Exploring Honolulu

Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii (which itself is made up of eight main islands). It’s at the south end of Oahu, the most populated island. The island has close to a million residents, with more than 1/3 living in Honolulu. Visiting a big city might be a strange way to “get away from it all,” but being city folk, it’s was a nice transition stop for us.

Friday Morning we awoke to a gorgeous view. Hawaii really is the Rainbow State!

rainbow in Waikiki

First stop: Diamond Head, a volcanic cone at the edge of Honolulu. The crater is a 1.1 mile winding hike up to the top, where we were rewarded with a 360 degree view of the city and ocean.

view from Diamond Head

If you go, go early. The throngs of tourists slowed us down a bit on the way up. We passed most of them and even ran the last portion–99 steps straight up–to an old military lookout.

Jean with Honolulu in distance

After descending back to our rented Jeep, which I fell in love with by the way, we drove to Chinatown for lunch.

lava wall

Top: Gifted
Purse: Shiraleah
Pants: Calvin Klein via swapped
Shoes: Naturalizer
Sunglasses: Corner store in Santa Fe

My dreams of vegan dim sum were shattered when we found out the restaurant had changed hands and was now just a regular dim sum place. So we wandered around until we stumbled on Adega Portuguesa. Hubby and I ate and drank and prepped for the afternoon.

The highlight of my day was finding a cluster of shops near the restaurant, in the Chinatown Arts District. First stop: Roberta Oaks. I met Roberta, who designs, sews and sells all the clothes in her store.

RO womenswear

RO menswear

I bought a chambray dress from her, as well as a upcycled cuff made in Namibia of old PVC pipe. It’s hand-carved and looks like bone or horn–but it’s vegan and sustainable! The fair-trade company, The Base Project, enables artisans to hone their crafts, helps their communities, and earns them money for education, healthcare, and food. Hubby bought aviators, and I also got a leather-look rubber wrap bracelet, a ring made by a friend of Roberta.

My purchases at RO

Around the corner was Owens & Co., which I’d read about in Lucky Magazine. Missy, owner of the shop, has a wonderful collection of gifts and accessories. I found books and onesies, bags and stationary.

Owens & Co

Owens collage

I bought an upcycled, locally made make-up bag, two sparkly hair clips, and an adorable pair of earrings by Umi, another local designer.

purchases from Owens

Next door is La Muse, another great store. By now I was trying to reign in my spending so I only grabbed a pair of earrings and two stretchy spiked bracelets.

purchase from La Muse

Owner Juli Chu makes all of the jewelry in the shop–many pieces with Swarovski crystal, and also stocks it with fresh casual wear perfect for Hawaii.

La Muse

We stopped back at the hotel so I could change my top and shoes–mostly because even though I’d packed lightly, I was afraid I wouldn’t wear all the things I’d brought, which would prove I’d hadn’t packed light enough.

Jean and Teddy

Top: Target
Shoes: Timberland

We walked from our hotel to the shopping center of Waikiki. It was hugely popular, but I just wasn’t interested. After meeting local designers and shop owners, big name brands didn’t cut it. I can buy a designer handbag in Seattle or any other city. But it was fun to grab a latté and wander around the avenue, people watching and taking in the warm breeze.

designer stores in Waikiki

Walking all day in the heat tired us out so we grabbed a quick nap at the hotel before heading back to Chinatown for cocktails. We’d heard great things about Hotel 39, and stopped by for drinks on a rooftop courtyard. Inside, the DJ spun house music and we watched the regulars mingle and dance. I wore my new Roberta Oaks dress.

Our trips might be short, but we sure do cram a lot into them. We didn’t stay past midnight; we had another busy day ahead of us.

Next stop: Kailua to check into our cottage on the beach!


Filed under Fashion, Travel

6 responses to “Exploring Honolulu

  1. What a wonderful, fun trip!!

  2. Love of great scores at those shops, Jean! Can’t wait to see them in person!!

  3. Well, color me jealous! I have one sis who lives there, another who just visited, and now you, My Dear!!! What a fabulous time you had -I will have to ask my sis if she knows about those stores because they seem right up her alley. I can’t wait to see the chambray dress on you and to see more pics of the trip. I have to live vicariously! 😉 ~Sarah

    • Nice that you have a sis who lives there! Free place to stay 🙂 The area that had those shops (Pauaha St. and Nuuanu St.) Had other cool stores too. But there’s only so much damage I can afford to do in a day!

      I have plans to style that dress with tights and boots and a sweater so I don’t have to wait until July to wear it.

      Hope you’re feeling better these days.

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