I finally made it to Hawaii!

Since my mom has work projects in Hawaii, she makes it over to Oahu frequently. She often takes friends and family along with her on these work trips, and I was one of the only people that hadn’t been to Hawaii with her yet. Last December we took a family trip to Hawaii before the holidays, and I finally got my Hawaii experience.

The trip was filled with good food and tropical cocktails. We ended most every night at our favorite beach bar, The Barefoot Bar. Although we didn’t keep an exact count, I’m confident we had over 20 Tropical Itches– a MaiTai-esque cocktail served with a bamboo back scratcher. Kayla’s coworker recommended a must-go Poke place called Ahi Assassins, and it didn’t disappoint. Its sketchy motel-like exterior only added to the experience. It was by far, the best tasting Poke I have ever had. We also had excellent Shabu Shabu, a Japanese hot pot dish with thinly sliced meat, and veggies dipped in hot broth.

Since it was both Lars’ and my first time on the island, we hiked up Diamond Head, one of the popular tourist hikes of Oahu.

My favorite part of the trip was snorkeling at both Hanauma Bay and Paradise Cove. I hadn’t been snorkeling since our trip to Thailand back in 2005. I enjoyed it more than I had expected to. Within the first 30 seconds of being under the water in Paradise Cove, a sea turtle swam right up to me.

A sea turtle nearly bumped me on the nose!

The rest of our trip was spent hanging on the beach, walking along Waikiki, and soaking up the sun.

What happens in Malta, stays in Malta…

…but because I like you guys so much, I’ll give you guys a small taste of our week in paradise. Imagine water, so clear it feels as if you’re in a swimming pool. Fish, so calm and beautiful. Sand, so golden it warms your toes like a cozy blanket. A coastline, so unique and rich of culture. Are you jealous yet?

We spent most of our time at the gorgeous beaches. The extremely salty water made for a great floatation device and a not-so-great mouthwash.

When we weren’t at the beach or in our beds, we were out on the town. We came across many great people: the old man living upstairs, the drunk German teachers, the drunk German high-school class, and last but not least, THE SWEDES. Perhaps it was the Swedish in Ilektra that attracted the group of Swedes into George’s Pub. Regardless, we had a great time with the motley crew. Because learning actual names was too boring, we referred to them in generic terms: The Party-Swede, The Old-Swede, The Rich-Swede, The Unknown-Swede, The Lady-Swede, The Kind-Swede, and so on. And what better way to end a night with the Swedes than a city-wide power outage?

On our last day we discovered the must-see destination in Malta… Paradise Bay. The beach is small but fantastic, and the snorkeling was phenomenal.

Now I’ve kept it short and sweet. If you want to know more, you’ll just have to travel to Malta and fetch it yourself.