A few months ago I found roundtrip flights to Hawaii for $300, and we made a split-second decision to just go for it. We felt like we were being crazy, but it turned out to be a great trip. Before we left we made a list of things we might like to do, and then every morning we gauged how much we were up for, and we went over the list looking for the day's activities.
And now, a lengthy post of my top ten favorite moments of our trip to O’ahu with Jack.
1. Waikiki Beach. My favorite moment of the entire trip was on Friday afternoon, when all three of us very, very slowly walked into the ocean. I held Jack, and Chris held Jack’s hands, and we backed into Waikiki beach. The whole process was quiet and sweet, and by the time we were all up to our belly buttons in the water, we were smiling and giggling. This was Chris’ idea (I resisted all afternoon), and I’m so glad we did it together.
Failure at getting two of Chris. Otherwise a total success of a picture. Another favorite picture on Instagram
2. Dole Plantation Hedge Maze. I unapologetically admit that my second favorite moment was a tourist trap. We did the hedge maze at the Dole Plantation, and I loved every single second. Because Chris was in charge, it took us a little less than 45 minutes. We would still be lost if I had been in charge.
3. Our Celebrity Baby at BYU-Hawaii. The greatest tragedy of this vacation is that I didn’t document my third favorite moment. We had lunch with one of the young women from our ward who is a student at BYU-Hawaii. While we were on campus, a group of Japanese tourists chased us down saying, “Aloha! Aloha! Aloha!” then they pointed to Jack and motioned that they’d like to take a picture with him. We said yes, and all ten of them surrounded Chris, peace signs blazing, and took a selfie. This one moment has endeared the entire country of Japan to us for the rest of our lives.
4. Ted’s Bakery. We landed in Hawaii and drove straight to Ted’s. I read all the Yelp reviews that said this place was overrated, but Yelp is full of liars. Those chocolate croissants. omg. Chris chose an Airbnb that was a five minute walk away, which meant that every day, breakfast was not only the most important meal of the day, but also the most wonderful.
5. Japanese Marketplace, Shirokiya. For my birthday dinner I wanted some sushi, and Chris Yelped this place. I’ve never been anywhere like it. There were bento boxes galore, and a spicy ahi roll so delicious that when we finished eating, we went back for seconds. Once again, we love Japan.
7. The Vans World Cup of Surfing. Jack woke up around 5:00 every day, so we spent a few early mornings walking along Sunset Beach. I have had actual nightmares where the waves were smaller than the waves we saw. And because the competition was going on, as the sun rose, we’d watch the best surfers in the world ride truly terrifying waves.
8. Byodo-In Temple. We stopped here on our way to Honolulu. It was a peaceful way to spend an hour and, surprise, it was built to celebrate 100 years of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. Japan. I’m telling you.
9. Manoa Falls Hike. This was a super short, easy, fun hike. I loved walking next to the stream, and I’ve never seen a bamboo forest before.
10. Jack's Special Day. We have a Special Day tradition in the Perry household, and Jack had his very first Special Day on this trip. The poor guy had a rough afternoon on Wednesday (the grand finale was arriving at our Airbnb in Honolulu and they were MOVING, you guys. Moving. We showed up ready to put him down for the night AND THEY WERE MOVING. "Oh, hi, we didn't know when you guys were going to get here, can we get you a glass of water? Your sheets are still in the drier."), and so we checked into a Marriott and made the next day Jack's Special Day.
Other things I liked: 1. Delicious fish tacos and pumpkin crunch 2. Matsumoto’s shave ice 3. Waimea Falls in the botanical gardens 4. Turtle Beach 5. Renting a Fiat 500
Things we left for next time: 1. Jurassic Park tour 2. Pearl Harbor (heh, we were there on December 7 and we didn’t go, too much stress for the Perrys) 3. Punchbowl Cemetery 4. Keawa’ula Bay