Oahu Travel Series: Windward Wonders

For my complete series on Oahu Travel go here…Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on future travel features for the Hawaiian Islands!


So, our first day on Oahu we spent on Northshore. I also shared why you should rent a car while traveling on Oahu, so if you haven’t read that post yet, please do if you’re planning a trip to this lovely Hawaiian Island. On the next day we left home base in Honolulu and headed to the Windward side (east). Y’all…words cannot begin to capture the utmost beauty one sees while driving here. You’ll pass Diamond Head and many amazing beaches on your way around the Windward side.


We made several stops at various beaches and look out points. To capture the views in one word: breathtaking. But you have to see them for yourself!



I’m a beach girl, so while on Oahu I wanted to find the BEST beach. My research pointed me to Lanikai. Luckily for me, I also found my future home there as well!


Dreamy, isn’t it? It doesn’t hurt that it sits on the beach in front of Lanikai. The only snag I ran into was trying to find parking. Gabriel and I ended up not being able to figure it out, so we headed a little further down the road and found Kailua Beach. It did not disappoint.


The water was perfection. We frolicked about in the waves, soaked in the sun and simply relaxed. I’ll be honest, I fell in love with this beach. I could go every day, if given the opportunity. Come to find out it’s ranked as one of the top beaches in the entire world. Of course. I want to live by a beach that’s #1 in the world. I’m not high maintenance, but I guess you could say I do have good taste.


I’ll cherish these memories made with my little boy on Oahu for years to come. I have one more adventure in this Oahu Travel Series: The Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor. So stick around and keep livin’ la vida aloha!


Oahu Travel Series: Northshore Bliss (and Why You Should Rent a Car While on Oahu)

For my complete Oahu Travel Series go here…And be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on all of my travels in Hawaii!

Let’s continue my Oahu Travel series, shall we? We covered Waikiki and my stay at The Royal Hawaiian, now we’ll work backwards, as my trip truly started on the Northshore of Oahu. That’s right, after my son Gabriel and I landed on Oahu, we got our rental car and went to beautiful Northshore, where my heart soars!

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Most tourists tend to stay in Waikiki and miss out on the beauty of the rest of the island of Oahu. This simply should not be the case! While I love Waikiki, Oahu offers such a vast array of beauty that renting a car and making your way around the island is worth every minute of listening to Siiri try to prounouce the Hawaiian street names (bless).

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Perfection. This palm tree and blue sky are Hawaiian perfection. This was my first time driving on Oahu, as the other times I was on island it was just for a layover at HNL Airport or for a doctor’s appointment, which wasn’t very exciting…just going to an appointment in Downtown Honolulu. Everyone had me scared about driving around the island: “It’s the worst!” “Scariest thing ever!” “Don’t do it!” Thankfully, I ignored those warnings and drove. Even though I’m not a big fan of driving in general, and despite getting caught in 5 o’clock Honolulu traffic, it was breeze to me compared to tackling I-35 in Texas (now THAT’S crazy, y’all!). So, if like me, people have scared you away from renting a car on Oahu to check out the island, in my opinion with a GPS it’s simple to get around, and oh so worth it!

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My friend Sandy C. suggested that I type “Turtle Bay Resort” into the GPS to head Northshore. From there we could stop as we pleased. While we did not stay at the resort, Gabriel and I couldn’t help but check out this cool Surfboard Art piece. So beautiful!

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We had a busy travel morning, so sinking our toes into the sand and hopping into the waves at Turtle Bay were a welcomed treat. I loved the little cabanas for resort users, and while we just had our towels, I thought they were adorable. The waves were just right for little ones at the bay and we had a blast together, just mommy and son. I cannot wait to go back with my husband, too! Ah, just to spend some time basking in the Northshore sun will be a treat!

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After our dip in the sea, we headed to Haleiwa Town for some lunch, a bit of shopping and more exploring. Haleiwa Town is the stuff people’s island dreams are made of: cute local shops, top-notch surfing, beachy vibes, fun art and a food truck court. We ended up grabbing a bite at this Thai Truck, where I snapped a photo of the classic Haleiwa sign attached to the typical hippie van/food truck. Our spring rolls were delicious, although the wild chickens were a bit too friendly, literally begging like puppy dogs for scraps to drop. We had to laugh – in case you aren’t already aware – wild chickens cover the Hawaiian Islands, I’d just never had any beg me for food before. Note: don’t feed the chickens your scraps.

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Gabriel had some birthday money and decided to buy this adorable honu at The Growing Keiki. He still loves it and sleeps with it every night!

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Look who we found! You have to stop for a pic in front of this cool mural in Haleiwa Town.

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And what’s a trip to Northshore without a stop at Pipeline? Oh to visit in winter, when the waves are raging! That’s on my bucket list. While we live just minutes from “Jaws” on Maui, the beauty of Pipeline is that it’s close enough to shore that you don’t even need binoculars to watch the surfers. They are RIGHT THERE! So awesome! I hear that Jack Johnson lives nearby, which brings up another bucket list item for me: attend a Jack Johnson concert.

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Our day trip to Northshore Oahu was a success: we enjoyed the beach, the food and shopping local. My husband and I are returning to Oahu next week to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. I cannot wait to make memories with him there, as he has never been on Oahu. I still have more to share in this series for Oahu Travel: Windward Oahu (east) and Pearl Harbor (Pacific Aviation Musuem).

Livin’ la vida aloha,

Winter on Maui – The Ultimate Survival Guide

That’s why you can’t be a true Yankee without winter: because all the best pleasures are earned – the fire, the fried oysters; the warmer seasons, too. Who knows the real worth of summer at the beach without a good taste of the seaside in winter? -Julia Glass

Aloha Hawaii-lovin’ amigos!

In case you don’t follow me on Instagram or Facebook, it’s been a *tad* cold here on Maui the last several days. That quote up there? Yeah, Julia Glass, I’m not a Yankee. Y’all, we don’t do cold here on the Hawaiian Islands (if you live here & you do “do cold” kuddos to you…this post is for the rest of us). It’s snowing on Haleakala today.


If you live on Maui or happen to visit when the weather is weirdly “wintry,” this “Ultimate Survival Guide” will get you through it.


1. Drink hot tea.

Lots of hot tea. Or hot coffee. Or hot water. Just keep drinking hot liquids. Trust me.


2. Over-post on Instagram.

Guilty. When you’re stuck inside due to gloomy, cold, icky weather, you’ve got some time on your hands…so why not over-post on IG? Yeah. It happens.

3. Doodle.

Grab your dusty journal off the desk and go old school, doodling the day away. It’s almost as good as the beach. (I’m gonna keep telling myself that – haha!)


4. Text your friends around the island to find out if the sun is shining where they live.

“Hey! How’s the weather in Kihei?” “What’s it look like on the Westside?”

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We aren’t built for winter!

5. Don’t shave.

Ladies, this is our one opportunity, possibly out of a million, to finally just “go natural.” We’re wearing jeans and socks, so live it up like folks in the rest of the world in winter: skip shaving. (Sorry, no photographic evidence.)

6. Go shopping.

In case you were hiding in a cave over on Hana-side, and did not know, Target just opened last week. Bless. Or shop at a mom-n-pop shop...


Target’s on Maui! Eeee!

7. Dance.

Yeah, dance. Also, pull out your infinity scarf and contemplate these harsh winter days while taking a selfie. It always makes me feel better.

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8. Get your taxes done.

(That one’s for my hubby…love you, sweetie!)

9. Go to work.

Well, no reason to go beach it today…brr!!! Might as well work.

10. Get laughed at by mainlanders.

LOLOLOLOLOLOL – direct quote

11. Remember the good ole’ days of sun and surf…last week.

Word. Hold those memories close to your heart.

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Good times! (Chantelle Kanani Photography)

12. Thank God you live on Maui, and this, too, shall pass!

I had to encourage my kitty today: Hang in there, Layla! It will warm up again, the sun will shine…promise! xoxo

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Winter on Maui – how are you surviving it?

Livin’ la vida aloha,

PS If you enjoyed this “Ultimate Survival Guide,” you may also like “Things Maui Mamas Say When Preparing for a Hurricane.” Also, be sure to subscribe to Island Gypsy Hawaii (via the sidebar) to stay up to date on life on the islands, adventures on Maui, as well as the other Hawaiian islands, and general awesomeness. :)