We woke up at a slightly more reasonable hour on Friday. We were in no rush…we were taking a photography tour and our pick-up time wasn’t until 9:40.
We decided to have breakfast in the Kani Ka Pila Grille both to try some local specialties and to burn more of our resort food credit.
I had never heard of Loco Moco before I started researching Hawaii, but once I read about it I knew it was a must try. Loco Moco is rice topped with 2 beef patties, carmelized onions, mushroom gravy, and topped with a fried egg.😳 I opted for that while Jim had the Hawaiian Style Eggs Benedict. Oh, and we both ordered the smoothie of the day. Big mistake. We had enough food to feed a family of 5 with leftovers for another meal!
The van for our tour arrived right on time, and we joined one couple who had already been picked up. We were soon joined by a couple from Canada and a young man from Australia.
I quickly realized that this was not going to be like any of the other photography tours I had taken on vacations. Even though we saw some nice sights and enjoyed our guide, there was little that made it a photography tour other than the name on the van and the number of cameras aboard. I expected some discussion of settings for the conditions, or maybe some talk about framing or favorite shot tips from a local, but our guide (who was a very sweet young girl) didn’t provide any of that so in that aspect I was disappointed.
The most popular tours seem to be the longer sunrise tours, which we easily could have done Wednesday or Thursday. If I had it to do over again I would choose differently. Oh well, we don’t get a mulligan. It was still a pleasant day of seeing spectacular things.
Our first stop was Tantalus Lookout, where we had stopped with Kirk on Wednesday. Since I had those pictures already I switched to a wide-angle lens and also took a panoramic picture using my cell phone.
Our next stop was at the Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside Lookout for a fantastic view of the windward side of the island. The place lived up to its name…it was very, very windy!
After Nu’uanu Pali we headed to Waimanalo Beach and our lunch stop at Ono Steaks and Shrimp. Shack. This is a tiny place with a deservedly stellar reputation for the food. They were very busy when we were there, and there were few places to sit inside. I also thought it was uncomfortably warm inside.
Jim and I ordered their smallest steak and shrimp plate to split (no appetite due to Da Loco Moco!) and happily grabbed a place to sit outside where there was shade and a slight breeze.
Makapu’u Beach Lookout was our next stop. We spent a few minutes looking out over the stunning views of the coast. This was the only stop where I heard our guide make a comment about our photos. She pointed out her favorite view on the island.
Finally, we went to the lookout at the Halona Blowhole (not blowing when we were there) and Eternity Beach.
It was a pretty long drive back to Waikiki Beach through heavy Friday afternoon traffic. I might have caught a little nap on the way back!😴
I spent a couple hours reorganizing things for the cruise, then we were off to dinner at Roy’s. We had been trying to get back to Roy’s since our spectacular dinner overlooking one of the greens at Pebble Beach in 2009. For the most part the food didn’t disappoint, but I don’t think we will ever match the magic of the evening we spent at Pebble Beach. The only negative of the evening was a large, extremely loud, drunk group at a nearby table who seemed to think the entire restaurant wanted to hear their opinions on politics and women’s rights.🙄
We both chose the Prix Fixe menu, and had this meal including subbing the Hot Chocolate Melting Soufflé for one of the cheesecakes:
We walked around a little bit after dinner and I finally picked up a couple magnets, but a Christmas ornament for our travel tree was avoiding us. Since we still had more than a week to take care of that I wasn’t too worried.
Something I haven’t mentioned that shocked both of us is how BUSY Waikiki was. When we were walking around at night we were amazed at how many people there were. It was a lot like being in any world-class city with great restaurants and hotels, interesting people, and high end shopping. The thing that set Waikiki apart and made it not like the others was the beach.
We didn’t linger on the Streets of Waikiki too long. We had packed a lot into 3.5 days, and we would have another day to explore Oahu before we flew home. I was ready to finish packing up to get on a cruise ship the next day! It would be the first time since we left the Ruby Princess on August 31, 2019, and I was more than ready!
Oahu Photo Tours — https://www.oahuphotographytours.com/tours/beautiful-hawaii/
Roy’s Waikiki — https://www.royyamaguchi.com/roys-waikiki-oahu#roys-waikiki-menus-1