food reviews, and while the fresh juice was awesome I’ve definitely had better pancakes.
I did a lot of pool lounging and day-drinking. Hawaii has convenience stores called ABC Stores all over Waikiki. They are one of the only places you can get affordable convenience goods. Hilton Hawaiian Village has two on property. Picking up alcohol there saved us a lot of money compared to the pricey drink offerings at all the pool bars and restaurants.
Quality Auntie Kathi time
My Auntie Kathi seriously knows what’s up on the foodie scene. She took me to this Korean-style cafe called Spero Spera that was so good. They had a *kabocha* sandwich. I about died and went to heaven. It was really good, if a tiny bit dry. I was so nervous to go at first because I didn’t think I was a Korean food fan. When I interned at a marketing firm in Honolulu one summer I helped organize the annual Korean Festival. I had a lot of fun at the event but was not a fan of the kimchi that was in everything. I’m glad she encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone!
She also introduced me to the secret second pool at The Modern hotel. I figure if I order food I’m allowed to chill poolside at a hotel I’m not staying at, right? Eating fresh guacamole while listening to zen music at this pool was truly heaven. Once I discovered this pool I didn’t go back to the one at the Hilton. (The Modern has a huge pool downstairs that gets really crowded. This second pool is tucked away upstairs and adults only. I would stay at this hotel just to spend more time at this pool. It’s that awesome.)
I still have a million more pictures to share with you guys but this post is a mile long so I’ll stop here for now. Expect the rest of the recaps next week!
Questions of the Day: Have you ever eaten at a restaurant by yourself? Do you like to try new foods on vacation?