Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bucket List Item #9: Spend My *Birthday* in Hawaii

Okay I'll be honest, my initial bucket list item said to spend NYE in Hawaii...I modified it last year when I decided to go to Oahu last year (Jan 2014) to climb the Haiku Stairs. If you don't know about the Haiku Stairs (or the Stairway to Heaven), please see here: Yelp Review: Haiku Stairs. And technically my birthday is a New Year right...so I will claim it.

So I booked a direct flight on Hawaiian Airlines (via Priceline-always check Priceline first) and lucky for me I had enough air miles for a free return flight on American Airline. I booked an ocean view king room at Hyatt Place Waikiki for a reasonable price. Note...a lot ppl say Hawaii is expensive but I spent just about the same amount booking this trip as I did going to Essence last year, so I can't even call it. I chose to spend 5 days/4 nights in Oahu and it was amazing. How I spent my first trip to Hawaii is below:

Thursday: I arrived around 4 pm and took a shuttle to the hotel ($30 roundtrip, very reasonable). My girls weren't coming until after 11 pm so I had plenty of time to myself. During this time I walked up and down the board walk, had garlic shrimp (that was $6.50), and went shopping where I bought a silk dress that I do not need for anything ever in life. But it's cute so it's okay. I walked along the beach and enjoyed the light rain...then I took a nap. Once my friends arrived, we went to a restaurant and chilled on the beach until about 330 am or so.

Friday: We looked into our options and decided to go on a tour on Saturday...which left today for whatever. We went to the zoo and it was cool but not worth $14. Do NOT go to the zoo. There is nothing special at the zoo. I can't stress this enough. Then, we got garlic shrimp. Again. From the same place. It was $7.00 this time. Then we went shopping because guess who didn't try on their bikini top before they got to Hawaii?!?! We shopped for a while and then jet lag caught up with us but we still managed to go out to eat then go to bed since we had to be up at 6 the next day.

Saturday: The ultimate EcoTour! I loved opting to go on the all day tour because we got to see a lot of the North Shore and side of the island. We went to several beaches, got to eat amazing pineapple ice cream, drink macadamia nut coffee, and swim at a waterfall. Lunch was included, which we ate at a ranch before we almost died at Sunset Beach. Just a note...when the signs at the beach say "Warning/Dangerous" please TRUST that it means that because Brandi and I almost died. I literally looked at the wave and said "this is the biggest wave I ever saw" and then proceeded to try to take a picture of it and instead got washed by this wave and almost dragged out to die. But God blessed me. (The pic to your left is the Byodo-In Temple, the second highlight of the tour for me...as far as sites go because we all know the pineapple ice cream was highlights 1-10 for me).

Sunday: My birthday. I'm old. We laid out on the beach and I got a killer tan. Ate more garlic shrimp. I think. Then we went to a luau at Paradise Cove and it was fantastic. Finally...authentic roasted in the ground with hot rocks pig. When I tell you the pork was the best thing I ever ate...(as far as pork goes)...I mean it. If you go, try it before you add the sauce. For some reason, people love to add the sauce before they taste the meat but the pork is like a good steak. If it's done correctly, no sauce is necessary.  I also tried poi, which basically tastes like glue. It wasn't bad and if you liked glue as a child, you'd love it now. It was just different. But the food and drinks and dancers (male and female) were great. When we got back we were tired. It was late (my body thought it was 2 am) and I was tipsy because the drinks were so good.

Monday: Last day. Really didn't do much. Ate breakfast, tried to get my ear pierced (failed...but I will get it done now that I'm home), and did some light weight shopping. I left around 5 pm to go back to NYC. I also returned my lei back to the island.

All in all, I think I spent the perfect amount of time in Oahu. I wasn't able to do the hike I wanted to do because one of the people who was suppose to attend this trip wasn't able to make it at the last minute. That lowkey sucked because this person had completed the hike before and I was not confident with it being just me and one other person, so we substituted that hike for the hike to the waterfall. Also shout out to Keith of Paradise Cove! He gave me a cd full of authentic Hawaiian music and I have no clue what they are singing about but I still love it.

Also shout out to Pam, Thembi, and Brandi for coming out and spending my birthday in Hawaii. I appreciate it more than you know (also thank you Pam for the Sephora gift card that I used to buy all the things I didn't need).

I tried to add pics not on my IG here...Oahu is beautiful! You can see those pics here (@steph_bmore) I can't wait to go back and visit the other islands and yes, I plan to go back and do the Haiku Stairs but this time I won't depend on someone else to help me...I will train on my own so I can do it on my own. Also note...I didn't edit any of these pictures, they are still raw because I'm lazy.

Next year...I'm thinking of spending my birthday in Cuba...Havana is also very beautiful.