Quick trip to Hawaii before work restarts for the new year. Plus obligatory post-travel quarantine. And unlike other places I've been during COVID-19, they had stern warnings to wear a mask properly, which was very encouraging-- and a sad commentary on just how bad/careless a large chunk of Americans are about keeping each other safe in a global pandemic.
Mix of sun, rain, and clouds with an early afternoon arrival to Honolulu International Airport, a quick jaunt to Ono Seafood's new Kalama Valley location for authentic poke (NOMNOMNOM!!!), then up the windward side for some shrimp in Kahuku. Unfortunately hit just enough traffic and just enough rain to miss out on Matsumoto's Shaved Ice in Hale'iwa, but did manage to luck out and catch the sunset through a break in the clouds after leaving Matsumoto's.
With short winter days and rain in the forecast, decided to leave the social distancing safety of the North Shore and head back to Honolulu proper to see how crowded (or not) Waikiki was-- stuff on the North Shore closes early in the best of times and the tourist traps up there were not appealing. Once in Waikiki, definitely less mask wearing and less social distancing than one would hope. *sigh* Quite a few businesses were closed as well, although it was hard to say if it was due to the holidays or due to COVID-19.
Headed out towards Kapiolani (McCully-Moiliili) to hit some non-tourist traps for dinner. Izakaya Torae Torae had a bit of a wait, but their kaisen don and indeed all of their seafood was fresh and delicious. Well worth the wait, the Japanese uni and the hotate (scallop) were particularly delicious. Debated trying to find more food but at that point I was running tight on time, so it was a quick drive back to the airport to return the rental car and get back on the plane.
Unlike the outbound flight, which was two-thirds empty, the return was virtually full-- lots of people ending their vacations. That said it was reasonably smooth, and United's domestic 777's are comfortable enough despite their cramped seating.
Was a nice way to end the holiday break. Still have to tackle the other food groups I missed: malasadas, loco moco, shaved ice, plate lunches, ramen, pancakes... until next time!