Honolulu: Where hopeless romantics spend Valentine’s Day alone eating red velvet cake in a UHaul

[Part 4 of the Series Where I Catch You Up on My Drinking Doings Since December.]

Oh, where to even start with this one. The title sums it up pretty well, I think.

Ok, so here’s what happened.

WAIT. I just ran out of wine. And I don’t have any more. THIS IS TRAGIC. I’ll just have to switch to something stronger.

Scotch. That should do the trick.

ANYWAY. As I was saying. Hawaii was an interesting trip. I flew in by myself on a Wednesday, landed very late, and crashed on a friend-of-a-friend’s couch. Thursday morning, I woke up early, sought out a coffeeshop, and then promptly took myself on an 8-mile hike. Because I am a badass.

DSCN1783Yeah I hiked there. Cuz I could. Don’t be jealous.

After said hike, I followed the advice of my friendly host and went to the Honolulu Burger Company for lunch. Let’s just set the stage for a moment here: I had just spent over 3 hours hiking 8 miles (and climbing 2000 feet), I was hot and sweaty and gross and starving, and nothing could have possibly satisfied me more than a burger at that very moment.

And holy crap. That burger didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was so amazing that I am not sure I’ll ever have a better burger again in my life.

Local free-range beef (from the big island). Topped with perfectly cooked Kalua pork. Topped with grilled pineapple salsa.

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OMNOMNOM.

After my feast, I had plans to go to the art museum. But instead, I went back to the apartment and showered because I was actually a gross, sweaty mess. At that point it was past 2pm and the museum wasn’t really an option.

And so, BEER.

Yes, folks. I finally made good on my promise from 2012. I went to the Kona Brewpub.

So I’m going to be honest. I wasn’t super impressed with the brewpub. It felt a bit touristy and suburban.

BUT. The beer was delicious. And that’s pretty much the only reason I went there anyway.

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As you can probably tell from the photo above, I ordered a taster tray. It contained the following beers (in order from left to right, for those of you who even care):

  • Fire Rock Pale Ale
  • Black Sand Porter
  • Paradise IPA
  • Pohaku Nui

You’re probably wondering what the hell Pohaku Nui is. I wondered too, and then the waitress told me “It’s an Imperial IPA, but it’s really strong, so…” and looked at me as if I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

Oh, PLEASE.

So duh, I ordered it. (It’s 11% abv, in case you were wondering. Wheeee!)

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After my tasters, I decided to order one more pint before leaving. So I ordered the other Hawaiian-sounding beer, the ‘Auana Ale. Apparently (I learned) this is Kona Brewing’s take on the traditional Hefeweizen, except it’s filtered.

This sort of blew my mind. Hefeweizen is always unfiltered. ALWAYS. Like, I’m pretty sure that’s a rule or something. The bartender explained that the brewers didn’t really want to make a Heff, but they wanted to see what would happen if they filtered the same recipe. It’s actually really good.

I wish I had a more exciting story to tell after this, but unfortunately I don’t. I went back to where I was staying, where my lovely hosts cooked dinner for a friend of theirs who was visiting and kindly allowed me to join. It was a lovely meal. And then I went to bed.

The next day was Valentine’s Day.

So let me preface this next part by saying two things: 1– I generally dislike Valentine’s Day (just on principle, and I feel this way regardless of my relationship status); and 2– since I often get shit for hating Valentine’s Day, I try to “like” it by doing nice things for myself.

I had decided to use the previous day as my Valentine’s gift to myself because I knew I’d be working all day on actual Valentine’s Day. (Hence the hiking and burgers and beer…I basically took myself on a day-long date.)

But weirdly, despite the fact that I got up at 7am to work on this beloved holiday, things went crazy smoothly. By noon, we had done all the errands we needed to do leading up the event I was in town for, and my coworker (who I had picked up that morning) left me to go surfing with a friend.

So there I was. In Kailua. Alone. With a 17-foot UHaul truck.

After about 20 minutes of circling, I finally found a place to leave the damn vehicle and I decided to take myself out to lunch.

I guess I get a double Valentine’s celebration! (Says the girl who hates Valentines.)

So I took myself to lunch to one of the most popular spots in town, which (obviously) serves local cuisine. Because I’m in Hawaii damnit, and I want to eat Hawaiian food.

I ate more Kalua pork, this time in sandwich form. As I was preparing to leave the restaurant, however, I noticed a display case at the front. In this case were desserts, most noticeably a red velvet cake type dessert. It wasn’t cake, per se, but more of a cake in a cup with cream. It looked just delightful.

Well, fuck it, I thought. I’m gonna pamper myself.

And so I bought a cup of red velvet cake-ish, and awkwardly asked for a plastic spoon.

And then I went on my merry way. The plan was to walk to a park, or even the beach (just a few blocks away), but then it started to rain. And so I went back to the UHaul.

And I ate my scrumptious cake with a spoon. Alone. Sitting in the driver’s seat of a UHaul. Which was parked on a busy street. On Valentine’s Day.

I swear it wasn’t weird.

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