Friday, November 14, 2008

En route to Hawaii

This week, we're going to Hawaii because I've somehow warranted becoming a “celebrity chef” on Holland America. I’ll be teaching two demonstration classes and two hands-on sessions. The demonstrations will be broadcast across the ship. I’m left with visions of people in swimwear glancing up from the pool to gaze at my huge head on some screen showing to properly cut zucchini into a brunoise. We'll see what it's actually like.

One benefit to constant travel (see the book tour entries) would be the racking up of frequent flyer miles and companion ticket awards. A couple of insider tips. Evidently, late October/November is *the* time to visit Hawaii. We found coach fares for $179 round-trip from Seattle to Hawaii. Crazy talk. We ended up upgrading and using a $50 companion coupon to buy a second ticket. We've decided to spend a couple days on Kauai, then hop an inter-island flight to Honolulu.

Thus, we ended up in first class. Turns out that Alaska Airlines has a whole thing going with its Hawaii flight that was worth blogging about. We had our own floral-shirted cabin steward who I’ll call “Bill.” He suggested mai tais and we said “yes we can!” (After all, we’re going to Obama’s home state). Our printed menus noted that we would be sampling a menu designed by Chef Bill Lord from Honolulu to provide flyers with a “taste of the islands.” My hat is off to Chef Lord as it’s probably the best airplane food that I’ve ever had, notably the steamed Paki’I fish in a banana coconut curry. As Mike said, “this fish is so good, it tastes like chicken!” (That's his ultimate compliment when it comes to fish...)

Afterward, as we watched an episode of Hawaii Five-O, they brought a cart laden with bowls of vanilla-scented ice cream down the aisle. We shared a bowl topped with roasted coconut shavings, garnished with fresh purple orchids...

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Anonymous Andrea said...

How random! Last week, we went to Hawaii on Alaska Air. Our tickets cost $189 roundtrip.

Late October/November is THE time to go to Hawaii - we got into all the good restaurants without any problem. We got a great dael on our hotel ($189 a night) and then got upgraded on arrival.

Hope you have as wonderful a time as we did!

November 15, 2008 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger Nikki said...

Woo hoo, miss celebrity chef! :) I went to Kauai for Christmas 2 years ago. Must see/do: The Smith family luau & show, South Pacific at the Hilton, breakfast at Eggberts. Stay FAR FAR away from Gaylord's it brunch or no, stay away. I don't care what the brochures say. Take the carriage ride around the farm though. You might like it. The guava farm is cool. Take a helicopter ride to see some of the island. Hanalei Bay...beautiful & wonderful. There's a cave there that you can walk into. I liked it.
Go antiquing in Kapaa. I wonder if you're staying in Whiteville...if so, it's the most developed & tourist-friendly part of the island. Manicured everything. Grass, roads, houses, people LOL. If you or Mike are into golfing, it's the #1 spot.

Maybe I should change careers & be a travel host? :)

The likelihood of you reading this comment probably isn't too high, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to tell you about the things I liked.

November 15, 2008 at 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

I love that Mike says that the fish tastes like chicken... that's classic. looks like fun, though!

November 16, 2008 at 6:45 PM  

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