My husband Quent and I are only 48 hours into our five nights on Oahu, Hawaii, and we’ve already been hiking, snorkeling and stand-up paddling (that was all in 6 hours this afternoon). We toured the excellent, newly expanded Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, where rain didn’t damper our poignant visit to the USS Arizona Memorial. I absolutely loved my first-ever lomi lomi massage and Bamboozles by the Aqua Bamboo & Spa’s pool. We sampled the goods at Wailoa Shave Ice (which I’d written about two years ago, sight unseen) and ate savory tacos at the awesome Zaratez Mexicatessen food truck (thank you, Nathan Kam!). We toasted with Longboard Lagers and Halekulani Sunsets, ate delish (cheap!) deli sandwiches from a hole-in-the-wall cafe, and feasted on a big omelet and crabcake Eggs Benedict at a popular strip mall breakfast joint. Yeah, it’s been nonstop action — but that’s par for the course when Q and I travel; he’s not one to lie poolside all day (um, I could be), and since the weather isn’t cooperating for sunbathing anyway, we’re so happy to be out exploring Oahu.
I can’t wait to share our experiences on Oahu with more detailed blog posts in the coming weeks, but for now, here are just a few favorite photos from the last two days.
The surprising highlight of our trip so far: stand-up paddling. I swear I balanced my way through a bunch of waves while standing, but I wanted to share this photo of me kneeling during my one-hour stand-up paddling lesson because I feel like my expression exudes pure joy. It was really, really fun. I highly recommend Waikiki Beach Services at the Royal Hawaiian — namely because with the price of an hour lesson ($65/person), you get a CD of digital photos:
We stopped by Sandy Beach Park, where, 14 years ago, Quent and I got pommeled trying to body surf in the huge waves (truly, a fond memory). This time, there was no way in heck we were going in — the waves were absolutely huge and only locals geared up with flippers, boogie boards and wetsuits even attempted to ride them in. Obviously, the rusty warning signs didn’t deter their fun:
Admittance to the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor is free. I believe anyone who vacations on Oahu should take a day to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, which honors the more than 1,100 men who lost their lives when the ship sunk in the surprise attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941. See an excellent documentary film about this infamous date, and learn more in two fascinating exhibits: ‘Road to War’ and ‘Attack.’ Visitors ride a boat out to the USS Arizona Memorial, which floats above the ship’s sunken hull:
We hiked up the paved 1.25-mile trail to the Makapuu Lighthouse, with very cool views of the windward coast:
We’re having a ball on Oahu — despite the unusually cool and wet weather! Though it’s hard to complain when we’re surrounded by palm trees, deep blue ocean, lush valleys… and we know that the kiddos are happy at home with Grandma. It’s all good.
Thanks to the Oahu Visitors Bureau and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau for helping to arrange my trip!