I wrote a new Oahu and Honolulu City Guide as a guest post for Design Sponge a few months ago. Life has been busy so I kind of forgot to write about writing it! The guide lists about 75 of my favorite shops, restaurants and things to do on Oahu. I split it into three areas – Honolulu (beyond Waikiki), the North Shore (Haleiwa) and Kailua (windward Oahu) and created a Google map to go along with it.
I hope fellow bloggers find it helpful as they plan to visit Oahu. And as I said in the post, I’ll probably still feel like a visitor years from now! I guess I should head over to see if anyone has left new recommendations in the comments. Speaking of comments, the format of the post is a little confusing because they left the comments up from a previous Hawaii city guide even though mine is completely new and only for Oahu. (Just skip down to June 2012 for the real comments.)
Here’s a peek at one of my favorite stores I listed in the guide – Pacific Home. I want that chair!
I spent the entire month on the mainland – one week on vacation and four weeks working. Here are 10 things that made me happy:
- Good times with good friends – especially these two ladies and their dudes.
- Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
- The little things – hello, tiny frog.
- The big things – hello, trees that are too big and tall to comprehend.
- Camping in the California redwoods.
- Swimming in COLD river water.
- Driving 101 along the Oregon coast.
- Full moon in summer.
- Biking in the bike city – Portland. (Thanks to a lovely friend who let me borrow her bike for my entire trip.)
May started out with me coming home after working for a few weeks in Portland. It was great to be there and to see my favorite people and places, but it was even better to get back home. You don’t realize how much a place has become your home until you’re gone for a bit. Flying back into HNL on this trip really, really felt like coming home, which was a great feeling! Here are 10 more things I loved about May:
1. Stumptown Coffee – my final stop before leaving Portland. I bought so much, they said I could pretty much take anything else in the store that I wanted, including this cold brew.
2. Home (sigh). No, this isn’t the view from my home – I wish! But this is the beautiful windward side where we live.
3. Lazy weekends at the beach.
4. Our first trip to the Big Island. Look at this adorable horse I found on the way to South Point. I tried to convince him I was his paniolo.
5. Seared ahi at Merriman’s Market Cafe – yum! This was PERFECT. (I get very grumpy when I order seared ahi and it comes out cooked all the way through.)
6. Driving up Mauna Kea – 13796 feet!
7. Seeing the lava glow from Halemaumau at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
8. Snorkeling with a pod of spinner dolphins – they just showed up.
9. The Painted Church at Honaunau – amazing.
10. Spending five days in Volcano and hiking almost every day! It was chilly up there in the mountains, which reminded us of Oregon. <3
January was an emotional rollercoaster! After spending December with my favorite guy in Hawaii, I was back to Portland for a month to get our house ready for the big move. It was bittersweet, and involved delicious food and many goodbyes. Here are 10 things that made my month:
- Seeing Monk Seals on an early morning hike to Kaena Point on New Year’s Day (my only day in Hawaii this month, tear).
- Baking and cooking a few last times with my 1950s oven – oh, how I’ve loved you.
- Another trip to the Barefoot Sage – I have a great friend and I am so spoiled.
- Taking a “Mastering Macarons” cooking class with my bestie, from a French Laundry alum, no less. (Best Christmas present ever!) She did a great recap of our class here.
- Dove Vivi pizza – the cornmeal crust is ahh-mazing … I think I may have mentioned this before.
- Breakfast at Besaws – although, this time I liked their “2012 – what will it bring for you?” chalk art more than my food.
- A going away party hosted by my dearest, with four of my very favorite people in attendance. Cupcakes also made an appearance.
- Shopping – I went a little overboard, snatching up things at my favorite places like West Elm, Anthropologie and World Market, none of which are in Hawaii. The movers were a little perplexed at the sight of unopened boxes. My favorite shopping find was not a purchase, it was seeing the EXACT typewriter I own in a store display at Anthropologie – swoon.
- Bamboo Sushi – definitely my favorite sushi place in Portland. Amazing quality and unique, tasty combinations. It’s also a great place for non-drinkers to get a fancy drink, as they will make many of their signature cocktails without the alcohol. My favorite is “purple haze” with fresh blackberry puree – yummy!
- This one was a love/hate – watching our Matson shipping container get loaded up over two full days and then seeing it drive away … the end of our Portland life.
I spent most of the month in my new home – in Hawaii! It was a great first look at what my life will be like there, especially since I worked remotely during most of my three-week trip. Aside from beach walks, sunrises, rainbows and the general magic of moving to Hawaii, here are the things that made my December wonderful:
- Mom and daughter trip to Barefoot Sage in Portland
- Decorating two houses for Christmas
- Crafty Wonderland in Portland – so much great art! I ended up buying the Ryan Berkeley “Wonder Kittens” print
- Watching kite-boarders on Kailua Beach
- Hiking the “Stairway to Heaven” – Haiku Stairs – breathtaking
- Watching big wave surfing on the North Shore
- Dean & Deluca gift box – delightful
- OnoPops at the farmers market – Kalamansi Coriander is killer
- Beach combing
- Prima Restaurant
It was a Christmas for two.