My dad grew up on Oahu in Hawaii and so for as long as I can remember my family and I have flown from the mainland to the islands several times each year. While the focus of each visit remains the same, to visit my 102 year old grandmother, my family and I do our best to incorporate vacation time as well.
Our first and favourite destination for this trip was Turtle Bay, a resort that sits on the most Northern Point of the island. When you tell someone you are going to Oahu, they think Waikiki: crowded beaches, high-end shopping and tourist trap tiki bars. But Turtle Bay is different, it's a part of the island that mostly remains untouched from commercial buildings and tourist attractions (exclude the large Polynesian Cultural Center) and it boasts private, quiet beaches and tropical greens instead of concrete.
The days were spent reading by the beach, snorkelling, biking to the famous Banyan tree (featured in the popular TV series Lost and the well-known movie Hunger Games) – but mostly, we just let the time pass a bit more slowly.
After being refreshed and rejuvenated from the Northern island lifestyle we headed into chaotic Waikiki to visit family. My grandma may live in the now-bustling Honolulu area, but she resides in a quiet room decorated with photos from another time. We went through photo albums, witnessed her comically pull out her dentures, and watched her eat ice cream(!).
To pass the time in Waikiki I looked up a nearby hike I had never done – a 1.5 mile stroll to Monoa Falls. It was such a luscious, green, tropical part of the Honolulu area I had never experienced before. The waterfall at the end was stunning, despite the crowd of people posing in/around/all over. Be warned: get up early and get your butt to the trailhead, because as we were heading down there were mobs of people on the trail.
Until next time Hawaii. *~Aloha~*
Mahalo nui loa and warmest aloha!
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