Thursday, November 29, 2018

Hawaii Trip - Day 1

Nov 23, 2018

One carry-on bag is good enough to bring some t-shirts, sandals, sun-scream, sun-glass, swimming gears, toiletries etc. I spent half an hour to pack all these items, and it was perfect for one carry-on luggage plus a backpack. I was quite excited at the night before departure, so iPhone alarm woke me up at 6 o'clock in the morning. I called Uber to San Jose Airport after a quick breakfast. On Thanksgiving day, the traffic was pretty smooth on the highway and airport. Departure flight from SJC to NHL via Alaska airline was on time at 8:30am.

The domestic flight only needs DL (drive license) which is a legit photo ID. After boarding, just sitting and relaxing with reading on the flight. There is no TV entertainment on the Delta flight. The 5.5 hours flight has some free beverage and snack, but no lunch. I purchased one which is really hard to eat for me.

I booked the transportation from airport to hotel (Courtyard by Marriott), right after I landed and headed to baggage claim area, the travel agent from Roberts Hawaii called me for airport pickup. It is not that far from airport to hotel (Waikiki beach area), and actually there is TheBus public transit. However, $30 for airport pickup and drop off is a good deal too, esp. for first time single visitor. For a small group, TheCab, TheBus, Uber and Lyft are good options too. NHL airport is kind of old facility, no wonder Trump looks for infrastructure boost and investment across the nation.

I headed to Waikiki beach right after hotel check in. I didn't remember if I had lunch or eat something now because I didn't take any photo during hotel check in and walk to Waikiki beach. (This is one reason why I need take more photos during the trip, and why I need write up the trip experience on my blog). I bought a Hawaii style t-shirt at ABC Store. I should not bring any t-shirt and shirts. :-) Waikiki beach is a world famous beach, with hotels sitting along the beach, with water sports esp. surfing, swimming, sailing etc. There are many shops, statues, plants besides the beach. Honolulu Zoo is also close to the beach. It might be a good place for toddlers.

Watching sunset is another great memory on the Waikiki beach, but I selected Chinatown near downtown Honolulu for a tour. Taking TheBus is very convenient using Google Map, which gives me the directions, waiting time and transit info. For $5.5, I got a daily pass for unlimited ride, so it is a no-brainer to get a day pass to go here and there. It took about half a hour to arrive Chinatown. Google map gave me the wrong direction, so I missed the theater and small Chinatown but I saw many homeless.


After visiting Chinatown, I headed to Hilton Village for a dinner at Benihana Teppanyaki. (It was renamed to Rocky Japanese Steak Teppan Restuarant @2005 Kalia Road, Honolulu) There are some visitors recommending this restaurant, but after dinning here, it was very disappointed. I shared the table with one Indian family and one Canadian couple. The food is not as good as I have at Bay Area. Spending $46 for such a dinner is a waste, I'd better to take some Luau like Germaine's Luau for Hawaiian-style fun with dinner at around $80. Highly recommend for other dinning option than this one.

The good thing is there is firework at Fridays, so either you sail for sunset and fireworks, or you sit at the beach, or you stand on some park, you can enjoy the firework. It seems to take about 10 minutes, but definitely a fun to your trip at Friday nights. After dinner and fireworks, I went to hotel swimming pool before sleep.

Keywords: Airport, Waikiki beach, TheBus, Benihana, Chinatown

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