Anticipating a rainy day, we woke up early to hike Diamond Head. This massive crater is infamous in Hawaii – and a well known landmark on Oahu. Located just outside of Waikiki, it’s a fairly easy hike, but with gorgeous views at the top of the city, and of course, of all the green. We did the hike in about an hour.
Afterwards, we drove into Honolulu to go to Arvo a coffee shop. I had the lavender latte and James had a chai. Arvo is definitely a hip, cool coffee shop and shares a space with a succulent shop. We enjoyed our drinks outside, hoping to sneak in every last moment of non-rain.
We headed back to the AirBnb for a quick shower and then drove off to Helena’s – a well known hole in the wall joint for Hawaiian food. We grabbed some to go, and inhaled amazing ribs, pulled pork and salmon. Because we are in Hawaii, we decided to try poi, which is a popular starch dish. Poi is taro root essentially mashed. It’s purple, and glue like in texture. I can say that I am not a fan of poi, though I would be willing to try it warm. Helena’s was cold and had definitely started to ferment (this is pretty normal apparently. If you like fermented foods then you’d probably enjoy this!). Definitely recommend Helena’s if you’re on the island.
Lunch was followed by a trip to the Bishop museum, which boasts tons of artifacts from the Hawaiian royal family. It was a great museum to learn about the dynasty and the eventual downfall when the U.S. took over. Also, if you are a member of the Museum of Science, you receive reciprocity membership at Bishop, so we didn’t have to pay a dime!
Bishop museum was followed by a tour of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. This was an incredibly somber experience, and the impact of seeing the sunken battle ship was something I can’t quite explain.
With a few hours before our dinner reservation, we made our way to the middle of the island to check out Green World Coffee Farm. There are a lot of beans grown on the north shore of Oahu, including at Green World. They also roast beans every day and serve coffee in their little cafe at the front of the shop. Outside you can stroll through their coffee bean garden to see just how this process goes.
For dinner, we had reservations at Moku Kitchen. I had a ginger ahi poke with taro chips for an appetizer and James had oysters from a salt water pond on Kualoa ranch. For our entree we split bulgogi and duck tacos. The bulgogi tacos were amazing and I highly recommend them. I would have probably enjoyed the duck more if I hadn’t tried the bulgogi first.