Not that we’re experts in Hawai’i or anything (especially since we’ve only ever been to one of the islands together), but, to paraphrase our friend Rosie, we know what we like and we like it hard. So the following are some of the things that have been dancing in our heads as we grow ever restless for our Hawai’ian vacation:
Sunset drinks at The Edge of Waikiki: We stumbled into this patio bar at the Sheraton Waikiki resort after its neighbor restaurant removed some of our favorite items and went scrambling for a place to get a drink. What a find! The Edge, sandwiched between the Sheraton’s infinity pool and the Pacific, has by far the best sunset views of any bar in Waikiki. And the drinks are so bleeping strong that, after two. I was literally falling over in gift shops and politely asked to leave. We can’t wait to see Lynn again, our favorite server!
The steak plate lunch at HI Steaks: Like Las Vegas, the cost of eating in Hawaii can start to add up, and most places you can go to grab a quick bite in Waikiki are overpriced for the pretty mediocre food you get. On our last trip, as I was starting to get fed up with the lack of quality options, we stopped in the local Foodland supermarket on the way back to our hotel when we decided to try their counter-service HI Steaks. And it just happened to be the best meal, hands down, of anything we’d had on that vacation. Perfectly cooked steak, seasoned rice, AND a spinach salad for $10? (And it didn’t hurt that Lance’s Hawaiian boy crush, seen above, worked the register on every visit.)
You know, natural beauty and stuff: This one is obvious, but between gorgeous sunsets, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Waimea Falls, or various racially-insensitive islands, Hawai’i is a treasure trove of beauty. Point-n’-shoot cameras don’t really do it justice.
Bold-ass birds: There are a lot of birds on the islands, including wild chickens, peacocks that roam around the Waimea Botanical Gardens, or seagulls who will hop right into your hotel room and steal your food when you aren’t looking. We dubbed them, “bold-ass birds,” because they get closer to humans than we’ve ever seen on the mainland.
Uncle Bobo’s: We went to Uncle Bobo’s Smoked BBQ in Ka’a'awa based on the recommendation in the O’ahu Revealed travel guide. And it is no joke the best barbecue I’ve ever had. It’s a little shack-y type establishment next to a post office, just across the street from the beach; it seems a little dive-y, but isn’t that how BBQ is supposed to be?
Shave ice and Yogurtland: Yogurtland is by no means Hawai’i exclusive (I don’t even think it’s Hawai’i born), but the first time we stepped into this self-serve froyo chain was in Waikiki, so it has a strong association with Hawai’i for us (it is, no doubt, the best chain froyo out there, too). Then there’s Hawai’ian shave ice, too, which is basically where a huge chunk of ice is, duh, shaved down and served like a sno-cone and doused in sugary syrup, sometimes over ice cream. These treats are a steal at about $3 (sometimes more if you add on a whole bunch of flavors).
Fruit stands: Roadside fruit stands have the best, freshest pineapple you’ll ever have…and you’re supporting a local business! Look at you, hippie!
Being cute: Lance is no happier than when he’s in Hawai’i. I can’t wait to see that smile on his face, even if his teeth are all brown and yellow. Ick.