Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adventures: Hawaii 2014 - Oahu Day 2

With the time change from California to Hawaii, it's much easier to wake up early. We were up and ready to tackle the day easily by 7am. But first, let me take a coffee drink selfie.

vintage kona mocha with peaberry chip

It was pouring all over the island and Tanya had forgotten her tennis shoes so we went back to Kaneohe to grab them and since it was actually drier on the "wet" side of the island we decided to do the Pillbox Hike (great Wiki Resource: link).

It was a little muddy from the drizzling earlier that morning but there are ropes on the side of the trail if you need some extra grip. It is not a paved trail so you need to watch for areas of major slippage. We were in a rush to complete the hike since it looked like it was about to start raining again so we actually didn't hike to the actual 3 pillboxes. You can get a pretty good view without even hiking all the way up.

(note: the two photos below were taken at the same spot and no filters were used but I did change the ISO settings which is why they look so different. But it gives you an idea of how gloomy and ominous it was that day)

Right after we finished the Pillbox Hike and got back to our car, it literally started pouring. We drove by so many people taking cover under random people's homes. Due to our stranger danger meter, we decided to not offer any rides.

Originally we had wanted to hike Koko Head again because it is seriously the Everest for someone that rarely exercises lol. But since it was raining, we figured it wouldn't be the best idea. So instead, we decided to tackle another hike. I had mentioned doing the Makapu'u Lighthouse Hike so that's exactly what we did. There's a decent amount of parking but make sure you don't have anything valuable in your car. Right when we arrived, there was a cop interviewing some people and their car had been broken into (window was shattered) so be very careful and exercise common sense!

After that hike we decided to do our usual ritual of getting an Acai Bowl. We headed for Salted Lemon.

Their acai bowl is quick huge so if you're not particularly hungry, I would suggest sharing. My only comment would be that their acai bowl needed more granola! But it was tasty nonetheless.

I had also wanted to go to North Shore and try Matsumoto's Shave Ice since I've never been in all the times I've been to Hawaii so since we still had some extra time, we headed north to do one more hike at Waimea Falls. This really isn't a hike and you also have to pay for entry so it's not something that's a must do. If you are interested in visiting an arboretum or botanical garden, then this is more the place for you. The trail is VERY easy and is good for all ages. You can actually take a dip in the water at the end of the hike at the waterfall which I wouldn't recommend unless you want leptospirosis (there's a huge sign warning you about it) but again, you can YOLO it up all you want lol but I wasn't about to ruin my vacation by getting an infection.

these leaves made me think of a bug's life and bug's land in california adventures

i'm standing there for size reference lol. the tree is gynormous!

After finishing that hike, we headed for Matsumoto's Shave Ice. If you are using an iPhone, be very careful of the directions it gives you when going from Waimea Falls to Matsumoto's Shave Ice. It actually tells you to turn right into a road that does not exist! Luckily there's another rode that takes to you back.

I actually enjoyed Matsumoto's Shave Ice more than Waiola Shave Ice to my surprise. But I will say it was probably because of what I ordered and the presentation. If you are someone that looks at the menu and is completely confused as to what to order, I would order the Hawaiian combo with condensed milk (everything tastes better with condensed milk!). Also spare the extra 30 cents and get the cone holder thing! Your clothes and hands will love you for it 'cause it gets dirty! Plus you won't end up with half your ice on the ground. The Hawaiian combo came out as a rainbow (obviously) and it was extremely tasty! Highly recommend. Unfortunately I don't have a picture because eating shave ice and taking pictures are two things that don't go together but here's a picture of what it kinda looked like. As you dig into it more, it looks prettier and prettier with all the colors.

After driving all over the island, we retreated to Aulani and spent some time in the pool before heading back out for some Curry House. I don't know if it was all the traveling we had done that day or all the hiking but this bowl of Curry Udon with Fried Chicken tasted so BOMB. I've actually been to the same place before but it didn't taste as good the time before. I always say you have to try a restaurant twice before you can rate it on Yelp because of exactly this reason. Everyone has their off days.

After the noodling, we went to Target to do a little shopping. When we got back to Aulani, we watched 17 Again (one of our favorites from pharmacy school) and then fell asleep. 

Day 3 was our shopping day so there weren't very many pictures but I will make that post soon! Thanks for reading (or at least just skimming through the pictures lol)!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Adventures: Hawaii 2014 - Oahu Day 1

Finally back and settled into a regular routine so here's the first of a few posts from my most recent trip to Oahu and the Big Island.

First stop after landing is always a trip to Aiea Bowl for their tasty chicken. Noms.

After getting some grub, we headed to a few stores to grab some necessities for our trip at Walmart and then headed to Aulani. This was my second time staying at Aulani and I was very satisfied. My expectations were just as high as the first time and they were totally met. On arrival the hotel staff pretty much rushed to give us leis. When we arrived in our room, we found this towel Mickey head! This was not here the previous time so it was a nice surprise.

After doing some unpacking and vegging out, we headed out to the pool. I must say that you seriously can't take a bad picture anywhere on the premises. I swear the palm trees are strategically placed lol.

I absolutely love the infinity pools they have at Aulani. This one you see in the picture below is their kids pool but they actually also have an adults only (18 years and older) one too.

We were walking around and I saw this little guy.

Aulani is a great place for whether you want to be super bumming it or if you want to have an action-packed time. I was pretty tired from a day of travel and we were both ready to be total bums for the rest of the night so we ordered pizza from Pizza Corner right across the way (they actually deliver!) and went over to pick up these bad boys (see garlic rolls below). They were pretty bomb. Be very wary if you are on a romantic trip though 'cause your breath will stank. Anyways, going back to Aulani. They have a great little DVD rental place at the community center which is open until 8pm where you can rent 2 DVD's per day. They have a DVD player in the room for you all ready to go. These are mostly/all Disney movies (not just the cartoons but some newer ones as well). You can always just bring your own DVD's too. We usually watch stuff to fall asleep so on this first night we ended up watching The Proposal. Love Sandra Bullock in that movie!

And that concludes my first day in Oahu! Day 2 was our day for 3 hikes and 
Day 3 was our shopping day! Stay tuned for those posts and our Big Island posts!

note: most of the pictures taken on this trip were taken with a Sony Mark III which unfortunately was stolen on my way back to San Diego. I was lucky enough to have transferred all my pictures onto my computer beforehand. So I would advise to keep a close eye on your belongings because this was a very expensive lesson to learn :/. Plus it was actually my birthday and Christmas present combined so it was quite a heart-wrenching loss. 
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