Monday, January 10, 2011

Aloha 2011!

It's time to officially kick off OUR golf year. Jimmy is starting the year at the Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii. Although I am sad to be missing the tournament this year, after hearing about Jimmy's travel day it would have been a very long day for baby and I. So, instead we wished J luck, and sent him on his way.

But the good news for all your Tour Wife Travels followers (as few of you as there may be at the moment!) is that I have been to this tournament a few times in years past so I have plenty of "insider information" to pass along this week!

So without further adieu -- my first Tour Wife Travels post!

Honolulu is the melting pot of Hawaii and if you have the opportunity to spend time in this city, it's easy to get lost in all the hustle and bustle. Here are a few tips to make this large city feel a bit smaller and a bit more manageable.

EAT.

You can find anything and everything in Honolulu but sushi is a must. No matter your price range, there is a sushi stop for everyone.

First and foremost is Nobu Waikiki located at The Parc Hotel. ( 2233 Helumoa Road +1.808.237.6999 ) A favorite spot for Tour players such as D.A. Points and Chris Stroud; with it's fabulous food and head chef Nobu Matsuhisa usually in residence during the week of the Sony Open, it's inevitable that you will see a professional golfer enjoying Nobu every night during the Sony Open. A word of caution - Nobu is quite pricy and leaving with a bill of $200+ is usually the norm but well worth it for a special night out.

For sushi on a budget (sushi?? budget?? oxymoron) a great hole-in-the-wall spot in Waikiki is Furusato Sushi (2424 Kalakaua Ave +1.808.922.4991) located across from Kuhio State Park. No frills. No gimmicks. Just quick, easy, good sushi that so far hasn’t disappointed us.

I have quite a few more restaurants to suggest but I have to save something for next year, right?

SHOP.

From Tiffany & Co and Gucci, to Billabong and Volcom, there is a ton of shopping in Waikiki. But in my opinion, the most fun thing to do is to take a stroll through the International Market Place in the heart of Waikiki. A unique shopping experience guaranteed to send you home with nothing you really need, but full of fun trinkets to remember your Honolulu trip.

The key to the International Market Place is the art of bargaining. If you don’t put your bargaining skills to the test you will be highly over paying for Aunt Ida’s Christmas present, but over paying for everything seems to be the norm in Honolulu. Don’t feel bad haggling down on the price for that cute sterling silver bracelet or obnoxious print shirt – the locals are used to it and inflate their prices accordingly.

If bargaining isn’t your thing, (Tiffany’s probably won’t appreciate you telling them their diamond earrings are “too much, too much”!) you can stick to all the regular stores along Kalakaua Ave and over pay with all the rest of the tourists.


STAY.

On our most recent trips to Honolulu, Jimmy and I have stayed at the Moana Surfrider, a Westin property. It’s a nice hotel right in the middle of Waikiki, which has its pros and cons.

Pros:

- Walking distance to all the shopping and dining, it’s the perfect place to stay if you want to be in the middle of the action.

- Beachfront property along Honolulu’s busy Waikiki beach. Great for taking a quick splash in the ocean then running up to your room to change. Some epic people watching but some of the bikinis are not exactly rated G.

- Fantastic bar with fun drinks and perfect for watching the sunset across the Pacific Ocean.

- Good gym that over looks Kalakaua Ave. With the huge windows over looking the street, I highly suggest wearing something you don’t mind all of Hawaii seeing you sweat your butt off in.

Cons:

- Rooms on the street-side of the hotel can be quite noisy.

- The rooms in the original part of the hotel are renovated but about the size of my son’s crib. The rooms in the towers are not renovated but much larger.

- Not the most child friendly hotel as the pool is very small but great for families with teens who enjoy all the action

All in all, the Moana Surfrider is a fun Honolulu hotel that is perfect for families or couples that want to be busy the whole trip.

For those who are lucky enough to be in Honolulu this week, get out and watch golf at the Sony Open and cheer on the worlds best… in the rain.

I hope you enjoyed my first post. It’s a work in progress and it may take my post-baby-brain a bit to get back in to thinking mode. I am open to comments and suggestions – be gentle please!

Cheers!

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