i must be hawaiian in my past life. i just keep coming back to the island, i feel a great connection to it, i feel at home. being there means being in my element.
during the holidays, kai and i went on a short trip to LA to spend christmas with my aunts and cousins and on new year's day, we found ourselves hawaii-bound where we spent a whole week in this lush tropical island! we rented a beautiful house in the north shore of oahu, in a town called laie. the house was located by the cliffs so we had this majestic ocean view to wake up to everyday!
i'm quite happy that we stayed in the north shore, the countryside and provincial part of oahu. north shore is only an hour away from waikiki but much less touristy, less crowds, no big hotel and resort chains and definitely no signs of kitschyness! it's the best place to experience living as locals do.
we'd make trips to the local market for fresh tropical fruits and vegetables. we always had something healthy everyday and even made green smoothies every morning. being in nature and eating healthy... i was just loving it!
the beach was a five minute walk from the house. it's a quiet, empty beach where we took the kids there every morning to go for a quick swim and build sandcastles. the weather was mostly windy and cloudy with some rainshowers, but that didn't matter as we had the wide stretch of beach all to ourselves!
we found a seal just lazing on the sand! only in hawaii!
shrimp trucks are popular in the island. you'll find them scattered along the major highways (at kamehameha, kahuku or haleiwa town) but we frequented fumis shrimp truck and had lunch here almost everyday! since i'm vegetarian, all i could order was their rice topped with buttered garlic sauce! luckily, there's a vegetarian thai food truck just beside it so that's where i ordered food which i paired with fumis rice! this would be the unhealthy part of the trip but it was just too good to pass!
moving over to healthier stuff again, we got our fresh coconut juice fix and fruit snacks in this fruit shack just beside fumis! love those signages, so rustic and tropical!
after lunch, we always made a point to take a quick trip to the historic haleiwa town for the famous shaved ice! two of the popular ones are matsumoto's (66-087 kamehameha hwy, haleiwa) and aoki's (66-117 kamehameha hwy, haleiwa) which are just right beside each other. we prefer aoki's which has got finer ice texture. i loved the lilikoi (a local tropical flower) flavored shaved ice. also try any flavor with a dollop of condensed milk... delicious!
if you'r e looking for something to take home as a souvenir, matsumoto's has got a collection of really cute graphic tees for men, women and kids!
it was time to try out other restaurants to eat at other than fumis, so we had a big hearty meal at kua 'aina (66-160 kamehameha hwy, haleiwa), known as the best burgers in hawaii! too bad they didn't have veggie burgers on the menu so i just opted for grilled eggplant & peppers sandwich with avocado and their scrumptious skinny fries.
for a nutritious and filling snack, head on over to haleiwa bowls (kamehameha hwy, haleiwa), a little shack located just across matsumoto's aoki's. i swear these acai bowls are way too good! acai sorbet with granola, bananas, blueberries, honey and coconut flakes! we even went back seconds!
besides good food, there are lots of gift and surf shops in haleiwa town. it's a nice place to go for an an afternoon stroll and check out the pretty, quaint shops.
gorgeous golden sunset at haleiwa.
the north shore has got tons of great beaches for surfing and swimming! just along kamehameha highway are famous surf spots like sunset beach above.
and waimea bay! you can go cliff jumping in this beach when the sea is mellow. that's my cousin, roy, making the 40 foot cliff jump! i chickened out, something i regret!
pupukea tidal pools (kamehameha hwy, south side of shark's cover) is a marine conservation area that's got clear blue waters and is great for snorkeling! such a beautiful site this beach is! kai and i enjoyed our little adventure trekking thru the rocks, spotting some fishes and swimming in its little pools! just don't forget to bring your own snorkeling gear and having aqua socks would make walking here much easier!
view from our car ride, a lovely rainbow! we even saw the end, but no pot of gold (:
thursday is haleiwa farmer's market day in waimea valley! we went crazy shopping for fruits and vegetables, artisan breads and jams, fresh juices, smoothies, bath and body products that are all organic and locally made!
our farmer's market loot - kale, pineapples, lilikoi bread, spelt goddess bread, lilikoi jam, coconut butter and natural body butter!
took the kids on a train ride thru pineapple fields at the dole plantation (64-1550 kamehameha hwy, wahiawa), which they really enjoyed.
stopped by ted's bakery (59-024 kamehameha, haleiwa, in sunset beach) for dinner and tried their chocolate haupia pie!
another thing not to miss in hawaii is leonard's bakery (933 kapahulu ave, honolulu). order for their soft, fluffy, malasada puffs, donuts with custard filling and coated in sugar. sinfully divine.
my cousins and i went to turtle bay resort (57-091 kamehameha hwy, kahuku) one night to have some drinks and dessert. turtle bay is probably north shore's only major hotel and also the where the movie, forgetting sara marshall was filmed at.
just a few steps down the road from our place in laie is, laie point that's got an absolutely epic view of the iconic rock and the majestic ocean! it's a really great place to go for a walk and soak in the beauty of nature. don't miss this when visiting hawaii.
that's pretty much it! up next, the garden island of kauai!
if you haven't seen it yet, check out my previous post on hawaii back in 2011!