Dec. 22, 2010

Josh and I walked about half a mile from our hotel to a little French/Japanese breakfast restaurant called the Cream Pot. It was very small and cute, like a tea room. I ordered the strawberry and chocolate crepes. They came with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top and a single lavender blossom. Every bite was fabulous.  Josh ordered an omelet meal, which came with a mixed greens salad, rice, and a dessert crepe. Josh opted for the banana crepe with a salted caramel sauce. I tasted a bite, as well as sampling his omelet. Both were delicious. I highly recommend eating here. The portion looked small for me, but I was full, and Josh got a larger dish and was also full.

We wanted to go snorkeling in Hanauma Bay Park, as we did last time we were on Oahu together, right after graduating college in 2006. I must say that I did not recall the traffic or the congestion being anywhere near as bad on our last visit as it was this time. The busiest time of the year for tourists is the winter and there were a lot of people in town for the Aloha Bowl that Josh was working. Needless to say, traffic was very busy (especially having come from Maui). When we got to Hanauma Bay State Park, it was packed. We also didn’t bring any cash to get in either, so we had to leave. We drove further north, trying a couple of beaches. We did find a very nice spot at one of the beaches, I think it was Kaupo Beach Park. The water was mostly clear with only small waves. There was a lot of coral reefs, reminding us of Tumon Bay in Guam, although the reefs in Guam were more protected from the waves, making visibility incredibly clear. Here, with the winter waves, the visibility was still a little cloudy at times, but there were a lot of fish to see and much colorful coral. One benefit of this area was that there were a lot fewer sea urchins than I have seen in other snorkeling area, which is comforting when the waves got strong and almost knocked me into some of the higher coral.

Josh and I stopped at a restaurant he glimpsed in a strip mall on our way out of the city: Greek Marina. We sat outside, enjoying the gorgeous weather and ate some of the most delicious hummus, tzatziki sauce, and baba ghanoush I have ever had with fresh baked pita bread. We also had chicken and a greek salad. It was a very good Greek restaurant.

We lounged around the rest of the afternoon at the hotel pool, finishing off the evening eating at Duke’s in the Outrigger Hotel. We were going off of online recommendations, mostly from Urban Spoon, and we ate at several of the Outrigger’s restaurants because of these recommendations. I think that they might have done some recommendation boosting, outranking the neighboring hotel restaurants.

Duke’s has one very neat thing for a hotel restaurant. An all-you-can-eat salad bar included with all entrees (you can also order just the salad bar). The salad bar is very good, with a variety of salads and toppings, as well as fresh bread of different varieties and fruit. I enjoyed it very much. Josh ordered some kind of chicken for his entree, and I went with the Seven Spice Ahi. I didn’t remember at the time that Seven Spice is a Chinese spice combo that is very hot, and my Ahi turned out to be a lot spicier than anticipated. I did enjoy it though, after the first few bites my tongue got used to the spices.