The Travelling Cake Addict

10 September 2011

Aloha and Welcome to Paradise.. was music to my ears when the announcement came over the tannoy. Finally...18 hours later, I was in the Island. My first ever trip to Hawaii, and I'm greeted with a rain shower and a beautiful rainbow. Rain or shine, I was happy.

Surprisingly, upon descent I noticed all the uniformed buildings and high rise apartments and busy motorways. Hmm...Wheres the sand? mountains? palm trees?! Not the secluded and small Island like I pictured in my head. Oahu is not the biggest Island in Hawaii, but it is the most populated and congested. Its still a very beautiful island and I got to see so much of its beauty (the side I obviously did not see upon descent lol).

Home for 10 days was in Waikiki Honolulu, which is less than a half hour drive from the airport. Very heavy with tourists, Waikiki is laden with restaurants, hotels and shopping malls. Normally I like the more secluded and less touristy places, but seeing as everyone was so laid back (the Hawaiian ways) it was still very charming and beautiful. Me and a friend stayed at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani which is right on Kalakua Avenue, a stones throw from the beach and near practically everything. It was a fantastic location to get around, there was shuttle buses and trams within reach and most importantly it was no more than a 2 minute walk to Waikiki beach and Dukes Kahanamoku's Statue.

Aside from beach bumming it all day everyday, if you are a shopper/retail junkie..Waikiki is the place to be. With the Royal Hawaiian Centre, International Market place and Ala Moana Mall nearby you are extremely spoilt for retail therapy choice! Also, the place is scattered with ABC stores on every corner. Great for buying...well basically anything! We also went to Premium Outlet Waikele which is about a 45 minute drive from Waikiki. A cheap shuttle can take you there for $5 each way. So shopper addicts, you have been warned. This is probably a reason why I struggled back home with a heaving suitcase.

For all you foodies out there, Hawaii is a culinary melting pot of nom. Aside from the usual American staples and diner dives and burger joints, there are a lot of Asian restaurants (especially Japanese). A must try is Eggs n Things in Waikiki...simply AMAZING for yummy pancakes and breakfast food. Spam seems to be served with everything there! Not really a fan of it but when it comes to Spam Musubi, I can eat two in a row. Local food is really a mixture of cultural influences. Typically served with rice, the Hawaiians love meat and fish, particularly Ahi (fresh tuna). Whole roasted suckling pig (Kaluha pig) is delicious served with a scoop of rice and also (surprisingly with most dishes I tried) a scoop of macaroni salad. I have to mention that most evenings for dessert we would indulge in a beautiful slice of cheesecake goodness from the Cheesecake Factory which was strategically right in front of the hotel. Perfect.

Wheres the "paradise" part?.. I hear u question. I promise ill get to that part in my next blog. Everywhere in Honolulu felt like paradise. Behind all the busy tourists and skyrise hotels is the wonderful people and the laid back peaceful way of living. The Island has amazing surroundings like naturally carved mountains, waterfalls, beaches and coves. We took a whole day tour of the Island and Pearl Harbour with Enoa Tours, who was excellent and made even the not so interesting parts fun. It was a great way of seeing the Island of Oahu, in contrast to the busy streets of Waikiki.

The Kama'aina (locals) have this amazing outlook on life. Spiritually and religiously, they respect the earth they live on and the water they swim in. Hawaii is definatley my kind of paradise.

Photos by me.


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