But that’s only if you’re talking to Brent. I thought it was great!
We parked at Nico’s Pier 38 and wandered in for some brunch. You take a menu and order right there at the host/cashier stand. I ordered the special catch of the day which was swordfish, and Brent ordered the chowder in a bread bowl. It was pretty empty so we were able to get a seat right next to the window overlooking the harbor.
Don’t ask me what this face is, I have no idea.
Our order was called out and Brent went to go pick it up from the counter.
I thought it was interesting that even though we were at a sit down restaurant, the food still came in a to-go plate lunch container. Something we try to do when we go out to eat is order different things and then share! That way you get to try so much more.
As we ate, two musicians started setting up. If we had gotten there a little later in the day we would have been treated to some tunes. There is a bar in the middle of the restaurant space and I am looking forward to getting some drinks and listening to some ukulele or saxophone! Take a look at their page near the bottom to see their calendar of musicians. After our meal we wandered through the little market they had attached to the main restaurant. They were selling souvenir cups, shirts, trinkets, and fresh caught fish as well as poke! It’s on our list to go back for some. They also have a new restaurant + fish market location in Kailua open at the time of this posting for lunch only, but they seem to be planning on adding dinner hours.
In our opinions, the food was decent, nothing special, but the atmosphere seemed to be pretty promising, especially with live music. It would definitely be the music drawing us back for a return trip.
Then it was time to walk! And walk and walk and walk and walk. We left our car at the dirt lot at Nico’s and started walking towards Waikiki following Ala Moana Boulevard. I don’t think I quite realized how far it would be …
It was gorgeous walking along the harbor and seeing all of the different types of boats. Some were coast guard, some were for fishing, some were specifically for ocean clean up which we thought was pretty cool! We also passed quite a few elaborate homeless camps.We passed by pretty quickly as a mentally ill man who was actually foaming at the mouth started chasing another guy who was crossing the road. Being “homeless in paradise” is not all it is cracked up to be.
After about 30 minutes of walking we came across a big landmark that I had been wanting to check out, Aloha Tower.
The tower and surrounding marketplace are now just shells of what they once were. The Aloha tower used to be what ship passenger and crews would scan the horizon for to know they were getting close to land. Hula dancers would perform on the stage, leis would be distributed, a ship coming into the harbor would be a full on festival. It was the welcoming point for all visitors to the island. It even survived World War II with a camouflage coat of paint!
Now, we have the airport.
Cruise ships still dock nearby, and there are still a few shops and restaurants open in the marketplace so it isn’t 100% a ghost town. You can take a rikedy elevator up to the top and read about the history on weather worn signs around the tower. The views are pretty stellar!
After heading back down we found a sign about the humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa.
Try saying that five times fast!
The humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa is Hawaii’s state fish, it’s English name is wedge-tail triggerfish. Next to the sign, you could look straight down into the water and see a little bit of coral with quite a few colorful fish! I call that on-land snorkeling. 🙂
We saw a sign for a Maritime museum and headed over only to see there was a “CLOSED” sign and a security guard posted outside. 😦 The sign said most of the museum’s items had been moved to the Bishop Museum
Still following Ala Moana Boulevard, which led us away from the water, we saw some amazing street art that I have been wanting to take a picture of for a while. We actually discovered even more by braving the lovely alley smell and ducking behind the buildings near Auahi and Cooke Streets.
We finally made it to our destination, which was Kewalo Harbor. We had a reservation for an activity in the harbor (review will be posted next!) but we were much too early even after our 3 mile walk. We were also worried that if we left the car at Nico’s until the end of our activity, we would be shut in to their parking lot by the gate so we headed back. Yep, another 3 miles!
I was definitely not wearing the right shoes for such a long walk, but we made it! We couldn’t find a sign stating when Nico’s gate would close, or if it would at all, so we might have been fine, who knows. Better safe than sorry!
After all of that we felt pretty sweaty but also pretty accomplished. And we got to explore quite a bit along the way!
Comment below, which street art masterpiece is your favorite?