Honolulu International Airport

Souvenir Sunday at Honolulu’s Daniel Inouye Airport

It’s Souvenir Sunday – a day to look at some of the inexpensive, locally-themed gifts you can find when you’re stuck at the airport.

Here are just a few Hawaii classics  from Honolulu’s Daniel Inouye International Airport:

 

 

Next time you find a charming or unusual locally-themed item for sale at an airport, snap a photo and send it along. If your item is featured on Stuck at The Airport, you’ll receive a special souvenir.

Thanks for visiting StuckatTheAirport.com. Subscribe toget daily travel tidbits. And follow me on Twitter at @hbaskas.

Stuck at the airport? Smart Money banks on fun

In response to my At the Airport column in USATODAY.com last week: How the airport experience has changed since 9/11, I got a couple of calls from folks at Smart Money who were also pondering then and now changes.

Quentin Fottrell, one of Smart Money’s Pay Dirt bloggers, wanted to know if there was anything fun to do at airports.

I put down my coffee and rattled off some of my faves, starting with the Chinese, Japanese and Hawaiian gardens at Honolulu International Airport.

 

Based on our chat, here’s how Fottrell wrote up the five other airport diversions we talked about for his Pay Dirt post:

 

“Palm Beach International Airport: Practice Your Golf

Operated by hospitality firm HMS Host, the airport provides an indoor putting green and, for $3, you can walk away with a souvenir golf ball.

Boston Logan Airport: Make Your Own Sundae

The MooBella vending machine makes Sundaes in 30 seconds. You can choose from 12 flavors on the touch screen. They’re at Terminal C near the Back Bay Café and Lean & Green food store.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport: Workout at the Gym

For $15, take a workout in the Hilton Hotel gym, which is attached to the airport, or relax in the sauna and steam room, or have a dip in the pool. AirportGyms.com has details of similar offers.

San Francisco International Airport: Visit the Museum

On Level 3 of the International Terminal, there are free exhibitions on vintage televisions and a photography exhibition on the San Francisco Seals Baseball Team from 1903-1957.

Portland International Airport: Take Your Bike Apart

After you’ve taken the cycle track to this airport, you can use the tools and facilities at this area near the Lower Terminal roadway to take apart your bike so you can bring it on the airplane.”

Thanks, Quentin!

Honolulu Airport gets free Wi-Fi; you may get a free trip.

The folks at ShakaNet and FreeFi Networks have teamed up to offer free wireless internet access throughout the concourses, lounges and concession areas at Honolulu International Airport.

Hooray!   Let’s hope the signal reaches out to the cultural garden areas as well.

And if you’re not lucky enough to be in Hawaii this time of year, perhaps you’re somewhere where you need to wear a sweater.  A really ugly Christmas sweater.

If your sweater is truly ugly, take a picture of yourself in it and upload the photo to the Air New Zealand Facebook page by December 31st.

The person with the ugliest sweater will receive roundtrip economy class tickets for two from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Auckland on Air New Zealand.

Enter the ugly Christmas sweater contest here and good luck!

North Pole ice santa

Souvenir Sunday: Pineapple presents from Honolulu Int’l Airport

Sunday here at StuckatTheAirport.com is Souvenir Sunday – the day we take a look at some of the inexpensive and sometimes wacky souvenirs many of us end up buying when we’re stuck at the airport.

This week’s souvenirs come to us courtesy of Pam Mandel, a lucky Seattle gal who just returned from an adventure in Hawaii. (Am I jealous? No way. I love cold, rainy June days in Seattle. Really…)

(Photo courtesy Pam Mandel)

You can read about Pam’s journey – and see some truly lovely photos – on Pam’s Nerd’s Eye View blog, but I caught up with her – via Twitter – when she was hanging around Honolulu International Airport.

It’s always hard to end a vacation. Especially one in Hawaii. But the Honolulu airport softens the transition with plenty of open spaces, art and history exhibits celebrating Hawaiian culture, and a trio of tranquil cultural gardens – Japanese, Chinese and Hawaiian – that can almost make you forget that you’re at an airport.

(Photo by Harriet Baskas)

But this is Souvenir Sunday – which is all about shopping.  I asked Pam to look around the airport shops for something under $10, “of” Hawaii and, ideally, sort of offbeat.

This pineapple slicer caught her eye – but at $13, it was a bit outside our Souvenir Sunday budget.

(Photo by Pam Mandel)

Plus – hello, TSA – wouldn’t a pineapple slicer need to have something built in – like a blade- that can actually slice a pineapple?

So instead we’re settling on these cute pineapple magnets.  Cute as a button, under $10, and a great choice for this week’s Souvenir Sunday.

Thanks Pam, for sending along these photos!

(Photo by Pam Mandel)

Have you found a great souvenir while you were stuck at the airport? If it’s $10 or under, “of” the city or region and, ideally a bit offbeat, please snap a photo and send it along. It may end up featured on a future edition of Souvenir Sunday.

Love the layover: airport adventures on Oahu and the Big Island

Snowstorms, mudslides, rain, more rain, and tornadoes.

Sounds like a good time for a trip to Hawaii.

If you go, or just want to dream a bit about going, be sure to check out the slide-show I put together for MSNBC.com – Cheap and Offbeat Oahu – about activities that are free, cheap or bit offbeat.

Included: the tale of the fish auction that takes place 6 days a week, beginning at 5:30 am;

Information about a free exhibit at the Hawaii State Art Museum that’s filled with historical objects and photographic portraits that tell the history of Hula,


(These pot holders are not in the exhibition, but you can buy them at the airport..)

And a reminder to travelers that there are a trio of tranquil cultural gardens – Japanese, Chinese and Hawaiian – inside the Honolulu International Airport (HNL)

If you’re going to go to Oahu, you should also pop over to the Big Island.  And if you do, you’ll be able to visit the Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center at the Kona International Airport.  On January 28, 1986, all seven crew members were killed when NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger exploded less than two minutes after launch. One of those crew members, Ellison S. Onizuka, was Hawaii’s first astronaut.

To space center has oodles of fun, hands-on activities as well as exhibits that include a moon rock from the final moon landing of Apollo 17 in 1972, an authentic NASA space suite, and personal items that belonged to Ellison Onizuka.

My favorite items in the collection are the freeze-dried macadamia nuts and the freeze-dried Kona coffee that NASA created especially for Onizuka. Today’s astronauts can still choose these items from the space menu.