28 Sep Exploring Hawaii. Or as we say, eating all the things.

Just an FYI before you continue… this will be a long post. Wanted to get all of our adventures into one post so please enjoy some of the things, but not all, that we did during our short vacation to Hawaii.

We wanted to get the SpoCom coverage as well as the OSIxHI meet out there ahead of this post, as those were the main reasons that we came out to Hawaii. But before all the car stuff, what better to do than to eat all the deliciousness and explore all the greatness that Hawaii has to offer. While I didn’t get to picture take pictures of everything, like our day at Aulani or a couple of the dinners, but this just gives a small glimpse of the things we ate and the places we went.

Anytime we come to Hawaii, after getting off the plane and getting our rental, our first stop is always to get poke somewhere. I think the last time we did this, we hit up like 3 or 4 poke spots just to figure out which ones we like the most. It made for an amazing day but boy were we stuff by the end of it all. This time, we hit up two very different spots, Alicias Market and Ono’s. Alicia’s market is a tough one to beat. Their poke offerings and delicious cooked food is definitely hard to beat. It’s always a must have place to go to on any trip to hawaii. But for the BEST spicy ahi, which is my personal favorite, you have to go to Ono’s off of Kapahulu. This is the spot we go to 100% of the time we’re in Hawaii. Small, local spot that just has the most amazing poke. I hate having to type this out because now I want more.

After the double dose of delicious poke, we kind of toured around trying to kill time, and definitely tried to kill off the food coma that we had gained. We usually don’t just drive around the city side. We’re more of a “enjoy the view of the water” type people. But, we do what we had to do. As we were driving around, we found a street that lead up a crazy hill. It took us to the top and an incredible view of the city. The pic at the top of the page showing some of the city is the view we had from around the middle of the hill. The houses up there were super nice and had some of the most incredible views from up there. Just wish I could afford to have a house up there. I wouldn’t mind it at all. Walk outside, robe on, drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying the finer things in life. One can dream!

Next up, dinner time! After driving around, exploring the city, we met up with the most amazing people, our Hawaii fam, Christie, Hien and Scott. They have done so much for us while we’re out there I wouldn’t know where to start. Love coming to Hawaii just to meet up with them, hang out and eat at all the delicious spots they suggest. Just like this one! They took us to a spot called Franky Fresh who’s whole restaurant theme is old school hip hop in it’s classic days. The whole restaurant was decked out in old school boomboxes, vinyl records and the best of hip-hop music playing. Their menus were even vinyl records which just made the whole theme that much better. Definitely a chill spot some of the tastiest burgers and shakes. If you have a hankering for burgers and shakes and want to listen to some old school, definitely come by here. You won’t be disappointed.

Dat burger doe! So good. The shake was just as delicious. Lucky charms that tasted just like the cereal made me happy.

Last but not least, any dinner adventure wouldn’t be complete without some dessert! We stopped by a spot called Frost City which was only a couple blocks away. I think I had enough room for dessert so it was all good. The desserts here were tasty. Snow ice + toppings and boba will always hit the spot no matter what. Plus it gives us more time to just hang out and chill with our fam. I mean, even Freddie and Scott got into some friendly competition in Connect 4 and Don’t Rock the Boat with penguins…

See, we weren’t kidding about the penguins.

With how full we were, and some people having to go to work the next day, it was time to say our good nights. The next day, we woke up earlyish, and made our way to North Shore. We try to do our North Shore run during the week because the moment the weekend hits, instant traffic everywhere. We’ve done it once before on a weekend and we made sure we never do it again. Ever. Overtime we head to North Shore, our first stop is always to Haleiwa Bowls for the perfect acai bowls for breakfast. It’s just the right amount of toppings, the right amount of acai and overall, the right amount of delicious early in the morning. If you ever go to North Shore, please stop by this place. You won’t leave disappointed. On top of that, we had some visitors watching us as we ate our food. It was interesting just watching them roam around without a care in the world and sometimes even fighting each other. At some point, some older ones came through and basically forced the mom and the chicks to run away from us.

Papaya, Blackberries, banana covered with honey on top of a bed of Acai. Happiness in a bowl.

One of many visitors for breakfast.

After finishing up and buying some souvenirs from Matsumotos because it was across the street, we continued our drive around North Shore. Driving through North Shore has some of the most beautiful views. Clear blue ocean, beautiful greenery, all without the obstructions of big businesses and tall hotels. Everything there just feels like home and care free. I love driving through there because it really puts your mind in a relaxing state. Observing mother nature at it’s finest and soaking it all in with the sun in the sky. Then mother nature brings you presents in the form of hawaiis favorite animals, TURTLES! Turtle beach has ruined me in the past. One of the times we were there, I swear one turtle waved it’s fin at me as a wave came onto land and I didn’t see anymore turtles that day. But every year after that, the turtles have been coming out more and more. This year was simply the best. We counted at least 10+ big turtles spread across the beach. All of them feeding on the rocks all over the place. It’s all I ever wanted from Turtle Beach and I finally got to see it all. Pure joy my friends, pure joy.

After spending about 30-45 minutes there it was time to move on. Some of the turtles have left at this point and as much as I wanted to, we couldn’t stay there forever. At this point, started getting hungry and needed to find a place to eat. While people usually go Shrimp Trucks spread all across a stretch of land in North Shore, we’ve done it enough times and were over it. Yah, we said it, we’re over the Shrimp trucks. So we went to a tiny spot that you definitely get your moneys worth at. It’s a tiny spot called Tita’s Grill. An over abundance of filipino food in a to go box that probably weighs about 5lbs all together. This is the most food coma inducing spot you could eat at. Let me just describe the two plates below.

This plate consisted of Spam, Garlic Chicken, Teri Beef and 2 filets of fish. All that served with rice and mac salad.

This one was Portugese Sausage, Spam, Fried egg over a loco moco burger steak. My god, these two are suuuuuper good. Just make sure you have a driver because there’s no way you’re going to be able to move after eating these things.

After recovering enough to drive, we wanted to stop by La’ie Point, aka the Hole in the rock. You drive past a couple residential blocks and it opens to a spot where you can park along the street and walk across the rocks to a closer view of the hole. When we first started coming here, the hole was a bit smaller. There was a a pretty big rock in the middle of the hole but after a couple years, that rock got pushed out by the water and hole has gotten bigger because of it. Mother Nature, you scary. but it’s a nice scenic spot and something a little different. You can occasionally see people fishing from the cliff edges as even more evident because as you walk across the sides, holes in the rock with tubing are all over the place where fisherman stick there poles in hoping for a bite. It’s a beautiful spot to just come by and look at the scenery and just the ocean breeze. I didn’t know this until recently, but you can even see cliff jumpers every now and then that jump off the sides. I wouldn’t… but that’s because I can’t swim.

After that was a quick stop at Chinamans hat. The infamous spot that most people have been to and taken a picture “wearing” the hat. Just a quick stop just to check it out as well as the water. While driving around, Freddie in his infinite wisdom mentioned something about a Japanese temple. And myself, Kevin, forever doubtful said it wasn’t where we were and after a little bit of driving, there it was. Sorry Freddie! The temple we went to was called Byodo-In. Located in an area called “Valley of the Temples” as this area has many temples/churches/etc all around the location, it was definitely one of my favorite spots to take a quick detour to. For a small admission, I believe it was $3 each adult, you can view the temple as well as any of the animals that happen to be there. It was a beautiful temple and the view was of it was amazing. Everyone was allowed to enter the temple. But if you do, you must take your shoes off and stay quiet. The location also provides incense for people to light and set for a prayer if they wish to do it. While touring the small location, you’re even allowed to ring a giant bell located to the left of the entrance as you walk over the bridge. We had to do it because why not.

To end the day of exploration, we went to basically the opposite end of the island. We drove to Hālona Blowhole, just past haunama bay. When the waves are strong enough, the water pushes through a naturally formed “blowhole” in the rocks and water gushes out. Our timing was a bit off as the “blowhole” wasn’t shooting out water as much as we had hoped, but it had it’s moments and it was awesome to watch. The surrounding area has amazing beaches too. On one side, you have a small beach that a lot of locals go to because it’s in-between cliff sides and the water naturally forms amazing waves that people of all ages love to body surf on. On the other side, you have a beach that many locals go surfing and boogie board on all day. The waves were crazy, slightly intimidating on top of that, and it was cool to just watch the locals ride the crazy waves.

That was it for that days exploration. We had dinner at Agu Ramen, which had amazing ramen, and celebrated our good friend/fam Grant’s birthday at our favorite bar ever, Home Bar, that night. But because I was lazy, there’s no pictures of this moment. The next day, we got up early again, as it was the day of Spocom, and stopped by one of our favorite breakfast places, Yogurstory. Thankfully, this spot was located near the blaisdell, where SpoCom was at, so it made sense to eat here. This place has some of the best pancakes because they are made with Ube. The fantastic purple root that is full of joy for your taste buds. That combined with all the other foods is just the best before a show. Then of course, we had to get some shaved ice before the trip was over. So a hop, skip and a jump away was Waiola’s Shaved Ice. It definitely was refreshing eating and enjoy that right before the show.

This pretty much sums up our trip. Like I said, there were a couple more things we did and places we ate at but i wasn’t able to capture the moments. Next time I will! Thank you for checking out the recap of things we did in Hawaii besides the car stuff. We love Hawaii and everything about it. Just wish we could go more often. Mahalo!