Thirteen Things About Hawaii



Last week, I cashed in a whole bunch of credit card miles and flew a long, long way to see one of my best friends, Julie, one of my Betties, in Hawaii.   This is her second time living there as her husband is a Colonel in the Army and they are stationed there for their second stay.

I can not deny, I was extremely anxious about going.  I was nervous about the looooong flight (11 hours from NY, but at least it was a direct flight) and being away from my family for so long.  I left in tears.  I was in tears when I got on the plane.  About half way through the flight I decided if I was going all this way and leaving my family, I might as well make it the best time possible.

And it really was.

I am so glad that I went.  I am so glad that I did something I was very anxious about doing.  I realized what I would have missed.  The conversations and time with my friend, the adventures, the beauty all were worth while.

It is strange sometimes sharing these type of trips with you all because I don’t want to seem like, “ooh, look what I got to do”.  I never would have gone to Hawaii if my friend didn’t live there.  I was very luck to use credit card miles for my flights.  I do realize that going to Hawaii is a rare privilege that I am so thankful for.   I am hoping that in sharing, maybe I can encourage you to go on adventure whether near or far that you have been thinking about.

With that in mind, I thought I would share some of what I learned about Hawaii with you today.


It really is that beautiful



I kept asking Julie if she still notices it or if it is just so everyday that she looses sight of it.  This area was very “man made” as it was a resort area, but I can guarantee there are no resorts like this one in NY.  We had dinner here shortly after I arrived and it was just so peaceful to take it all in.


They really do greet you with leis.



Not only are the beautiful but the fragrance is amazing.


Waikiki is really beautiful, but it is really busy and filled with tourists.




We were amazed at the number of brides we saw at all times of the day.  The hotels are busy, but really fun and a seemingly safe atmosphere.  The views were great and if you want to buy anything really expensive, there is plenty of high end shopping available.  In the end, Waikiki is where the adventure is and I loved it, but I think I am more of a North Shore girl.  Then again, Waikiki has infinity pools overlooking the Pacific ocean.


Infinity pools overlooking the Pacific Ocean are pretty amazing.




I realize you can’t really see me, but this is really about the pool.  We stayed in the Sheraton Waikiki where they have two pools, one more family friendly and this one.  They had floating bean bag chairs and you could just rest your legs up on the edge and take in the waves crashing just beyond.  It was a pretty fun experience.


When in Hawaii, you should probably get a pedicure with fun flowers on them instead of just a regular old pedicure.  Especially when this is your view.




It is okay to spend a day lounging in the pool.




When in Hawaii, it is okay to take a day and even have your lunch in the lounge chairs by the pool.  Get their early (or reserve a chair) to have the best view.


Hawaii is the place to push yourself out of your comfort zone.


I would have never done this on my own, but Julie signed us up for parasailing.  For a girl who has a whole lot of phobias and anxiety with these types of things, I was surprisingly not nervous.  It was glorious up there and not scary.  It was actually a little more nerve wracking on the boat then sailing above because the water was a bit rough that day.  A little side note, if you ever do this, make sure you slide yourself fully into the harness so you are actually “sitting”.  I didn’t get back far enough and I was in a very awkward position up there.  Once you are up there, you can’t change your position.  Oh, and be ready for them to purposely dip you in the water.


The surfers go really, really far out to surf.




Do you see those little black dots?  Those are surfers!  This picture does not do justice to just how far out they were.  The waves in Waikiki break really far out from the shore, so that is where the surfers were.  Not only were they far out, but there is no beach where they are coming into, just a giant stone wall.  No, I do not know where exactly they got in and out of the water but it didn’t seem to be phasing them at all.


As much as love a good maple tree, their trees are way cooler than ours.




These were the blooms just in Julie’s front yard tree.  She also had an avocado tree on the side of her house.  As I walked through the neighborhood at one point, the fragrance from something was just amazing.  Yup, way cooler trees than ours.


Pineapples do not grow on trees.




I am embarrassed to admit, but I always pictured pineapples growing on trees.  I found out last time I visited here that they grow in fields.  I was still wrong however because I thought they grew underground like carrots with only the green part sticking out.  The time I actually saw them in the fields and amongst the reeds, you will find a full pineapple, top and bottom growing.   It was pretty cool to see.  Turns out pineapples take between 18 to 24 months to grow.

Julie has lived five minutes from the Dole Plantation visitors center for a total of seven years.  With countless visitors through, she has never stopped.  We stopped for pineapple ice cream.  Actually, I got it and she just stole a taste.  It was worth the stop!  Last time I visited, I never had pineapple, which I regretted.  I took every chance I could to eat it this time and I have been craving it since I got back.


Snorkel for the first time with someone who has your back.




I will probably get in trouble for sharing this picture, but I think it is hilarious.  Even more so, this picture captures something very special to me.  I have struggled over the years with claustrophobia.  On top of it, I am not a great swimmer.  We went snorkeling at Sharks Cove which is great place to snorkel, but a bit challenging to get out into the area and get started.  We started to go out and I have to admit, I completely panicked and almost turned back.  I tried one more time and Julie reached out under the water and took my hand.

The entire time we were out there, she held my hand.

I am sure it was a lot more difficult for her navigate this way, but she never let go.   I was able to do it because I didn’t have to worry about my bearings or keeping track of where she was.  I knew she knew what she was doing and I was in safe hands.  A seemingly simple action made a huge difference.  I have loved her for a long time, but that gesture gave her a piece of my heart forever and I am so thankful.


The Pacific ocean is just different.



When we were planning my visit, Julie asked if there was anything I wanted to do.  One thing was that last time, amazingly, I never swam in the Pacific ocean and I totally regretted it.  We spent some time at this beach one afternoon specifically for that purpose.  Julie had said when we were snorkeling that there is more salt in the water so that you would just float more.  I am not sure exactly what it is, but it is so peaceful and easy out there.  Within a short distance of going into the water, it gets very deep and you can not stand, but it is not a lot of work to stay out there.  At one point, I just laid back on my back and floated and it was glorious.  I am so glad I swam this time.


The sea turtles.



One morning when we set out on our day, Julie guaranteed me turtles before the day was through.  We spent the morning snorkeling, went to lunch, did some shopping and then headed towards the beach.  We were driving along, and from the car while driving, Julie saw the turtles in the water.  She is kind of amazing like that.  We pulled over and went down to the water.  There were a lot of people already there but that didn’t take away from it at all.  In front of us, there were about six just floating about, coming in and out with the tide.  In the area to the left of us, there were probably another ten or more.  The water was darker there but you just kept seeing their heads pop up.




I stood at the water’s edge and they were coming in so close I had to back up so that I didn’t touch them.  They were so beautiful and it was an almost spiritual experience.  It reminded me so much of the time I watched wild horses.  Honestly, even with Julie’s guarantee I never even imagined such a cool experience.  She certainly delivered on her guarantee.

I am not sure I can top sea turtles, so I am going to stop there.  Thank so much for reading and letting me share my adventures with you.





About Finding Home

Welcome to Finding Home Farms where we share our favorite DIY and decorating ideas and inspiration. We believe your home should be a reflection of you and your family. Our blog is the story of our journey - and what we find along the way. Thanks for joining us!

Leave Us A Comment

21 thoughts on “Thirteen Things About Hawaii”


  1. Just lovely for you to share that experience with a best friend. I am happy for you to accomplish amazingly fun times together. Pictures are gorgeous-looks exactly as you described. Great memories.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’ve never been to Hawaii and I’d love to go. I think I would want to go to some of the less inhabited islands. I’m thinking of renting a little hut 🙂 I did try parasailing and with the amazing view I was astonished at how quiet it was. And I think you look adorable in your gear — what a friend but I believe that you are a magnet for attracting that type of loyalty. Have a wonderful day.

  3. Thank you for sharing your amazing trip! I am getting ready to take a trip like this myself-my best friend is living in England for three years and I am flying over for a visit at the end of July. I don’t like to fly and I’ve never flown alone so I take heart in your courage! I can’t wait but I’m scared to death. I know I will have a wonderful time when I get there just like you did and it’s a once in a lifetime chance! I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

  4. I grew up in Hawai’i and have lived more than 20 different places (thanks to the military). I can confirm that Hawai’i is paradise (and I miss it like crazy). I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit.

  5. On one of our trips to Hawaii we snorkeled with the large green Hawaiian sea turtles (honu). It was awesome…an experience I will never forget!

  6. I am an American living in the UK and follow your blog. Your trip sounds amazing and so special to share it with such a great friend. Your experience with the turtles resonates in my heart and the way you describe it as being almost spiritual is spot on! May you enjoy many more adventures. Best wishes Stephanie

  7. Thanks for sharing your Hawaiian experience. I’ve never been, I can only imagine its glory. Parasailing is one of the coolest things to do along with snorkeling…two things that should be on everyone’s bucket list. And to share with such a dear friend, you are blessed!

  8. So glad you posted you wonderful adventure!! Isn’t it amazing how much we grow from an adventure, good ones and bad ones equally, it’s just that good adventures are so much more fun!! I’m glad you had such a great time!!

  9. What a wonderful trip! So happy you were able to go. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been there…nice to know the Pacific hasn’t changed! 😉

  10. Good for you that you took this trip despite all anxeity you had ! So glad that you had a good time .
    My daughter and I are planning a trip to New York city in October to vist her college roommate who is
    like a daughter to me . I will say I am very nervous about it but I have always wanted to go their
    so I’m bitting the bullet and going full speed ahead!

  11. We just got back from Waikiki ourselves as we never get tired of it. My husband purchased a timeshare years ago just 3 blocks from the beach. It only cost us airfare to go every yesr. You photos look similar to one’s I have taken and are besutiful. Thank you for your beautiful writing.

  12. Laura,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Do not feel guilty for one moment! I happened to read your post after an exceptionally defeating day at work. It reminded me of seeing sea turtles hatch when myself and now husband visited friends in Florida over 20 years ago. It was truly magical. It was so enjoyable reading about your trip, how wonderful to share that time with your friend! The pictures were beautiful and I felt like my feet were in the sand right with you. The after work glass of wine probably helped as well 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  13. I went to Hawaii for the second time this spring. I so love it there and yes, Hawaii has the coolest trees ever! And you are correct, you can not top sea turtles! I didn’t get to see any my first trip so was especially excited to see them this time, so beautiful.

  14. I am so jealous of you right now! I’ve done a lot of traveling but I haven’t been to Hawaii. I enjoyed this post and also learned that pineapples grow in fields…I didn’t know that either!

    Visiting from Whimsy Wednesday

  15. You’re pictures are gorgeous! Sounds like a dream trip! I went to Hawaii 4 years ago, right before my youngest grandson was born. And I went alone….it was awesome. I’m so glad I went since I wound up raising him and his younger brother. The spontaneous vacation days are behind me once again. Loved living vicariously through your pictures.

  16. Oh I love Hawaii!! I spent 3 years living on the north shore of Oahu and I miss it so much. Sharks cove and Wiamea Bay were some of my favourite beach spots. I had a laugh about eh pedicure with flowers on them comment because it’s so true. I hope that you made it to the Polynesian Cultural Center while you were there.

  17. Love all the pictures of your trip to Hawaii ! Looks like you had an amazing trip! I have always wanted to go to Hawaii but its a little more expensive then some other places. Hmm guess I should be racking up those air miles too lol. Thanks fo sharing! Found from Link Party Palooza.