A day on Oahu with Paco

A couple weeks ago, I flew out to Oahu to celebrate my Auntie and Uncles 50th wedding anniversary a few days early so I could see my friend before my family arrived. Paco was one of my best friends in college and then he moved to Maui so I spent a lot of time with him whenever I visited my parents.

We had no plans but just a desire to adventure. Here’s what our day entailed:

Leonards – Paco was sleeping in and I was up early on West Coast time so I walked to Leonards to get malasadas. This place has really changed since I lived on Oahu. They have merch, a variety of menu items and they take cards now!

On the road – We stopped at Starbucks in Hawaii Kai and luckily didn’t run into my ex that lives there. I’m always afraid of running into exes when I’m on the island… last time Paco and I saw a different ex at a bar and it was frightening. Well he looked all cracked out and I did a silent hallelujah I dodged that bullet.

My favorite route – The drive from Hawaii Kai to the east side is so beautiful because you’re driving along the cliffs on the ocean and it feels like you’re on the edge of the world.

From here to eternity

First stop – Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens. I saw that image that all bloggers post from this place on the road with the mountains in the background but I also did research and saw that getting out of the car is prohibited and the guards yell at those trying to take this photo so I was discouraged from visiting. Paco saw the sign and turned in last minute anyway. We saw the road that everyone takes a photo at and also saw all the little cones along the side of the road keeping anyone from stopping BUT we kept driving and this place is GORGEOUS! It was giving me all the Jurassic Park vibes without paying an arm and a leg at Kualoa Ranch.

you are allowed to get out of the car further into the garden

Beach Break – We kept driving up and stopped at Kualoa Beach to this spot Paco knew about. It was deserted and beautiful and I want to come back and camp here. I also biffed it so hard. Note to self: trees in the ocean are slippery. My gnarly bruise on my arm looked like the island of Maui though so there’s that.

the tree i fell off

Lunch – We wanted to make it to Pupukea Grill for lunch for the BEST POKE but we were so hungry that we just pulled into a 711 and got sushi rolls and canned coffee instead. Typical.

Another Beach – We stopped at Pounders in Laie. We were sitting in the sand and I said, “Ok, I’m ready to see some wildlife… like a shark or a zebra or something” and then a turtle swam by! I totally manifested that! I’m also pretty sure my ʻaumakua is a turtle.

My Favorite Beach – We finally made it to the North Shore and stopped at my favorite beach Ke Iki’s. It was HUGE and empty. Just how I like it.

Long Drive Back – Paco and I drove the long road back to town with the best destination in sight…

Dinner – SUSHIYA!!!!! My favorite restaurant in the world. I crave a spicy ahi donburi all. the. time. (We went back for lunch the next day too).

Sunset – We decided to watch the sunset at Kaimanas with all the keiki lol.

I’d say it was a pretty epic day for just going with the flow. But that always happens when Paco and I cruise.

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