Hawaii Mom Blog






April 28, 2017

Rainbow Drive-In

Ever since my first visit to popular plate lunch spot Rainbow Drive-In a few years ago, I find myself often going there on the way home from Waikiki to buy Slush Floats.  Besides being so delicious and refreshing, the Slush Floats help to keep my kids quiet on the ride home as they just slurp away!

Strawberry Slush Float
On our most recent visit, we not only picked up Slush Floats, but also some food to eat for dinner.
Boneless Chicken with Gravy All Over


Chili Dog

French Fries

Mix Plate - BBQ Beef, Boneless Chicken, Mahi

Tater Tots + Chili

I got the Boneless Chicken with Gravy (All Over!).  It's so good, and it's the only thing (besides the Slush Floats) that I order at Rainbow Drive-In.

Portions are generous, prices are reasonable, and Rainbow Drive-In doesn't disappoint when it comes to delivering tasty, local comfort food!

Rainbow Drive-In
3308 Kanaina Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 737-0177
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Happy Hour at P.F. Chang's Waikiki

I've only been to P.F. Chang's once, when I dined at the no longer-in-existence Hokua location.

During our recent Waikiki staycation, we decided to go to Happy Hour at P.F. Chang's, which is located at the Royal Hawaiian Center.

Nat had blogged about the Happy Hour at P.F. Chang's several years ago, and although the times, prices, menu, and portion sizes may have changed since she last enjoyed Happy Hour there, I thought it was still a great option for a meal!

Kapiki Ahi Canoes

Crab Wontons

Pork Dumplings

Dynamite Chicken

Spring Rolls
The Happy Hour (4pm - 6pm daily) bites were delicious.  I enjoyed everything (I didn't eat the sushi, however).  The Dynamite Chicken was my favorite.  The tempura-battered pieces of chicken had a bit of a kick.  I also really enjoyed the Pork Dumplings, which were pan-fried until crispy, and served with a chili sauce.

Each of my kids opted for the Kids Chicken Fried Rice.  

For dessert, we decided to share the Great Wall of Chocolate.
The Great Wall of Chocolate
The six-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips was sinful!  It was so rich, and the five of us in our family struggled to eat our share. It was so huge - we ended up with lots left on the plate!

Our server was excellent, always anticipating what we may need.

We'd definitely take advantage of the Happy Hour specials at P.F. Chang's again!

P.F. Chang's
Royal Hawaiian Center
2201 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 628-6760
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April 27, 2017

Outrigger Resorts Announces Special Room Packages and Events for Mele Mei

Hawai’i visitors will sing a new tune thanks to exclusive room packages now available at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort in celebration of Mele Mei, also known as “May Hawaiian Music Month.” Both packages include room and exceptional accommodations at Mele Mei musical performances at either Blue Note Hawaii or Kani Ka Pila Grille. Outrigger Hotels and Resorts’ Mele Mei packages include:

‘Rhythm & Blue Note’ Package at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
• City view room starting at $259
• Two (2) loge seats with two (2) standard cocktails at Blue Note Hawaii

Blue Note Hawaii at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort will host select concerts throughout the month of May that feature celebrated local musicians. Performances are twice a night at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.: 
• Saturday, May 6 – Meleana Brown
• Sunday, May 7 – Meleana Brown
• Tuesday, May 16 – Danny and Nicholas Kaleikini
• Tuesday, May 23 – Willie K.

Travel by December 31, 2017. Guest receives Blue Note Hawaii vouchers and instructions to book a show at check-in. Rates are in U.S. dollars. Rates are per room, per night. Tax and gratuity are included for Blue Note Hawaii tickets and cocktails. Taxes are not included for guest room. Cannot be combined with other offers. Subject to availability and change. Restrictions may apply.

‘Kani Ka Pila Grille Hawaiian Music’ Package at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort
• Standard room starting at $275
• Priority seating for two (2) at Kani Ka Pila Grille
• One (1) deluxe pupu platter
• One (1) Mai Tai or other specialty drink from menu
• One (1) autographed CD of Kani Ka Pila Grille’s featured Hawaiian music artist

Kani Ka Pila Grille at the Outrigger Reef Beach Resort hosts nightly performances that feature new and legendary local artists. The weekly lineup of electrifying musicians include well-known names such as Maunalua, Weldon Kekauoha, Robi Kahakalau, Kuana Torress Kahele, Sean Na’auao and much more. Concerts are daily from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Travel by December 31, 2017. Rates are in U.S. dollars. Rates are per room, per night. Cannot be combined with other offers. Subject to availability and change. Restrictions may apply. Taxes are not included.

“Sharing the culture of aloha with our visitors from around the world is an integral part of what distinguishes Outrigger Hotels and Resorts and the experience that we offer our guests,” said Luana Maitland, Director Cultural Events & Activities. “We are proud of our ongoing support of Mele Mei to spread the beautiful music of our islands with the world.”

These packages and events are part of Outrigger Hotels and Resorts support of Mele Mei. This year’s seventh annual Mele Mei features more than 80 performances throughout the Hawaiian Islands, providing both residents and visitors from around the world a chance to immerse themselves in the islands’ local music and culture. This year’s impressive schedule of artists and industry icons will take place at various hotels and venues statewide and feature entertainment from ‘ukulele and steel guitar to traditional Hawaiian music and hula.

Rates are for single/double occupancy, plus taxes, and rooms are subject to availability.  Guests must present their I.D.  badge, ticket, or receipt for any of the events to the front desk prior to check out in order to qualify for the room rates. For guaranteed best rates – book at: www.outrigger.com.

For more information on Mele Mei please visit www.melemei.com. You can also follow Mele Mei on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MeleMeiHawaii, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/melemeiand on Instagram at www.instagram.com/melemei as well as the hashtag #melemei2017.
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Waikiki Beach Services at Sheraton Waikiki

Guests of the Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort have access to the Helumoa Playground.  With two fresh water swimming pools, including a 70-foot long water slide, a mini slide, two whirlpools, and a fountain area, the Helumoa Playground offers guests of both the Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Waikiki hours and hours of fun (we should know, since our family spent hours and hours there the last time we staycationed at Sheraton Waikiki)!  My kids were ecstatic with this news during our recent staycation at the Royal Hawaiian, since they absolutely loved the Helumoa Playground, and all they could talk about was the water slide!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day when we headed to the Helumoa Playground.

And that meant lots of sunshine.

Fortunately, we had a reservation for two Helumoa Mini Cabanas via Waikiki Beach Services.

Waikiki Beach Services

A Waikiki Beach Services employee escorted us to our mini cabanas, laid out towels on the cushions, and I was ready to relax while the kids played in the pool and went on the water slide.

But the kids wanted to test out the cabanas first...
The boys needed to test out the lounge chairs
Before long I was relaxing in the cabana on a cushioned, comfortable lounge chair
My view as I relaxed on the lounge chair beneath the cabana
It was very relaxing in the mini cabana.  I actually dozed off a couple of times while my husband and kids played in the pool.

There are several mini cabanas, as well as water loungers and luxury cabanas, available for rent around the Helumoa Playground.

Lots of mini cabanas and water loungers

Luxury cabanas offer a great view of Diamond Head

In addition to cabana rentals, Waikiki Beach Services offers surf lessons, outrigger canoe rides, surfboard rentals, and more (servicing guests of both Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Waikiki, as well as non-guests who are simply interested in participating in fun activities at Waikiki Beach).

My view almost the entire day!
I'm so glad we had the use of the Helumoa Mini Cabanas.  The loungers were so comfy, and the shade helped to shield us from the blazing sun.

I highly recommend making a reservation in advance if you plan on visiting the Helumoa Mini Cabanas, especially on a weekend, because they were in high demand on the day we visited!

Waikiki Beach Services
Sheraton Waikiki
2259 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 388-1510

Mahalo to Waikiki Beach Services / Starwood Hawaii for hosting our cabana rentals..
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Visit Tokyo: Hana Matsuri

After spending some time shopping in the crazy busy Tokyo station, we decided to eat dinner in the Kitamachi Dining area of Tokyo Station City.

The eatery specializes in kushikatsu (deep-fried skewered foods), and offered a lot of other deep fried dishes.

Complimentary vegetables

Corn Dogs


Fish kushikatsu

Onion rings



Yes - we ordered a lot of deep fried food, but everything was delicious and satisfying, especially after a long day of exploring and shopping.

The restaurant was busy, and there were only two servers who were scurrying around (with a smile!) trying to help everyone.

The restaurant was actually a smoking restaurant, but fortunately, while we were dining there was only one person smoking, so the smoke didn't really bother us (although had I known before hand that it was a smoking restaurant, I would not have gone there).

Hana Matsuri provided us a place to sit and eat good food before doing even more shopping and exploring!

Hana Matsuri
1-9-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda
Tokyo 2F03-6256-0487 (+81-3-6256-0487)
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April 26, 2017

Pretzelmaker Celebrates Grand Opening at Windward Mall on National Pretzel Day

It’s knot a joke, Pretzelmaker will celebrate its grand opening at Windward Mall on Wednesday, April 26, by giving away one free original pretzel per person from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Offer valid at the Windward Mall location only. No purchase necessary. The new 460 square-foot store is located on the upper level near Ben & Jerry’s.

“To add a fun twist we’re celebrating our grand opening on National Pretzel Day and giving shoppers a chance to each enjoy one free original pretzel,” said Casey Kobayashi, Windward Mall Pretzelmaker owner. “We’re excited to join the Windward Mall ‘ohana and offer our all-natural handcrafted lemonade, creamy blended drinks, ice cold beverages and signature pretzel products.”

Since 1991, Pretzelmaker has been rolling out fresh-baked and handcrafted pretzels – with a twist! The Pretzel Dog and Pretzel Bites are Pretzelmaker’s claims to innovative fame. Their hot pretzels are made from scratch with whole ingredients and you can see the team rolling pretzels in store every day.

For more information on Windward Mall, please visit www.WindwardMall.com or call 808-235-1143.
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Afternoon Tea at the Moana Surfrider

The first time I ever went to Afternoon Tea was almost 13 years ago.  The day before my wedding, my maid of honor and another friend treated me to Afternoon Tea at the Moana Surfrider, and I had such a lovely time.

A couple of weekends ago, I went back to the Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, for Afternoon Tea at The Veranda at the Beachhouse, but this time with my family!

We were presented with six teas to choose from.

Moana Royale is one the most popular teas offered.  It is a tropical black tea blend with lilikoi, papaya, mango, banana, and coconut.  I loved the fruity essence of this mild tea.

Moana Royale
My husband opted for the Veranda Breeze - a blend of black tea, Big Island vanilla, and caramel.
Veranda Breeze
There are three tea experiences for adults to choose from, and we chose the Veranda Tea, which includes tea, three savory tea sandwiches, blueberry orange scones, and a sampling of pastries and petit fours.

Pastrami on Focaccia  / Truffle Egg Salad  / Smoked Salmon on Rye with Furikake Cream Cheese

Blueberry Orange Scones with Devonshire Cream and Lilikoi Curd

Lilikoi Cream Puff / Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cookie / Guava Macaron / Haupia Roll Cake / Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Ladybug

It sure was a lot of food.  I finished all of the savories, but I couldn't finish all of the sweets.  I really enjoyed the Pastrami Sandwich, as well as the Lilikoi Cream Puff and Haupia Roll Cake.

Kids have the option of juice or tea, and each of my kids opted for Cranberry Juice.

My kids were surprised at how much food was placed in front of them, and the presentation was just the cutest!

The kids were given the same sweets, as well as a bowl of potato chips, and the sandwiches consisted of Peanut Butter & Jelly and Egg Salad.

Keiki tea bites

Potato Chips

Egg Salad / Peanut Butter and Jelly / Blueberry Orange Scone

The sweets - the macaron and dark chocolate hazelnut cookie were the kids' faves

Such a cute treat!

The finale to Afternoon Tea was a scoop of Green Tea Lemongrass Sorbet. The lemongrass cut into the bitterness of the green tea, which made the sorbet very refreshing.

Green Tea Lemongrass Sorbet

The pleasant ambience, the friendly service, and the wonderful tea and food all combined to create a delightful Afternoon Tea experience for the entire family.  

On May 13, the Moana Surfrider is holding its annual Mother-Daughter Tea and Fashion Show.  At noon guests will be served a special tea menu, with the fashion to follow at 12:30pm.  You can find out more information here.

Mahalo to the Moana Surfrider for hosting our Afternoon Tea.  Gratuity was paid on our own.

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