In November Crosby and I did the unexpected (by us, anyway – everyone else seemed to expect it!) and eloped on Oahu, at Turtle Bay on the North Shore. It was a stunning experience and I blogged about it here. The entire stay was incredible and I thought I’d share a bit more from our trip. I’ve been to Oahu 3 times now and I’ve enjoyed each time tremendously, though this last one including the North Shore was particularly magical. Here, my recommendations for visiting the Island – beyond the bustling streets and beaches of Honolulu.
- Tour the Island. By land and or by air. We had the pleasure to doing both. We were staying on the North Shore, at Turtle Bay, and took a leisurely car trip up the East side of the Island (highly recommend going counter clockwise touring islands – tends to be less traffic that direction. Why? Idk.) and I was immediately struck by the contrast of the jungle covered, jagged mountains and the pristine, palm-tree decorated beaches. Having never ventured out of Honolulu on Oahu, it was clear there was much more to the island than I had known.Then, on Thanksgiving day, Ethan, Amanda, Crosby and I took a helicopter tour of Oahu. To say it was incredible (and somewhat terrifying) is an understatement. Seeing the ocean from above that way – flying through the canyon the Japanese used for attacking Pearl Harbor, hovering over the world’s tallest waterfall, and cruising over the shores of Waikiki was unforgettable. Particularly special for us was seeing Turtle Bay Resort, including the beach where we’d been married the day before!
- Learn how to surf With Uncle Brian. I’ve had three surf lessons while visiting Oahu. The first at Waikiki Beach – where surfing was “invented” – and I got up twice. The second was through Turtle Bay – on a rough surfing day – and got up once. With Uncle Brian’s capable instructors, I got up 7 times – and it would have been many more if I had stayed out there. With Uncle Brian, I felt like I actually learned HOW to surf. Not that I’m an expert, but I know the next time I surf, I’ll have a very productive time.What makes surfing with Uncle Brian different? His surfing instructors are there to instruct. We practiced numerous times on dry land, correcting my tenancy to stand up too fast by reminding me a wave is 150 meters long – staying balanced for an extra 20 meters will leave me with plenty wave to surf. Once out on the water, my instructor paddled me back out most of the way, helping me save my strength for the next round. That made a *huge* difference – I consider myself to have strong arms and to be in shape, but surfing muscles are different! Just the act of paddling from wave to wave kicked my ass the first two times. Uncle Brian & his instructors also have the respect of the locals, who treat you with kindness when you are learning the ropes.
- Eat like a local. There is some great food to be had on Oahu. There is also some really overpriced, crappy food to be had, so here are a few of my favorite ways to avoid the latter. The Elephant Shack dishes up fantastic Thai Food using local, organic produce. It was my first choice for wedding-day lunch and I would have happily eaten there every other day (but sadly they closed around the Thanksgiving holiday). Another great spot to grab a bite is Waialua Bakery & Juice Bar, across the street from Elephant Shack in Haleiwa. Along with refreshing smoothies, sandwiches and salads, they have incredibly delicious baked goods – including gluten free options. And their turkey is *real* roast turkey, so super delicious. Finally, a trip to the island isn’t complete for me without a visit (or two or three) to Bill’s Hawaii. All items are delicious, especially the breakfasts, but the kimchi fried rice takes the cake.
- Visit Waimea Valley. One of our last tourist activities and not to be missed. Wandering through the lush valley felt about as close to paradise found as you could get. The trees growing on trees, giant leaves and papaya trees dripping in fruit were just magical. We all had fantasies of being on set there for Lost or Jurassic Park. While the waterfall wasn’t all we’d hoped it would be, the gift shop provided a fantastic opportunity to stock up on Hawaii paraphernalia, including black salt, the perfect Hawaii ornament and the most delicious honey-macadamia nut butter.
Sweet shot on the helicopter ride by Amanda
Spoiler alert: we eloped! On November 22, 2017, Crosby and I tied the knot at Stables Beach of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore with two of our best friends. So how did we arrive on that? Did we expect to elope? Let me tell you, we did not expect to elope. Crosby … Continue Reading →
There is nothing I love more than having a hot coffee first thing in the morning when I wake up, especially on chilly fall mornings. There’s something so peaceful and comforting about wrapping my hands around a coffee mug filled with delicious brew. These days I’ve been particularly enjoying adding some seasonal spice for additional … Continue Reading →
Flying High In the initial flurry of activity and excitement after our engagement, I immediately decided on my dress. I knew I wanted sleeves and a long silhouette. I also very much wanted a dress I felt good in off the rack – in every sense. I wanted a cost-effective option and I also … Continue Reading →
Fall is such a magical time of year. And while I’m sorry to say goodbye to the sweet days of summer, the Fall offers a great upside: more energy in the office with everyone back from vacations; crisp mornings and cozy weekends with something simmering long and slow… But in my part of California, Fall … Continue Reading →
This is one of those dresses that feels just magical when you put it on. Fully lined with silk, it hugs your body in just the right way and keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It’s the kind of quality you pay for, but it’s so worth it. I found … Continue Reading →
GoodEggs has been my go-to solution for having extremely high quality, fresh, local food for dinners at home since I moved out of San Francisco and went back to work in an office last year. When I was working remotely I had plenty of time to visit farmer’s markets and pop to the store if … Continue Reading →
I love waking up and starting the day feeling good. Here are three things I do to ensure that’s the case! 1. Hydrate. I drink a giant glass of water with a few drops of Sakara Beauty Water concentrate, two teaspoons of Super Elixir and a gooey vitamin C pack. This supercharged drink gets my … Continue Reading →
There’s something about cooking together – the shared experience, learning, experimentation, and primal comfort – that makes for a fantastic date activity. Crosby and I love to cook/eat together (as I talked about here, planning the week’s meals is a favorite activity). We first took a cooking class together because of our shared love of Thai … Continue Reading →
I got this top (now on sale!) when I was between meetings in New York. I was having one of those times when I just felt super lackluster and desperately needed some retail therapy. I ducked into the Alice & Olivia shop across from Bryant Park and immediately fell for this blouse. It has just … Continue Reading →