Hawaii 2018: Oahu Family Trip

At the end of February our little family took their first international trip as a trio! Evan has been on a few flights before but only short-haul trips to Kelowna/Vancouver. We were all really excited to escape the arctic chill and huge amounts of snow in Edmonton, so we packed up our stuff and prepared for a 4pm flight to YEG-YVR-HNL. I’m not going to lie, I have traveled a fair amount and done much longer flights than this one, but the YVR-HNL stretch felt like we were on that plane for approx. 68 years. It might have something to do with the fact that Evan decided to stay awake for the majority of the flight and I was trying to keep him entertained with my abundance of dollar store items I had brought (FYI $1.50 stickers bought me countless hours of peace over this trip). Finally I was that person swaying a child to sleep by the airplane bathrooms at midnight (IT WORKED- thank god).

We had some delays but rolled up to the airport without much fuss and found our rental car. We still had a 35 minute drive to the town we would be staying in- Kailua. By the time we hit the road it was about 1:30AM. Evan passed out in the car and we thankfully were able to plop him right in the waiting pack-n-play at our AirBNB. We LOVED our little spot by the way! You can check it out here. They had tons of supplied kids stuff, it was very private and quiet yet still walking distance to shops and the beach, A+!

Now, I did bring my ‘real camera’ for this trip and this is typically what happens: don’t touch camera for first 3 days, feel guilty about bringing camera and not using it, bring camera one time and take like 30 photos, leave camera untouched for the rest of the trip. I’m not sure why but I almost never take ‘nice’ photos when I am on vacation- too busy vacation-ing I guess! I do have a mix of some ‘real’ photos and few iPhone photos thrown in there for good measure. At the bottom I will give a little blurb about what we got up to and where we went in Oahu!

These photos are from the Halona Blowhole Lookout

These next few are from Sherwood Beach which is actually mostly abandoned and filled with people doing drug deals. Evan had some exciting news to share however!

The remainder are iPhone photos from random spots on the island.


Places to go:

  • Kailua Beach Park: this was super close to our AirBNB and had a great green space for kids to run (and feed birds!), lots of beach though it is quite wavy. Showers to rinse off and small river inlet.
  • Waimea Bay Beach Park: this is on the north side of the island, super beautiful cove that we enjoyed swimming in (too deep for little ones) but nice calm waves.
  • Haleiwa Town: Old North shore town with a little shopping strip and food places.
  • Waikiki/Kuhio Beach: The most toddler friendly beach we found, super shallow and boxed in by rocks so there is 0 waves!
  • Honolulu Zoo: A tad expensive for what it is, but it was a good spot to wander and Evan loved looking at all the animals.
  • Ala Moana Center: if you are into shopping this is a HUGE open-air mall. We hit it up before our flight back since it’s near the airport.
  • Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve: this place was actually pretty cool, there is an entry fee and you watch a short video before entering the bay. Zach snorkeled and saw some cool fish. There is also a bunch of cat friends down there and calm water.
  • Target: OK maybe not exciting to everyone but god I love Target. Right in Kailua.


Places to EAT!:

  • Morning Brew: in Kailua, awesome coffee and great breakfast items. Lots of indoor and outdoor seating, free Wifi
  • Over Easy: in Kailua, always people lined up in the ally here during the day to get in. Everything looked amazing (except what we chose LOL). Either way would go back, don’t order the Pork hash though.
  • Rai Rai Ramen: small little place that looks like nothing. REALLY tasty ramen.
  • Nico’s Kailua: ‘fancier’ place right on the river. Good seafood dishes, desserts looked amazing. Still felt comfortable with a kid there (and they had highchairs).
  • Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors: recommended to us by locals, not for their liquor but it is apparently once of the best places on the island to get Poke (saucy raw fish). They have a counter at the back with a variety of options. Zach had it twice and really liked it, I decided to steer clear since I am pregnant and poisoned myself with seafood in Mexico last pregnancy- would not recommend.
  • McDonald’s- Ok I am only putting this on here so I can tell you that while we were there we kept hearing the emergency alert horrible sound, and finally noticed on the TV there was an alert for Flash Flooding in our area. Protip- download the emergency alerts app for where you are staying it gave me lots of info! haha. Also, my husband bought $15 worth of the new Schezwan dipping sauce that came out while we were there- if you watch Rick and Morty you will understand.
  • Whole Foods: Also recommended by locals as the place to go on a Friday night. We actually tried to go but it was crazy busy, they have an attached restaurant area that apparently has cheap food and beer with sports on, so you could check it out!
  • Leonard’s Bakery: In Honolulu, ok we didn’t actually GO because there was 0 parking and a line like 20 people out the door, but it must be good. If you don’t wanna wait Donut King is right up the road and was pretty good lol.
  • Ted’s Bakery: North Shore, this one we DID actually go to, they had great breakfasts and pretty good donuts. Lots of outdoor seating (on the side of a semi-busy road, a little loud). It was busy but manageable.
  • Big Wave Shrimp: North Shore, there are tons of shrimp trucks everywhere. We drove past Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck which had a line of like 45 people. Big Wave was good- I got the crispy and they were tasty. Are you sensing a theme of us not wanting to wait for busy places? AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT.
  • Matsumoto Shave Ice: My first shave ice experience, it was really tasty! I would have liked to try more flavors. Maybe next time.


That’s about all I have right now! We also hit up Safeway right when we got there and stocked up on groceries for the week. We would mainly do breakfast and lunch at home (or picnic style) and then go out for dinner. Dining in Hawaii is expensive so save some cash where you can! I also love browsing grocery stores for weird brands/flavors of things we don’t have here.

That’s our little trip in a nutshell! It was mostly cloudy while we were there, but still very warm. Quite windy too. Less worrying about sunburn- worked for me! (my child is a transparent ghost). Usually after a week of vacation I am ready to come home but Zach and I both agreed we could EASILY have done another week this time. Till next time Hawaii!