Aloha Oahu

I was wearing dark skinny jeans and multiple layers of shirts. My luggage was jam packed with clothes but what I really need wasn’t top. Plus, I would have to rummage through it in the lobby and find a place to change. At least I had my sandals on. My feet could breathe, even if the rest of my body was suffocating.

Note number 2, pack a quick change of clothes at the very top next time.

That old airplane sandwich didn’t fill our stomachs, so we walked around downtown and found Marukame, a Japanese noodle restaurant my friend recommended.

Upon entering the cafeteria-style restaurant, you see a happy man making noodles by hand. I was extra anxious to try this place; now knowing they make their noodles fresh.

As we quickly shuffled our way around the counter with plastic trays, we picked our udon soup flavor and chose sides to go along with it.

I got ontama bukkake udon ($4.25) and for an extra $3, I grabbed musubi and inari.

What a deal.

The udon noodles were soft yet chewy and the best I’ve ever had in my life. There was a good ratio of noodles to soup, so the noodles never got mushy. The soft-boiled egg was perfect and made the soup creamy, while the fried tempura topping gave the soup a crunchy texture.

The inari, rice wrapped in beancurd skin was basic, nothing that special. The musubi, filled with rice and seaweed, was also nothing spectacular. But that’s what I expected from these two sides.

On the other hand, Jason got a tempura soft-boiled egg—crunchy, soft and then gooey yolk. It reminded us of the time we went to Kyoto and had the same thing. Not nearly as good, but close enough.

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By the time we finished eating, the line was quite long. Fortunately, we beat the crowd. I heard there’s always a line, so be sure to give yourself adequate time if you go! Which you should, if you’re ever in Oahu, best udon ever!

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We had 2 more hours to kill, so we roamed around the International Market Place, which turned into a buzz kill because the uninteresting shops were selling exactly same stuff. We did see a Chinese restaurant named “Fatty’s,” which I thought was funny.

Dehydrated, tired and hot, we wanted to find a place on the beach and grab a drink. We walked around and around, looking for this specific bar, but couldn’t. I was ready to die of a heatstroke—jeans and now a belly full of hot soup. I obviously was not accustomed to Hawaii yet.

“Anywhere!” I told Jason. I was ready to pass out.

We plopped beachside at the Mai Tai Bar of The Royal Hawaiian Resort. It was right on Waikiki Beach and jam-packed of people.

Weeks leading up to our vacation, I told Jason I had to get a piña colada and fresh coconut in Hawaii.

I was ready to check the first requisite off my list, an authentic Hawaiian piña colada. But damn, it was hot and I knew it would be sweet and wouldn’t satisfy by thirst.

Large, ice cold local beer, please.

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Ahhhh. So refreshing. I made a good choice. Piña colada would have to wait.

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