Before Alex left for his year long tour in Bahrain, we knew we wanted to squeeze one last trip in and Hawaii was calling our names. Living in San Diego we’re about as close as you can get to Hawaii and it’s not uncommon to find great flights to pop over to the islands. I had never been to Hawaii before and we thought Oahu would be a good island to start with (I say start with, because you know I’ll be coming back for the other islands!) Surprisingly, I have a lot of friends that have lived on Oahu and they all had great things to say and tons of places we needed to visit, so Oahu it was!
Ordinarily I like to blog about what we did on our trips in chronological order to keep things straight. Even if no one reads these posts they are digital scrapbooks for Alex and I and we love to look back on them. However, in true Hawaii fashion, I never knew what time it was or heck, even what day it was! I can’t remember for the life of me what we did on what days… Enjoy a random summary of our week in Oahu!

Our first morning was my absolute favorite. We woke up at 5am to beat the rush and watch the sunrise on Hanauma Bay. It was unfortunately cloudy and we didn’t really see the sunrise, but it was amazing to be one of the only people on the whole bay and listening to the waves crash. Everything is so quiet before the sun comes up and it’s such a peaceful time. Upon sunrise we intended to go snorkeling here but unfortunately the waves were too crazy and the visibility was terrible. Oh well!


At some point, on some day, we hiked Diamond Head, the top gives you fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean and downtown Honolulu.


Beautiful views near Pali Lookout


The best recommendation I can give someone visiting Oahu is to go to Haleiwa Joes for dinner! We were so lucky to have booked an Airbnb less than a mile from this restaurant and were able to walk there on more than one occasion. The views alone are reason enough to come and that doesn’t include how incredible the food and atmosphere are!


Alex and I have always loved road trips so it’s no surprise that one of our favorite days included driving along the coast and up to the North Shore. The highlight being about halfway, a foodtruck stop with the famous Giovanni’s shrimp. Highly recommended, even if we both had stomach aches from eating too much.


We loved stopping at the fruit stands and buying anything that we had never seen before!


Another day at some point we hiked to Waimano Falls and Pools. Ohhhh how I loved this! We hiked through such dense jungly goodness and it was glorious! My ultimate goal was to find a waterfall and to swim in the beautiful pools butttt there hadn’t been a lot of rain and the water was pretty shallow, it was fun non the less! We had the whole place to ourselves, too! I love hiking in solitude. Except when we thought we got lost, then I was a little nervous….


They call this “Cardiac Hill,” I don’t want to know how it got its name… Thank you stairmaster for preparing me for this hike!

Beautiful Lanikai Beach where you can snorkel right off the shore.


We of course had to go to a Lu’au! For whatever reason I thought this was going to be cheesy but I was absolutely wrong. It was so fun! We went to Chiefs at Sealife Park and would definitely recommend this one. The “Chief” was pretty hilarious and the dancing was ah-mazing. Plus, my date was super cute.


The most highly anticipated part of the trip was scuba diving. Alex is scuba certified and generally is just a water bug. He loves to be in the water and is annoyingly obsessed with fish. On the other hand, I’m a little terrified of water. I screamed and cried at swimming lessons as a kid until my goggles were filled with tears and every human at the YMCA knew Joelle was at her swimming lesson. Even in high school my mom was convinced I couldn’t swim and made me take private swimming lessons. (FYI, I absolutely can swim). All that to say, I’m not super comfortable in the water and never have been. But I’m really into this whole conquering your fears thing and scuba diving has been on my bucket list forever, so we found a place that did a scuba diving crash course so I could go, too!
I faced my fears, told the instructor not to let me die and I jumped off that boat with all the confidence I could muster. Only to be brought up 20 minutes later after trying and trying to descend but unable to equalize. Kinda a huge bummer. They said it doesn’t happen often but some people just can’t equalize. Apparently my sinuses are weird. After that I wasn’t able to dive so I spent a couple hours hanging out on the boat with the captain soaking up the sun…could have been worse 🙂


Our last day we drove around the island again, ate more food until our stomachs hurt and spent some time in Haleiwa on the North Shore.


This photo is for anyone that knows Alex. He doesn’t go anywhere without his Gatorade water bottle and this photo is basically Alex in a nutshell; big old smile on his face and Gatorade water bottle in his hand.

Waimea Falls Park (this is the area they filmed parts of The Hunger Games; Catching Fire, in case you care).


One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Oahu was to spend time visiting the Pearl Harbor Museum and see the USS Arizona Memorial. I really hope everyone has a chance to see this in their lifetime. It’s an incredible reminder of the sacrifices that were made and continue to be made for our country.


The last day we had a couple hours before we had to catch our flight. I found a quick little hike to Makapu’u Lighthouse. Naturally, once we were about to the top it started pouring rain.


Until next time Hawaii… Aloha.


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