Here are fifteen random pictures from my iphoto while living on Oahu for a few years. I like to look at these pictures occasionally, just to remind myself that I’ve really lived minutes away from mountains/beaches/spam fried rice like that. All of these photos are mine, except for the one of Gwen Stefani. It’s not exactly 15, since I added a few context photos & didn’t count them.
Let’s dig in, brah! Chee hee 🙂
1. Shark’s Cove, on the way up to pipeline on the North Shore. I brought my friend Vanessa here once, and everyone else who had visited me previously wondered why I didn’t take THEM here.
2. Sandy’s Beach. Here’s the deal on Sandy’s- boys LOVE IT, and girls, for the most part, would rather go to 25 other beaches before this one. It’s a 25 minute drive from Kailua, far from everything except Costco, the boys are in the water the entire day, and it’s usually packed with people you didn’t want to run into (although not tourists for the most part).
3. Isn’t this beautiful? I took this at an OPEN HOUSE one Sunday afternoon. This isn’t a national park. It’s somebody’s backyard on Oahu.
4. Ah, another weekend at Pillboxes, the cement bunkers left over from World War II overlooking Lanikai. All kinds of sordid things go on up here, from underage drinking, graffiti, smoking pakalolo, and almost getting stabbed by “Machete Man”
For context, this is Pillboxes from afar:
5. The North Shore is insanely beautiful.
6. The Marine Corps Base really knows how to throw a July 4th party! Taken at the annual K-Bay fest.
7. Look at how beautiful my Hawaiian friends are! And how… white I am. They’re gorgeous and tan, and I can barely get my blonde hair to stay down for a picture. Believe me, they’re only so pale because I over-exposed this one.
8. Cool mountain! Former WWII railroad for supplies cut into the side. Oh, and I’ve HIKED UP THAT. TWICE. I only threw up once, though! This is Kokohead and it is a volcano crater. It’s even more insane in person.
Another shot of Kokohead, from the hike:
8. My graduating class carved this into the mountain above our school. I’m not even sure how they did it, but it stayed for SIX MONTHS. We had a LOT of pride in the Class of 08- KALAHEO!
9. Kailua’s Ulupo Heaiu (just called The Heaiu and pronounced “Hay-ow”) was somewhere that I spent a lot of time. Despite being a place of ancient sacrifices and associated with ghosts, menehunes, and hauntings, I had picnics here on ditch days pretty regularly. Here I am pictured on the phone with my friend Ian, sitting on a giant rock.
10. The Waikiki Strip. Gorgeous at night, and another of my favorite places to just walk, check out the corporate surf shops, and smoke cigars. I loved and love Waikiki. Look at the lights and palm trees!
11. My senior year I became a big fan of sunrise hikes. Here I am on one, wearing jeans for school later, at around 6:30 AM. This entailed getting up at 4:50 AM, driving to the hiking spot with flashlights, hiking up to catch the sunrise, and going out for coffee and breakfast before school at 8:30. I always had to nap those days…
Another shot from a sunrise hike (maybe now you’ll understand why I was 17 and getting up before 5):
12. Hiking on random days when I didn’t have class (okay, when I decided I didn’t have class) in high school and seeing them filming LOST!!!! We ran into the actors from Lost quite a bit, at Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods, and gynecology offices.
13. I did Gwen Stefani hair loops for my senior prom, and we took pictures under a mango tree. It’s worth mentioning for the sheer effort it must have taken my hairstylist to make that happen.
My inspiration, Gwen:
14. Even the Tourist Beaches are incredible. Pictured is Waikiki Beach on an April afternoon.
15. This photo shows two amazing things about Hawaii:
-The biking! My brother and I rode our bikes around Kailua almost every night, taking hour long bike rides to the beach parks and surrounding neighborhoods, and there were tons of bike lanes & sidewalks.
-The thrift shops were AWESOME, since people moved off the island constantly and didn’t want to take all of their cute summer clothes with them. I’m pretty sure both of our wardrobes were 80% thrifted.
People always used to warn my mother not to move us to Hawaii, since living there when you’re young gets in your blood. I still fantasize about moving there at least once a month, and haven’t ruled out UH Manoa for grad school. It’s hard not to miss a place like Hawaii, even in a city like Austin. The lack of beaches can be really hard, and the lack of shakas can really get me down. But any time I get really desperate, a friend of mine here in Texas, Logan B., is a Kahuku High grad and has a recipe for chicken katsu curry on hand.
For more pictures of Oahu (and much, much better ones) you can check out one of my favorite sites, unrealhawaii.com
In the meantime, I have to learn where I can sunrise hike in Austin!