Waikiki Staycation

Catch up time!

Even though we LIVE in paradise, it’s still fun to VACATION in paradise! We had wanted to do some island hopping when Omar came home and had leave but with his mom and sister coming to visit we were a little tight on time. Thankfully Waikiki is just down the road!

We ended up staying at the Outrigger which has an awesome kama’aina (local) rate. It’s also close to the action of all the restaurants and beaches.

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We ate tons of food…  Yardhouse is right around the corner, I love it, the rest of my family isn’t impressed. Cheeseburger in Waikiki is good for burgers.

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Throwing a shaka at Cheeseburger Waikiki

It’s also just fun to walk around… Well until the teeming masses of tourists drive you absolutely crazy.

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We are standing on a slope, she isn’t that tall YET!

 

The best thing was just being able to hang out and play together as a family. We are terrible when it comes to that at home. We all have our electronics to entertain us. So it was good to put that all away for a few days.

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Plenty of beach time….

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Diamondhead in the background!

And for something EXTRA entertaining rent a kayak. This was a hilarious disaster. I don’t know what they were thinking letting all four of us into one kayak. We are NOT responsible enough for that!

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DSCF4107(FYI I can’t stand putting on a wet life jacket. It oogs me out for some reason.)

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While it looks like he is hanging on for dear life he was having fun… Being dragged by a kayak is a blast.

We also spotted a couple of sea turtles. Which necessitated me jumping OUT of the kayak to try and get some pictures of. And I lost the turtle as soon as I jumped in. Second turtle I got a pic but it was murky so I had to use this crazy filter to show him clearly. It really is kind of crazy that these guys are everywhere.

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And the BEST part of a vacation? Boozing it up with your husband!
DSCF4098aGot a Waikiki question? Let me know! I am happy to steer you toward the best hotels, eats and hang out spots!

 

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“Winter” at the North Shore

Winter in Hawaii is a pretty laughable thing. I must confess I am enjoying the hell out of this winter! I can totally live in flip flops year ’round.

Well, some of my lovely FRG wives and I decided that we needed to take a day trip up to the North Shore. Some of them had *gasp* never been. I just ADORE it up there, I like the scenery, the vibe and most of all the FOOD!

So we loaded up all 16 of us and headed north.

First stop, as always, Turtle Beach.

DSCF1006aThere were only two little guys braving the crazy surf to find food. The North Shore in winter is when all the crazy waves are here, there are surf competitions going on all the time right now!

Then we grabbed a friendly Turtle Beach volunteer to take a picture of our tribe.

317982_10200418815494741_1481297519_nOnward to our first meal of the day, my favorite North Shore eatery, Ted’s Bakery. We all grabbed our food to go and hit up the beach to eat lunch. I was so bummed, my bbq chicken combo was a bbq chicken sandwich. Same chicken but in a bun and with fries instead of rice and mac salad. First world problems, right?

We headed to the lovely tidepools at Shark’s Cove where the rocks around kept it pretty protected and gave the kids somewhere to play.

SCWe all played and ate and played and talked. The weather was overcast and about 78, not a perfect beach day but man, it’s better than what most people are getting right now!

Of course after all that playing it was time for dessert. Oh did I not mention I picked up a Chocolate Haupia Pie from Ted’s? Can I say I don’t think our kids will EVER forget this pie. This is how we do it here, pie on the beach. Grab a fork…

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After dessert we spent more time playing (kids) and gossiping (moms) making plans for our awesome ship’s Family Readiness Group. By this time we were famished! Time for dinner! Off to Haleiwa for some shreeyump. Shrimp trucks are everywhere and they all are a little different. I think I may have found my new favorite after being disappointed by the famous Giovanni’s.

shrimpGreat selection, Lemon Pepper, Garlic, Original, Coconut and Spicey. $12/plate. I ended up sharing with the kids and then regretting it because they were SO good! We were all peeling shrimp and licking our fingers. So ono! (See me dropping some local lingo?!) So if you see this truck stop and order some yummy food!

Time to finally head home after a looooong day, the kids were tired:

DSCF1042Well one was anyways…

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And the view on the ride home wasn’t half bad…

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Great day with friends and the kids, just wishing my husband had been able to be with us… Counting down the days. Four months done so far!

 

 

 

 

 

North Shore Trip aka Best. Day. Ever.

We decided to actually do something Hawaiian and touristy and take a trip up to the North Shore. On the way up we took a quick stop by the Dole Plantation. We weren’t trying to stay all day so we didn’t do the maze or train.

Not even a minute after walking in did Omar spy a pineapple! They have groups of different varieties growing all over the place and it’s amazing to see the many different colors and sizes. Who knew?!

The koi pond was also pretty cool. The koi were outta control, trying to swim on top of each other to get food. Unfortunately for us, the food was all gone out of the dispensers. Go before noon if you want to try to get some!

They had some really pretty plants as well. I am constantly taking pictures of all of the plants and flowers I see (I really need to buy that macro lens I want!) I love how well landscaped everything on this island is! Just beautiful!

My little pineapples… There was a group ahead of us who were doing this as well but they had way more people and a million cameras and were taking FOREVER. It was super annoying and they refused to get out of the way so my kids could take a picture.

Everyone raves about the Dole Whip, and I admit it was good. But really, it’s pineapple soft serve. For $5. But now I can say I ate it.

Guess what? MORE pineapple pictures! They were SO cool, and the baby ones were adorable. (Yes, I realize I just described a fruit as adorable.)

I don’t know what kind of tree this is, but Mckenna and I are now calling it a rainbow tree.

Continuing on to the North Shore, we passed this horse farm. Nothing happened, I just love how this shot turned out. (As we were creeping along in traffic because our bright idea was the same one that half the island had!)

Quick pull off right after the horse farm. Turtle Beach! I was hoping to see at least one sea turtle, or honu as they are known here. Instead, we saw DOZENS!

I just love those sweet faces! But not enough to touch them as they are protected and will cost $250K!  The volunteers were actually really great and I would love to join them! hang with turtles all day? Sign me up!

While we were having a religious experience with sea turtles, Omar was happy to watch from the shore.

Next time I am bringing a snorkel!

One of the turtles up close. This is why they are here, to munch on all this yummy algae.

Onward! This time to find something to eat! We ended up purely on accident at Ted’s Bakery. Ended up having a GREAT lunch wishing we had room for dessert. They are apparently quite famous for their cream pies (which looked outstanding!)  I did end up having my very first Hawaiian plate lunch. Fantastic!

After lunch we tried to make our way to Waimea Bay, one of the most famous surfing beaches in the world. Parking was INSANE. No where to park for miles, so back up the coast we go, finally stopping at Shark’s Cove. I had read that they had great snorkeling and even though we hadn’t brought any with us, we were hot and ready to cool off!

Omar and Mckenna went in first and I couldn’t tell whether they were enjoying it or not. Once they came back they said they saw tons of fish. We all ended up going out (with just goggles) and ended up seeing hundreds of convict tangs, parrot fish, wrasses, puffer fish, a moorish idol, and a humahuma trigger. I can NOT wait to go back here with a snorkel!

Still can’t believe this is my life. I’m kinda digging it so far.