For years, we've been planning on taking my parents on a trip. And this year, the trip finally materialized and we were off to Hawaii to celebrate Grandpa's 70th birthday! On the morning of our departure, we were glad to wave good-bye to the pouring rain and be on our way to our 5 days/4 nights adventure at the sunny Island of Oahu.
Although we've been to Hawaii many times, this was our first trip to Oahu. As soon as we stepped out of the plane, we noticed that Oahu was more developed and commercialized than the other islands with a bigger airport and multi-lane highways. Had there no palm trees swaying in the wind, I wouldn't have thought that we were in Hawaii already. Outside of the terminal, our shuttle driver, Dave, was there waiting to pick us up. I had reserved with Oahu Airport Express (OAE) for our ride to our hotel at Waikiki because of the good reviews from Yelp and the great price - $35/one-way to Waikiki.
Our hotel was the Waikiki Marriott Beach Resort and Spa. Unfortunately, it did not live up to its name as a beach resort with only 2 small pools, out-of-date rooms and not-so-friendly front-desk. Luckily, HanHan didn't seem to mind because we had connected rooms and she was so excited that she can go to grandma's room anytime she liked.
After we settled in, we took a stroll on the street along side Waikiki Beach (Kalakaua Ave) to International Market to catch a late lunch. The fish pond immediately caught HanHan's attention but I was more interested in the food court. We ended up ordering BBQ plate lunch from Choi's Kitchen with lots of yummy food for a decent price. A great choice if you don't mind the below-average dining condition...
While we were working on emptying the plate lunch, HanHan (and Mark) had their eyes on the shave ice and pineapple soft serve - a must-have in Hawaii!
After lunch, HanHan got to play on the world famous Waikiki beach. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and the cool breeze in the air ended her play early when she got soaking wet.
On the 3rd floor of the Marriott was Sansei Seafood Restaurant which we had dined at on the other islands. The food was decent but pricey so we made sure we catch the 50% off early bird special (every Sunday and Monday night between 5-6pm). The Crab Ramen and Miso Butterfish were to die for; definitely a must-have if you ever ended up here. After a satisfying meal, we were ready to call it a day and looking forward to an adventurous day tomorrow!
On a side note, one of the most amazing sight in Waikiki is the abundance of ABC Store in every corner of the street. To ensure that we never run out of life essentials such as soda, snacks and souvenirs, yikes!