Exploring Honolulu: Day 2

The second day in Honolulu was filled with even more adventures.

To begin with, we woke early and grabbed breakfast at the hotel. From there, we took an Uber out to Diamond Head State Monument.

We started up the trail in the midmorning. The sun was already up and it was pretty warm, though there were splashes of shade on some parts of the hike.

Up at the top we admired the beautiful views, though some of the lookouts were quite crowded.

After getting some photos we headed back down. We took a break at the bottom, grabbing a pineapple smoothie to cool off and getting a view of some of the mongoose that live in the area.

Once we’d cooled down a bit, we headed back to the hotel by Uber. We swam a bit in the pool, and I enjoyed spotting a lizard that was hanging out by the water.

Once we’d cooled off and cleaned up a bit, we took off to find some lunch. That afternoon, we were scheduled to go to the Bishop Museum at 2 PM. It had sounded like more than enough time to grab some lunch. However, by the time we were leaving the hotel it was already after noon, and then we managed to hit terrible traffic on the interstate in our Uber thanks to an accident.

By the time we got to the area of the Bishop Museum, and a place we’d scoped out for lunch, we were looking at less than an hour. When we asked about the wait time, they said about forty minutes. We asked about another place and they pointed to another one across the street. However, they were also very busy. Feeling a bit nervous about getting to our appointment on time, we decided to look for something fast in the area.

We ended up at a really grubby and unpretentious place with a window for ordering and some outdoor tables in the parking lot. It appeared to serve food at a reasonably fast pace, mostly to go, so we figured it was probably worth a shot. I was definitely a bit nervous, but I ordered a bento box, hoping one of the things in it might be ok.

The food was out a couple of minutes later, nothing fancy but hot and surprisingly tasty! I think almost everyone liked what they ordered. My bento box had some teriyaki beef, spam, fried fish, chicken katsu, and rice. Everything tasted delicious, and we were done pretty quickly.

Done with our food, we headed off to the Bishop Museum to learn more about Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. We made it just in time for our two o’clock reservation. They were actually just finishing up with a cultural festival that had been happening, so we caught the last of that before heading into the old building with most of the exhibits.

They had a wide variety of different artifacts. As I haven’t yet gotten to any other Polynesian Islands, it was some of my first experience with some of this history. I really enjoyed the wide variety the museum had to offer, as well as just the beauty of the old building it was held in.

After seeing the regular museum exhibits, we went to check out a temporary one in another building. It had a bunch of different displays made by street artists. It was fun because there were sections that truly looked like graffitied streets, and then sections that were beautiful murals and interesting different images. It made for a wonderful contrast in what some people might think of when they hear “street art” as opposed to the real talent that some of these creative people have.

After finishing up with that particular exhibit, we decided it might be nice to spend the afternoon at the Foster Botanical Garden. So, we walked in that direction. I was pretty exhausted, so my thoughts were I’d probably just find a shady spot to sit for a little bit. We were planning on having dinner not too far from there, so with a few hours to kill, it sounded like a good option. We enjoyed beautiful flowers along the walk there.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the garden, we found out they closed at four o’clock and we were too late. We were a bit surprised, but unfortunately none of us had thought to check the hours as most things tend to be open until at least six.

Feeling worn out and overheated, we opted to go walk around China Town and hopefully find a place to get some drinks to wait until dinner time.

We saw some fun buildings along the way, but once we arrived in the actual heart of China Town, we were surprised to see that a lot of businesses were boarded up. The streets were pretty quiet. Definitely nothing like China Towns that I had seen in other cities.

Thankfully, we found a bar that was open, though all of us were so thirsty no one wanted alcohol. It felt a bit strange to get sodas there, but they were pretty much empty so we didn’t feel too bad taking up the space. Everyone refreshed with their drinks for a while before we headed out to find dinner.

We started by trying to hit up The Pig and the Lady, which is supposed to be pretty amazing. Unfortunately they were reserved a month out at the time, and didn’t take walk-ins. So we were out of luck there.

We headed down to a nearby place called The Livestock Tavern. It was just a little before six, but with the holiday weekend we were still a little worried we might not get a table.

Thankfully, on getting there, the staff graciously said they could give us a table as long as we were out before 7:30 for the next guests who had a reservation. This worked just fine for us, so we went ahead and took the table.

We ordered a couple of different dishes to share. A plate of wild game corndogs with interesting dipping sauces, a lobster dip (somehow I didn’t get a picture), two salads, and duck breast.

Everything was delicious, and we enjoyed it very much. We asked our server on the way out if there were any shops actually open in the area, somewhere fun to walk around. He recommended heading down to the Aloha Tower.

Unfortunately, like with China Town it was pretty much dead. In fact it looked like most businesses had been taken over by Hawaii Pacific University offices.

Still, it was at least fun to see the tower, which used to welcome visitors to the port.

We took an Uber back to the hotel and rested for a bit. Then it was suggested, maybe we could go out along Waikiki Beach and look for drinks or dessert at a restaurant along there.

I was exhausted, but I didn’t want to be left out so I went along. Definitely a mistake. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned on my blog before that I suffer from an anxiety disorder. It sounds kind of funny that a girl who’s brave enough to travel the world over on her own, can have panic attacks about random seemingly harmless things. But it’s true. I do. And unfortunately, between the fatigue and jet lag I was already in a vulnerable place.

On top of that, the beach and the restaurants we visited were crowded. Now, I’ve never liked crowds much before now, but after a year of pretty much being agoraphobic and staying in my house to avoid getting sick, it was too much. I found myself panicking and had to get out of there.

I went to sit on the beach while others had drinks. I thankfully managed to calm down, but it took a while, and even then I knew I just needed to get back to the hotel and get some sleep.

Needless to say, I’m still adjusting to being back in busy places. It will probably take some time. Definitely am thankful I got to go on this amazing trip, but it sure was a shock to the system after so long in isolation. I’m hoping by the next time I go traveling, I’ll be more adjusted and can enjoy everything new places have to offer.

Stay tuned for the next couple days. More adventures around the island of Oahu to come!

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