Mahalo, Hawaii

Ty and I just got back from a week of alohaness on Oahu. We went for Ty's brother, David's, wedding (welcome to the family, Linda!) and stayed to have ourselves some fun in paradise before returning home to the deserts of Utah.

If you have ever been to Hawaii, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about when I describe it as completely enchanting; 80-degrees, sunny days, beaches almost constantly within a stone's throw, friendly people, road-side fruit stands, fresh fish tacos, oodles of lush jungle to explore (essentially snake-free! did you know that?) and all the shaved ice you could want. I'm seriously hooked. Really really looking forward to going back.

We were sure to mix in a balanced amount of touristy vs. outdoorsy things into our trip, and I thought we did pretty freaking AOK. So, if you need an agenda for a stay on Oahu, here was ours:
- Polynesian Cultural Center (touristy and good -- the Samoa presentation is the best)
- Pearl Harbor (touristy and great)
- Honolulu & Waikiki beach -- dinner at Dukes with Hula pie as dessert (all touristy and good)
- Dole plantation (touristy, and I would recommend skipping the train tour and opting for the walking tour)
- Laie Temple (beautiful)
- Malasadas for breakfast (yes)
- Shrimp trucks for lunch (oh heck yes)
- Fish tacos for dinner (don't even get me started)
- Waimea Bay with rock jumping (the best beach on the island for sure)
- Pali lookout (such a lovely lookout, and no hiking involved!)
- Diamond Head hike/lookout (such a lovely lookout, and hiking involved!)
- Muanawili Falls hike with cliff jumping (a well-worn dirt trail with a waterfall and a 37-foot cliff jump at the end. Takes about 40 minutes each way)
- Sandy beach (nice for swimming)
- Shark's cove (really great snorkeling, and I even found a puka-shell anklet on the bottom of the ocean)
- Matsumoto's shave ice (of course)
- Waialua Bakery in Haleiwa (family run sandwich and smoothie shop that grows it's own produce to serve in the restaurant)