The last 3 weeks have been quite busy. We moved out of our apartment in Portland, travelled to the midwest for family, went to Oahu for vacation, than moved out to the country in Southern Oregon to live for a little bit before the big move to Austin, Texas. Out of the craziness that has been these past few weeks, the highlight was getting to spend some time in Oahu. This being my second time to an Hawaiian island, I can say Hawaii might be my favorite place on earth. It feels like a whole different world from a lot of places on the continental US, but there is still the ease of traveling within the United States. Also, in my dream life, I would spend at least part of my day, everyday on a warm, soft sanded beach.
Now that my tan is fading, and the weather is 65 degrees today, I will post some photos and share a few of my favorites spots.
Since my early teens I was a huge fan of surfing culture, I watched Blue Crush probably 500 times, so going to see the North Shore, which is famous for it’s surfing was pretty cool. We stopped by Ehukai Beach Park a number of times, once to watch the sunset and it was a pretty great spot for that. The waves weren’t super huge this time of year, but there was still a number of people out there surfing. A lot of the great places to eat on this part of the island were food trucks. Everything form wood fired pizza to amazing seafood. The Garden Oven had incredible wood fired pizzas and we also ate some of the best shrimp I have ever tasted. I can't remember the name of the shrimp place, but here are some other recommendations.
One of the nicer big, yet small towns on the island was Kailua. This town had my favorite boutique shop, Olive, along with a men’s shop down the road called Oliver. They have two farmers markets, one we went to on our Sunday there. The market was boasting great tropical fruits, lunch, plants and the best green smoothies out there. Kailua is also home to one of the most popular beaches on the island, Lanikai Beach. We decided to check out another beach a little closer in town and from what I hear it is just as nice. One place we didn't get to check out, but I would have liked to is Lanikai Brewery.
I have been to Hawaii once before, visiting Maui about 6 years ago. I remember what was so great about these islands is if you have a week or so, it’s easy just to drive around the entire island (not all in one day, although possible). We went up the west side of the island hoping to make it around, it looked like there was a road that went around, although we weren’t certain. We went to check it out anyway. Along the way we found a couple nice beaches. The later had a bunch of people surfing and skim boarding. After we watched these guys for a while we didn’t even drive another mile and found that the road was a terrible dirt road that one would need a monster truck in order to get through all the massive potholes. So we had to turn around but it was still worth it seeing some beaches that are probably less visited by tourists.
Honolulu and Koko Head
While I enjoy the smaller, less populated island towns, I was still excited to check out Honolulu. We had dinner mid-trip at Izakaya Torae Torae and our last night at Lucky Belly. Both excellent. We attempted to find some awesome tiki bars, yet the ones we found were a bit of a let down. While we did not stay there, it was fun to walk through and grab a drink at the Royal Hawaiian, one of the few unique and history rich hotels on Waikiki. We grabbed lunch at Rainbow Drive In and beers from the brewery Honolulu Beerworks another day. One of the mornings we woke up before sunrise to hike up 1,000 stairs at Koko Head Crater just east of Honolulu. Pretty intense, but totally worth it. After that hike we had a spectacular breakfast at Koko Head Cafe back in Honolulu, I would highly recommend this spot.
Been home a week tomorrow, and already I can't wait for the next opportunity to jet off to these beautiful islands.