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Travel Diary: Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Updated: Apr 17, 2022

Wednesday February 6:, 2019


We started the day with a food tour of Chinatown, the details of which are described when I discuss food. We had a little mix up but “all is well that ends well” as the Bard said. I was called on my cell phone by the guide and told what kind of car he had and where to meet him, and we were picked up as planned. Another couple was in the van, and almost retired dentist (he works one day) and his Wife from Canada. We were told by our guide Gio, short for Giovanni, how lucky we were to have just an intimate tour because, generally, they had 20 to 25 people on this particular tour. About half an hour after the tour started, I received another call on my cell phone from a man with whom, I had booked a different food tour, that I was on the wrong tour. The two guides talked and we stayed on the tour we were on, which I am sure I liked better, and by the end of the day, I was told that I would be refunded the money i paid for the other tour. Not sure how this happened, but I booked online and some how booked and paid for two separate tours. Since my original intent was to tour Chinatown, I, not necessarily BGM, ended up in the right place. I recommend Hawaii Food Tours who have tours throughout Hawaii. Gio can be reached at He also works as a cook. As a guide, he tries very hard to please and is quite generous. Anything that any of his four guests wanted to buy, he insisted on paying for. The tour cost $139 per person and is called “Hole In the Wall” and it is great for anyone who like Chinese food or Hawaiian food. Even those who do not eat red meat can have great food and our guide was most accommodating.

I did virtually all the planning for this trip for many reasons including that BGM was too busy running multiple political campaigns. I did so with the proviso that, once she did focus, there would be no criticism of my decisions and no “why did you plan this when you should have planned that”. However, after knowing BGM for over 60 years, I know that she eats to live and she knows I live to eat. She also likes to walk and eating tours, generally, involve a lot of walking.

BGM also loves museums, which, for the most part, I can take or leave. Certainly, I do not want to spend all day every day in a museum which she would be happy to do. We had previously been to Honolulu and been to Pearl Harbor as well as many of the other popular sites so, when planning this day, I went on Trip Advisor and consulted numerous other sources in order to determine what we might do this day besides eat a lot of Chinese food which I would be happy to do, but that “would be wrong” as Nixon said, and neither healthy nor fair.

I found out that Honolulu had a really good, I mean REALLY good contemporary museum so I planned to spend two hours in the museum after the food tour. When I planned the time, I thought we were taking a longer food tour than we ended up taking.

I knew that shortly before each Port, sometimes even just a few hours before we arrived, BGM would focus, ask me what we were doing and then start doing her own research in order to “fine tune” what I had planned. More times than not, I had not planned to take an Oceania preset tour, but rather hired a private guide, which is actually less expensive, and also allows for a flexible itinerary. Thus, BGM would be breaching neither the letter or the spirit of our arrangement that I would not be second guessed, because I left room for her to fill in time with activities she would like. All I really cared about was what and where I would eat and getting to see some of the highlights of each port. We both like markets and a lot of ports have great markets.

Anyway, to continue my little story, I had proudly told BGM that I reserved two hours for this really great museum, but when she went online virtually at the last minute shortly before we docked, she could not find the museum, and she told me that there was no museum worth seeing. Now, I knew she was dead wrong, but as I have tried to tell our children and BGM “being right is overrated” so I did not even try to correct BGM or argue with her. Hell, I did not really want to go to the museum. This segment of the day was for her, and, if she concluded she did not want to do it, far be it from me to argue.

Well, at the last minute, BGM discovered her error, saw that there really was a museum worth going to and we did go. The Honolulu Museum of Art turned out to be unbelievably great. There are actually two buildings—the main building and Spalding House, which is a short shuttle ride away. There ae great paintings, sculptures and other art objects from all over the world. Almost every great artist in the last 150 years is represented by at least one painting and not just any painting. Each painting was one of the best ever done by that particular artist. On a square footage basis, there are more great works of art than in any other museum we have even been to. The admission fee is $20 per person, with no senior citizen discount.

I am not going to say much about the rest of our day. We took an Uber to probably the biggest and most crowded Costco in the world. I am virtually positive that we set the Oceania world record for the amount of things we brought back onboard. This experience, including getting everything in a taxi was not fun for me.

HOT TIP: Honolulu is an underrated place playing third or fourth fiddle to the better known resorts. However, there is lots to do and see besides Pearl Harbor and I would love to spend more time there.

Nonetheless notwithstanding two hours at Costco, we both give our experience at this port an A.

AussieActive, Photographer (Unsplash)

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