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Dreaming of Paradise: Hawaii

Reflections on my recent journey to Oahu island, Hawaii

If there is one word to describe Oahu island in Hawaii, it would be Paradise.

Known for the large stretch of surf friendly beaches in Waikiki beach and home to the bustling capital city of Honolulu, Oahu is the 3rd largest island in Hawaii. Honolulu is a unique mix of tropical beach and cosmopolitan city. The waves of the ocean mixed in with the bustling of the city creates this interesting mix of noise that is both busy yet soothing. Being on an island does not get in the way of Honolulu being a very stylish, metropolitan city. The fashion here is beachy, free spirited, colorful and reflects the city’s heritage- a mix of Polynesian, Japanese and American culture.

hawaii ocean

The spirit of “Aloha” reverberates throughout the island and you will hear and see this word everywhere you go. A saying with a multifaceted meaning, I means “Hello, I love you” and on a deeper level it is acknowledging the divine in everyone. Living in accordance to nature is an important part of Polynesian culture and they saw the rhythms of nature as being represented as the ebbs and flows of the ocean waves. Surfing is a very predominant activity on this island the ocean waves in Oahu are strong and has the best waves for surfing.

In the end, I summarize my stay in Oahu as refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating. I spent my entire trip mesmerized by the beauty of it all- from the tropical lushness of the plant life, the gorgeous deep cobalt and turquoise of the sea and the bright magentas, yellows and corals of the Plumeria flowers.

I have teamed up with Jessica Lee, Oahu resident and founder of the non-profit, The Kind Foodist (www.thekindfoodist.com), to compile a list of do’s and don’ts for your next visit to Oahu.

Don’t:

  • Just stay on one coast, visit all four coasts of the island to get the full range of what Oahu has to offer: Leeward (Makaha Beach), North Shore (Bonzai Pipeline), Windward (Lanikai Beach), and South Shore (Waikiki Beach)
  • Go to overpriced Western restaurants. All the nearest Asian and even Portuguese cultures have combined throughout the island’s immigrant history to produce some of the most epic and unique tastes. Why go for an overpriced steak when you can explore poke, malasadas, and yakitori?

Do:

  • Go to the North Shore and devour some garlic shrimp at the original Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, then stop by Matsumoto’s Shave Ice for some frozen delights!
  • Visit Honolulu’s KCC Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning to taste some of the sweetest exotic fruits at Frankie’s Nursery stand, and other specialties like fresh grilled abalone or Pao de Queijo (Brasilian cheese balls)
  • Take a surf lesson at the historic Waikiki beach where dolphins, turtles, and whales often swim by
  • Taste the ahi poke wherever you go, and cast your vote on the island’s best poke
  • A beautiful hike on at least 2 different coasts, such as the Lanikai Pillbox Trail (Windward) and Koko Head Trail (South Shore)
  • Attend an authentic luau to learn about the traditional Hawaiian culture - my favorite moment was when the sun set, and all you could see were the stars and glow of the fire as the fire dancers were spinning

Indeed, Oahu is blessed with rainbows and sunshine on the hour (how this is physically possible, I don’t know!), crystal blue beaches, and genuine smiles, and you wonder how anything can top all of this? To be concise, incredible food.

Find out more on the best places to eat in Oahu by visiting The Kind Foodist’s blog: http://thekindfoodist.com/2016/07/28/a-trip-to-hawaii-best-eats/



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