Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Week--I Mean a Day--in Honolulu

You've heard of "dog years", but have you heard of "Honolulu days"?  We got seven times more action/excitement/crap/fun/stress in our four days in Honolulu than our usual four days on Kauai (except maybe during a hurricane).  If you're one of those who consider Kauai "anti-aging," then Honolulu must be "pro-aging"!

First 24 hours:

Our stress began on Kauai because for the first time in over 30 years of traveling, we almost missed our plane.  Just wanted to inform my five readers (yes, I believe I have five now!) that if you're not at the airport within 30 minutes of your flight, they will not check you in.  Do you remember the good old days when 30 minutes was the usual for a lot of people?   Leonard had to work late so I thought I could check in online, but later found that web check-ins are only allowed up to 2 hours before flight time.  When we got to the airport 25 minutes before flight time, I expected to check in at the counter, but was told we were too late and would have to stand-by for our flight or go on the next flight. Thankfully the security  wasn't crowded. [It's a good thing we were rushing, I didn't have time to feel resentfully embarrassed about the BODY SCAN I went through! My attitude was more like "Quick, here's my body, get it over with!"]  We got to the gate as they were boarding and the agent at the desk fixed our ticket so we could get on board ok.  Big whew!!

The flight actually left three minutes early and we got there promptly, but Dollar Rent-a-Car threw us the next stress.  There were two agents helping two customers and yet it took us almost a half hour to get our car.  We've been renting cars from Budget, Alamo, and Avis for years through third parties online and this was the first time we chose Dollar.  Is it just a coincidence that this was also the first time the online quote did not match the price Dollar actually charged us?  I recall renting from Dollar once about 15-20 years ago and we weren't very happy with them.  Well at least they're consistent! 

We automatically stopped at our favorite coffeeshop, Eagle Cafe on Nimitz Hwy. and they had just closed!  Are you beginning to sense a pattern here?  We ended up at Zippy's King Street, but the restaurant had a long waiting line so we had to go to the take out side (which also took very long).  It astounded us that even after 9 p.m. on the night before Thanksgiving, Honolulu people were flocking to Zippy's. 

Line in front of Lee's Bakery
My mother had asked us to go to Lee's Bakery to pick up a custard and peach/pear pie.  She had read an article that said Lee's was opening all night to avoid the long lines on Thanksgiving Day.  Well ha ha... there was a long line just after 9 p.m. with some people sitting on chairs they had brought.  Seriously,  I've tasted their pies and they're good, but not so good that I would wait in a line for them where you need a chair.  So we just kept driving.  (Next morning we went to Dee Lite Bakery--a bit more expensive, just as delicious, and no need to bring a chair).

As it turns out, the Dee Lite pies were the best part of our Thanksgiving "lupper"  (late lunch, early supper).  For the past five years my mom has been on a quest to find a good ready-made Thanksgiving dinner and we have yet to find it.  This year she chose the Hyatt Regency's "Turkey Dinner to Go" and everything in the very nice box was chilled and had to be heated up.  This involved a lot of transferring to pots/bowls which was more work than we cared to do (they should've packed the food in foil containers).  We followed the instructions for heating the turkey and although the skin was dangerously close to black,  parts of the turkey were still cold and disturbingly pink.    The cranberry sauce was tasty, the stuffing wasn't bad, but the mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, and pumpkin pie were unremarkable. The corn chowder was as thick as mashed potatoes.  I wondered if this meal was actually made by the Hyatt or just processed food they ordered frozen?

Rapunzel's pet chameleon Pascual was just one of the
funny delights in the movie "Tangled".
Happily our first day in Honolulu ended well at Ward Cinema where we went to see "Tangled".  I loved this movie!  And the popcorn was almost as good as Kukui Grove's! 

Note:  When I started typing this I intended to write about our four days in one posting.  I forgot my own premise that one Honolulu day = 7 Kauai days, and after writing about the first day I realized 4 days would practically constitute a book!  So please come back to read the next installment(s) which will include our interesting Black Friday, the strange Chinese restaurant incident, and the Russell Peters concert! AND of course my Honolulu restaurantlogue.

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