Hawaii Bound: O’ahu

After an enjoyable stay in Kaua’i, we set off for O’ahu for the next leg of our journey. This part of the trip was mixed business and pleasure.  One of my hubby’s clients is the Turtle Bay Resort. They had been inviting DH to come visit for some time, and when they heard we were taking some time to recoup in Hawaii, they said we couldn’t leave without a stay at their resort.

Turtle Bay Resort spans 850 acres on the north shore of O’ahu. It boasts of two swimming pools, a beach, spa and more activities than you can imagine including golf, tennis, horseback riding, surfing, biking, hiking, stand up paddle boarding and even ukulele lessons.  It has been featured in several movies, the most recent being Forgetting Sarah Marshall. There is really no reason to ever leave this resort. I mean, ever. Like I could live here. Seriously.

We spent the majority of our time swimming or lying by the pool, sipping cocktails and enjoying the resort’s good food.  DH said he liked how relaxed I was in Hawaii.  No kidding. It is the definition of relaxation.

 

Food

A perk of being a preferred guest of the hotel, breakfast was included, and they treated us to one very fancy dinner.  Thus, we ended up eating the majority of our meals at the resort as I’ll describe below.  We did venture out a couple of times to check out the local fare.

Hauula

The Shrimp Shack 

My reproductive endocronologist had just come back from O’ahu and recommended we go to Giovannis Shrimp Shack on the way to Turtle Bay.  Sadly, we did not make it as we took the scenic route to get to the North Shore and were, consequently, starving by the time we reached the first of the shrimp trucks, The Shrimp Shack. It was within a half hour of closing when we arrived, and DH said the coconut shrimp tasted of old oil. J and I got hotdogs, which were fine. We also got a tropical strawberry float, which was delicious. It gets good Yelp reviews, so we would probably try it again but earlier in the day.

Haleiwai

Ted’s Bakery

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On the way home from the Polynesian Cultural Center, we hit up Ted’s Bakery. It had been recommended for its famous pies. We ordered the Loco Moco, a traditional Hawaiaan dish consisting of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg and gravy. Strange but good. We also got the famous chocolate haupia cream pie, and one other that apparently was not as memorable as the chocolate haupia. That is definitely the pie you should order.

Kahuhi/Turtle Bay Resort

We ate at the resort the majority of the time, and were pleased with all of the choices. For breakfast, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet in the Kula Grille, trying something new each day. At lunch, we ate poolside at The Point. We enjoyed the hummus dipping trio, quesadilla and drinks including some pretty potent mai tais and monkey’s lunch (frozen banana drink). For dinner, we had flat bread pizzas at the Lobby Lounge and had an amazing 5 course tasting at the Pa’akai, their fancy restaurant.  The waiter there was even kind enough to order J some mac ‘n cheese from the grille next door so she would not be left out.

The Sights

As I said, we spent the majority of our time in O’ahu trying to do as little as possible. Having said that, we could not leave without visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center and Pearl Harbor.

Polynesian Cultural Center


This is literally an all-day activity, especially if you decide to attend the dinner Luau. We enjoyed a small-scale Luau at Turtle Bay on our first night, so decided to skip it given that J was about to pass out after a full day at the Center. We methodically hit up all 6 island villages: Somoa, Aotearoa, Fiji, Hawaii, Tahiti, and Tonga. Each island puts on a brief show and had special demonstrations. There was also a parade of boats from the various islands that was fun to watch. It is a can’t miss experience.

Pearl Harbor


We decided to go visit Pearl Harbor on our way back to the Honolulu airport. Little did I know, as I was leisurely reading about the Pearl Harbor visitor’s center at about 9 AM from my balcony, that you need to prebook your tickets. There are a small amount of same day tickets available, and folks line up at 7 AM to grab these, which often sell out in the first hour. This was disappointing news, but we decided we would go anyways and explore the various museums. We ended up getting there at a fantastic time. The gentleman directing folks to the movie and U.S.S Arizona toar ushered us to a special line that would allow us to get in if there were no shows for the tours every 15 min. At that time of day, he said we would definitely get in, and sure enough, we did after less than a 30 minute wait. It is a humbling experience to imagine this time in history and see for yourself that the U.S.S Arizona is still leaking oil 50 years after it sank. It is rumoured that it will do so until the last survivor is buried there…

All in all, Hawaii was a great trip. It is probably my favorite trip, thus far, and I have been to various places in the U.S., Europe, U.K., the Caribbean and as far away as China. It is not a cheap trip by any means, but if you can search out some great deals and save all your credit card rewards points as we did, it is totally worth it! Aloha!

For more Hawaii vacation recommendations, visit my Pinterest board here or read about our Kaua’i trip.