Hawaiian Airlines had some great fares recently and we took advantage of the sale to book flights to Oahu to help our children move to college. Luckily, their college move-in day happened to fall on a holiday/long weekend so we were able to make it a quick getaway weekend. We headed to the airport after work on a Thursday. We got our car from Alamo and all 6 pieces of luggage made it. Thank goodness for our Pualani status on Hawaiian Airlines so we didn’t have to pay baggage fees. It did take very long for our bags to arrive at baggage claim on Oahu. In fact, we waited at baggage claim longer than it took to fly from Hilo to Oahu. We finally loaded our bags into the back of the SUV and checked into the Waikiki Prince Hotel. We had a beautiful oceanfront room on a high floor with an amazing view of the ocean! We decided to try Sura, a Korean BBQ restaurant. Since we didn’t want to look for parking, we took a 15-min walk from the hotel to the restaurant. I was a little sad that this place didn’t serve all the variety of banchan that I love, but if you love AYCE, it’s a pretty reasonable place and is in a very convenient location near Ala Moana Center and the Convention Center.
The next morning, we got up and got the children checked in at the UH Manoa dorm and got the suitcases in the rooms. There were lines all over. A line to get the key. A line to drop bags off. A line to get on the elevator. This all took a lot of time so after getting to the room, we just dropped off the bags, didn’t even unpack or set up. We made a quick stop at Fresh Catch to get some pulehu tako and then headed to Ala Moana Center where Aaron and I had lunch at Assagios. After lunch, we met the kids at Target along with it seemed all the other college kids outfitting their dorm rooms. After making a huge dent in my wallet, we lugged everything back to the dorms and left the kids there where they wanted to be on their own to do their setup. I did some Japanese grocery shopping at Nijiya and got some pantry staples that I can’t find in Hilo. After bringing the perishables to the room and getting it in the fridge, we freshened up and then left to pick the kids up for dinner with my brother and his family. I haven’t seen them since prior to the pandemic. I finally get to see Max who is now in kindergarten! We love Izakaya Nonbei and it did not disappoint. The restaurant was renovated since I had last been there. We ordered salmon sashimi, tsukemono, agedashi tofu, wafu steak, butter nasu enoki, kakuni, crispy gobo, and more. Everything went well with the Dewazakura Ichiro sake. After dinner, we dropped the kids off at their dorm and headed back to the hotel. I wasn’t expecting to tear up but maybe my hormones and the sake made me a bit emotional and so there were a few quiet tears on the drive back to the hotel.
On our last day in Honolulu, the kids still had a few more things they needed/wanted so we picked them up and made stops at Ross, Target (again), Apple Store, and Longs. We dropped my daughter off because she had plans to go to the beach with some friends then went to lunch with our son at Sekiya, a total home-style Japanese food restaurant. I enjoyed a nabeyaki saidon (saimin and udon noodle combination) sukiyaki style. Yum!
I wanted to take a nap but since we were already checked out of the hotel, that wasn’t an option. So, I stopped at HMart and picked up some Korean peppers, and headed to the airport. We were able to change our flight to an earlier flight. As frustrated as I am with Hawaiian Airlines issues like the wonky website and the difficulty in using our accumulated points, I was happy that it was so easy to switch flights. We couldn’t pick the dog up until Monday morning so the house felt extra quiet. It is time to start cleaning the house and transitioning to an empty-nest life. Living Hilo Style.