In the first article, I wrote that we had explored four Hawaiian islands in a month, but the third – Oahu – was a bit of a lie. When we were planning what to do on New Year’s Eve, we unanimously agreed that the best option would be the capital – Honolulu. But we had no time left to explore the whole island.
It turned out, that we actually arrived in Honolulu for only one night – the last one in 2019.
December 31st there and January 1st back.
We arrived quite early in the morning, and our hotel room wasn’t ready yet – our second and last hotel in Hawaii. We left our luggage at the reception and went on a sightseeing tour, which turned a bit into a food tour.
My mom made a mistake that she let me plan the tour. Well we didn’t see a single sight but oh boy, we saw a lot of cafés & bistros.
First we went to Leonard’s Bakery for malasadas. In Hawaii, they mix different nationalities and therefore also cuisines. Even though these sugar donuts filled with various fillings are more of Portuguese origin, but in Hawaii they have become very local and this bakery is famous for those. There’s usually a huge line, so it takes a while to get them. Well, it was definitely worth the wait. My favorite one was the one filled with coconut cream.
Next we tasted some traditional Hawaiian food – poké. I already mentioned that we went crazy when it came to pokés. If we weren’t in the nature all the time, we wouldn’t eat anything else. But the best one we had was clearly in Ono Seafood, a tiny bistro that serves fresh fish.
We returned to the hotel, checked-in and finally set off for the famous Waikiki beach. Well, it was beautiful, but we were used to the epic Kauai beaches that we were a little disappointed. It was really crowded, there’s a busy road just next to it. We didn’t even set our feet in the water. We went to taste another delicacy instead – BBQ ribs.
When it got dark, we were looking forward to a performance of Hula Dance, which takes place every day right on Waikiki Beach, at the statue of a famous surfer – Duka Kahanamoku. But it didn’t happen on New Year’s Eve, so we went for a pretty long walk through Honolulu. We walked about 15 km and on the way back we made it on time for the first fireworks at the Hilton hotel. That was around 11PM. We bought two cans of gin & tonic and then moved to the main beach, where we waited until midnight. The fireworks were beautiful, but we were already in bed around 1AM. There were no riotous public celebrations as you’re not allowed to drink in public in the United States, so most of the celebrations were taking place in clubs. The streets were really quiet shortly after midnight.
In the morning we set off quite early for another short walk, then we spent some time chilling by the hotel pool and then we took the cab to Pearl Harbor. Of course, it was closed for the New Year, so we turned around and headed for the airport to catch a plane to the last island – the Big Island. But more about Big Island in the next article. Stay tuned!