WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2016
Hello, it’s me again. I’m back with part two of my Hawaii Happenings! This day was spent mostly with my mom, my brother, and me exploring Oahu by doing a few touristy things we hadn’t done before. I’m honestly surprised there is still so much I haven’t experience on Oahu when I’ve visited so many times during my life! Anyways, we had a whole day planned out. Our first stop: the University of Hawaii, Manoa. My mom graduated from UH and my brother had expressed interest in studying marine biology there in the future, so my mom thought it would be a cool place for us to visit. We spent most of our time in the campus bookstore, but walking around outdoors was really nice. Everything was so green! The weather was a little overcast that day, but it was honestly a lot more enjoyable than the usual Hawaiian heat. After a couple of UH clothing purchases, we headed to our next stop… And it was one that was rather close by…
We ended up right across the street at Banan! I had been absolutely dying to try this place ever since I saw a post about it on Instagram. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Seriously though, I loved every single bite of it. As usual, I got pretty much the most expensive thing on the menu (thanks, mom!), which, in this case, was a papaya bowl. Not just any papaya bowl, though, as it was filled with banana-based, lilikoi soft-serve fro-yo (that’s a mouthful, literally) and topped with pineapple, strawberries, bananas, granola, and agave nectar. It was pretty much what dreams are made of. Well, it was what my dreams are made of. My taste buds were in heaven and I devoured all of it, leaving only the papaya skin behind. You already know that I’m most definitely heading back there for round two the next time I’m on the island.
Dress: Forever 21 // Bikini: San Lorenzo // Shoes: Target
Our next stop was Iolani Palace, home to Hawaiian royalty. Well, it used to be where they lived, before it got turned into a museum… Anyways, we had never been there before and I was intrigued to explore the mansion, which was strangely in the middle of bustling downtown Honolulu. The contrast between old and new seemed a little out of place, but we put on our headsets and got ready for a self-guided tour. The mansion itself was small in comparison to similar mansion-museum places I’ve been to on the east coast, but still impressive in its own right. I was mostly fascinated by the fact that it had bathrooms for every bedroom, hot and cold running water, and electricity all before other royal homes did (even before Buckingham Palace). It’s crazy to think about how Hawaiian royalty had all of this technology and luxury on a small isolated island before royalty in Europe or other countries did.
Our last stop was somewhat across the island, at Ko’Olina Beach. This beach is by a lot of hotels, so there was mostly young kids and hotel residents. The water itself was pretty calm and it was actually colder than I thought it was going to be. My brother was disappointed by the lack of waves, but I thought it was relaxing and I enjoyed watching the clear blue water as it washed up onto the shore. We actually arrived at the perfect time because it was just before the sun started to go down, casting golden lighting all over the ocean and the sand.
When I realized I was going to get to watch a Hawaiian sunset with the perfect view, I got super excited and happy. I went up onto some of the rocks along the shore to stand above the waves and watch as the sun slowly made its way toward the horizon. I stood there for a long time, watching the golden sun move across the sky and enjoying the orange streaks against all of the blue. I took a million pictures, but none of them could entirely capture the beauty in front of me.
After the sun went down, it was time to head to my cousin’s house. Her and her husband had just moved into a new house close to Ko’Olina, so we wanted to check it out and say hi to all their little kiddos. They currently have their fifth baby on the way! Ending the day surrounded by family is always nice and I’m not sure that day on Oahu could have gotten any better.