It seemed that the rain would finally not hold off – despite our best efforts to will it away. Our sixth day in Hawaii brought about five inches of rain in the first half of the day. I have never seen so much downpour for such a long duration in my entire life. Apparently this type of storm is also incredibly rare for Hawaii. But we intended to make the most of our time here, and so we headed off to Iolani palace, the official residence of the Hawaii monarch before becoming part of the U.S.
After circling the area looking for a parking spot, we finally settled on an overpriced lot a few blocks away (remember, with rain, one must make sacrifices). We headed over to the palace, both wearing flip flops to try and save our shoes. James hates flip flops, and so this was a rather comical sight to see (sorry James!). We made it to admission and were set up for the 10:50 am tour. In an effort to preserve the floors, they require everyone to put on velvet shoe coverings.
The palace itself was beautiful – and we took a 45 minute audio tour throughout the premises. Upstairs we were able to see the room that Queen Liliuokalani was held captive in for eight months, a punishment for an uprising her people started to help gain the Hawaiian monarchy more power. This was at the point that the U.S. annexed Hawaii, and so Queen Liliuokalani was the last royal to rule. In her time during imprisonment, she sewed a massive crazy quilt, embroidering her story throughout.
For lunch we drove outside of the main city and stopped in a little surf “town” section of Honolulu. We decided to try Town, which had a parking lot (bonus!) and rave reviews online. The food did not disappoint. James had a burger with salad and fries. I had the seared rare ahi served on white beans. Full to the brim, we strolled around a bit, but this was definitely a part of the city that has just started its gentrification.
Our next steps was the Spitting Cave of Portlock. At this point, the torrential rain had quieted down and so we were able to be a bit more mobile outdoors. We parked in a residential neighborhood, and made our way to a path between two houses under construction. (I highly recommend getting a guide book of some sort so that you don’t miss these hidden gems – I would have never found this otherwise!). Down a treacherous hill, we arrived at an area midway between the houses on the cliff and the sea. Volcano activity has created layers and layers of lava walls, and to the side, a small cave that violently spits out the water when the tide crashes into it.
It was truly marvelous.
Our afternoon was spent packing and cleaning up the AirBnb. Dinner was at Sushi Sasabune, an unsuspecting little sushi joint tucked outside of Waikiki. Here we chose to do omakase – or the chef’s choice. After going over allergies, we proceeded to enjoy 12 courses of sushi, at which point we said “stop!” Favorites included an ahi tuna with a maui onion sauce, lobster and scallop sashimi. Everything was incredible. The chef even did a vegetarian sushi course in which he used mushrooms and pepper instead of fish. It was an incredible meal to mark our last night in Hawaii.