Back in December, my sister and I met up for a week in Hawaii, and it was the best thing ever. I pretty much haven't been able to stop talking about it since. The scenery, the weather, the food, the time with my sister, I couldn't have hoped for more.
Ten years ago I had a summer job in Hawaii, which was an incredible experience. I've been dreaming about going back ever since, but this was my first real opportunity. I was a little nervous, thinking that maybe my memories had grown more rosy as the time passed. What if it wasn't as wonderful as I remembered? But that turned out to be a needless fear.
We spent our first four nights on the north shore and the last three in Waikiki. If you have the chance to go to Hawaii, and you'll be on Oahu, I can't recommend the north shore enough. It requires renting a car, but it's so worth it! And driving around the island is part of the fun. Julie and I were always gaping out the windows at how beautiful everything was, and pulled over more than once just to see a beautiful vista or explore a beach by the side of the road. It's so much calmer than Honolulu - the perfect place to relax and unwind.
I had read that food in Hawaii is kind of overpriced, and not very good. But either we got lucky, or we're not very picky, because almost everything we ate was great. Being on vacation we embraced the spam musubis and turkey sandwiches (a novelty for me coming from Japan) from the convenience stores just as much as we did the fresh fruit and seafood.
After coming back Raku asked me what makes everyone talk about Hawaii like it's the best vacation spot ever, even better than other tropical locations. And I stumbled trying to put an answer into words (it just is, ok?!?) But I think it's a mixture of the intense beauty, the perfect climate, how friendly everyone is, how small and accessible the island is (I assume this is true of the others besides Oahu) and perhaps some special Hawaiian magic.
So, if you ever have the chance, go! And in the meantime, try not to be annoyed at all the pictures I'm about to post.
|First Night on the North Shore: Mokuleia Beach Park|
|Julie was obsessed with all the chickens|
|In winter the waves are giant on the north shore|
|More giant waves|
|This actually looked a lot better than it tasted|
|The water was so rough that the Pipeline Master's surf competition was on hold for days|
|The Best Sister|
|It's even pretty when it's stormy|
|The view from Kualoa Regional Park|
|Kayaking in Kaneohe Bay|
|Waikiki at Night|
|Macadamia nut pavlova with lemon curd and tropical fruit|
|The pool at the Surfjack Hotel|
|In my memories the light is always this golden|