A Travellerspoint blog

October 2019

Oahu Day 2: Go West!

sunny 76 °F

We slept in today as we were pretty tired from our previous day of travel. Dad got up first and went out to explore while I got ready. He had a nice walk along Waikiki Beach but got a bit lost on his way back to the hotel. Thankfully he asked a helpful stranger for directions and made his way back to our hotel.


Our cousin/great nephew West Andrade is a freshman here in Honolulu at the University of Hawaii. We were thrilled to be able to meet up with him while on our trip. Our friend Fr. EJ had suggested a restaurant for lunch. We took him up on the suggestion and were so glad we did! We picked West up and drove to the pier and to a place called Nico's at Pier 38. It was a really cool spot. We had interesting views of the port and saw cargo ships being loaded and unloaded. The restaurant itself has both a fish market and dining area. The weather was very nice, not muggy and pleasantly sunny with a nice breeze. We chose a spot on the patio and ordered our lunch.

I had clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. There was delicious chunks of fresh fish in the chowder and the bread was yummy. My Dad had seafood pasta and West chose the chicken katsu.


We had a leisurely lunch and greatly enjoyed hearing all about West's time here on Oahu so far. He told us all about student life and his classes as well as how it has been getting around the city. All of the freshmen are given bus passes when they arrive so he and his friends are now very familiar with public transportation. He said it is a good system and can easily get around the city. We were so happy to be able to catch up with West and to hear he is all settled in at the university. One of the best parts of being in a big family is being able to spend time with each other both near and far.


We dropped West back at his dorm and decided to explore a spot that was recommended to us ahead of our trip.

Waiola Shave Ice is a well known spot. It started as a mom-and-pop grocery store in the 1940's and in the 1970's they opened up a window to sell shave ice out of. We shared a jumbo shave ice with three flavors: guava, lilikoi (passion fruit), and lime.


Afterwards we decided to drive north for a bit to get out of the city. We drove for about half an hour enjoying the sunset and stopped at park for a view before full darkness.


When we got back to our hotel we decided to go for a walk before dinner. We walked along a paved path around a lagoon and to Waikiki Beach. It was very beautiful to see the water even at night and all of the resorts lit up. The path was lined with tiki torches and we stopped at a bench to enjoy some Koloa rum punch we had purchased at the Foodland grocery store yesterday.


After our drink we walked a bit more to a restaurant at the Hilton called Tropics Bar & Grill. We sat on the patio and shared a sampler of shrimp, spicy Korean glazed chicken wings, and bbq ribs. It was delicious!


We had a very friendly waitress who surprised us with the house speciality dessert of Ube cheesecake. Ube is a purple yam. When she brought out the cheesecake she started singing Happy Birthday to us and an Australian couple at the next table joined in her serenade. They all clapped when done singing as we made a wish and blew out the candles. We were happy to see our birthday luck continuing!


We had a nice visit with the Australian couple, it turns out they were on their honeymoon. We wished them well and walked back to our hotel.

We enjoyed our first full day on Oahu. We are having so many laughs and I feel so lucky to be able to be sharing this special time with my dad.

Posted by danielcatherine 03:03 Archived in USA Tagged west seafood rum cheesecake shave_ice birthday_freebies Comments (1)

Oahu Day 1: A Day of Hustling

sunny 75 °F

Today my Dad and I set out on a belated birthday adventure. We travelled to Oahu!

When we set off from Fresno we were quite the happy travelers, my mom and Daniel who had to stay behind tried their best to not seem too bummed out they weren't joining us.


After spending Sunday night at a hotel near the airport we set off from Oakland at 5am Monday morning.


We made it through security in no time at all so we treated ourselves to some breakfast to pass the time until boarding.


I was able to get us a free upgrade to premium economy when I mentioned we were on a father/daughter birthday trip at the check in at the airport. This was the first freebie of our trip, little did we know we were starting a trend that would continue throughout our trip. The upgrade included early boarding, extra legroom, and free drinks!


We started our flight with a Prosecco toast and some snacks.

We decided to watch a movie together which left us laughing. We had many fails to get it going, several times one or both of us couldn't hear through the headphones and so adjustments were made. Two different times we discovered the failure was not plugging our headphones into the headphone splitter in the first place!


Once that was settled my iPad wouldn't connect to the inflight wifi. When I mentioned this to the flight attendant she gave us one of the airline tablets to use for free! Second freebie!

We ended up watching a movie called "The Hustle" and soon both realized we were inadvertently running our own hustle, flight upgrades and a free tablet rental just by mentioning our father/daughter birthday trip.

I insisted that we make full use of our free drinks. We also enjoyed a glass of Baileys Irish Cream to end our flight.


We landed in Honolulu and picked up our rental car. My dad has not visited Oahu since 1980 and this is my first time. It was very interesting to be in such a big city versus Maui and Kauai where I had previously visited.

We arrived at our hotel, The Modern Honolulu, 4 hours ahead of our check-in time. Once again, our birthday luck continued and were told our room was actually ready and we could go ahead and check-in.


I loved finding hotel slippers in our room. I wear slippers all the time at home as I don't like being barefoot but often don't have room to pack them when traveling. It was such a simple pleasure to have these waiting for me on our arrival.


We got settled in and enjoyed a light snack poolside at our hotel.


After we ate we decided to visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater.

My dad's uncle Frank Andrade is buried there. He was killed in action in World War II in the Pacific in 1944. Frank was my Grandpa Tony's younger brother. They both served in the Pacific and had been able to meet while temporarily stationed on the same island. They spent time together including attending Mass which they knew would make their mother happy. Shortly after they parted ways Frank was killed while out on a mission. According to the information listed at the cemetery Frank was buried at the Punchbowl cemetery in 1949.


It was a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. We placed a lei at Uncle Frank's graveside and offered a decade of the rosary. It was sobering to see so many graves and to think of all of the lives that were lost and sacrificed. I was so glad to be able to visit and I know my Grandpa would be proud and happy to know his brother has not been forgotten.

We returned to our hotel and rested briefly before heading to dinner. Fr. Michael's good friend from seminary is a priest here in Oahu. Over the years we were lucky enough to get to know him at various seminary functions so we were thrilled to be able to reconnect with Fr. EJ here in Honolulu! He picked a fabulous restaurant called 12th Avenue Grill. I got the steak with potatoes and a maui pineapple bbq sauce and my dad enjoyed salmon and pasta. Cardamom rice pudding for dessert for me and a peanut butter gelato with espresso for Dad. This restaurant is known for their gin and tonic so we all enjoyed those as well!


We had so much fun reminiscing and shared so many laughs with Fr. EJ. It was such a great way to kick off our trip in Oahu and he also recommended a lunch spot for us and some other tips for our time in Oahu.


We are tired from a day of travel and adventures but so happy to be together and making memories.

Posted by danielcatherine 03:59 Archived in USA Tagged birthday oahu honolulu freebies hustle punchbowl Comments (2)

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