Hawaii

Oahu is one of my favorite places in the world! I know, that's a pretty common sentence from anyone whose ever visited, because it really is BEAUTIFUL. For my siblings and I, it's kind of like a summer home away from home. My dad is from Oahu and most of his family lives there, and my mom moved their in high school, so it really is home for them. Growing up, we would go every few summers to visit family and explore our favorite spots!  

At the beginning of November, my dad, brother and I got to take a spontaneous trip out there (we literally bought our tickets the week before). My cousin was getting married, which unfortunately I didn't make it for the wedding as I had a wedding in Nashville the same day, but I got to fly up the next day to meet my dad and brother for a week. 

I hadn't been with just the guys before, so we really didn't plan anything, we just woke up every morning and decided what we wanted to do each day. I will say we did a LOT of hiking, which I am not usually about hahah, but it was fun and definitely worth the views! And while we were there, I got to meet up with a really sweet couple and their little babe to take some photos on the beach, you can check out their session here!

When I first arrived, we went to Waikiki to watch the sunset. 

We stayed with some friends in Hawaii Kai. Our first stop the following morning was Makapu'u Lookout.

Then we headed over to the North Shore, the drive over is beautiful. There was a surf competition with the World Surf League, so we hangout on the beach and watched that for a bit. Then we went into the Haleiwa area to get shave ice from Matsumoto -- thee best! We walked around that area and that evening ate from the coolest little Hawaiian food trucks. 

The next day we woke up and headed straight for the beach. Livin' the life right? We went to Sandy Beach, which is like for the crazies aka my dad and brother. The current is SO STRONG, I can hardly go past my ankles without flailing over and getting sucked in. So I hangout on the shore and got my tan on while the guys body surfed.

Right next to Sandy Beach is the Blowhole Lookout, which is such a cool spot!

After that it was hike timeee. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. This is coming from someone who is not a hiker, but for real. This hike is an old wooden railroad track straight up the mountain. People were LITERALLY throwing up over the sides hahah it was SO HARD and took about 3 hours total. The view was pretty great, although I'm not sure if I'll do it again..

That night, we had dinner with my grandparents at Nico's at Pier 38, which is a really awesome area with restaurants right on the bay!

The next day we woke up and went on ANOTHER HIKE. Haha, that's what happens when you go to Hawaii with boys. Luckily Lulumahu Falls was a bit more chill. It's a really different hike through a bamboo forest - that's what I'm calling it at least. The hike goes up to some pretty falls. Unfortunately Chad slipped on a rock and cut his leg pretty badly. Apparently the water at higher elevations is full of bacteria from the wild pigs and goats living there and Chad got an infection in his blood stream, leaving us in the hospital the two days later for a good 6 hours with a delusional brother who couldn't walk for the next couple days. It was actually terrifying, but he was okay enough to go home within a few days and was better within a few weeks! 

Chad, being the trooper he is, not only finished the hike back, but took us a different way to see the Summer Palace of King Kamehameha III, which was of course ruins as it was made in 1845. Definitely a cool thing to see!

We ended the night at Ala Moana Beach Park. We hoped to get there before sunset to surf for a bit but we got there too late so we walked around and watched the sunset instead! First pic is my dad bein a goof as usual. Also the number of bride and grooms we saw was INSANE. Like I think at least 8 couples walking around with photographers, taking portraits.

The next morning, we went to see the cemetery my where my grandpa is. Does he not have thee best view? Later we went to Waimea Bay, one of my favorite beaches! See that giant rock? Yeah, we jump off that and it's so terrifying and so fun! 

We didn't do much that day cause Chad wasn't feeling well and the next day we took him to the hospital. Again, he's okay!!

A few other things we didn't get to do this time that I love are going to the Dole Plantation and the swap meet at the Aloha Stadium. The Dole Plantation is pineapples galore. They have a pineapple maze, pineapple treats and ALL THINGS PINEAPPLE. It's great. The swap meet is basically a giant flee market with local goodies for WAY cheap.

Annnnd lastly, I'll end this post where you should end every night on Oahu; at Leonard's Bakery. There you'll get this adorable pink box full of fresh and warm malasadas - which are like sugar coated donuts minus the hole. Omg they are so delicious. Which reminds me I never even mentioned manapua's, which I ate like every day - it's a sweet bread bun filled with some kind of meant, like kalua pig or some other kind of pork.

Okay that's all, ALOHAAAAA :)