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!
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.
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.
After descending back to our rented Jeep, which I fell in love with by the way, we drove to Chinatown for lunch.
Pants: Calvin Klein via swapped
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.
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.
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.
I bought an upcycled, locally made make-up bag, two sparkly hair clips, and an adorable pair of earrings by Umi, another local designer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!