Links for tonight’s times for lunar eclipse. Waikiki, a busy place…Dining out…Not as pricey as we thought…A year ago…a favorite safari photo…

Please click here for worldwide times of upcoming lunar eclipse.

Sunday night’s waning sun on a overcast evening; a sailboat and a glimpse of the sun in the horizon.

We took off on foot to find a restaurant for our first dinner out in Waikiki. After checking Trip Advisor, we gave up trying for top rated restaurants, many of which required a cab ride.

Waikiki Beach on a sunny day.

With many popular establishments within walking distance, we decided to wing it for this short period in Waikiki when preferring to walk as opposed to taking taxis. Why pay an extra $25 a night for a round trip taxi fare when many good restaurants are nearby?

The clouds rolled in quickly for a stormy night.

After an amazing dinner on Sunday night in a popular hotel’s restaurant, Kuhio Beach Grill, we look forward to trying it another night. Each evening, this restaurant, located in the Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, has a varying buffet theme for $29.95 on Monday through Thursday and for $37.95 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with a 20% discount for early birds between 5 and 6 pm.

We had no expectations of good food in Waikiki but the experience at Kuhio Beach Grill gave us hope, especially when the chef visited our table to discuss my dietary concerns. He made a fabulous dinner salad with grilled chicken, avocado, and veggies, adding freshly made fresh blue cheese dressing. We were impressed, to say the least.

Although at quite a distance, it was fun to see flamingos.

Tom, not a fan of salads and various side dishes, stuck to the prime rib and mashed potatoes, going back for seconds along with a few pieces of cake for dessert. He didn’t take another item off of the buffet. With crab legs, shrimp, and fabulous sides, he stuck with the meat and potatoes forgoing any of the wide selections of bread and rolls.

Once we land in Maui in nine days, our first outing will be the grocery store to buy items for preparing our own meals. Tom will then join me in eating “my way” hopefully losing a few of those “cruise food” pounds he picked up while out to sea. 

Again at quite a distance, we spotted this bird.  If you know the name of this bird, please comment. 

There are reports that claim that the average cruiser gains six pounds on a 14-night cruise. I can easily imagine how that transpires with the readily available eye-catching foods at any time of the day, including mountains of sweets and baked goods. Surely, without my restrictions, I would definitely have gained weight as well when it would’ve been difficult to resist some of the temptations. 

We’re getting used to this modest one-room condo and are doing well, especially after making the few modifications we mentioned in yesterday’s post. Neither of us feels we could live here for an extended period but with only nine days remaining, we’ll be fine.

Busy Waikiki Beach at dusk.

Walking the streets of Waikiki Beach is entertaining, to say the least. Tourists line the streets as well as the locals appearing happy to be living in Hawaii hopefully having figured out how to manage with the high cost of living. 

Yesterday, while on a walk, we stopped to read a menu at the top of a flight of stairs of a local restaurant, running into a couple we’d met on the cruise, as they exited the restaurant after breakfast. We all giggled at the irony of running into them in this busy area. They are staying at a hotel, next to ours. Small world.

The menu at the Kuhio Beach Grill as opposed to choosing the $37.95 buffet. The chef made a special chicken and avocado salad for me along with special salad dressing.

From what we’ve seen, it’s certainly no more expensive in Hawaii than in Paris, London, or any other big cities we’ve visited in our travels, including Boston and Vancouver. Urban Honolulu is rated among the most expensive cities in the US, based on varying reports online.

But, like everywhere, one can learn to adapt.  We’ve been able to dine out the past two nights for around $65 including a 15% tip, with no cocktails or beverages. We’ve found that by avoiding the added cost of beverages to our bill we’re able to keep our dining out costs under control. 

My main meal chicken and avocado salad with special bleu cheese dressing were delicious.

It’s easy to see how adding a few glasses of wine or cocktails for each of two diners, can easily shoot the bill upwards of $100. We’ve budgeted $100 a day for our meals while in Honolulu and are certain we’ll be able to stay within this amount.

As always, it’s about trade-offs. Tom purchased a bottle of brandy, duty-free, on the ship before we disembarked. If he decides to have a cocktail or two before dining out, he usually has no interest in ordering another in the restaurant, preferring tap water with his meal. I only drink water and tea rarely bothering to order bottled water with a meal providing that the water is safe to drink.  

Tom’s prime rib and mashed potatoes from the buffet at Kuhio Beach Grill. He went back for an identical second serving when the meat was so tender he cut it with a butter knife.

It’s these simple steps that ultimately save us $100’s when dining out for extended periods such as the most recent 77 days in a row.

The sunsets over Waikiki beach are amazing although we missed Sunday night’s sky clouded over. While we dined it was raining in buckets. Our server gave us a plastic bag to cover the camera, making running back in the rain to our condo less worrisome. 

Clouds rolling in.

On the return run in the rain, we stopped at a local grocer to buy creamer for Tom’s morning coffee and of course, Macadamia nuts for me. After all, we are in the land of Macadamias. Who knew that Macadamia nuts originated in Australia? Here’s a link to some interesting facts about the production of the nuts.

Honolulu/Waikiki Beach is an interesting place to visit. It’s hot, humid, and crowded and surely, we look forward to the less hurried pace of islands to come. In the interim, we’re living in the moment, reveling in every bit of our surroundings.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, October 7, 2013:

This photo was posted one year ago today from our safari in the Maasai Mara. Using no zoom on the camera, we got this photo that clearly illustrates the bugs on his nose. We were very close, keeping our arms inside the vehicle. Notice the zebra carcass behind him. He seemed relatively uninterested in us as we sat there for quite some time, watching him. This is the photo I currently use for a screensaver on my laptop which so bespeaks the extraordinary experience we had, never to be forgotten. For more photos and details from that date, please click here.

Comments and responses Links for tonight’s times for lunar eclipse. Waikiki, a busy place…Dining out…Not as pricey as we thought…A year ago…a favorite safari photo…

  1. liz Reply

    ooh! I LOVE Macadamia nuts too- they are very very expensive here in the UK it is a rare treat to have them approx £20 a kilo as oppose to £5 a kilo for peanuts!

  2. Jessica Reply

    Liz, they are also my favorites. But, they are no bargain here in Hawaii. Tom and I did the math and they are as expensive here in Hawaii as they are in the UK. I still had to had some although at that price I won't be buying too much more unless we find a place that sells them in bulk.

    They are very low carb and high in healthy fats, perfect for my way of eating. The problem is that its hard to eat just a few.

    Its lovely in Hawaii. I see why many people dream of living on these islands. Honestly, its no more costly here than in Paris, London and other big cities.

    Hope you both are doing well.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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