Happy New Years everyone! To end 2020, I want to share my most recent and latest trip of Hawaii back in February during peak season. It’s crazy to see how fast time has flew by through these hard times in the middle of the pandemic, but man do I miss traveling! Thankfully, I was lucky enough to leave for a vacation right before the pandemic struck. I know that all of ya’ll miss going out to do so many fun activities and having a great time. But don’t you worry though, sit tight and hang in there! We’ll definitely have the good times back and have other destinations checked off in no time.
Due to the bad weather, we had to change some of our flight stops to Denver and San Francisco. After checking in at the airport and finally getting seated in the plane, the plane was running an hour late because it needed more fuel. Our flight kept getting delayed or running late at every stop somehow, but luckily we made it to Hawaii just in time for our arrival.
Hawaii is such a beautiful place to visit and it has to be everyone’s dream vacation since I’ve always been dying to go for a while, and I’m really glad to have taken this as an opportunity to finally explore! I definitely recommend everyone to visit the places I’ve went if you ever get the chance to go one day. Also, there’s nothing better than a hotel view to wake up to the next morning.
My first trip to Hawaii was one of the most exciting experiences in my life. I went with my aunt to celebrate our birthday month and as a graduation gift for the first time. We went to Honolulu, Hawaii of Oahu island. As much as I was excited for the vacation, I couldn’t stand getting sick right on the day I left to Hawaii. It was hard for me to enjoy the food without blowing my nose or sneezing every 5 minutes! No I did not have COVID haha. Even though I was sick, that didn’t stop me from having a blast in Hawaii. We’ve only stayed in Hawaii for 4 nights and 5 days at the Luana Waikiki Hotel. Our first stop was dinner at Tommy Bahama restaurant.
Day 1: Tommy Bahama restaurant
After arrival to the hotel, we had to rest and then get ready before heading to the restaurant. We didn’t need a taxi or a driver to take us to places, because we could just walk anywhere downtown. We’ve walked all the way to the restaurant that probably took us more than 10 minutes, but it wasn’t too bad. The restaurant was right upstairs of a shopping store that connected through the staircase.
The restaurant looked pretty neat and a nice spot to hangout with your friends and family. I’ve ordered a few items on the menu that are appealing to me. Since I love anything that’s sashimi and meat, I’ve ordered the ahi poke dip appetizer and the wagyu burger entree with a side of fries. The appetizer was pretty good, but it honestly wasn’t my favorite. However, the wagyu burger was definitely the real deal! It was unlike any other burger I’ve had, because wagyu is a special marbled beef raised from Japan that’s rare to find where I live. I’ve also loved how the buns came out.
Day 2: Diamond Head Crater & Sunset Cruise
The view of where we hiked at was amazingly breathtaking. You could see the beauty of the nature in Hawaii with so many trees surrounded. It felt like I was on top of the world when I saw the view of people’s houses and buildings up top. We followed the tourist guide until the end of the hike and almost got lost, but we eventually caught up with everyone else.
A fun fact about this hiking area is that, it used to be an active volcano. How scary and awesomely cool right?! It was definitely a long walk all the way up to the top, but it was worth it. We were warned to watch our steps since the steps can be very rough and steep, and there were injuries that happened on the spot before. As I was hiking my way up, I accidentally tripped and scraped my knee on the ground pretty badly. I was distracted by how gorgeous the view was. I know I should’ve been more careful and cautious at first, but thank God I was okay and kept on walking (I was still slightly struggling and limping). The tourist guide then offered me a bandaid and I was so thankful for that.
The Sunset Cruise was without a doubt, an amazing experience. Before going on the boat, everyone had to walk barefooted so that there’s no dirt and sand on the ride. The best part was when you can see the whole view of Waikiki on the shoreline. If you’re the type of person to just want to hangout and relax while listening to music, then this vacation spot is perfect for you! There were music and drinks where you can enjoy the company of people around you. I couldn’t have any alcohol because I still had another year left of becoming legal enough to drink, but they made me a drink with no alcohol and I loved it!
Day 3: Polynesian Cultural Center
Another amazing experience! I promise you won’t regret it if you ever come here. We had to take a bus to get to the Polynesian Center, and it took about almost an hour to get there. The Polynesian Center lasted for literally a whole day and it was so worth it since there were so much things to see and do. There were so many cool shows with lots of talented performers that blew me away. I was deeply impressed and entertained with some of the volunteers and artists. I’ve also learned how to use sticks, make a fish out of banana leaves, and how to hula dance. I’ve enjoyed walking around and exploring what the culture has to offer. A big shoutout to the Filipino tourist guide! We also had lunch before starting a long, big day.
This was such a perfect balanced dish between healthy, sweet, and savory. If you’re vegetarian or maybe vegan, then this dish might just be for you and it’s great! I was glad to have my stomach filled up first before going to do all that fun and big stuff ahead of us, then having dinner afterwards. For dinner, I’ve had beef stew and chicken and tried this Hawaiian dish called poi. It’s not the best dish I’ve tried in Hawaii, but it was definitely not bad! Overall, it was still a nice dinner.
Day 4: 1831 Ala Moana Blvd
We didn’t really have much plans, but walk around the shopping center and go to the ABC stores. I’ve tried boba tea samples, and grabbed some souvenirs and t-shirts for memories to take home. Hawaii is really expensive for those that want to live there. You have to pay at least 13 cents or so for a bag to put in your groceries, and the housing cost is unbelievably high. Hawaii also has a high Japanese population, so there’s plenty of Japanese restaurants and places. We ended up stopping at a Japanese restaurant and got ramen.
Having matcha ice cream for dessert after a long meal was probably the best part of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the ramen but the matcha ice cream was the goat here. It was so rich and creamy! I just wanted to keep having more and more scoops of matcha ice cream.
Day 5: Last day- free time
On our last day, we’ve roamed around downtown to kill some time and went for a quick swim at the beach. I’ve never wanted to leave Hawaii and wished we’ve stayed even longer, but I’m very grateful to have experienced this trip so far. Next time I come back, I’ma definitely stay much longer and visit more places! Hawaii has such a great culture with great people. If you ever ask me what my favorite part of the whole trip was, I would say the whole trip.
Can’t forget about the Loco Moco dish that I’ve always wanted to try, so we stopped for lunch first before it was time for our flight to head back home. This Hawaiian dish was super delicious with a dash of hot sauce. The beef, the gravy, and the sunny side up eggs with rice on the bottom — French kiss! It’s one of the best things that I also recommend everyone else to try while you’re in Hawaii.
No matter how depressing it was to leave Hawaii, I’m still in complete awe that I’ve been given this opportunity to experience something like this in a lifetime. Every new year will always have those moments that you can cherish forever through the good and bad times. So let’s continue to appreciate the good times once they’re around. Remember to be blessed that you’ve gotten to see another year, because not everyone will always make it to see another year. Happy 2021 and many more years to come!