Given the number of days I was on the island, one would think that I would have hit the beach sooner than later. The truth of the matter is that I was not able to visit Waikiki beach (the actual beach, even though our hotel was just 30 feet from it). I saw it from afar and got to maybe 10 feet away from the sand.
It was only Thursday (!) night when I was able to touch sand and salt water --- all the way on the North Shore! As we were cruising towards some restaurants in the North, I asked the Hunk (who traveled all the way from Las Vegas where he attended a conference) to stop the car so that I could finally feel the sand and warm waters on my feet. That was the extent of it. Hunger got in the way...
The food was all I had imagined it to be. I had ahi almost every night, and malasadas every morning. We took the less touristy routes, visited small groceries, and dined at "hole-in-the wall" type restaurants. We also visited the International Market where we bought matching Hawaiian-themed outfits for the kiddos and their cousins.
I also fell in love with the soft serve ice cream at Leonard's and the donuts from Napoleon's.
We had time constraints, but were able to visit all the places on my short list, including:
Pearl Harbor (twice!)
North Shore & Jameson's by the beach
Leonard's (four times!)
We decided that when we take our trip to Maui in the next couple of years, we would include a stop in Oahu so that the kids could take in the zoo and the relaxed vibe of the North Shore. We will definitely be back, if only to have a few more malasadas and the mango ice cream.