After taking an early morning flight, we arrived in Oahu, Hawaii before noon. We were grateful to even be in Hawaii, given the COVID regulations there and having to re-plan this trip several times. Originally, we were supposed to go to Kauai but the island announced a mandatory 14 day quarantine, regardless of showing a negative Covid test. We didn't give up though and booked a new hotel, flight, Covid test, and car rental on Oahu!
Everything was pretty organized flying there and I honestly felt safer there than in California given that everyone was compliant wearing masks and to enter the island you had to show a negative Covid test.
We picked up our Jeep Wrangler, groceries from the store, and our first stop was Leonard's bakery. We devoured our malasadas- the fried pastry, slightly crispy and slightly chewy with a coconut filled inside. We headed to Marriott's Ko Olina Beach resort with our Foodland poke and POG flavored hard seltzers in hand and soaked in the Hawaiian sun that was still beaming in the middle of December.
Dinner at Da Crawfish and Crabshack
Diamond head opened to the public 12/16 after being closed due to Covid. This 1.8 mile out and back loop is gives beautiful views of Waikiki. We spread ashes here as we went on this hike several times with our mom.After the hike we grabbed açaí bowls at Da Cove Health Bar and then went to relax on Waikiki Beach. Parking is a pain anywhere in Waikiki which is why I generally avoid the area. There’s a parking lot near Hawaiian souvenirs shop called Waikiki Parking garage which looked like the cheapest option.
Shave ice is a must in Hawaii. We stopped at Shimazu store for ours.
Night market with a ton of local eats and treats. We grabbed meat sticks, pork fried rice, and some stuffed cookies and took it back to eat dinner in our room.
The North Shore Soap Factory is all about locally produced and manufactured soap. It’s nice to walk around there and there’s also Waialua Coffee which offers a short tour of their coffee roasters and a nice place to grab an iced coffee at.
One mile stroll through lush botanical gardens that lead up to the grand waterfall which you can swim in!
Lunch at Pupukea grill
Turtle Bay is located on the North Shore and it’s beaches stretch along the scenic coastline for miles. The bay is named after the large number of green sea turtles that inhabit the area. We spent the afternoon here and also spread ashes in the coastline.
Some mai tais on the North Shore along with dinner at Uncle Bo’s.
Lazy day at the beach and pool. Rachel and I tried every flavor of the Maui hard seltzer’s and no surprise here but POG was the best.
Dinner at Duke’s
This 1.8 mile hike felt like a killer Stairmaster workout- Rachel and I had to take lots of stops on the way to the top of this mountain. There are old railroad tracks mounted to the hillside that the military created during World War II to haul cargo and supplies up to the top. Today the abandoned railway is used as hiking stairs to reach the old military bunkers and ridgeline. After enduring the 1,048 steps there is a is a rewarding panoramic view up top and lots of breeze.
Great spot for beers and a bite to eat.
Spread ashes on the Marriott Ko Olina resort where we had our timeshare and spent a lot of time at.
I woke up early to watch the sunrise today and then walked along the beaches of all the resorts until I hit Island vintage coffee. I wanted to try the island latte (macadamia nut with a hint of coconut flavor) and it did not disappoint.
I love being on the water and sailing the Waikiki side of the island was amazing. Due to covid regulations they only allowed up to 12 people on the boat so it felt pretty private. It was also open bar so the 1 hour sailing was a good time.