Last weekend we went to the beach with my mom who is visiting us. Luckily for us, there was a monk seal hanging out. He/she decided they were done looking at everyone and decided burying their head was a great idea. Love this picture!
We started 2016 with a hike so we decided to end it with one as well! It was a beautiful day so we headed to the Northwest part of the island to hike to Kaena Point and then spend the afternoon at Yokohama beach. It was a morning filled with animals — plenty of whales on our way to the point, albatrosses in their protected environment and we saw five Hawaiian Monk Seals at Kaena Point (one of them in the water deciding whether or not to come in). We spent the afternoon enjoying the beach and relaxing. A great way to end 2016!
Thursday was our North Shore day. Our tentative plan was to stop at some of our favorite places (for both food and scenery). First stop was Giovanni’s shrimp shack in Kahuku…quickly followed by delicious corn on the cob.
We continued on to Haleiwa..and along the way we stopped at one of the beaches for our third monk seal sighting of the trip!
We made it to Haleiwa (which has changed quite a bit..new shops, restaurants, etc). Even with all of the new stuff to choose from, we decided to share a Matsumoto’s Shave Ice.
After walking around and enjoying Haleiwa, we started our way back to town. On our drive back we saw yet ANOTHER monk seal..making our total for the trip four! Which is a lot considering they are critically endangered with about 1,100 left. We also got a glimpse of Sacred Falls on our drive back!
We made it home to shower, change and make the sunset at the Tantalus lookout. It was a bit cloudy, but we still got some great pictures.
After a beautiful sunset, we met Kevin, Saki and Kion (Kevin is Josh’s friend from the Marines) for dinner at Sweet Home Cafe. The restaurant is a Taiwanese-style hot pot and shave ice place. It was absolutely delicious!
On Friday, our last full day there, we hiked the Hanauma Bay ridge. This was another new hike for us and it completely blew away all of our expectations. It was a gorgeous day and we could once again see Molokai, Maui and Lanai. I think the pictures will do a better job of describing how gorgeous it was! The waves were quit insane…Josh took an awesome video!
After that incredible hike, we drove around the east side of the island for the last time and got some poke at Hibachi again in Kailua.
After my last poke bowl, we went back to our apartment to shower, change and get ready for dinner at Duke’s!
On our last day (so sad), we checked out of our airbnb at 10:00 AM and went to Diamond Head Cove Health Bar for one last açai bowl.
After enjoying the deliciousness, we drove around the area a bit checking out all of the cool houses and then had an early lunch of Shabu Shabu (my fave).
We then headed to the airport to catch our flight. It was absolutely amazing to be back and Josh and I left there even more determined to do our best to live there again one day (especially since it was 43 degrees and raining when we landed in Chicago). I am so thankful we were able to go back and see our friends, get outside after SUCH a long winter and enjoy some of our favorite foods! 🙂
After a couple days of volunteering, it was the weekend and time for some hiking! Our goal was to do some of the hikes that we didn’t get to do while we lived there. The first one we started with was the South trail to Kaena Point. We had taken the North trail a few times but hadn’t ever explored the South side. Our drive there was stunning. It was our first time to that side of the island and neither of us realized how pretty it was!
After a pretty awesome trip to Kaena Point, we were both starving and went straight to get some poke at our favorite – Ono Seafood.
We went back to the apartment and showered before deciding what to do for the evening. We decided on eating at House Without a Key at the Halekulani hotel in Waikiki. We sat outside and enjoyed the amazing weather and a really great meal to end our day!
The next day, we got up and hiked Kuli’ou’ou Ridge. This is one of our favorite hikes on the island and we were really excited to get to hike it again. The view of the Windward coast at the top of a hike never gets old!
After the hike, we got lunch near Diamond Head at Bogarts and then had my favorite açai bowl from Diamond Head Cove Health Bar.
After a shower, I met some friends from BGCH for dinner at Side Street Inn while Josh did homework. We tried tons of different food as it was family style. So fun!
On Monday, we had a laundry day and then met Andy and Anna at Bellows beach to hang out. I sadly didn’t take any pictures at the beach…too much fun catching up! A great way to end our long weekend!