While I love a good camping trip or low budget trip as much or more than the next adventuring girl, I’m also deeply in love with a luxury getaway. (Honestly, who isn’t?!) When we headed to Oahu at the end of April this year for the wedding of two of my dear friends, fifteen of us (including the bride & groom!) stayed in a fabulous house right on the beach.
We could see the ocean from our front yard & an amazing line of trees that grew up along the sand. I liked being able to step right off of the lawn at the back of the house & right on to the sand. Plus, having the beach so close meant that we were able to get to the ocean right away in the morning. We’d bring the beach chairs down to the edge & set them up starting at nine or ten in the morning. It was lovely because we could hang out while waiting for everybody to get up & get going & then head out to explore the island & check out other beaches in the afternoon. Especially when you’re travelling with a big group, having an easy & fun thing to do while the group gets situated & motivated is the best.
A couple mornings, I also wandered down the road, wanting to see what else lay around the neighborhood we were staying in. Near our house in Hawaii Kai (& pretty much everywhere else I visited on the island) it wasn’t uncommon to see paths from the closest street down to the beach wherever we went. Sometimes on my morning neighborhood walks, I would head down one of these little paths between the houses & check out the beach again (this was especially useful when the sand disappeared in places & you had to head to the street for a few blocks).
There’s such a dedication to the ocean in Hawaii that I don’t think you see elsewhere in the USA that much. I’m definitely a beach kid: When I feel like crap, I always know that the ocean will make things better & I’ll get in the water if it’s cold or hot or anything in between, even when I’m home in Half Moon Bay where cold really really means cold. But as much as there are a lot of people like me all along the coast in California, beach culture just doesn’t permeate in the same way that it does in Hawaii. These little paths along the coast seem so indicative of this to me: no matter where you are, you can always get to the beach. (& that just makes my heart happy).
The other thing about these paths? They are just so dang gorgeous! I love the one above, which looks so Hawaiian with all the greenery that I’m not used to seeing at home & that looks so lush & tropical. I walked down another one that was just filled with bougainvillea flowers which took my breath away. It was filled with honeybees, too, which was neat (I took a little video of one of them buzzing about; I’m working a video for the whole trip that I’ll share eventually, too, but I just keep getting waylaid with client work! haha).
There are flowers & plants everywhere in Hawaii that are absolutely gorgeous, actually. This door, just down the road from our house? Amazing.
& the banyan trees! The banyan trees were my favorite. They seem like a tree with so much personality. I love the way they reach their arms down to the ground so that they can really stand strong.
I was lucky that I had a lot of time to appreciate this beautiful tree. There was a massive one outside our house (that’s it, in the photo below!) & it was an amazing thing to see right outside the house. It was a HUGE tree, as you can see, & it was amazing in the day when it gave us some lovely shade & at night, too, when it was lit softly by the dusky sun & the lights from the house. It’s the kind of tree a kid would love, too: one of my friends climbed it one day, walking all along the big bottom branch, eventually just sitting in the leaves & watching the ocean.
When I booked my ticket for Oahu, I knew I was going to love spending a week in Hawaii, but I didn’t quite know how much. Somebody told me, “You think Hawaii is overrated. & then you go & you realize how absolutely wrong you were. Hawaii is not overrated. Hawaii lives up to every expectation for amazement that you have.”
When I was in Waikiki, I spent some time on the sand, wandering around alone. I made friends with a guy about my age at one of the bars who told me that he had moved here two years ago from South Carolina just for the heck of it. He makes less money & his job isn’t insanely amazing, but he spends so much time at the beach, sailing, surfing, & hanging out. It was worth it, to be this happy every single day, he told me.
I spent a whole nine days in Hawaii. I had the beach vacation to remember & ton of adventure experiences that I cannot wait to share. I’ve been back four months (!!!) & this is honestly the first time I’ve looked at my photos from the trip, let alone edit them & share.
Never fear! I’ll be back with more photographs & stories of paradise soon!
VISIT / Rent the house that we stayed in on HomeAway right here
* Photography: Simone Anne