Aloha!! I just arrived back from a week in Hawaii visiting my friend Val. What a beautiful place! I only wish I could’ve stayed longer. I’m just finally going through all my pictures now, and already wish I could go back! From the weather to the beaches to the endless palm trees, the island of Oahu was truly an amazing place. Sadly I didn’t bring the warm weather home with me though! Haha.
My trip kicked off at JFK. I brought some handy-dandy Trader Joe’s green juice to fuel up before the flight! I flew six hours to LAX and then another six hours to Honolulu. So I left at about noon on a Saturday in New York and arrived in Hawaii at about 8pm on Saturday. The time change actually wasn’t as horrible as I feared. I pretty much just went straight to bed the first night, and adjusted throughout the week.
Maybe it sounds cheesy, but I am such a sucker for palm trees! I was overly excited to discover endless amounts of palm trees EVERYWHERE once I arrived at Val’s house. (And really everywhere else.)
These monkeypod trees were also all over the place. They remind me of something out of a fairy tale!
On my first day, I groggily (still recovering from the six-hour time difference) walked down to the beach. There’s a stunning lookout just about 15 minutes away from Val’s house. So beautiful!
I came across a street named “Coconut Avenue” during my walk. LOVE. Where else in the world would you find this? I wish I lived on Coconut Ave!
One of my first meals was breakfast at Kokohead Cafe. I ordered a garden frittata (with coffee, of course), and I don’t completely remember what Val ordered but I think it involved pork! It was such a cute spot, like a surfer shack meets diner.
On my second day there, I hiked to the top of Diamond Head — a 200,000 year-old mountain that used to be a volcano!
Here are some pictures I took from the top:
And then back to the beach!
After the beach, I hit up Coffee Talk, which according to Val, is a Hawaiian institution! They serve up tons of unique drinks like Cinnamon Roll and Nutella Lattes.
I opted for an iced almond milk latte. So refreshing!
We finished the day at Diamond Head lookout! I’m not sure why, but the sunsets in Hawaii seem ESPECIALLY spectacular!
For dinner Monday night, we went to Val’s favorite Greek place, Olive Tree. Yum! I honestly forgot how much I loved Greek food until we came here. We ordered hummus and babba gannoush to share. I had never eaten baba ghanoush before (I think I was put off by the name? Haha!), but I am now a fan. I also ordered the tabbouleh salad and we shared baklava for dessert.
Tuesday was a major adventure day! We started with acai bowls from Health Bar. I NEED to try recreating this at home. The combination of everything was just on point. Acai smoothie, banana, granola, honey, strawberries… yum!!
Anyways, so back to the adventure part. We hiked through the rain forest! One of the coolest parts was walking through this bamboo forest. I had never seen bamboo up close and it was seriously incredible! And SO tall, as you can see.
This part was a waterfall, which was semi-walkable. I “hop-scotched” my way from rock to rock to walk around.
I also climbed an old Banyan tree!
After the hike, we drove to the Pali Lookout. Wow! The views from up there were almost even better than Diamond Head.
We went back to the beach again later that afternoon. Honestly, the beach never got old. Never.
On Tuesday night, we ate dinner at Panya. I ordered a salmon salad packed withs strawberries, apples and ginger (and a few other things I can’t remember!).
Of course we needed some dessert to finish off the night. Ice cream was the answer! We stopped at Bubbies, and I ordered two scoops of ice cream: coconut and Oreo. Yum!
That’s all for the first half of my trip. I have even more (TONS) of pictures to share… so stay tuned for “part two” of this post!