Thursday, November 15, 2012


Bret and I just got back from a trip to Oahu, Hawaii where he attended a Veterinary conference and I got to play tour guide for him.

Though I did take pictures with my nice camera I don't have time to upload them at the moment so you get to see my instagram pictures taken with my phone.  My apologies to those who have seen most of these already via instagram.
I went to school in Hawaii and my love for that place and the memories of some of the best years of my life were all brought back as we drove around and visited my favorite places.

We had limited time during the day due to the conference, but I made sure to pack in all the places he had to see and food he had to eat, before leaving.  We were able to do everything on my "must do" list.
 Rainbow Drive-In has been around forever, and has been featured on the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

 It was always the place I would stop and grab breakfast if I was in town.  You can be sure to see lots of locals stop by on their way to work to grab some Hawaiian sweet bread french toast or their amazing plate lunches.
 We headed over to the Windward side of the island next to visit BYU-Hawaii's campus, and show Bret where I used to live and work.
 {Chinaman's hat - the small island where I visited a few times.  You can walk/wade out during low tide}
As we drove I got to point out the places that Bret had heard with the stories I told about my time in Hawaii. 
Windows down, local music playing, beautiful mountains on one side and the ocean on the other...I was in heaven. 
 Once we arrived in Laie, we walked around my old campus and drove around the small town, making frequent stops for pictures and stories.
 {Brigham Young University - Hawaii}
{Laie, Hawaii LDS temple}
We met up with a family friend who works at the Polynesian Cultural Center (where I worked/danced during my time there), who got us free tickets to the PCC villages and night show.
Between the last show at the villages and the spectacular night show we decided to skip the touristy food the PCC had to offer and grab dinner at one of my favorite places...Kahuku Grill.
{The Bus - $1 will get you anywhere you want to go, just be sure to give yourself a lot of time because, like everything here it's on "chill time".}
If you are ever in the area of Kahuku, stopping here is a must.
 Their food is amazing, but their fries...I dream of their fries and crave them all the time.
  On our way back to watch the night show at the PCC we headed up to Laie Point.  I showed Bret the Rocky Road House (where I used to live) on Naupaka street and laughed while he shook his head as he listened to some of the crazy stories I told him about my time in that house.

Next, we drove down the road to Laie Point.  Tourists stop here for great photos of the Windward side, see whales (during certain months), and check out Goat Island.  

While I lived there this was a place we'd come to hang out, fly kites and was known as a great make-out spot (I can attest to that...wink, wink).
I couldn't stop smiling as I watched the sun begin to set.  I could smell the Tiare Tahiti flower behind my ear and had my husband with me in a place that I love.
 The next day while Bret went to his meetings I sat out on the balcony of our hotel and practiced playing my Ukulele I bought while at the PCC.

What a lovely, lazy morning I had...just what I needed!
Once Bret had a break we headed over to the North Shore for the day.  The first stop...Dole Pineapple Plantation.
If you love the Dole Whip you can get while visiting the Tiki Room at Disneyland and you want to learn about pineapples stop here.

Take the 20 minute tour on the train takes you out to the pineapple fields and gives you a history of the Dole plantation, then grab some dole whip soft serve with crushed pineapple on top.
  We spent the rest of the day at Waimea beach, hunting for shells,swimming and even napping (see my "I just woke up face").
I told Bret about the time I jumped off Waimea rock at 1 o'clock in the morning in my bra and jeans "back in the day".  He knew it was his turn to make the jump (that's him on the right, on top of the rock).  It's higher than you think!

We ended the night with dinner and a movie.  If you haven't seen the new James Bond movie Skyfall yet, I highly recommend it.  It's by far my favorite of the newer ones.
 On Saturday when Bret had a break from his meetings we headed back to the North shore for some shopping, shave ice and a surf competition.
 Haleiwa was our first stop.  I needed to pick up a few pairs of our favorite beach slippers from my favorite surf shop on the North Shore, Surf n Sea.

Haleiwa has some awesome shops with local art, handmade jewelry and surfing gear/clothes.  It's also the place of the famous Matsumoto's, the best place for Shave Ice (hold the beans please).
 I always get lemonade and grape...I'm boring like that.  Bret got Rainbow with ice cream.  He almost got beans but decided against it...a smart choice in my opinion.
After Haleiwa, we drove to Sunset Beach just in time to watch Sunny Garcia compete in the finals of the HIC Pro.

I watched him win the Triple Crown back in 2000 and watched him win again today.  That man is a surfing legend!

 Bret really enjoyed the competition (his first).  Our friends in Utah were watching the competition live online and sent us screen shots of when we were on TV.  It was pretty amusing being there and getting texts with pictures of us being there, taking pictures.
After the competition we stopped by Ted's Bakery...another must in places to eat.  Their Chocolate Haupia Pie is amazing!

After a long day at the beach our group would always stop by here on the way back to Laie for a piece of pie. 
  {Waialua Root beer...a favorite brand of mine.  Their pineapple soda is also tasty}
{Side wall art - Ted's Bakery}
Haupia is creamy, sweet, coconut filling.  This filling is layered between the perfect flaky crust and a chocolate pudding, with whipped cream on top.
Ted's also has amazing carrot cake and bento plate lunches with delicious Katsu chicken, etc.
On our way back to town we pulled over near Pipeline and watched about 10-15 sea turtles out where the waves broke near the shore.  There were some the size of a car wheel swimming around the rocks and waves.
 The evening was spent shopping for souvenirs in Waikiki, walking the strip, people watching and eat chocolate covered macadamia nuts in the sand on Waikiki beach.
Sunday we made a quick trip to Aloha Stadium to find the last of our gifts we had in mind for the kids. This is a place where you will find locals and tourists all looking for a good deal on things.  

You will find things here at the Swap Meet you probably paid much more for at a tourist souvenir shop in downtown Waikiki or other places around the island.  

Save yourself some money and just come here for all your gifts and trinkets.  You can also find one of a kind, handmade jewelry/goods here.
Our top priority for the last day of our time in Hawaii was to visit Pearl Harbor Memorial.  We were fortunate enough to visit the memorial Veteran's day weekend (Sunday to be exact).
It was a touching experience that day.  We had Veteran's on the boat with us, who cried silently as the boat took us to the memorial.  Respectful silence was given while on the memorial above the USS Arizona.
At the memorial, local soldiers were there prepping a pack filled with flags they would raise, salute, and then fold.  Flags for the fallen and for those who have been injured. 

It was a great experience for us to have been there that day.
 We headed back to town, hoping to spend the last few hours of sun on our last day there at Waikiki beach.  Waikiki is crowded and my least favorite beach on the island, but the people watching there is superb!  

This lady's top came off shortly after this picture.  Slowly, she pulled it up as she walked to the big deal...
We had a request from Mailee to be sure and bring her back some shells and coral from Hawaii so we did some shell hunting as well.
 Once I got my fill of people watching (believe me there was some real good watching that day!) we went back to our room, packed up and tried to think of ways we could move here.  I was already sad thinking about leaving.

 We walked down the strip one last time to eat at Dukes, a favorite restaurant of mine in Waikiki.  Their salad bar is always fresh and their banana macadamia nut muffins are delicious. 

The Hula Pie was just as remembered...HUGE and delicious.  Good thing there is a Duke's here in California that I can visit when my Hula Pie cravings get to be too much.
 Early the next morning we drove to the airport.  The weather seemed to reflect our mood as the gray clouds covered the island and a light drizzle came down.

We didn't want to leave this place.  The thought of seeing our kids again did help the sting of leaving this beautiful place but we were both sad to leave.

It was such a wonderful visit.  We were able to pack in a lot of things/places to's amazing how much you can do in little time when you don't have to worry about kids!

We can't wait to go back again, this time with the kids.  

Until next time Hawaii...


Sol said...

Gosh it looks amazing. Hoping to go one day...

Krista Hansen said...

I went to BYU-H in 1998 and this post brought back so many memories! What a fun trip! I've been back a few times, but I hope to go with my husband sometime and show him around. Being at Pearl Harbor on Veterans Day sounds amazing.

{natalie} said...

what a fun weekend. i have only been to hawaii once, but i dream of going back. i would love to live there someday. i'm so glad you and bret could get away and enjoy it!

Michelle said...

I just opened a can of Dole pineapple for our Hawaiian pizza tonight and believe me it doesn't taste nearly as good as I was hoping it would after reading & looking at pictures of your trip. We too LOVE Hawaii and have not been back in a long while...we must try and get there soon!

Mayday said...

One day...
Looks amazing!