When you hear people say that they left a piece of their heart in Hawaii, they’re not lying! We visited for the first time last summer and I’ll admit, I didn’t love it at first! I remember looking around on the way from the airport to our hotel and thinking…this is not what I pictured for Hawaii! On TV, everything looks so lush and tropical. Palm trees, blue water. My first impression didn’t match what I’d seen on television all these years! But after we came home last year, we instantly knew we’d be heading back! There was no other place on earth that we wanted to spend our next summer vacation! We’d left a piece of our hearts in Hawaii!
So after another year of planning, we headed to our family’s favorite island, Oahu! Just in case you’re like I was and have no idea what I’m talking about! Hawaii is a group of islands! The islands are Oahu, Maui, Hawaii (Big Island), Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, and Niihau. Oahu is an amazing place and we were blessed to spend 10 days exploring the island last month! I created the itinerary on my phone this year to make sure that I didn’t leave it at home!
I couldn’t decide between staying in Waikiki and North Shore so we did a split stay! We stayed in Waikiki for a week and the North Shore for 4 days! We enjoy both parts of the island for different reasons! Waikiki is really busy and crowded, but it’s convenient being able to walk to restaurants, stores and the beach! North Shore is a lot more chill, but you have to drive everywhere! After staying in both places, I think we’d spend longer in the North Shore next time and just a few days in Waikiki if we ever did another split stay!
This trip was everything that I’d hoped it’d be! Last year, it felt like we did a lot last year, but there were so many things that I had on my list for this year! Simple things like watching a sunrise and sunset on the beach, eating more malasadas and creating new memories with the fam! Some of our favorite things were eating pancakes and waffles at Hula Grill, feeding koi fish at the Byodo Temple, riding UTVS through the mountains in the rain, seeing sea turtles while jetskiing at in the Keehi lagoon and hanging with the kids on the beach! We ate lots of yummy food! Seven Brother’s is one of our favorites on the North Shore and we discovered Steak Shack and Aloha Melt in Waikiki! I especially love Steak Shack (think teriyaki chicken and steak, yum)!!
Some days we woke up early. Some days we slept in! We hiked Makapuu lighthouse and realized that it’s not as easy as it looks! But the scenery along the way is gorgeous! After sitting in the hot sun at every beach last year, we decided to order a beach tent this year! It was perfect for those long days at the beach! And it was fun squeezing the entire family in it during a rain shower at Kulima Cove! We watched the sunrise and sunset over the ocean from different beaches! We watched fireworks over Waikiki beach!
Monkey Pod was on our list last year, but we never got around to eating there! So this year, we made reservations! I absolutely loved it! There was an amazing local musician playing and the food was delicious! The pizza, drinks and fries were awesome! Our host was so funny! We ended up going back to Monkey Pod on our way to the airport for one last lunch! The food was still amazing! And what made it even better was that our host from the past week remembered us and sent over a complimentary strawberry pie! Aww! I’m seriously a sucker for thoughtful gestures! Definitely check out this place if you’re in the area and tell Arthur we sent you!
We had the best time in Hawaii and hope that we get to visit the island again one day!