Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jan 2024

This is another installment of my series of TP runs to Sofia. In June, July and Dec of 2023, I did a number of trips out to Sofia, just to collect TPs. There was another opportunity in Jan 2024 to collect more cheap TPs, so here I am!

Continue reading...

Waikiki early in the morning on the way back from my local Starbucks
Waikiki early in the morning on the way back from my local Starbucks
Waikiki early in the morning on the way back from my local Starbucks
Waikiki early in the morning on the way back from my local Starbucks

Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023: Day 4 – Morning and Afternoon in Honolulu

By Nige on Sun 29 Jan 2023 at 20:10
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023
Tags: Hilton | Honolulu | Trips | USA | Waikiki

After my final catch up with the Vickster yesterday, I was pleased to hear that she had managed to sleep in on Sunday morning, having resorted to ear plugs. Not sure what the moggies must have thought and I wonder what scratching damage may have been inflicted on the poor carpet outside our bedroom door! However, needs must and all that. Sometimes, you just need to take the opportunity to sleep!

The view up Kuhio Ave with the trees lit up
The view up Kuhio Ave with the trees lit up
The view up Kuhio Ave with the trees lit up
The view up Kuhio Ave with the trees lit up

I woke up at just before 2am, having turned the light out at 9pm last night. Five hours isn’t too bad considering the time zone. I was sure I would manage to get some further shuteye later on in the day.

My normal Starbucks run was on the cards at 4am, but having checked the Starbucks app, my local store appeared to now not be opening until 4:30am. Did they not realise I was coming this weekend?

The other Starbucks store half a mile up the road was still advertised as opening at 4am, so I planned to wander out for 4am to my local store; if that really wasn’t opening until 4:30am, I could use the exercise to try out a new Starbucks store just up the road. Well that was the plan!

My local store did indeed not open until 4:30am, so I wandered up to the other Starbucks store. On its door and on the app it said it should be open at 4am. I got there at 4:10am and found an unlocked door. When I approached the counter, one of the members of staff apologised and said the door shouldn’t have been left unlocked and they don’t actually open until 4:30am.

Obviously, I then queried why the app said they opened at 4am? “We don’t control that”, she said, so I responded with “but you do have control over what’s on your door, don’t you”? She wasn’t happy, but accepted the point, and simply restated that they were not opening until 4:30am. I then walked back to my local and waited until 4:30am… Whinge over!

I ordered breakfast from MAC 24/7 – this time I ordered a rice dish and a short stack. Both were very tasty – I was pleased that the Vickster could join me “virtually” to allow me to double up on my F&B credit. There are two very annoying things about taking out from MAC24/7: (1) you can’t order through their website and pay through your room – you have to ring up to do that; and (2) when you order take out, don’t you think it might be a good idea to include cutlery and serviettes in the take-out bag? I took my take-out back up to the 33rd floor and then had to come all the way down again, to pick up a knife, fork and spoon! Or perhaps it’s just me?

My tasty rice dish ordered as take-out from MAC 24/7
My tasty rice dish ordered as take-out from MAC 24/7
My tasty rice dish ordered as take-out from MAC 24/7
My tasty rice dish ordered as take-out from MAC 24/7
My short stack ordered for Vick and eaten by me in her absence
My short stack ordered for Vick and eaten by me in her absence
My short stack ordered for Vick and eaten by me in her absence
My short stack ordered for Vick and eaten by me in her absence

After catching up with Vick, it was time to order an Uber to take me to Pearl Harbour (PH). It was about 7:15am – Waikiki was just starting to emerge from the darkness of the night; PH opened at 7am (when it was still dark) and I got there at around 7:45am. The Uber driver was a quiet Asian guy – I always wonder what they think about PH? I noticed that on the back of the Uber driver’s car seats there was a reference to the Hawaiian Kingdom. I looked them up online and it questions the legitimacy of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom back in 1893. Interesting stuff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overthrow_of_the_Hawaiian_Kingdom.

There’s a separate post about my visit to PH, so I’ll skip over the details for the time being.

After getting back, I went on my normal walk around Waikiki and picked up my second Starbucks of the day at Hilton Hawaiian Village (HHV). The weather was trying hard to stay dry, but from time to time there were a few short spells of drizzle. However, nothing like the forecast had suggested. I can only be grateful that the weather forecast had been wrong, yet again!

A splash of colour at the Hilton Hawaiian Village
A splash of colour at the Hilton Hawaiian Village
A splash of colour at the Hilton Hawaiian Village
A splash of colour at the Hilton Hawaiian Village

I spent a bit of time out on the rocks near to HHV. I assume the rocks calm the Pacific Ocean as the waves crash in, creating a nice bay where tourists to swim.

A panorama looking back at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Rainbow Tower
A panorama looking back at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Rainbow Tower
A panorama looking back at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Rainbow Tower
A panorama looking back at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Rainbow Tower

The colourful boats create an opportunity for great pictures.

Colourful boats on view in Waikiki
Colourful boats on view in Waikiki
Colourful boats on view in Waikiki
Colourful boats on view in Waikiki

There were plenty of kids out on the enclosed natural pool pedalling furiously!

Kids enjoying a version of a pedalo out on the enclosed natural pool
Kids enjoying a version of a pedalo out on the enclosed natural pool
Kids enjoying a version of a pedalo out on the enclosed natural pool
Kids enjoying a version of a pedalo out on the enclosed natural pool

Back to the hotel and it was soon time to check out and head up the road to check in to the Hilton Garden Inn, Waikiki Beach. I’ve had numerous issues with the HGI in the past, but the decision to stay with them was a strategic one for a number of reasons: (1) booking for the night on points is the cheapest way for me to stay as late as I need; the HGI is cheapest points hotel in the area, and (2) by staying in two different Hilton hotels, I’m helping myself towards retaining Diamond status in 2023 – I need 30 stays and that may be tricky this year due to my lack of business travel.

I asked for an upgrade and I got diddly-squat. They pretended to look for me, but there were plenty of premium rooms available to book and they simply didn’t want to offer any of them to me. Perhaps in retribution for my previous complaints – who knows? I was assigned room 1067 which is a city view room, so I can’t even see the ocean. I’m not bitter!

My disappointing room at Hilton Garden Inn, Waikiki Beach
My disappointing room at Hilton Garden Inn, Waikiki Beach
My disappointing room at Hilton Garden Inn, Waikiki Beach
My disappointing room at Hilton Garden Inn, Waikiki Beach
The view from the balcony of my room at the HGI, Waikiki Beach
The view from the balcony of my room at the HGI, Waikiki Beach
The view from the balcony of my room at the HGI, Waikiki Beach
The view from the balcony of my room at the HGI, Waikiki Beach

This used to be my favourite hotel in Waikiki. Oh so much has changed in such a short space of time. There are just so many issues with the staff at this hotel now, that I would never choose to stay here for any meaningful period of time. Shame.

After checking into the HGI, the rain arrived in bucketloads – not a lot that anyone could do in weather like that, other than go and eat! As a final meal in Hawaii (for the foreseeable future), I thought I would risk the rain one more time and head over to TCF.

TCF was heaving due to it being the weekend and due to everyone looking for places to spend time indoors. There was a long queue for indoor tables, but as a result of the wind and rain, no one wanted a table on the terrace! Consequently, I was seated almost immediately!

A wind-swept Cheesecake Factory in Honolulu
A wind-swept Cheesecake Factory in Honolulu
A wind-swept Cheesecake Factory in Honolulu
A wind-swept Cheesecake Factory in Honolulu

A Sam Adams slipped down very nicely and a pork quesadilla was excellent.

My pork quesadilla enjoyed at The Cheesecake Factory
My pork quesadilla enjoyed at The Cheesecake Factory
My pork quesadilla enjoyed at The Cheesecake Factory
My pork quesadilla enjoyed at The Cheesecake Factory

I also ordered a Lemon Raspberry cheesecake as take out as a pudding to be eaten just before heading to the airport. I could feel a snooze coming on.

My Lemon Raspberry cheesecake enjoyed in my hotel room
My Lemon Raspberry cheesecake enjoyed in my hotel room
My Lemon Raspberry cheesecake enjoyed in my hotel room
My Lemon Raspberry cheesecake enjoyed in my hotel room

The plan was to head to the airport at some point between 7pm and 8pm. I was fully checked in, with boarding passes and TSA Pre-Check ready to go!


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023


Leave A Comment

Just fill in the details below and click the button to have your say!

Captcha - Making Sure You Are Human!
captcha image

Author Bio: About Nige

Avatar photo

Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

View all posts by Nige>

up scroll arrow
down scroll arrow