Today was supposed to be our grand circle island drive to the North Shore. We started out with a breakfast at one of our staples, Wailana Coffee House. It’s right near the Hilton Hawaiian Village. You can park in their basement lot for 75 cents with validation. We enjoyed some traditional diner-style breakfast with a local twist. Portuguese sausage became the new “breakfast meat” and Steve tried the Hawaiian-style breakfast which is corned beef hash, two eggs, toast, and butter-grilled bananas. I always get the creamy and delicious muesli there. Yum.
Stomachs fueled, we headed on out on our drive! The skies were cloudy but we thought it could clear up a bit.
Instead it got worse. While driving on the Pali highway it started to rain. So when we actually got to the Pali Lookout…there was nothing to see. The entire area was cloudy and visibility was zero. It was also quite chilly up there since it’s so windy. I described to them what it was supposed to look like on a good day. Undeterred, we decided to press on a little to see if the weather would change the further north we headed.
We ended up at the Byodo-In Temple in Kaneohe. It was raining pretty steadily at this point, but for some reason it only made the place seem more mystical. The beautiful red temple was quite majestic even in the rain and the mist made it seem surreal. We huddled under our beach towels and toured the property. If you don’t mind getting a bit wet, this is actually a nice place to visit in the rain. It made for pretty pictures despite the clouds.
I kept checking the weather in Haleiwa to see if it would clear up but it didn’t look like it so we decided to head back to Waikiki and just spend the day chillaxin’. We made a slight detour to Ono Seafoods in Kapahulu so my foodie friends could try some of my favorite poke on the islands. They really enjoyed it and we got the traditional shoyu, spicy, and some wasabi octopus poke.
We ended with dessert nearby at Leonard’s bakery! I like the traditional, non-filled masaldas with only sugar as a topping, but we also got tastes of mango, custard, and haupia (coconut cream) filled as well. Think the haupia was a hit too. I like how they are made-to-order so you can eat them while warm. Mmmmm.
I suggested we go to the Ala Moana Center for the rest of the afternoon since it was on and off rain all afternoon. Us girls had a great time shopping and the guys I’m sure went off on their own. We had an early dinner where we were going to go anyways, the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk. Everyone was overwhelmed since there were so many choices and we had to to several walk-thoughs to view each vendor. we were able to try different things. Different types of ramen, katsu-don, takoyaki (agreed the KCC Farmer’s market one was better), yakitori, gyu-don (beef over rice), curry udon, etc. It was a lot of food and we were all quite happy with our selections. I even tried the edamame ice cream. It wasn’t bad but I felt the flavor of the beans were a bit lost and kinda tasted more like vanilla.
While having dinner, some mentioned how fun it was to hike Diamond Head and wanted to know if there were more challenging hikes out there. We told them about Koko Head Stairs of Doom, and they immediately said yes, let’s do it. Even though I told them it was hard, they were eager to just check it out, so it was decided we would do Koko Head Crater the next morning. We were scheduled to be on the East side of Oahu in any case. I myself have never made it to the top at that point, and stopped short right when the “stairs” become a bridge over a chasm. We’ll see if we make it to the very top tomorrow.
Too bad the weather prevented us from doing our circle island tour that day but we had a good time eating and shopping!
Coming up, the Koko Head Stairs of Doom!
Read more about our November 2016 Oahu Trip with Friends!