It seems island getaways have been popular for me as of late. First Iceland, now Oahu, Hawaii. Yes, tourist destination for sure, though the real challenge for me is always finding the pretty in puckered-up places. Add to that the rat’s maze of figuring out how to condense one week of fun and a mere 64 GB of nearly 3,000 photos into one blog post…. I’ll be here all night. One thing is for sure, the best part of the trip was being able to stay in this gorgeous vacation home in Kailua, mere blocks from the beach. Heaven in a house really.

Clouds on fire – sunrise in Kailua

Being on the eastern side of Oahu, sunrise walks were a requirement. Some days we got lucky, others we didn’t. I’ve always been obsessed with clouds, and those that greet the sun always leave an impression. Layers of cotton candy, swiftly tumbling over each other, at any time of day, and I’m happy man.

Add to the insane sunrises a few hikes and you’ve got yourself a great start to the day. The first day we arrived, we got up early to greet the sun amidst derelict pillboxes. Crowds gather at the old concrete mini-bunkers quickly, so grab a seat early. Yes, getting up early can be hard, but I always find it worth it.

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Moonlit walk at Kailua beach

It’s like the dream you don’t wake up from. Or, at least, the dream you wish you could stay in. A walk on a tan sandy beach. A bursting moon overhead, clouds filter above. Pockets of lunar rays hit the sand at your feet and yet, everything is vivid. Thick with color, your senses are tinged. The slight brine in the air, grain beneath your feet, warmth at your side and the unforgettable feeling, one that poets linger all too long about.

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The part I find charming is that I constantly find myself at the apex of the moon’s cycle. Backpacking, traveling, whenever, seems the big silver ball of cheese in the night sky is following. Creepy/cool.

 Downpour at Makapu’u

You won’t always be blessed with great weather, even in Hawai’i, so you might as well enjoy it. A quick jaunt up to the lighthouse and viewing station was a perfect half-day trip for a rainy spout.

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Once at the summit you’ll find a lot. More pillboxes to use as viewpoints, the lights house, a 180 degree view of the ocean, and several spots to sit back and enjoy the surroundings. What I loved was the bygone and abandoned feel. Remnants from the past century are lying around, so don’t take your eyes off anything.

Pacific water fun

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Yes, it’s Hawai’i, so I’m going to have some fun in the water. Snorkeling and kayaking are a must, even if I hated the snorkel bit at first. It ended up not being bad at all, a big bathtub really.

In short…

A week is too soon, too short and sometimes too long all at the same time, especially when exploring some place new. Find a local, get the skinny on where the best fun bits will be. I still can’t believe my girlfriend and I were lucky enough to stay where we did, (seen below) but in the end I suppose it was a complete package of zen, sweat and lots of fun. Until next time…

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