Saturday, September 22, 2012


I was on a mission to try out a Matsumoto's shaved ice because they were supposedly "the best on the island," so we headed out to the nearest one in Haleiwa.  
I tried a rainbow shaved ice, and it really was awesome. 

Next we stopped at Turtle beach to watch the turtles.

That lump in the middle of the picture is a turtle.  They were everywhere, getting tossed by the waves.  I couldn't tell if they were trying to make it to shore or what, but I felt a little sorry for them getting thrown, and jolted around on the rocks, and pushed back out to sea, just as they were almost to the shore.  It looked frustrating to me.

After that, we made our way down to Waimea Valley to hike to Waimea Falls.  It's a short walk to the falls, only about 3/4 of a mile, and all along the way it is sooooo beautiful.  On both sides of the trail are botanical gardens, and it's lush, and green, and exactly how I pictured Hawaii.

We made it!- the falls are in the background.

One last bridge to cross, and we were there.

The water was a little chilly, 70 degrees chilly, but Jaime and I decided to brave it, and go for a swim.

It looks like dirty water, but I learned the color comes from sediment from the lava rocks, so it really wasn't murky, or dirty at all.

We saw other people climbing up, and sitting on rocks under the falls, so we decided we wanted to do that too.  It was harder than it looked because the rocks were slippery and while trying to get a grasp on the rocks, I was being pelted in the face with cold water. . . so this was the best I could do. I know, lame, right?

Tara got this shot of our hubs doing a good job on camera duty. Ha!

For dinner we went to The Grass Skirt Grill, in Haleiwa, and it didn't disappoint. Pretty much everything we ate while we were in Hawaii was really good.

Brent's not normally a seafood eater (either am I), but he ventured out and usually ordered fish, and loved it.  
At The Grass Skirt he tried a fish called hebi, which was a white fish, and he really liked it. 
It makes me laugh that this beautiful dish was served on a paper plate (we found that a lot).  You've gotta love the laid back, anything goes, island attitude. I didn't see anything wrong with it.

Classic Hawaii town. (Haleiwa, Oahu).

We had a little friend who frequented our garage.  This little Gecko was usually there every time we were coming, or leaving the house.  In fact, these things were everywhere.

Relaxing back at the house on the lanai.

We ended our night with another breath taking sunset!

Friday, September 21, 2012


We started off the day with a beautiful Hawaiian sunrise.  We were normally awake at the crack of dawn because Hawaii time is 4 hours behind Idaho time.  So at 6:00 am, it really felt like 10:00 am, and usually by 9 at night we were drained because in my mind it was 1 am.
Getting up early had its benefits-- such as seeing the sunrise each morning, and hearing all the tropical birds chatter in the early hours.

Later that morning we drove around the tip of the north shore to Laie, where we ate breakfast at Hukilau Cafe.  We were excited when we saw it because of its history on the movie 50 First Dates.  Remember, that's where Adam Sandler, and Drew Barrymore get acquainted, and the whole thing about building a house out of waffles-- great movie. If you haven't seen it, I recommend watching it. 
However, when we walked inside the cafe, it looked nothing like the set on the movie, but there was a huge poster hung on the wall advertising 50 First Dates.  We asked our waitress about it, and she explained that the movie directors created the restaurant for the movie, and named it "Hukilau Cafe," not knowing that there was an actual cafe already in Hawaii with this name.  There was big legal hoopla, and the restaurant now gets to claim rights from the movie even though it wasn't actually filmed there.  So there ya go.

Then we drove to the Laie, Hawaii LDS Temple.

The grounds were gorgeous, which is exactly what I expected.

So pretty.

After the temple, we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center and spent the remainder of the day, and into the night there.
We started off with a canoe tour of the Center.

Going under a bridge on the canoe, our guide told us it was customary for couples to kiss. . .so Brent grabbed me, and laid one on me. Smmmack.

There are "islands" you stop at, and learn about different Polynesian Cultures (Hawaii, Samoa, Maori, New Zealand (Aotearoa), Fiji, Tahiti, the Marquesas, and Tonga.) 
You can watch little demonstrations, and shows at each stop.

In the afternoon, we watched a big canoe show that involved all of the Polynesian Islands.

This was THE best ice cream ever. I lost count of how many we ate while we were there.

These dudes were impressive with their tree climbing skills-- they were like monkeys!

Here's Brent throwing me some "Hang Loose."

Our evening ended at the Center with a dinner and the "Ha Breath of Life Show" which was very cool.  It was really interesting to learn about the history, and the culture of the Polynesian people, and what Hawaii is all about.  Those dancers are amazing, and really fun to watch. There was so much to see throughout the day, and it consumed basically our entire day which was great, and well worth it (it was spendy), but I think it's one of those things that you need to see just once (ok, maybe I'd see it twice).