Hawaii: Oahu

My heart has a soft spot for Oahu: it’s where I met and married my husband. Visiting always feels like coming home, this time more than ever. After nearly a year away from family and friends I was missing them. I took a gamble on Air NZ’s reverse auction and scored a return flight to Honolulu for $650! Two weeks later my direct flight landed on time. As one of the few Americans on the flight I passed through immigration quickly and caught my family as they were entering the terminal. Ten minutes later I was sitting in my sister’s living room. Smoothest transition ever!

The week was a wonderful mix of family time and enjoying what I love about Hawaii: running around diamond head, hiking Manoa Falls, and pigging out on Leonard’s malasadas. I do not love shopping, but that was a chore I had to get done. It’s both easier (I know my size) and more affordable to buy clothes in the states and there are several grocery items that I failed to find in Auckland. By the end of the trip I had taken full advantage of my baggage allotment.

I left more in love with Hawaii than ever. The time difference and nonstop flight made it an easy trip. The island was familiar, but there were still new places to explore, like Kailua town with my sister. I hope I make it back while she is still there.

Dates: 2-10 November 2014
Travel with: visiting my sister & her family, and Dad’s ‘surprise’ appearance
Weather: beautiful with scattered showers, 80s
Accommodation: with my sister (aiea) & hale koa (waikiki)

  • EC’s soccer party at hickham beach;
  • running diamond head;
  • shopping: exchange, macy’s, ross, walmart, commissary, ala moana mall;
  • lanikai beach with BC;
  • GC’s spelling bee;
  • hale koa pool with dad;
  • walk to leonard’s;
  • Japanese Gardens & Byodo-In Temple;
  • mass on base & at St. Elizabeth’s in aiea (Catholic);
  • Makahiki celebration (Hawai’ian Thanksgiving) at hickam;
  • manoa falls hike.


  • yardhouse burger (!);
  • b&d c’s kitchen (!!) – consistently great food;
  • leonard’s bakery;
  • fancy cocktails at la mer;
  • orchids;
  • fish tacos at dukes;
  • jack in the box;
  • poke at foodland;
  • aloha sushi (!);
  • jamba juice x 2.

Next time: try cinnamon’s in the ilikai and cream pot