I am not sure what I can really say about Oahu and not only do it justice, but not offend anyone who loves, lives, or grew up on the island. So, I will try to keep it pretty straight forward with few judgements or too many opinions.

We got to Honolulu Airport, got our rental car- and after some discussion about which “midsize” would have fold-down seats to fit the surfboard- we were on our way up to the north shore.
For those of you who are as ignorant as I was on this place- the north shore of Oahu is FAMOUS for surfing. I kinda knew that, but like- not even close to the reality that is the size, and popularity of the waves up there. We planned this portion of the trip just in time for the Billabong Pipemasters surf contest, which is the final of the “Triple Crown” of surfing. I wont even try to describe Pipline as a wave- because I dont surf, and I am certain I would say some lame, kooky, trying to sound like I know what I am talking about thing about something that should only be described by those who truly understand what the hell goes on out there. So, I will leave it at this was the biggest wave I have been close to, seen people surfing on, and- a shit ton of other people thought it was a pretty big deal also.

That being said, we checked in at our air bnb condo in Turtle Bay where we were staying with an older retired couple who happened to be the mother of two brothers that are known (by surf people) as big wave surfers from Oahu.
The couple was kind of a trip- lots of stories and strong opinions.. but hospitable and kind regardless.
We spent our days the first week getting up and heading to the beach to watch the contest, and the people in the crowd. I, not knowing who half of the surfers were- was still impressed when they would walk by and Alex would tell me who they were, and then we would laugh when I would see someone who “looked” like a pro and ask “whos that honey?” And he would then tell me- “thats no one.”
Lots of thong bikinis are in right now in Hawaii- butts everywhere, is the only real fashion I will report- so the Brazilian influence is there for sure.
Other than watch the contest, we got to see a few friends who live on Oahu. We spent one day out in Kailua, which was amazing, one day way out west on a perfect empty beach that I cannot remember the name, and a very fun evening Christmas Caroling with the north shore locals starting at Sunset Elementary.
There is a lot to say about life on the north shore, but I am sure I only saw a little of it. To try to explain it is going to be selling it short. Just go and see. For as many people that go there, they are still seeming to win the battle in “keeping the country country.” I also must mention, that Oahu- like the other islands in Hawaii that we visited- is also a beautiful paradise. It is just the most modern, populated, and developed- which adds other dimensions of culture, and especially in Honolulu, global cuisine.

After 2 full weeks on the North Shore, we felt a little urge for some resorty “Hawaiian” experience, so we booked a room for a couple of days down on Waikiki beach. It was just before Christmas, and the city was lit up and very festively Hawaiian. A great last dinner with my cousin Kim and family before they left for Seattle, and a fun beach day with some friends from California the next day- gave us the perfect send off from our Hawaii adventure. We had our first and only Mai Tais down at the Beach Bar at the Moana Surfrider- awesome and full of rum- and with that we were ready to board our next flight.

Then, we were off to Auckland New Zealand for Christmas, camping, caves, and bungee jumping…?
Hope you enjoy the photos!

 

safely checking out some sand sharks

safely checking out some sand sharks

 

sand shark

sand shark

 

someone blowing tail

someone blowing tail

 

rocky's lefts

rocky’s lefts

 

smiling reef

smiling reef

 

looking for nemo

looking for nemo

 

rocky's lefts

rocky’s lefts

 

submerged

submerged

 

final day of Pipe Masters

final day of Pipe Masters

 

west side oahu

west side oahu

 

tiny crabs

tiny crabs

 

sunset on the north shore

sunset on the north shore

 

backdoor

backdoor

 

backdoor fan

backdoor fan

 

the Banzai Pipeline

the Banzai Pipeline