Monday, January 12, 2015

How to kill 11 days on Oahu without spending a single minute in Waikiki.

Back in November when we agreed to skip New Zealand and head homeward from Melbourne, we discussed the possibility of a stopover in Hawaii for a few months. And by "discussed," I mean that one of us made a vague suggestion and we both immediately decided it was a brilliant plan... We may not be tropical island people, but we're most definitely not Maryland-in-winter people. We booked our flight to Honolulu that evening.

Hawaii is really expensive. Really, really expensive.  We had farm plans set up for the Big Island but nothing for Honolulu. A few weeks before our flight I emailed an old friend who lives on Oahu to see if she knew of anyone who needed a housesitter over the holidays. Her reply? "Yes - we do!"

XO, karma. We owe you so very big these days.

We arrived on the island the morning of the afternoon we left Melbourne (time travel is weird!), settled into their gorgeous, enormous '70s-style condo and waited for the cat to come out and say hello.

We waited, and waited.

And waited.

With Mr. B in constant hiding we were forced to find other ways to entertain ourselves, so we tooled around the island to see what we could see. This included...

visiting North Shore, brah

hiking Koko Head on Christmas morning

hiking the Makapu'u Trail on Christmas afternoon

whalewatching and flower powering along Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline
(not pictured: whale)

admiring sea blowholes from the spray at Makapu'u

checking out northern views from the lighthouse

appreciating waterfall #1 of 3 along the Ka'au Crater hike
(we had to boulder up waterfalls #2 and 3)

wowing at beautiful Ka'au Crater

resting at the top of the Lanakai Pillbox hike

wandering around an art exhibit at Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden
(this artist was 12 years old)

enjoying the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens
(where we finally started to feel Lost)

meandering through the Koko Crater Botanic Gardens
(the Americas section, brah)

visiting Pearl Harbor monuments...

... and seeing miniature displays of planes mistakenly lined in rows

See? Absolutely zero minutes in Waikiki. The closest we got was Chinatown one weekend for the market. It was perfect.

Our friends returned from their trip and we were able to see a few more things over the next few days, such as...

super cool to see you!

the peaceful and gorgeous Chinese cemetery

amazing My Rang Sa Buddhist Temple

... and BUFORD!
so nice to see you too, after a whole freaking week

On an unrelated note, Hawaii sunsets are unreal. Just unreal.

there are about 87 more photos of this one

and 53 more of this one

and so on...

... and so forth...

... and so fifth

Food notes: we mostly ate in because we had a lovely kitchen at our disposal. But we did make it out for some treats...
  • poke from Tanioka's - a bit out of the way but totally worth the drive!
sesame, spicy ahi tuna, tofu and crab
(not pictured: crispy ahi tuna roll and some spam sushi rolls)
  • Zippy's, a Hawaiian institution famous for bento, Portugeuse bean soup, and fried chicken
so we tried all three
  • our homemade Christmas dinner of Hawaiian spicy chicken, roasted veggies and of course, pineapple
not bad for packaged spice mix!
  • Whole Foods for a completely overwhelming experience (the bar/restaurant outside - is that really necessary?)
decisions, decisions...
  • of course no visit to Hawaii is complete without a stop at a local Kona Brewing Company
Castaway IPA and Fire Rock Pale Ale for the win
  • and one night Patrick took the Pepsi challenge with Hawaiian and Oregonian beer
Deschutes won... but not by much
  • and appropos of nothing, Lisa's amazing lasagne

Lodging notes: housesitting in an awesome '70s condo decked out with a pool, hot tub and sauna for 11 days is the way to go, brah.

After almost a month of being tourists, we were ready to be productive again. Next stop: Kona for a little voluntourism, farming, and seven whole days apart! Whatever will we do...?


  1. i wish my '70s condo was "awesome" / =

    1. You must've missed the memo - *everything* is awesome.