Oahu 2019

Aloha. The AC has been blasting away for the last hour. The east bay has been warm with mid-80’s temperatures. Yesterday was loco as it was at least 91° here; we were melting.

Have you ever tried a charcoal mask? Before our ohana holiday the girls and I were at Old Navy; I grabbed a box of charcoal masks to try but didn’t have time until two days ago. You spread on the gel and let it set for 20 minutes. Then you start peeling it off; it felt so weird but oh my goodness, my skin is super clean! Even the husband noticed. I’m going to try it on him this weekend.


Our crew flew into Honolulu on Friday, July 13th. We tried Sun Country which my husband says is like Southwest. The flight was smooth and the keiki and I read many pages on the plane. When we landed, we had one blip: there was an American Airlines plane in our gate. My parents were parked in a cell lot and waited one and a half hours for us to finally get into our gate and to get our luggage.

My dad picked us up in a rented, Dodge Caravan that was spacious and comfy. My parents knew we were starving so they took us to Highway Inn.

While our party waited to be seated, I noticed a plaque signed by Guy Fieri who hosts Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The teenager had the grilled fish sandwich, I had the kahlua pork quesadillas, and the husband had their loco moco. The tween had the Plantation Plate, kind of something you’d get at L&L or Ono Hawaiian BBQ.

Home for the Week

With our bellies full, the six of us then drove to the Grand Waikikian by Hilton Grand Vacations Club. You’ve already seen the view. Here’s the inside:

The four of us shared a suite with my parents; their bedroom is on the right side of the first photo. E and I had our bedroom on the other side. The kids slept on the pull-out couch.

The husband and I haven’t been to this tower; it’s newer than the one we had stayed at with everyone 16 years ago. I was even impressed by the hallway decor.

Oahu Loves

One think I love about going to Oahu is what one can buy locally at Safeway and/or Costco:

Haupia ice cream and guava bread! Next time I definitely want to bring home guava bread and I hear there is taro bread also. Mostly my daddy, my mama, and I ate the haupia ice cream. E and our daughters are not a fan of coconut.


Because we had a kitchen, we mostly cooked. However, my parents took us around to have us experience their favorites. Are you ready to see some more good eats? Keep that Kleenex close for drool.

Like Like Drive Inn Restaurant

This place is about comfort food. You feel like you’ve been invited over to someone’s house for a meal. Their fried rice is much talked about so I had that. This was a mini rice plate with two, overeasy eggs on top; ain’t nothin mini about it. The fried rice was pretty good.

Leonard’s Bakery

Have you ever had a malasada? This was my first time. We ordered a dozen: regular, cinnamon, custard, guava, haupia, and chocolate. Oh boy were these good! Our ohana was lucky to have gone at a good time as the line wasn’t too bad.

The Alley Restaurant

I had wanted to check out a needlepoint store but it didn’t open until a certain time so my mom found a yarn and needlepoint store elsewhere on the island. The six of us took a drive into the more isolated area of Oahu but there was all this construction that blocked the road.

By this time we were hungry so we drove to Aiea Bowl where The Alley Restaurant resides. Guy Fieri has also featured this place on his show.

The teen had their fried rice, the husband tried their famous oxtail soup (my dad loves this dish), and I had their Tasty Chicken (like chicken karaage). E was impresed with the soup; it takes a lot to impress him foodwise. My fried chicken pieces were generous and so crispy. I think The Alley makes the best fried rice from what I saw on the teen’s plate.

Snow Factory

Raise your hand if you’ve had shaved ice. Shaved ice is rough as you get chunks of it covered and it’s covered in syrup yeah? Well here at Snow Factory, the ice is like snow – super soft and melts in your mouth quickstyle.

You can see here the many pictures of the combination choices you can order. The husband had Cookies N’ Cream, the teen had Strawberry Mango, the tween Lychee, and I had Halo Halo. What a sweet treat.

Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill

My Oahu uncle and aunty had recommended this place to my parents some time ago. The fish is super fresh.

E had Garlic Ahi, the teen had Uncle’s Seafood Pasta, the tween had Prawns Scampi, and I had Seafood Grill. Everything was delicious. My mom loved the scallops.


Iolani Palace

In the past, when the keiki were toddlers, our crew just stayed at the resort to swim. This time around our ohana at least ventured out once to take the detailed, audio tour of the Iolani Palace where the royalty had lived:

In this collage you can see examples of the inside the palace and what the Queen wore. What I loved about the palace was that it was modest. The Blue Room was my favorite room. I wanted to bring home that chaise lounge! I also found it interesting how many a king and queen were musical and had composed songs themselves.


My mom was asked by a friend for a certain, preserved bitter melon that is mixed with Li Hing powder, so all of us ventured into Chinatown.

It’s a small area but parts of it reminded me of SF’s Chinatown and Clement Street.


My mom, the girls, and I definitely picked up some souvenirs. I don’t have everything (like tanks and tees, stamps, notebooks, etc) here but here’s a taste.

The Fabric Mart had so many rolls of Hawaiian-printed fabric. I had to walk around twice before deciding upon what to buy.

The next two pictures are of Lin’s Hawaiian Snacks. There are many preserved fruits, dry fish, and candy.

This second-to-last photo is of Needlepoint Etc. It is packed full of threads in different kinds of fibers. She sells many needlepoint/embroidery patterns. My mom found a small selection of cross stitch ones. Even the teen browsed through it! The last photo is of the cool patterns + two, small kits the three of us found!

Coming Home

Our flight was a bit delayed boarding. I sat again with the keiki. When I went to use the lavatory I found my husband in my seat. He usually ends up sitting next to a mother and her child, one who is chatty and moves around a lot. I was annoyed but was fine with the new seat. The five year old helped me pass the time away and I got some cross stitching done besides reading.

Our crew landed at SFO about 10 minutes til midnight. Then we had to wait for baggage claim to spit out the plane’s luggages. After that the four of us waited for the shuttle to long term parking and then we had to drive all the way home. Our tummies rumbled so thank goodness for the 24 Hour McDonald’s Drive Thru; our ohana gorged on this meal once we got in the door and the girls gave their very missed kittens lots of love. We unpacked and showered and went to bed around 3am.

Okay; I need to figure out dinner as it’s already 5:03pm. I’ve caught up on WP blogs and need to catch up on Blogspot and Typepad ones. It’s been slightly sluggish around here as our ohana has been readjusting to PST. Mahalo for droppin by today. Until then, aloha.


28 thoughts on “Oahu 2019”

  1. Oh my. All the food looked and sounded so yummy. I think I gained 10 pounds reading all about it. The “palace” was fun to see too. I love historical museums. Souvenir shopping is always so fun. Glad you are back safe and sound. I am sure the kittens are too.


  2. Your trip really does sound (and look) amazing, Steph. ALL the pictures were wonderful to look at. I’m pretty sure I put on 10 lbs just taking in all the food pictures. 🙂 So many exotic-to-me things to eat! And the hotel room/suite you shared with your parents looks like a great place to stay.


  3. Charcoal mask…never tried it, but I used to use an egg peel on my face, it felt weird too but I loved to peel it off! I don’t think it did much for my complexion though!

    What a nice suite you stayed in! Talk about comfy 🙂 The food too, looks amazing. I have never tasted a Guava before! I don’t think I can even get that here. Those malasada look YUMMY! Shaved ice! Neat! And omg Stefanie…I think that I would die in a puddle of drool if I ate at Uncle’s! My gosh those plates look so good!!!


    1. Yeah, the snow ice was awesome and soft like you scooped up some fresh powder from a fresh snow fall. I liked how the malasadas were thick and poofy.


    1. Thank you. Two of our neighbors came over each day to feed and to clean the litterboxes. One would bring her laptop and work for a few hours at our house while the kittens ran around. The husband didn’t like the accommodations at the pet hotel at the pet store. For cats there are stacked cages and they only get attention two times a day.


  4. What a fun trip! Hawaii has never really been high on my must travel list but I recently saw a video about the Disney resort there and started to change my mind and you completely sold me. Oh the food! Serves me right for assuming everything was macadamia nuts and pineapples (a woman I used to work with was Hawaiian and she always used to bring us back stuff when she went and it was always those two things. I think she was keeping the good stuff to herself!) that sweet bread looks like the stuff of dreams!

    I love a good charcoal mask but don’t the peel off ones tend to irritate my skin but there is nothing like charcoal for cleaning out all the pores. The sheet masks are my favorite because I am very lazy. Have a great week!


  5. WOW! Your trip looks amazing!! The food pictures are making me hungry. Everything looks so good. I get guava bread at the Spanish bakery, I wonder if its similar. The place you stayed at looks wonderful and the tip to the palace looks like fun.

    I haven’t done charcoal mask yet, but I do a clay mask once a week that I mix myself with the dry clay and vinegar. It works great.
    Enjoy your week. 🙂


  6. The Malasadas were crazy good. I don’t eat donuts often but I went to that place and scarfed 6 down. Fortunately my first time the line was short.

    What’s your favorite Hawaiian dish?


    1. Thanks for sharing, Eric. That was the first time my husband and I had malasadas also. I liked all of the place we ate at. I think Loco Moco is good, comfort Hawaiian food to me. Plus, nothin beats the guava bread we had there as well as the pineapples and mangos from there.


Comments are closed.