We got up and drove a few blocks to the post office for a flat-rate mailing box. We were really glad they had them sitting out, because the line at the Waikiki post office was about a mile long. From there, we went to Aloha Shirts so Matt could get an awesome maroon and gold aloha shirt, plus some souvenirs. Across the street was the famous Rainbow Drive-in. Unfortunately, they had nothing vegetarian on the menu, so we headed elsewhere.
‘Elsewhere’ was Puka Dog. I had a veggie dog with lilikoi (passion fruit) mustard and garlic-lemon-jalapeno sauce. It’s probably a good thing we don’t live in Honolulu, because I would eat the exact same thing every single day.
We drove back to the hotel, dropped the car off, and packed our second box completely full of souvenirs. We walked the few blocks to the post office to mail it, and were again thrilled that we could use the automated postal machine, lest we have to wait in line for hours. From there, we went to see the International Marketplace, making not one but two stops at ABC Stores. They have a deal where if you spend $100 (over various visits, saving your receipts), you get a free gift. At the first one, our total was $96, so of course we had to stop again. I got the hula girl coffee mug, and it quickly became my favorite.
We also stopped at an underground bar at the International Marketplace (after paying tribute to what used to be Don the Beachcomber’s Treehouse) called Lava Rock for beers. The bartender’s kid was sitting under the bar in a stroller. If that’s not a sure sign of a classy joint, I don’t know what is.
typical waikiki beach resort view
waikiki beach, with diamond head in the background
We walked back to the hotel to pack, then to Waikiki Beach. I didn’t know the reef was so close to shore there, but it made it really difficult to swim. We ended up floating around for a while, watching the paddleboarders. Then we went to shower and head to dinner at Kona Brewing Company, south of Honolulu in Hawaii Kai (about 20 miles away).
The minute we got on the H-1, traffic backed up like crazy. We figured it was probably rush hour in Honolulu, but after creeping along at 5mph for a very long time, we started to doubt that. Finally, the radio DJ mentioned something about a water main break near Hawaii Kai causing massive slowdowns on the highway. SIGH.
We finally made it to the water main disaster (which was somewhat under control by then), then followed our Google Maps directions toward the restaurant. It sent us up the side of a mountain in a residential neighborhood, which started to look more and more incorrect the farther we went. Once we dead-ended at the top, we realized we’d been led astray. We drove all the way back down, despairing about ever finding the place. Finally, we located the strip mall where it was located. We had to circle the entire place before finally finding it along the dock. Two nights in a row at a boat-up bar? Win!
We shared the beer sampler, and loved the Pipeline Porter (a.k.a. underwater beer) and Wailua Wheat, which was flavored with passion fruit. I had pizza, and Matt had a dinner involving three kinds of meat: ribs, bbq chicken, and Portuguese sausage. We stopped at the front counter to buy our obligatory souvenir pint glass, then headed back to Waikiki. It was a much faster drive this time.
We dropped off the car and took our familiar route along the beach walk, through the Sheraton (where I really wanted to jump in the infinity pool, but it was closed), and over to the Royal Hawaiian. It was the appropriate venue for our final mai tai of the trip, sadly.
We had the same bartender as the previous night, and he made us the Trader Vic’s special. We sat there eavesdropping on a very loud, drunk small group of people, who had apparently just met there, but were making plans to meet up back on the mainland. The weirdest part was when the one apparently single lady wished everyone goodbye, and gave another woman’s husband a kiss on the mouth. She headed into the hotel, and he followed shortly thereafter and was gone for quite a while. SWINGERS?? I think yes.
Matt had another final mai tai, and then it was time to head back to our hotel at 10am. We had to be up painfully early for our flight home.