Saturday, February 07, 2009

I recommend

Showing the dead rat in the pool to the visitors center's director, aka Mark Eubank the Weather Guy.

Here are some things I think you should do if you go to Oahu:

  • Stay on the North Shore. At least for half the trip. Rent a condo at Kuilima Estates at Turtle Bay, perhaps. will get you there.
  • Eat at the shrimp trucks in Kahuku. Giovanni's is our favorite. Get the scampi.
  • Spend a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Do the luau and evening show, maybe the IMAX. You can hop on a quick tour of BYU-Hawaii and the LDS temple, or go there on your own another day. Very pretty.
  • Sing, "Oh, I'm going to the Hukilau. Huki, huki, huki, huki, huki, Hukilau." And then go to the Hukilau Beach for a sort of Hawaiian Provo/Mesa experience, if you know what I mean. Lots of one-piece bathing suits and big Polynesian college boys wrestling on the beach. Maybe you don't know what I mean.
  • Pick a beach, any beach. Don't settle for crowds. You can have a beach all to yourselves without much trying.
  • If it's rainy, chase the sun on the west (leeward) coast. It's most likely to be sunny and you'll get a cultural experience. Otherwise, you'll likely not go to this area, and that's fine.
  • Visit the beach at Turtle Bay. It's gated, but it's a public access beach, and they'll let you in for free. Snorkel here if you want.
  • Stop in at Ted's Bakery for delicious lunch to-go. Coolest (yet painfully slow) sort-of dive in the heart of surferville. Get the legendary pie! It's cool, really.
  • Go to Haleiwa lots and lots, mostly to eat: the greatest burgers ever at Kua Aina, shave ice at Matsumoto's (you'll know it from the line out the door; try it with ice cream or beans), most delicious Thai food at Haleiwa Eats, banana fritters and fried ice cream at Rosie's Cantina.
  • Waimea Valley is a very beautiful and pleasant walk, and rewards you with a swimmable waterfall hole at the end. (Lost alert! THE waterfall! You know, the dead bodies, and briefcase, Kate and Sawyer?)
  • Speaking of Lost, it's fun to look up filming locations and visit them on a drive.
  • Skip the Dole Plantation unless you're really into the tourist traps. Or if you want to see how a pineapple grows, which is sort of cool. If you do go, get the pineapple whip ice cream inside. Skip the maze, for heaven's sake!
  • Off the beaten path: stop in at Goodwill in Wahiawa for all your Hawaiian shirt and muumuu needs. THOUSANDS of them. Very cheap. Kind of a fun side trip when driving into town from the North Shore.
  • Pearl Harbor and the Arizona memorial is worth it. It's a sacred experience. The only free thing you'll do, besides the beach.
  • Really fantastically beautiful hike on the East coast, windward side. A place called Haaula --your guidebook will get you there. Sketchy at the trailhead, but persist! It is stunning. Plan on two hours or so.
  • The Halona Blowhole is fun to stop at. We saw a ton of whales not far from shore here.
  • Visit Chinatown. Eat at a restaurant where apparently the health code doesn't apply. Ups the authenticity factor, and the taste of the food.
  • Hike Diamondhead, although be prepared for millions of gnats at the top.
  • If you have a military ID, buy groceries (don't forget pineapples and souvenir chocolates) at Hickam Air Force base commissary. Your grocery bill will thank me, three times over.
  • Hit the Aloha Stadium swap meet on Wednesdays, Saturdays, or Sundays. Avoid buying souvenirs elsewhere at least until you've been here.
  • Go to church. I love to go to church on vacation to get a feel for the people.
  • Buy unusual fruits at roadside stands.
  • Really, just disregard this entire list and lie on the beach every day. Don't forget sunscreen and a good book.
  • Have so much fun! (That means you, Carrie!)
Anyone want to add anything? Please do!


abby said...

it all sounds amazing. i'm friends with mark eubank in real life.

Emily said...

Are you, Abby? He didn't mention you.

Emily said...

Margaret Thatcher mentioned you, though! No, really, how do you know him?

Carrie said...

You crack me up! Thank you, Emily.

Kalli Ko said...

dude we are on it. and we've already been looking at for a few weeks now. planning a repeat visit for next month and I CAN'T WAIT.

Callie said...

I love the rat picture, it made my day.

Rachel said...

I am so jealous! Glad you all had fun.

amyegodfrey said...

I feel like I was with you. Thanks for a fun list that we can refer to when we all go again!

Neil and Diana said...

I want to go together!!!

amyegodfrey said...

Me, too!

lys said...

I love Oahu. I'm so jealous that you were there! Sounds like you had a great time. I'm glad to know what our favorite ex-weatherman is up to these days. I guess he can't ever wear his famous white jacket where he is!

Nancy said...

That Mark Eubanks gets around, I want to go on his mission! Last summer when we went to St. George he was our tour guide at the tabernacle, for real. Funny. Sounds like fun, and brings back a lot of Hawaiian memories, ones I hope to relive in 2010!

Amy said...

Visit the Punchbowl National Cemetary. It's inside an extinct volcano and has the best view looking out over the city toward Diamond Head. The history documented there is amazing! (and my grandpa is buried there)

eRiCa said...

you just made me VERY "homesick"

I went to BYU-H and danced at the PCC (also worked at the Gateway restaurant there as well).

EVERYTHING you mentioned including seeing a dead rat brought back a flood of wonderful island memories.

*sigh* Blast you Midwest Winter!

Bryan said...

Glad you mentioned the swap meet, that place rocked. Leonard's Malasadas (Hawaiian donuts) should be a stop for you next time you go.

P.S. I hope you don't think less of me, I completed the pineapple maze!

pam said...

The picture reminds me of the time we found a dead rat in our pool in Phoenix. It caused a lot of excitement among the children. Sound like you had a great time. Wish we could have been there.

Andrew and Heidi said...

Reading your list brought back alot of memories for me - when I was a teenager my family went to Oahu for Christmas 3 times and I loved every minute of it - it's now been over 20 years (GASP!!) and I want to go back so badly and take Andrew to see all those places...

wendy said...

I'm jealous. I am so tired of being cold.

abby said...

woops, just kidding. i'm friends with his son kevin.

Jord said...

I am saving this list for whenever I make it to HI someday. I am so glad you had a great trip!

Anonymous said...

any more posts coming ?