This is my second visit to Hawaii, the last one being 13 years ago.
- It is ridonkulosuly expensive to visit to Hawaii. I don’t remember how it was in 2000. But I know now that a family of four can’t expect to spend less than $60 for a very ordinary (and sometimes even fast-food) meal, leave alone it being all healthy. So the best bet is to mix up eating out with making your own meal when possible (quick sandwiches, readymade sushis which are abundantly available across grocery stores – yes including vegetarian sushis)
- In Honolulu, ABC stores are dozen a block. Well. Not literally but it is amazing how a single chain could take over the busiest Waikiki area. Talk about fair competition.
- It is impossible to shop for anything locally made (authentic) in busy touristy areas. All we ran into in Honolulu was another Macy’s and another Nordstrom. Well played Corporate America! NOT.
- I don’t know how long it will last but the food is something that is very uniquely local – in the sense that the kind of fusion food you get in Hawaii can only be found in Hawaii. Not saying that genuine Polynesian cuisine is available freely but it is an eclectic mix of everything local and many asian cuisines.
- Talking about Asian cuisines, Japanese is everywhere. In language spoken (including flight announcements and tourist signs), food, your fellow passenger on a local bus and even on TV.
- In spite of all the negatives, Honolulu (or Oahu for that matter), would be the ideal choice for someone moving from a city in Mainland USA to live here in Hawaii because, it still offers everything a US big city life would offer (with some premium) while ensuring what you moved to Hawaii for is not all that far off (weather, clean beaches and the hang-loose attitude).