Celebrating Thanksgiving in Waikiki

Thanksgiving Day-

This past weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving in Waikiki.  It was the first year that George and I celebrated Thanksgiving without family, but we still managed to have a wonderful time, full of holiday cheer!

If you are in Hawaii for Thanksgiving, you have to go to the beach, at least for part of the day!  After putting our turkey in a brine and seasoning bath, we headed out to Fort DeRussy Beach Park around 10:30am.  I went for a swim, while George went snorkeling.  Even though we only stayed for an hour at the beach, my faint tan got a shade darker.  At noon it was time to fold up the beach towel and head home to start cooking!

g&h at Fort DeRussy Beach, Thanksgiving, 2011

We prepared a bone-in turkey breast (since we didn’t need a whole bird), mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roasted peppers and Portuguese Sweet Bread rolls.  The rolls were an experiment, since I had never tried baking Portuguese Sweet Bread before, but they turned out super yummy, and were hot out of the oven just in time for our meal!  It was also George’s first time preparing a turkey, and it came out perfectly moist and seasoned!

Portuguese Sweet Bread shaped into rolls for Thanksgiving

When everything was ready, we took the dishes down to the pool-side table at our apartment complex.  Our neighbor from across the hallway joined us, and the three of us enjoyed a tasty Thanksgiving feast by the pool!  Our neighbor baked a spice cake for dessert, which was also delicious!

g&h ready for a Thanksgiving feast in Waikiki
Delicious Thanksgiving Meal

Once it got dark around 7:30pm we headed back inside and cleaned up a bit.  It had been a full day and we were ready to get some rest, since we would be up early the next morning for Black Friday!

Black Friday Shopping

We woke up at 5am on Black Friday and walked over to Ala Moana Center.  I was surprised by the pleasant temperature at that time in the morning.  I wore jeans and a light sweater, thinking it would be brisk that early in the morning, but the sweater wasn’t necessary, and George was fine in shorts and a t-shirt.  We were able to get some deals on a couple things we still needed for our place from Macy’s and Sears and I splurged and got some clothes, too!  This was only our second time heading out early for Black Friday shopping.  We had gone to the outlets in Vacaville one year at midnight, but were not impressed at all with the sales.  There were some good doorbusters at the Ala Moana Center this year, but the stores had to be offering more than 40% off to lure us in.  It was hard to decide what time to get there, since some of the stores opened at midnight, others at 4am, and the rest of the mall at 6am.  We didn’t want to have to wait around for stores to open, so we got there at 6am.  We only expected to stay about an hour, but ended up shopping for 4 hours, and we didn’t even go in that many stores!

After walking back home carrying our purchases we needed a nap!  Then we headed to Waikiki for some Christmas shopping, where a few of the stores were having sales.  Most of the stores in Waikiki do so well from the constant flow of tourists that they don’t even offer sales on Black Friday.  Only once our shopping was done was it time for a huge lunch of leftovers!  We were both dragging by the afternoon, but I still had plans for later- The Waikiki Holiday Parade!

Waikiki Holiday Parade

The Waikiki Holiday Parade starts at 7:00pm and goes down Kalakaua Avenue from Fort DeRussy Park to Kapiolani Park. We sat in the grassy area near the curb out front of Tiffany’s and Coach.  It was the perfect place to sit!  Even though the parade started a little more towards the Ewa side of Kalakaua Avenue, the cars and decorated vehicles entered Kalakaua right in front of us, from Saratoga Road.  So if we had sat closer to the start, like we had planned, we would have missed the vehicles!  The Waikiki Holiday Parade is a non-competitive event in which marching bands from various high schools around the country perform.  It commemorates Pearl Harbor Survivors and the anniversary of the attacks, and multiple survivors participated in the parade.  No schools from California participated, so we cheered the loudest for the Hawaii schools.  We did a double take when we saw a banner for Glendale, but it was Glendale, AZ, not Glendale, CA. It was my first time watching a marching band parade, and a fun way to usher in the holidays!  But something felt a bit strange about watching a holiday parade while sitting under tiki torches and wearing short sleeves ;).

Here are some photos from the parade:

Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011
Roller Girls in the Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011


Aloha Clowns in the Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011


Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011


Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011


Bagpipes in the Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011
Gun Twirlers in the Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011
Pearl Harbor Survivor in the Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011


The Grinch in the Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011


Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011


Santa Claus in the Waikiki Holiday Parade 2011

Happy holidays, everyone!

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