We thought familial harmony on this vacation might best be achieved with a little breathing room so we booked a condo at the Hilton Hawaiian Village for our vacation. On our way there from the airport, we made a stop at Walmart to pick up breakfast supplies and snacks for the week and I thought Craig was going to have a religious moment when he rounded the corner and beheld the glory of the Spam aisle.
His love for the potted meat product knows no end.
I, however, focused on the carbs.
By the time we finally made it to the hotel room and got luggage and groceries unpacked and put away, we had a full-scale mutiny on our hands. It was midnight by our body clocks and the kids were D-O-N-E. We were trying to keep them awake until 8:00 local time to force them on the new clock so we set out walking Waikiki in search of dinner. They immediately honed in on the “Authentic Chinese Buffet” across the street from the hotel and so we went in.
Our first clue that the experience might not be the same as Raleigh came when all the restaurant patrons looked sideways at us when we walked in the door as if to say “Who are the crazy white people?”
The second clue was when the proprietor tried to give us fair warning by encouraging us (rather insistently, I might add) to take a look at the buffet line before committing to eating.
And yet we stayed.
I honestly have no idea what we ate. We arrived at the same time as a busload of Chinese tourists and they descended like a plague of locusts so it was every man for himself and we just threw whatever we could grab on our plates. Craig and the kids filled up on anything that looked like noodles or dumplings (delicious and probably made from someone’s cat) and I threw caution to the wind and ate the shellfish because a) I knew what a mussel looked like and b) the pig parts just weren’t doing it for me. We staggered back home like drunken sailors and crawled into bed at 7:30 and it was immediately LIGHTS.OUT and we managed to sleep (and not wake up with food poisoning, yay!) until 4:30 in the morning and enjoyed watching the sunrise on the balcony while drinking Kona coffee.
I had big plans for our first day and we headed downtown to the Historic District to learn more about Hawaiian history and to tour the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on U.S. soil. Across the street from the Palace we also visited the Supreme Court Building and stopped to take the boys’ picture in front of the famous statue of King Kamehameha.
You will notice the delighted look on the faces of my people. By this point in the morning they had all the education they wanted to experience on a vacation, decided Mom wasn’t in charge of the schedule any more, and set the GPS for the nearest hole in the wall to find food. I vetoed McDonald’s so we settled for the local drive-inn called L&L where we had the best meal of the trip.
Yes, everything is brown and fried.
For dessert, we stopped at an open-air market and bought cinnamon rolls from this delightful, diminutive woman who kept giggling at Craig, especially after he started sweet-talking her for a good deal. She was a DOLL.
We spent a few hours in the afternoon walking around Chinatown (where I didn’t take pictures because I was trying not to be THAT tourist but am kicking myself that I missed showing you the toads in the cage, destined for dinner) and then went back to the hotel so the kids could swim and Craig and I could enjoy the sun setting on a very fun first day of vacation.
To be continued…
Have a nice day.