I’m so excited to continue recapping our latest Hawaii trip with you guys. I left off with us unexpectedly getting bumped to first class. Our plan for Hawaii was to spend three nights at Turtle Bay in North Shore and then six nights at The Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. Today’s recap is all about our time exploring the North Shore. Next week I will be posting a few recaps of our time in Waikiki, as we were there for longer and I have a lot more pictures and stories to share. That being said, this is a pretty picture-heavy post. I didn’t want to leave any part of our trip undocumented. It was an incredible experience.
Turtle Bay Resort
Josh and I found this gorgeous Turtle Bay condo online. It was made up to look like a beach house and was exactly my style. I would buy this little house if I could.
The place was stocked with movies, boogieboards, snorkel equipment, beachtowels, soaps and shampoos. It really had everything we needed.
If we had been staying in North Shore longer, we definitely would have taken advantage of this kitchen. That being said, we ended up going out to eat for most our meals because we had limited time to explore the North Shore.
I loved this bed. And being woken up to birds chirping every morning. It was heavenly.
Our lanai. Josh and I have really been lucking out with windows with gorgeous views on our recent trips.
For breakfast our first day we went to Lei Lei’s. It was right on the resort property and highly recommend. We both got French toast and it was good. It wasn’t the best French toast I’ve ever had, but I really liked it.
Josh’s fresh juice on the other hand was incredible. He was sweet to offer to share with me but then I definitely drank more than half of it. Whoops. ;p
The amazing trees
Hawaii is so beautiful. Everything is in bloom all the time. Here’s Josh with some ‘walking trees.’
And me with a pretty little tree I wanted to take home. It’s so cute.
First view of the ocean
Discovering the Stables
While Josh and I were wandering around Turtle Bay’s property, we may or may not have walked down a road that said private entry. It was deserted and seemed harmless, and I’m a bad influence. I’m so glad I decided to be a rebel for a hot second because it led us to stables!
And a cute sleeping cat. 😀
As soon as I found out that Turtle Bay offered horseback rides on the beach, I marched us back to the activities desk to sign us up for a ride. Horseback riding on the beach is a dream of mine. I used to ride horses with my family when I lived in the Poconos and it is something I really enjoy. Getting to ride in Paradise? Well, that’s pretty perfect. Josh is really the best. He goes along with my last minute plans and always supports even the silliest of my dreams.
The two of us at the end of a beautiful ride that took us along the ocean and through the woods. I loved my horse, but was not too fond of Josh’s. His horse wanted desperately to be in the front of the pack, and he kept kicking and biting at other horses if they tried to pass him! Mine was a gentle giant. If you get the chance to horseback ride on the beach I 110% recommend it. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
The soup that started it all
Oh kabocha, how I love thee. This pumpkin is so amazing it seriously deserves its own sonnet. We knew we had to get lunch at Ola’s while we were on the North Shore, as it’s another restaurant on the property that came highly recommended. I saw a soup that sounded good and ordered it without a second thought. As I was eating I kept on remarking to Josh, “This is really good.” “No really, this is REALLY good!” “Josh why is this soup so good?” Eventually he put down his veggie burger (which was also really good), took a spoonful, and responded, “Oh that’s kabocha pumpkin you’re tasting. Isn’t it delicious?” I had never heard of this mystical pumpkin before and now was determined to eat it all the time. This soup started an obsession for me.
I got to lounge with this cutie on the hammock and nap when beaching got too tiring. It was blissful.
Introducing Josh to shave ice
Josh has never had shave ice before (totally different than shaved ice, Italian ice, water ice, and all other variants). I knew he had to try it from the best, and the best is Matsumoto. It was just as good as I remembered it from my last trip there. Josh on the other hand found it merely okay. I don’t understand, but I still love him. ;p
I love that in Hawaii, even if it’s a few years between my visits, things mostly stay the same. I love routines, so that makes me very happy. My Aunt introduced me to Muumuu Heaven on my last trip to the islands and it instantly became my favorite store. It’s upscale apparel made from recycled Aloha shirts. The store is super beachy, they give you a glass of wine when you enter the door, and there’s tons of fun home goods scattered around.
For my souvenir of our trip I picked up a Heather Brown print. I love her work. My Aunt got me one of her framed paintings for my graduation and it meant the world to me. This print is going to go on the new photo wall that’s one of Josh’s projects this summer. It was the perfect souvenir.
The best Mexican food is in Hawaii
No seriously. Luibueno’s is the bomb dot com and better than a lot of the food we had in Mexico. The guacamole was so fresh and my chicken quesadillas were so yummy. I’m kicking myself for not getting food pictures but I was enjoying my time with Josh, my Aunt, and my Uncle. I somehow don’t have any North Shore pictures of My Auntie Kathi but she was by my side for most of the trip. I love her and loved loved loved getting to see her. (We have lots of pictures together from later in the trip when Josh goes off to do his conference thing and it’s me and her driving around the island.)
Conquering my Thai cravings (temporarily)
I love most foods, but I especially love Thai food. And I could not wait to have some good Thai food in Hawaii. Josh, my Aunt, and I went to Champa for dinner one day and started off with an eggplant salad. It was amazing!
We also got curries which were equally as delicious. Oh man I wish I could reach through the screen and eat this meal all over again. It was so fresh and flavorful.
A 5k at Turtle Bay
I knew I couldn’t leave Turtle Bay without getting in some exercise. Josh and I woke up early on our last morning in the North Shore to lace up our running shoes and run a 5k around the property. Thanks to the time difference I was waking up around 6am which was perfect for beating the Hawaii humidity.
There was also a nice breeze from the ocean as we ran past. It was a beautiful run that took us by the ocean, on the golf course, and through the forest. It was definitely the most beautiful run I’ve ever done. It felt so good to be moving and to get to experience that with Josh. Although I love all the action and vibrancy that is Waikiki, I love how the North Shore is so remote and surrounded by nature. When Josh and I come back (and he’s not attending a conference) we definitely plan on staying outside of the city.
Our Last Look
After our run we showered, packed, and walked to the beach one last time. We just sat and talked and took in the scenery. It was a beautiful day. After about an hour, it was time to grab our bags and go wait for The Bus. We had a two hour ride to Waikiki where the second half of our adventure was waiting. We were also finally getting to see some friends we hadn’t seen in over a year!
Questions of the Day: Where is your favorite place to stay in Hawaii? Have you ever ridden a horse? Are you a fan of Shave Ice?
Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. says
I stayed there last summer too! One of my best friends got married there and we rented out a condo.
Wow, your pictures are bringing back so many fun memories! We went to Matsumoto too, but I wasn’t a HUGE fan. I guess you either like shaved ice or don’t. I’m definitely more of a froyo gal! 😉
Froyo is awesome! Oh man I already want to go back. That must have been one beautiful wedding!
So fun! I love rooms with kitchenettes….I always cook up a large breakfast so we’re not starving by noon!
What beautiful pictures…glad you took advantage of so many fun activities!
We had a blast! I love rooms that have kitchens too. It’s also nice to be able to keep stuff cold and take home leftovers!
Joanna @Makingmine says
Wow – gorgeous! And of course you found a cat 😉
Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says
Haha, I almost posted a similar comment! 😉
I love them so much! I wanted to take this one home with me but Josh didn’t think it would be a good idea. ;p
Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says
SO much yummy food!! I am surprised you have never heard of kabocha! Whole Foods has it during the Fall 🙂
I’m so excited! I’m going to buy it all. 😀
Sarah @ Sweet Miles says
This looks like a trip of a lifetime! Wow! The beach looks like I would be in Heaven, holy cow! Ya’ll are too cute, thanks for sharing your pictures!
Aw thanks Sarah! We had the best trip! I wish I could always be near a beach!
Courtney @ Eat Pray Run, DC says
oh that hammock. love love love. awesome pictures — this looks like such a great trip. you guys are adorable!
Aw thanks Courtney! We had a wonderful time!
Erin, I am SO JEALOUS of your trip! This post just solidified that I need a tropical vacation asap!
It was so much fun!! I hope you get to take a tropical vacation ASAP!