Category Archives: hawaii

Kid Friendly Fun in Oahu, Hawaii

Jeska
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Jeska

Jeska is a twenty something mother of one tiny human, lover of hawaii, a tad bit of a runner, one with the ocean, and last but not least a hopeless wanderer.
Jeska
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Living in Hawaii was one of the best places I’ve ever had the honor of inhibiting. Most people think of Hawaii and think about all of the beautiful things there are to do for adults but what about those of us who have little ones? Here are a couple of awesome places to check out for kid friendly fun while visiting the island of Oahu.

1. Kualoa Ranch

movie-ranch-tour-through-kaawa-valley-where-the-dinosaurs-run

Kualoa Ranch is a beautiful place not only to visit but also explore. The ranch offers movie tours where you can see anything from Godzilla’s tracks to the George of the Jungle kissing gorillas. Your tour guide will stop at several different areas and let you explore and take all of the photos you’d like. If movies aren’t your type then don’t worry! There are also many other tours you can take part of including horseback tours, jungle expedition tours, the ocean voyaging tour as well as many others.

 

2. Ko Olina Lagoons

ko olina lagoonsThere are many beautiful beaches on Oahu but my favorite place to go with my son is the Ko Olina Lagoons. There are 4 man made lagoons at the Aulani Resort that are free and open to the public year round. These lagoons are perfect for little ones! They are relatively shallow for a good ways end before becoming too deep and because they scoop in away from the tide, there are hardly any waves. The lagoons are great for snorkeling with kids as well since the tide isn’t too strong and the water not too deep.  and give you access to the resort if you’d like to order and food or drinks while soaking up the sun.

3. Paradise Cove Luau

paradise cove luauAfter you’re finished with relaxing at the lagoons all day you can head over to Paradise Cove Luau. Though the island is filled with many different luaus, my favorite is the Paradise Cove. When you enter the luau you are welcomed with a lei, mai tai(alcoholic & non-alcoholic), and a photography to remember your night. From there you are free to take part in all of the activities before the luau begins including making your own leis, face painting, headband weaving, etc. Once its time for dinner you line up at an incredibly ono buffet to load your plate with all the amazing local cuisine before the show starts.

4. The Dole Plantationphoto 2013-08-06 12-42-08

The Dole Plantation is full of kid friendly activities to partake in. The Dole Plantation held the Guinness World record in 2008 for being the World’s largest maze. The maze is made out of pineapple fields and you are given a little check point list to take along with you. At each check point you get to color in a new hawaii shape until you’ve completed them all and found your way back out of the maze again. The plantation also offers train tours which circle the plantation and go over the history of Dole and how its world famous pineapples came to be. Once you’re finished with the tour be sure to stop inside and enjoy a nice big scoop of pineapple ice cream. Kids just can’t get enough of it!

5. Circling the Island

fruit vendors hawaiiThis is one of my favorite activities that I absolutely do every visit. Circling the island of Oahu is one of the best things you can do to take in a smidgen of all the beauty the island has to offer. You may think, no way, my kids would go nuts being in the car that long but its honestly not bad with all of the stops you can make along the way. There is a wood widdling shop, fresh birds of paradise, Waimea Bay, the shrimp trucks, surfing competitions and fresh fruit stands with all kinds of exotic fruits to try. Though I have circled the island many times, I always find something new to discover.

Oahu has so many attractions and activities for all ages to enjoy. Every side of the island is different and has something unique to offer. Be sure to take advantage of not only the tourist type attractions but also local ones that involve you getting out there and explore all that Oahu has to offer.

Snorkeling on Oahu

Jeska
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Jeska

Jeska is a twenty something mother of one tiny human, lover of hawaii, a tad bit of a runner, one with the ocean, and last but not least a hopeless wanderer.
Jeska
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snorkeling at ko olina
Everyone has their favorite spots when snorkeling on Oahu but in my opinion there are 3 main areas to check out. From the more local spots to the most touristed areas, there are easily 50 locations or more to see all the fish you could imagine.

 

First up on the list is Ko Olina which is 4 manmade lagoons located on the new Disney resort. Though the lagoons have been there before disney, it has been one of the best areas to take your kids to the beach. The lagoons vary in size but each one of them have something to offer.

 

The lagoons are free to use however the price you pay is waiting for parking! Sometimes it will only be 5 minutes and other times it can take closer to an hour for a spot. You can always opt to pay the resort’s valet as well but no one is usually up for that. Also, be sure to grab a sweet pricey mai tai from the resort after your dive, it will be worth it, I promise!
snorkeling at hanauma bay

Everyone has their favorite snorkeling spots all over the island but one of mine is sadly one of the most touristed areas. Hanauma Bay. I don’t know why but something about the bay just captivates me. Yes, there are a thousand tourist around but if you head all the way to the other side its much more calm, less kids, and peaceful waters. I have been to the bay numerous times and every time I have someone new visit Hawaii I take them there and its always one of the highlights of their trip. You would think for such a busy area that the fish would just scatter and stay far away but they don’t give a fuck if you’re their, they will swim right next to you. After all, we are in THEIR territory which is another discussion that I don’t want to start on just yet.

The Bay sadly isn’t free and cost about $11 a person to get in without gear. They do have rental huts to borrow snorkel gear for the day though at about $3-$7 depending on what all you need.

From the informational video you watch to the reef and the fish, Hanauma Bay is a great place to see at least 20 different fish as well as a honu if you’re lucky! Unfortunately the last time I went a big storm had just passed so all of my underwater pictures are a bit “dusty” looking. Next time though, those pics will be mine!!!

snorkeling at sharks cove

Sharks Cove is also an excellent choice when it comes to snorkeling. I have only snorkeled here a handful or times and enjoyed but haven’t had much luck in the sightseeing process. I do know several people who have taken some beautiful shots of turtles, schools of fish, tiny creatures etc. at the cove though. The reef is abundant and very sharp so though there is no one there guiding you, please use common sense and don’t step on it! The best part about the cove? Its free and not as crowded as Hanauma Bay.

What are your favorite spots on the island? Are they full of tourist or desolate as can be?

Arizona Memorial – Pearl Harbor, HI

Jeska
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Jeska

Jeska is a twenty something mother of one tiny human, lover of hawaii, a tad bit of a runner, one with the ocean, and last but not least a hopeless wanderer.
Jeska
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arizona memorialI have been to the Arizona Memorial several times and every time it still strikes your heart. When you first arrive to the memorial you can pick up your free tickets to view it then you are welcome to explore until your starting time. There are many different things to look at but my favorite is the submarine circle which is a collection of all the ships that have gone down. There is also the Bowfin submarine that you can pay a little money to tour but I personally have been on a submarine many times so I’ve never been too interested.

Once its your viewing time you enter into a small theater and view a small film about Pearl Harbor. This video is what really sets the tone for the remainder of the viewing. It goes over how we came to be a part of the war and the Japanese strategic planning that struck us so abruptly.

From there you load up on a ferry type boat and ride over to the actual Arizona Memorial. When you first walk onto the memorial you don’t really realize how big the ship is but especially how much oil is still floating in the water from the ship. Its a very strong reality about what happened and the 2,042 souls that lie entombed below you. When you walk to the furthest end of the memorial you view the wall of names of all the brave men and women who lost their lives during the attack.

The memorial is something I believe you will never forget. Even after you’ve left it, the feeling holds tight to you. I would highly recommend everyone taking part in viewing the memorial.

  
arizona memorial - oahu, hi
arizona memorial, pearl harbor
arizona memorial, pearl harbor
arizona memorial, pearl harbor

Shark Cage Diving in Haleiwa, Hawaii

Jeska
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Jeska

Jeska is a twenty something mother of one tiny human, lover of hawaii, a tad bit of a runner, one with the ocean, and last but not least a hopeless wanderer.
Jeska
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Even though I use to live on Oahu and still visit frequently, shark diving is one of the few things I have never done. So on this trip the boyfriend and I decided we were going to go on my birthday and mark another thing off the bucket list. I’m not going to lie though, seeing that the cage was just bars kind of freaked me out but in a good way.

The day came and we excitedly loaded up and headed out to Haleiwa. We boarded the boat and was instructed on what to do and were put into groups. I had previously read on another blog that the last group usually gets the most time so we were hoping for group 3 but ended up in group 1.

  

Eventually we reached our destination of 3 miles from shore and it was go time. You could see a couple sharks swarming the boat which was really exciting but it didn’t seem like too many. We got our snorkel masks on and headed in as the first people in our group since we were pretty stoked.

The water was freezing but as soon as I looked down and saw the sharks I completely forgot all about it. My mind and thoughts were immediately in awe. I was expecting to see 7-10 of the Galapagos sharks max but I was blown away when I saw closer to 30 sharks of all sizes swarming the cage.

We spent about 20 minutes or so in the cage just taking it all in. I had my GoPro strapped to my wrist so I did my best at trying to take video and photos while swimming in the cage. Overall shark cage diving was an extraordinary experience that I think everyone should try. The boy and I have decided that next time we are wanting to go without a cage!

For anyone interested in shark cage diving please check out North Shore Shark Adventures in Haleiwa, HI. They were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and overall gave us the best possible experience. Not to mention they have an outstanding safety record!

Hawaiian Word of the Day: “mano” meaning shark

This post was orignally on my running site but has found a new home here. :)

27 Things Only People From Hawaii Will Understand

Jeska
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Jeska

Jeska is a twenty something mother of one tiny human, lover of hawaii, a tad bit of a runner, one with the ocean, and last but not least a hopeless wanderer.
Jeska
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Yes, there are a couple of versions of these but this one is mine and what I really think only people from Hawai’i would understand.

1. Sometimes it gets so cold you actually have to put real clothing on…and when I say cold I mean below 70 degrees. Yes, that’s right. Don’t judge me.

fuckyeahhawaii.tumblr.com

2. Oh you wanted to buy groceries? How’s that second mortgage treating you?

http://joekent.wordpress.com/tag/milk-prices/

3. Everyone is your cousin, braddah, or auntie.

http://www.jordanmurph.com/my-aunts-80th-birthday-party

4. While I don’t have this problem, many of my local friends are in love with spam. Spam is served everywhere, even McDonald’s drive thrus.

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/nayrb7/tags/mcdonalds/

5. Giving/getting directions is always an adventure. Pretty much goes like this…go all the way Kam Highway then turn right at the Shrimp Farm trucks, left at the birds of paradise section then…etc.

http://thebabblingbox.blogspot.com

6. When shipping costs more than the total cost of the item you’re shipping. Yeah, it puts a whole new meaning to priority flat rate shipping.

http://nickandmiri.wordpress.com/2009/03/

7. Shave ice and your indecisiveness. Though Matsumoto’s is delicious I prefer the Pupukea food truck’s version.

http://www.rachelleb.com/2007/03/27/matsumoto-shave-ice-in-haleiwa-oahu/

8. If it doesn’t have rice and mac salad then it’s not a meal. True story. I never even liked either until I lived here.

9. When you haven’t been to the beach in two days. That’s a long ass time, don’t judge.

http://www.powerfloe.com/Hawaii%20Beach%20Photos%204%20DVD.html

10. Then you can’t decide which beach to go to. This is always a problem. Do I want to go to Bellows because there’s not a lot of reef or do I want to go to Papailoa and sunbath with the sea turtles?!

http://travel-hawaii.com/Hawaii-Sea-Turtles.html

11. But it doesn’t really matter when you have to leave 1-2 hours early because you’re stuck in this. NO ONE will beat this traffic, no one.

rallyhaus.com

12. Not to mention gas already costs your first born keiki. Just take the price you’re paying and add a dollar basically.

http://tastyislandhawaii.com/2008/06/05/i-need-a-vacation/

13. Shark week is a daily happening. You can see them any time you want, if you really want to that is.

www.soiwillrun.com

14. There is no civilized way to eat a malasada. They are a delicious mess.

http://threenuttycrumpets.blogspot.com/2013/04/eating-on-oahu-other-tidbits.html

15. That annoying voice on the radio saying “at Jeans Warehouse” 20 times a day yet you still go there.  I’m not going to lie, it would be hard to have a conversation with that girl in real life but the cheap camisoles are hard to pass up on.

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/35532641@N04/sets/72157619340017164/

16. Trying to beat the security guards to climb the stairway to heaven. I have yet to complete this since I have a little one and you seriously have to be there at like 3am.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku_Stairs

17. Potholes. Plan on buying new tires often.

http://crazywickedworld.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html

18. Your favorite band will NEVER EVER tour here. EVER.

http://mashable.com/2013/07/22/sad-gifs/

19. There are so many Zippy’s that you can’t decide which is your favorite one or let alone remember. There are probably 4 in a quarter mile block at a time.

http://teamspeed.com/forums/travel-hotels-resorts-restaurants-food/4286-zippys-hawaiian-tradition.html

20. Aloha has a whole other meaning than hello.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/03/hawaiian-health-and-happiness_n_3854391.html

21. You’re told to pronounce Hawai’i incorrectly. It makes me sad how many Hawaiian words have a slang version that is believed to be the correct pronunciation.

http://www.reddit.com/r/Hawaii/comments/148mle/only_haoles_pronounce_it_hawaii/

22. And know that pidgin isn’t a bird.

http://naturallyhi.com/2011/10/24/only-in-hawaii-any-kine-stoa/

23. These are called slippahs not to be confused with flipflops.

http://www.pinterest.com/law430/slippahs/

24. Centipedes and….Roaches. *shudders* No matter how clean your place is, THEY WILL FIND YOU.

http://animal-world.com/encyclo/reptiles/centipedes/VietnameseCentipede.php

25. The lack of gnarly snakes hiding in the brushes. One of the many things I’m thankful of. I can hop in a bushel of brush taller than me and not have to think twice.

http://www.reddit.com/r/travel/comments/1ezgai/

26. The cravings you will always have for restaurants that only exist on the other islands or the mainland. No Olive Garden for you sir.

http://degrassi.wikia.com/wiki/File:Robin-Has-A-Big-Appetite-For-Delicious-Food-How-I-Met-Your-Mother.gif

27. Waikiki is the dirtiest beach on the island. Don’t go there. Seriously.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126675999

What others would YOU add to the list?