Makapu’u Point | Waimanalo, HI
This is our second winter in Chicago, and we got smart about surviving old man winter here in the north. In January, we took a lesson from the locals and went south for a couple of weeks…to the middle of the Pacific!
This was the first time my husband or I had been to Hawaii and we have really good friends stationed there (the guys went to Navy dive school together and graduated in the same class a year and a half ago). They have kids the same age as ours and an awesome guest room in Kane’ohe (which honestly ended up being my favorite area of the whole island).
Unfortunately, even though we stayed with them for a week and a half, we didn’t get any photos of the adults together–my guess is we were slightly busy with the four kids aged two and under. 😉
This is an extremely photo-heavy post, but I took a break from social media on this trip, so it’s the first time I’m sharing any of them publicly. I won’t narrate too much, so enjoy the photos of beautiful O’ahu! (Mostly phone photos, sorry for quality!)
Kalama Beach | Kailua, HI
Haleiwa, HI (Oahu’s North Shore – where the big surf is)
Waimea Valley | Haleiwa, HI
The tiny specks at the bottom of the waterfall are my husband and his friend. We hiked to this waterfall and the guys/toddlers went swimming.
The Ko’olau Range is incredibly breathtaking to drive through and around. No photo can possibly do them justice! (Also–I felt like I was on LOST, which, as it turns out, was filmed at the ranch pictured above.)
We drove the northwestern perimeter of the island one afternoon after visiting Haleiwa.
We stopped at a roadside stand to buy mango otai (and it was AMAZING!).
Green World Coffee Farm | Wahiawa, HI (^those are coffee beans!)
Lanikai Park | Kailua, HI
Lanikai Pillboxes Trail, Kai’wa Ridge | Kailua, HI
We did a lot of hiking (my favorite activity). This series of photos is from the Lanikai Pillboxes Trail. There are two WWII bunkers along the top of the ridge (the graffiti’d structures). This was definitely the best view of any of our hikes.
Likeke Falls Hike | Kane’ohe, HI
Pu’u Pia Trail | Honolulu, HI
Waikiki | Honolulu, HI
There is a military resort in Waikiki, so we stayed there for two nights to get the “Waikiki experience” (whatever that is exactly with two babies!). My favorite part was hanging with the insane number of Japanese tourists (Japan isn’t so far away from there, after all!). We ate ramen with them and then wandered into a food truck area to get shave ice, which, as it turns out, was marketed toward the Japanese tourists as their flavor of the day was adzuki bean (supposedly tastes like baked beans). I really enjoyed the small experience of their culture as I want to one day be stationed in Japan (c’mon Big Navy!).
Chinatown | Honolulu, HI
Koko Crater Railway Trail | Honolulu, HI
This trail was my favorite hike as far as challenge goes (I like a challenge). It’s an old WWII railway-turned-hiking-trail, involving a little more than 1,100 “steps” (the old railroad ties) up the side of the volcano. The line running up the side in the above photo is the trail. It was quite steep and a lot of the steps were about knee-height, so it was a bit like stepping onto a chair 1,100 times. Ha! The view was worth it.
Honolulu from the top of Koko Crater Trail
Going down was quite steep–especially when you have a kid strapped to you (I had one on my front, which allows the same visibility of your footing as being 9 months pregnant, haha)!
Bellows Field Beach Park | Waimanalo, HI (possibly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen)
I am so incredibly grateful that we had the opportunity to take this trip to visit our friends! Grateful that we escaped the northern winter for a couple of weeks. Grateful that my husband is at a brief stretch in his career where he could take time off like this. Grateful that the Navy has scattered us and all of our friends across the globe so that we can visit each other in new and exciting places. We are so fortunate!