Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Traveling Oahu with family / few of our favorites:)

A lot of people were wondering about houses we rented via airbnb so I thought I would make a list of our favorites: where we stayed, what we did and what we ate while we were in Oahu with family (Satchi at age 5 & Coco at age 2) for 6 nights. We stayed on north shore most of the time and had few day trips to the east side of the island.

Having a lot of flexibility to adjust to what kids needed (we were up at 4am for first few nights with 3 hours time difference) and ever changing Hawaiian weather was really critical! It felt relaxing not to have too many things on our agenda and approach the trip with "let's see what happens next" kind of attitude.

Hawaii! We miss you already:)

Where we stayed: 
Because we had my sister and her boyfriend join us during the 1/2 of our trip, we got to live in two different houses. First house with 3 bedroom by the water on North Shore and the second house with 2 bedroom (and an office room) in a very local oceanside village also close to North Shore. Both houses offered everything we needed for different activities - water gears, bicycle, washer/dryer (totally amazing!!!) to name a few. We cooked most of our meals at home (or brought home food to eat at home) and enjoyed our downtime at home as much as amazing outdoor activities Hawaii had to offer!

1st house: Oceanfront Beach house nearby Sharks Cove
This house accommodated all 6 adults and our girls very comfortably! It was a relatively new listing on airbnb when we booked in December so we were hoping that it would be everything we hoped for and it was:) We loved spending our time watching crushing waves and moving cloud (and incredible sunset) endlessly and ate all our meals (and amazing drinks Phil and Yuko made) on the deck! When traveling with kids, a gated outdoor space is priceless. I loved that they just run out the house in the morning and were "washing" our cars with water toys! We strolled on north shore beaches, had great takeout meals from nearby food trucks and explored our neighborhood on bike paths. Kids were so giddy to be riding bikes with us. It was truly memorable and the perfect beginning of our adventure.

2nd house: Modern Hawaii Surf House
We were excited to "move" to the new location after spending 3 lovely nights nearby north shore. Because it was just four of us, we wanted something comfortable and really kids friendly. We loved how local this downstair unit felt in the tiny little ocean village. When we were there, it felt really far away from any touristy scenes. Seeing family who live in the neighborhood come and go from their houses and enjoying their time and their life was so refreshing. Girls LOVED their first bunkbed experience and all the toys and books that were available for them to read and use. It felt very "home" to us...

What we did:
- Bike North Shore bike path!
- Watching surfers at Sunset Beach (North Shore). Satchi was totally memorized by the concept of surfing.
- Just swimming... at local beaches... morning and afternoon.... I think some of our favorite beach time and swim came from spending time at small and local beaches on North Shore. Away from big trendy scenes. I tried to make a point to swim with Satchi at least twice a day while we were there and it felt really really good. Coco and Frido mostly stayed on shore... looking for crabs, sea shells and shaded beach time:) We also noticed that it was a good idea to drive towards the east side of Oahu island when weather started to be gloomy to avoid rain!
- For more "tropical" emerald green feel of the beach, we headed out to Lanikai beach and Kailua beach. Water was gorgeous and almost no waves... which made it super fun for Satchi to really experience her first ocean swimming!
- And just have quality downtime to reflect on life...

What we ate:
- Shave ice is a must!!! We absolutely loved Matsumoto shave ice in Haleiwa. Girls still talk about their rainbow shave ice and I dream about the matcha tea/red beans/condensed milk combination. It is a popular spot and gets crowded and a line but I swear... it's worth the wait!
- Poke for dinner! We picked up poke every night from local market, cooked rice at home... and that was dinner for me and Frido every night.
- Early lunch at Kahuku Farms Cafe  am so glad that our BK friend Megan recommended us to stop by this spot. It feels like their pizza and panini were the most healthy meals we had in Hawaii. Healthy and tasty! Kids enjoyed running around the grass field while waiting for the food to come out! We also stopped by "one more time" on our way to airport on the last day.
- Ono Steaks & Seafood Shack for lunch stop before our beach day! This was a perfect local spot to grab lunch between our adventures in Hanauma Bay and Lanikai Beach.


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