Aloha, Honolulu!

We had plans for all our days in Honolulu, starting with a Pearl Harbor and Honolulu tour on our first full day. In hindsight what I should have scheduled for the first day was something involving sunrise because we were up at 3:00, but I wasn’t thinking about jet-lag, just about fitting things in.

I guess one advantage of having jet-lag is you’re awake for sunrise. Actually we were awake for several hours of darkness before sunrise, but we were finally in Hawaii and didn’t really care. I peeked at sunrise from our balcony and sent Jim out to the beach alone to take some pictures. I decided a shower was much more important than sunrise!

Sunrise over Diamond Head.

Sunrise from the jetty at Outrigger Reef.

After a quick breakfast in the club lounge at the hotel we were off to meet our guide for the day, Kirk Hendricks.

Our fantastic guide!

We had a wonderful tour of the Honolulu area. Our tour guide, Kirk, was friendly and very knowledgeable. We went to numerous scenic overlooks, the National Cemetary of the Pacific, Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial, and then to some neighborhoods for local snacks. I highly recommend Kirk! It didn’t hurt that Kirk has an amazing, super comfortable car (2022 Audi Q7) and we travelled in style all day!

From Tantalus Lookout at Puu Ualakaa State Park.

From Tantalus Lookout at Puu Ualakaa State Park.

From Tantalus Lookout at Puu Ualakaa State Park.

Punchbowl Crater — National Cemetery of the Pacific

National Cemetery of the Pacific

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor — Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor — Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor — Arizona Memorial — Aft Gun Turret

Pearl Harbor — Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor — Arizona Memorial

Postcard of an overhead shot of the Memorial that clearly shows the sunken ship in the shallow waters of the harbor.

We drove through some neighborhoods and downtown after Pearl Harbor, debating what to do about lunch. In the end we decided we weren’t very hungry so Kirk took us to Chinatown where we wound up at Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery. We got some delicious and very inexpensive savory pastries to tide us over. Jim had Pork Hash, and I think what I had was called Char Siu Manapua which translates to pastry with barbecued pork inside. In other words, I had a kolache!

Bakery in Chinatown.

Outside the Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery on Manuakea St. in Honolulu.

We made one stop that wasn’t on a list of sights to see. We stopped at the grocery store so I could get a bottle of creamer for my coffee. That was where my jaw really hit the floor at prices…a bottle of Carnation creamer was SEVEN DOLLARS!😳 Ouch! I know groceries are high everywhere, but that’s more than $3.00 higher than the current inflated price at H-E-B!

We got back to the hotel around 3, which meant we had a very little down time before our dinner reservations. It felt good just to sit in one place and not be moving for a while!

We ate at Orchids at the Halekulani, which was an easy 2 minute walk from our hotel…right next door!🙂 One of the reasons I chose the Outrigger Reef was that we could walk everywhere in the evenings…no taxis, rental cars, or Ubers required.

This is probably a good time to mention I was surprised by how hot it felt to me in Hawaii. I thought it would seem like nothing after a Houston summer, but the difference is almost everything (restaurants, hotel lobbies and corridors, stores) is open-air or not air conditioned. I’m used to cooling off when I get inside, but that didn’t happen in Hawaii. I only remember one air-conditioned restaurant the whole trip. Anyway, back to dinner…

We have mixed opinions about Orchids. I thought it was great, but there was something about it that Jim didn’t love. I don’t think it helped that it was hot, we were very jet-lagged, and I insisted that Jim wear jeans because I thought Orchids enforced their dress code. At any rate, we had a very nice meal in a beautiful setting, but we sweated most of the way through dinner! It got better once the sun went down.

We ordered from the Prix Fixe menu to save money, but it was too much food for these tired travelers!

The gorgeous view from Orchids at dusk.

Sunset at Halekulani

The coconut cake was phenomenal, but we could barely keep our eyes open and only finished one piece. We took the other one back to our hotel, but never found an occasion (or the appetite!) to eat it!


Kirk Hendricks —

Orchids at the Halekulani —

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