While I know I had previously said that I was “finished” with my Hawaii posts, I was…kinda, sorta. I did want to have one post featuring the five things I would have liked to have seen and/or done but didn’t get a chance to. And no, I won’t be featuring the USS Arizona on this list since I’ve already covered that in-depth…but my disappointment is still around.
While I did have shave ice two times while there (there was a shave ice stand at our first hotel), it wasn’t necessarily “authentic.” There was the ice and then there was the syrup flavoring, but it tasted nothing like the awesome shave ice we had from Uulani over on neighboring Maui. On our very last day there with only hours to go before we were to leave, we tried searching out a shave ice place that was considered to be one of the best in Waikiki. We get there and it was closed…as in permanently. Talk about a disappointment. Although why there is not a shave ice stand at the Honolulu Airport is beyond me, as I could see it filling such a void.
On our last full day with our rental car I had planned for us to drive back up to the North Shore to visit Haleiwa, a famous town there (we had previously been to the area for our dinner at the Turtle Bay Resort). Haleiwa didn’t have any memorable attractions or landmarks, it was just known for being iconic of everything the North Shore is-basically no development, neat eateries, and an extremely laid-back environment. But when the realization came that we would be leaving our gorgeous, secluded beach-front resort, we decided to just spend the whole day there, relaxing between the pool and beach. Not a bad decision but I’m still sad I didn’t make it there.
Yes, a lot of my disappointments in travel are often food related. Malasadas are basically the Portuguese version of a donut. And before you ask what is anything Portuguese doing in Hawaii, well in the late 19th century Portuguese laborers from the Azores and Madeira islands came to Hawaii to work in the plantations, bringing with them many foods from home. More than 100 years later, the malasada remains an island favorite. Two trips to Hawaiian islands and I have still not had a malasada. In the outskirts of Waikiki there is Leonard’s Malasadas which is said to be the best place for them. It would have been a bit of a walk from our hotel so we didn’t go, but to add salt to the wound, our cab driver ended going right by it on the way to the airport.
While I’ve already “apologized” to Honolulu, which you can read by clicking here, I’m still disappointed that I really didn’t get to explore it. Last year I read Alan Brennert’s book Honolulu and it was a fascinating work of fiction about how Honolulu truly came to be what it is today (it “took off” in the late 19th to early 20th century). It’s somewhat hard to pair and imagine tropical paradise with major urban city, yet that’s what it is and that’s truly what makes it so unique.
We stayed on the far western side of the island which was great for sunsets but obviously not the place you want to be to see the sunrise. But during the time we were there, the sun rose at 6:30 AM and with it taking close to an hour to get to the far eastern side of the island, yeah that wasn’t going to happen. However, they say seeing the sunrise at Lanikai Beach is the best. One day.
This list is hardly exhaustive but these were definitely the things that I’m really sad I missed out on. Next time though.