Saturday, October 29th
Morning came just a little too bright and a little too early. There was a slight awkwardness after the previous night quickly ushered away by a swift kiss and an “I love you.”
The farmer’s market at Kapiolanni Community College begins very early and closes shop by eleven. We quickly showered and dressed and made our way to the front desk to figure out the bus schedules. After waiting and waiting for the bus and it getting ever closer to eleven, we decided to cab it to the college.
Spectacular. Dozens of vendors with tropical fruits I had never even heard of, local honeys, butters, meats, fresh coconuts, it was an incredible array of flavors and smells of sausage, pineapple, foreign spices and flavors. My lunch consisted of the following:
- kaffir miso pad thai, fresh coconut water, dragon fruit, and papaya
- kelp noodles, carrots, cashews, bell peppers, red cabbage, red onion, cilantro, sesame oil
I ended up saving the dragon fruit and papaya for a snack later. The miso pad thai was amazing! Fresh and crispy and super satisfying. I could have spent hours there. The fruits were incredible. I would have loved to try more, but I could barely carry everything I had. Kyle enjoyed some seasoned french fries with sea salt and thyme as well as a spicy sausage.
After dodging some random rain spurt, we headed across the street to Diamond Head. This is the best place for views of Waikiki Beach. It was once used for military and some old bunkers still exist here. The trail was fun! It twisted along the side of the mountain winding its way along the narrow face stopping at various lookout points. It also included an immense amount of stairs and frequent warnings for falling rocks. Overall the climb was fairly short and invigorating. The fresh air felt wonderful and the views were spectacular. Once at the top, we paused for some time taking in the beautiful beaches and gorgeous city of Honolulu.
Making our way down the incline, we shared a well deserved Pina Colada before making our way back to the hotel for a quick clean up and change. We ended up taking a cabbie back who dropped us off a ways away from our hotel. After a quick visit into the International Market we took to the beach and strolled back along the coast. This was my first time at the waters edge and it was stunning. The sea glistened from sun and the sand was soft and warm. It was a very relaxing and romantic stroll back to the room.
It was time for Fight Night.
Fight Night, for my boyfriend, means hours at Buffalo Wild Wings with lots of beer and spicy wings. Tonight was Hawaii native B.J. Penn versus Nick Diaz. Being in Hawaii for this fight turned out quite a local crowd. There were a bunch of fights leading up to this. All of which left my adrenaline pumping and me oooing and ahhing with the crowd. I really get into Fight Night.
It was at this point where I lost my veganism. There was literally nothing but chicken on the menu and my boyfriend managed to convince me that Fight Night does not count and it basically all went downhill from here in regards to my eating habits.
However, back to the fight. Penn ended up losing to Diaz after a very intense and very bloody fight. Both contenders looked awful by the end of it. Penn even went so far as to announce his potential retirement which stunned the crowd. He is an incredible fighter and it would be a sham to lose him from the UFC. His reasoning: he did not want to come home to his kids looking the way he did. From a woman’s perspective, I can completely understand. Most of the people in the bar found that to be a little weak.
We headed back to the hotel full of chicken wings, blood pumping with adrenaline from the fight, talking amicably about the day and plans for tomorrow.
Sunday, October 30th
Sunday consisted of one thing and one thing only, the hotel’s Champagne brunch. Basically an all you can drink buffet of champagne and some local foods as well as the usual breakfast and lunch buffet.
As it was not cheap, Kyle and I basically drank our weight in champagne and piled our plates high with delicious fruits and tasty treats. We met two great couples seated next to us both residing in Hawaii, the men military and the women school teachers. We chatted for a while as we consumed more and more champagne. They invited us out for drinks after but by the time we were finished with the champagne we stumbled up to the room and passed out for the rest of the day.
Literally the entire day.
I did not wake until evening. Kyle was soon to follow. We munched on some leftover wings and dragon fruit before going right back to sleep.
It was very nice to just curl up next to each other and simply sleep.
Monday, October 31st
The day began with a walk in the sunshine down to the Enterprise to rent a sexy black Mustang convertible. We were initially going to go with the economy sedan until the sexy beast was offered to us as a steal of a price. Snagging the gorgeous car, we headed out to Hickam Field, a Navy base near Pearl Harbor. They have some office where the military can buy discounted tickets to local attractions. We booked a kayak and snorkel tour for the following day as well as an all day pass to the Polynesian Cultural Center for that day.
After picking up a bunch of snacks for the drive, we exited the base and headed up highway 63 to highway 83. Two gorgeous routes cutting up through the island and driving up the eastern coast. This was an incredible drive made glorious by the Mustang convertible. On one side was the bright blue and turquoise waters of the Pacific contrasted by tall, lush green mountains on the other side. The views were spectacular.
We made it to the Polynesian Culture Center around 3pm and wandered around the grounds exploring the various island exhibits, tasting Tahitian coconut bread and watching pretty girls hula and burly men beat drums. We popped into one performance close to the end. A performer brought three men from the crowd to the stage to learn how to drum. One was from Colorado, one Puerto Rico and the other China. They made a hilarious combination. Some of the actions were a bit awkward and the men did a wonderful job of making them fun and exciting. The man from China could barely understand the performer’s commands. Lost in translation provided for some hilarious entertainment.
The luau began at five with a presentation of the royalty followed by hula dancing done by men, women and children, each having their own role to play. The food was tasty and unique.
- Not the prettiest of presentations, but it was tasty
It consisted of the famous Kalua pig, a staple in the luau ever since pig became predominant on the islands, even to the point of being overpopulated. Taro is also very common on the islands. The purple is taro bread and taro salad. The sweet potato is a fair yellow rather than our deep orange. There is also raw salmon with onions, rice, long rice, local fish and chicken. Not exactly a vegan meal…
After the luau we strolled around the area, looking through the gift shops, Kyle trying to get me to look at the pearls and the black coral. Black coral is the jewel of Hawaii. Our all day pass included the evening show, “Ha- Breath of Life.”
- Polynesian Culture Center (www.polynesia.com)
The show was spectacular. It is a story of birth, life, death, love, family, triumph and tragedy. It was beautifully done with a gorgeous and talented cast of dancers, singers, and fire tossers. You could feel their joy and their pain. A must see.
Today is Halloween. We rushed back to the hotel after the show to change into costume and head out to some bars on Waikiki. Kyle surprised me with a belly dancing costume from Kabul. As authentic as they come. The embroidery is beautiful and it jingled as I walked. We followed the crowds of people, popping into a few bars to enjoy a drink and check out the costumes. It was mainly lots of women wandering around in lingerie. Definitely a fun night filled with fruity cocktails and pouring rain.