This trip was essentially me sponging off of Jon's work trip for the Laie Temple. Jon had to work most days from dawn to dusk, so I spent a lot of time alone. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Since Kara and Karlee took me to Hawaii some years ago I had a good idea as to what to expect, where to go and what I wanted to see again.
When one, who hasn't ever been to Hawaii, and even some that have, think of Hawaii they generally think of the popular spots. Waikiki, Honolulu and Maui. Beautiful places, all of them. They think of rolling blue waves and soft sandy beaches...and they wouldn't be wrong. Every one of those places offer so much. Guided tours, surfing lessons, tours of Pearl Harbor and the rich history and hotels of grandeur. It's worth seeing, truly.
When I think of Hawaii, I like to think a little differently. When Kara took me years ago, her goal was to show me what the tour guides didn't show. The local surfers at Sandy's beach, the perfect white sands of Lanikai and the quiet neighborhoods and homes of Kailua. I fell in love with Hawaii in those places.
This trip was unique and different. I was alone much of the time. I drove for hours up and down the coast finding places to stop and take the perfect pictures. I found places to stop and eat local food, caught or made by locals that only a roadside eatery can give. I spent a lot of time in some places while just a moment in others. Most of my time was spent in the places that spoke to me, to my soul. I found Kahana Bay to be one of my favorite spots. The sands weren't as white and perfect, but the views from the Bay can't be matched. Surrounded by green, lush mountains and tall trees, that towered like guards over the bay. It was quiet there, and I felt safe. As though the landscape was trying to protect the people and animals that frequent there. It was also perfect for children, since the tide was minimal.
I found a lot of soul searching easy to do at the lookouts of Sharks Cove on the North Shore. There's no sandy beaches to play on, but the beauty of the rocks, the crystal blue waters and perfectly white foamy waves crashing with a luster can leave a person perfectly mesmerized for ages, as I was. The sounds, the smells and the sights are some of the most beautiful on the island.
And Lanikai. What can I say about Lanikai that isn't gushing with love? Pretty much nothing. It's like the pictures you see in magazines. White sands, water so clear you can see every detail of the ocean floor beneath it. A must see if you're going to be on Oahu.
Now I want to mention a few things you won't find in tour guide. The lesser places, the local favorites and the people. You haven't eaten in Hawaii until you've stopped at the most obscure eatery on the roadside. Favorite spots like Tita's grill. You haven't eaten in Hawaii until you've gone to Leonard's in Honolulu for malasada, and then shared some with a locals, because they all gush on and on about them. You haven't seen the most beautiful parts of Hawaii until you've met the locals, seen the homeless on the beaches and the beautiful children surfing the waves like they were born in them...maybe some even were. Those have to be my favorite parts of Hawaii. The parts that are overlooked by some. Those are the true things that make Hawaii Hawaii.
Like anyplace you visit, there's the popular places and then the places that the people who live there love. Whenever you go anyplace new make sure you ask friends and family where the best places to go are. I found a dear friends advice valuable beyond words (thanks again Janet!). She helped me find the best places to eat, and of course thanks to Kara and Karlee for showing me Hawaii in the first place. I knew exactly what I wanted to do because they had shown me long ago the best that Oahu has to offer.
I will go back again one day, and I will find new things to see and do. I will find the most beautiful pictures to take, of the things that most people overlook everyday. In the meantime, I will sit and enjoy the memories of this trip.
|Sharks Cove on the North Shore|