Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Gathering Place, Oahu

After 3 days on the beautiful island of Maui, we continued with our Hawaiian vacation and headed off to Oahu, the Gathering Place. I don't exactly know why this island is called "the Gathering place." Maybe because anyone traveling to the islands first land at Honolulu, Hawaii's capital. And many probably end up residing in Oahu, which is why it is the most populated island in Hawaii. But being that it is the most populated, makes it the island to visit whenever its your first time in Hawaii. There's lots to do on this island. And because there's lots to do, you'll encounter more tourists.

Its been about 6 years since our last trip to Oahu. But whenever we visit, we always stay at a hotel in Waikiki. On the beach, of course. But on this trip, we wanted to have a laid back kind of vacation. Away from all the crowds and tourists. So we decided to rent a beach house on the North Shore of the island.

Our beach house was located on the beach in the quiet town of Waialua. And we had the beach all to ourselves, with occasional people passing by for a walk.
(our own private beach)

The beach house had all the comforts of home. So I was able to cook breakfast every morning and saved money on food. A nice change of pace, since everything is a little pricey in Hawaii. Every morning, I cooked a typical Hawaiian breakfast consisting of rice, scrambled eggs, and Portuguese sausage or Spam.

And we always ate our breakfast (and all other meals) next to the bay window in the living room to have this beautiful view:
(this is also the view in our room)

Typical visitors we had at the beach throughout the day was a family of sea turtles that swim pretty close to the shore where you can practically swim with them. I don't swim well in the ocean, so I kept a safe distance.

The thing to do in Oahu is visit the pineapple plantation at Dole.

When there, we always swing by the shop and pick up their famous Dole Whip. Our daughter had a sample of their sweet pineapple after we took the train ride around the plantation, so we decided to pick up some fresh cut pineapples at the shop as well.

A common pupu (or appetizer) in a Hawaiian meal is poke (poh-keh). Its chopped up pieces of ahi tuna with seasonings. It tastes best when served with taro or sweet potato chips. We visited a local supermarket when we took a trip to Waikiki one day and found a service counter dedicated to poke. So hubby and I decided to pick up a couple of different versions of poke and a bag of taro chips. I ordered the avocado poke that was super ono. It had a mild spice and the creaminess from the avocado. I'm gonna definitely try to replicate this.

Hubby ordered the the plain poke which he said tasted too plain. He liked my poke better.

Where we stayed in the North Shore, food trucks are pretty common. I guess you can say that Oahu was the first in the food truck movement. Shrimp trucks is the thing to do up in the North Shore. And the most famous one is Giovanni's Shrimp Truck.
You can't visit the North Shore without having some Giovanni's. So we decided to pick some up on our last day in Oahu.

Their most popular dish is their Shrimp Scampi. Its a plate of their sweet and succulent shrimp, heavily seasoned with butter and garlic, then served with 2 scoops of rice and a wedge of lemon. I could eat this meal everyday. It was that good. It was bomb dot com.

We were able to visit many other places in Oahu, which I will feature in the next couple of posts. This post was just about random things in Oahu. We definitely enjoyed our own private beach. And we'll definitely miss seeing this everyday:
I wish I could take this with me. Aloha. A hui hou (until we meet again).

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