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Showing posts with the label Honolulu

12 Hours in Honolulu

I was not disappointed at all that I was rerouted through Honolulu instead of flying nonstop to San Francisco from Tokyo recently. While waiting to board the plane, I thought of all the things I could do in Honolulu during the 12-hour layover. And the more I thought about it, the more pleased I was that I had this opportunity. Except for one thing. I needed a hotel in Honolulu where I could take a quick nap, shower, and leave my bags while I was out wandering about town. I called several hotels but none of them had day rates let alone allow me to check in earlier than 2 p.m. After a few more calls and before draining my cellphone's battery, I got a room at the Airport Hotel for $136.00 and they picked me up from the airport.

Wiped out from the long trip, I fell asleep immediately and woke up when my alarm went off. It was 1 p.m. so I hurried to make the most of my time. Luckily the bus stop was just down the street and I didn't have to wait long before the bus bound for Ala M…

Mmmm, Malasadas

Leonard’s Bakery on Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu has been serving their famous Portuguese malasada from this site since 1957. It’s practically an institution. Malasadas are ball shaped doughnuts served warm from the fryer. There are plain and filled malasadas. Pick from a variety of fillings like haupia (coconut), pineapple, chocolate and custard. Try one of each.

If you can’t go to the bakery at 933 Kapahulu Avenue, there are Malasadamobiles™ around Oahu.

If you would like to make your own malasada, check out Emeril Lagasse’s malasada recipe at www.emerils.com/recipes/by_name/malasadas.html
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Image by Rosario Charie Albar

To be or to bento

One of the many things I like most about Hawaii is the incredible choice of mouth watering cuisine its many kitchens offer visitors and locals alike. A mainstay of island dining is the bento box. During the years I lived in Hawaii, I remember being served my bento order in a black lacquer box with partitions to hold steamed rice, a meat or fish entrée, salad and of course, that quintessential island favorite, spam. (Spam was a staple item during WWII and it has stayed that way since.)

On a recent trip to Honolulu, I was tempted to order the bento lunch at Sam Choi's on Nimitz Highway. How could I pass up a plateful of mahimahi, teriyaki beef and chicken, an omelet, steamed rice and spam? It was a lot of food for under $11.00. I couldn't think of a better way to start our brief and hectic visit to Honolulu.


* * * Image by Rosario Charie Albar

Reaching New Heights in Waikiki

I barely remember my first climb up Diamond Head. It was that long ago and far away. But it must have been good which is why I got my cousin and a best girlfriend to hike to the top with me. It was a cool morning when we started so the first few minutes went by quickly as we chatted along but as we began the ascent through clearly marked trail, I soon fell behind the others. The challenges were still waiting ahead. After the first flight of steep stairs I thought I would not dare take the next set of 99 steps. But after a few minutes of rest and breathing normally again, I ventured up the stairs only to find there was another spiral staircase inside the dimly lit tunnel. Thankfully this was a short climb and soon we were out on the terrace where the winds promptly claimed my visor and I was hatless. The jungle of Waikiki Beach highrises were at our feet and the ocean stretched into the horizon bursting in rich hues of aqua closer to shore and all shades of blue in the distance.