Monday, May 17, 2010

Hanging Loose in Honolulu

We spent a couple of nights in the Hilton Hawaiian Village and today moved over to the Doubletree that's across the street and up a block. Our main reason was based on changing room rates but we also rack up another stay this way, our path to earning status with Hilton.

We were in an ocean view room up in the Rainbow Tower and took a couple of photos of an actual rainbow framing our view of Diamond Head the other night.

We've loaded a few photos on our earlier posts but it's taking such a long time that the rest will wait until we're back in Birch Bay. The Hilton rooms are somewhat dated but still pleasant, and with that million-dollar room who cares if the bathroom is 1960s vintage with chipped pink floor tiles?

Waikiki seems fairly busy compared to our most recent visit - good to see - and despite the people and the shirt shops and the ABC stores and the overpriced restaurants, we still enjoy hanging out here (or maybe it all contributes to the ambience).

Our dining experiences have included a variety of good and not-so-good. We enjoyed a pleasant and not-too-overpriced lunch at a nearby Tony Roma's before heading to Moorea. After returning we made the mistake of going to a nearby Cheeseburger Restaurant for lunch. Rubbery burgers and highly over-seasoned fries made for not much of a lunch. It was entertaining in one aspect - we waited and waited for our order (we ordered cheeseburgers which we thought the kitchen could handle) and others were served while we sat. When we inquired, the waitress came over and said she must have forgotten to put in our order, since she's also forgotten what we'd ordered. Full marks to her for honesty at least, and also for her pride in how quickly our order arrived after she finally put in the order. Such experiences do make us appreciate the good places.

We finally splurged and tried Ruth's Chris. Yes, along with being supremely expensive, it was great, although if you take a USDA Prime ribeye and cook it in butter it should taste good. It didn't completely blow us away, and made us realize that the Certified Angus beef we're now able to buy at our neighborhood market at home is a pretty darned good product.

Last night we ate at Roy's, and enjoyed a prix fixe tasting menu.

Today we tried a Japanese buffet restaurant, Todai, just down the street from the Doubletree, for which we've seen Japanese tourists lining up in droves. It was quiet today and we walked right in. It has the ambience of an Old Country Buffet, but it has one huge sushi station with three employees preparing sushi. We thought it was quite decent. There is a large buffet of traditional Japanese fare, everything from sukiyaki to a tempura station. Some of that food was a little on the cool side, the perils of a buffet, and we probably should have made several quick trips up to pounce on food just emerging from the kitchen. It gets mixed Trip Advisor reviews, and we understand why, but even at a relatively pricy $15 for lunch we'd return.

Tonight we finish up our last little bit of packing, and head for the airport via Roberts tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

We're flying to Australia next week, so we'll just have time to read our mail and weed the yard - oh yes, and pick up our two youngest grandkids and their mother at the Vancouver Airport, flying in all the way from Alabama. They're definitely cute, as these recent professional studio photos reveal, and we're greatly looking forward to seeing them and getting them together with their cousins.

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