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The first day

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Update (Sunday 9:30 am):  We didn't go to Ono's the first night because it's closed at 7:45pm (bizarre!) so we went to Phuket Thai instead.

This journal is written inside our hotel room at 6:45pm:'s been a long day. We woke up at 7:30 am and drove to oakland airport to catch the 10:00 am flight. We took ATA airlines, which is kind of disappointing, because they don't serve foods on board. Imagine that we were on board for 5+ hours without a satisfying meal!! so the first thing we do after we got our rental car is to find great local food. And to my amazement, the local here don't really know or don't really dare to recommend a good place to eat. Strange...  I asked the AVIS rental guy and the woman at information center about great hawaiian barbeque place, but their response was..."Hawaii don't really have any bbq, we have korean bbq" that's really strange....!

So after picking up our car (we got Subaru Forrester), we just head off to waikiki hoping to find some good restaurants.

And, we ended up on Tony Roma's hahaha... But one (local) couple we met recommended China Town and Ono's for great local food. I'm so excited when I heard the name Ono's. because that's what I got from Brent's journal,.  we're going there tonight, I'll update this journal again when we got back.

Oh, there's a pleasant surprise though. at first i was kind of worried about our hotel. We rented a condominium type room that has 2 bedrooms, which cost about $360 a night. It's crazily expensive, but that's the cheapest we can find. The resort name is Resort Quest wakiki beach tower. the hotel is under renovation apparently and so when we went to a temporary check-in counter,

Aniway, one of the receptionist escorted us to our room at level 16. when she was opening the door, I was silently praying that I'm not going to see any horrible condition (because we're going to be here for 4 nights). And....the moment she opened the room.....almost 5 of us shouted "WOWWW"".... I'm utterly shocked, because the room is very clean, and very very NICE....hehhee photos later...

It's harder to explain but I'll just attach photos later....

The waikiki beach is very beautiful, there are a lot of people walking down the busy street. I am so ready to jump into the water, but Henny stopped me :( We're going to swim tomorrow though :)

I don't think I can upload photos right away, I need to wait till I get back home because I forgot the transfer cable....bummer!

The weather here is just nice. It feels like summer in Bay Area but there's some cool breeze. It seems like a good place to retire here (if you can afford the house here hehhee). It's 5 hours from San Francisco and 5 hours from asia (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan).

We went to a grocery store right off the KalaKaua Avenue (main street of Waikiki beach), and everything is almost double the price. Sun block costs $6.99...ridiculous, a small box of pineapples costs $ offff....but i bought it aniway, I can't resist the sweet taste of hawaiian pineapple :D

Oh, one last thing, Mc Donalds tastes a bit different than in Bay Area (Okay, It might just be me), but I feel the chicken nuggets are tasteless, but the fries are tastier. But the crazy thing is everything here costs twice as much. The big mac meal combo costs $8.50, but with a little caveat, it also comes with "fresh serving of cut pineapples". that's exaclty how it was displayed..... and on the side it says...."Sorry, we are out of pineapples today" ironic....hawaii doesn't have enough pineapples...maybe I ate the last pineapple on the island :D

So at around 8 pm we drove to Phuket Thai (rated the best Thai place on Yahoo Travel). it's pretty close to our hotel (around waikiki), about 5-10 minutes drive, and the restaurant is inside a complex of other restaurants and shops. The moment I step into the place I have a good feeling that this is going to turn out great. The ambience is actually pretty good, it's not that dark or bright, the waiter/ess are wearing all blacks and seem very professional.

So we ordered a pad kee mao (because we saw the other table is ordering that, and it looked yummy), green curry chicken, and fish in ginger soy sauce. The price is reasonable, I think most dishes are around $8-$12, and the portion is considerable. And the best of all??? it's the think I'm voting this restaurant as "one of the best" that I've tasted, on par with those in bay areas :D. I don't think I was that hungry at that time, which could considerably impair my judgement, but as I was eating the food, I'm already plotting a second or third visit :D i've devoted two paragraphs of the first day to Phuket Thai only, I think I should stop and I'm whole heartedly recommending any one that's visiting Honolulu to try it out.


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The big island

oahu, hawaii, United States