Are you planning a trip to Hawaii? If you’re anything like me, you’re enthralled with Hawaiian pineapple. If so, a visit to Dole Plantation in the north-central region of Oahu is a must!
A rare coolish day in Hawaii was the perfect time to put on my hat, boots, and take a nice car ride up to the almost-north shore of Oahu to Dole Plantation for the day. Located in Wahiawa, Dole Plantation started as a fruit stand in 1950, selling fresh, Hawaiian-grown pineapple, and has since evolved into a pineapple-lover’s theme park of sorts.
Visitors are able to enjoy an array of activities, from touring their lush botanical and agriculture garden, to getting lost, then found again, in the pineapple maze. Our favorite attraction, of course, was riding the Pineapple Express!
A roughly 20-minute train ride through the farmland was a chance to see firsthand the pineapple crops growing in the field. The red volcanic soil and elevation are the perfect combination for pineapple growing.
Not only does Dole Plantation grow pineapple, but also, Cacao (chocolate), avocado, bananas, and a variety of other plants and fruits.
After taking the train ride, you can enjoy some pineapple soft serve at the gift shop, or enjoy other fun photo opps from around the property.
A trip to Dole Plantation is a peaceful and fun respite from the hustle and bustle of the city and is worth the drive to learn something new about Hawaiian agriculture while having fun while doing so!
After 3 years of living on Oahu without a car, something magical happened on Christmas Eve: I got a car!
I didn’t get just any old car. I got a Subaru Forester, my (second) dream car. My first dream car I was lucky enough to get when I was 16 – a VW Beetle. From there, I sold it in 2012 to travel the world extensively. And travel I did.
Now that I’m settled in Honolulu and my credit card debt has been paid down to a balance of $0, it was time for a car hunt.
Behold: My new (used) Subaru Forester – my new adventure-mobile!
While my boyfriend has been gracious enough to take me anywhere my heart desired in his truck, there’s just nothing like the feeling of being behind the wheel of my own car, windows down, music blaring, discovering – and rediscovering – why I love living in Hawaii so much.
The other weekend, I picked up my friend Kaylee for an epic cruise in my new Subaru.
We started the day driving up to do a hike just above Sunset Beach. We picked the Ehukai Pillbox hike for it’s short duration and relatively easy terrain.
There were some patches of the hike that had ropes to hold onto to assist you in moving up and down the mountain with ease, which came in handy, as the terrain was a bit muddy.
After a heart pumping ascension, we made it to the Pillbox! The view was gorgeous.
After our hike, we braved the bad north shore traffic back to Haleiwa town for a bite to eat. Lunch was at Cholo’s, a local Mexican restaurant. We grabbed a table for two outside and enjoyed some cervezas and Mexican cuisine. I ordered the two taco plate with braised beef tacos, rice, and beans. The price was more than fair, and the guacamole on the side was creamy and delicious. Calories well spent!
Looking for a peaceful end to the day, I wanted to take Kaylee somewhere a little more “off-the-beaten” path for sunset. To my surprise, upon arriving to Kaena Point, there were lots of cars, and even tourists! It’s a protected bird sanctuary area, and there’s opportunity to do off-roading – IF you have a county key to the gate, which we didn’t.
Alas, sitting on the beach, enjoying the sun on our skin, and talking story while the waves crashed over the shore was a relaxing end to our adventurous day.
Almost 2 years in the making, my move to Oahu has finally come to fruition. At the end of January, myself, my boyfriend Jonathan and our dog Pono made the journey back home to the Hawaiian islands where we first met over 2 years ago.
Taking our dog to Hawaii was a feat in itself. We had to endure a 4-month waiting period because Hawaii is a rabies-free state. After getting our dog’s blood work done on the mainland and waiting, we were finally ready for takeoff on January 21st.
Pono flew well, and Hawaiian Airlines took excellent care of him. By the way, Hawaiian airlines is the best! Their seats are a soothing blue color and they play relaxing Hawaiian music when you are boarding the flight. They gave us a cheese and fruit platter and served everyone a “snack”: Maui onion chips and a free Mai Tai! I definitely recommend flying Hawaiian next time you visit. They will start your trip full of aloha.
We arrived at Jonathan’s family’s house in Honolulu. They put us up for several weeks while we hunted for an apartment. Jonathan’s mom and aunt are Korean, so we feasted on amazing dishes during our stay, including her one and only gochujang crab stew:
Not to mention, his dad, who is Japanese, steamed 2 whole Opakapakas (Pink Snappers), then served them up with Chinese parsley, onions, green onions and crisped the skin with hot oil. This picture is before he set off the building’s fire alarm with the oil’s smoke:
After a few short weeks staying with Jonathan’s family, we were lucky enough to find a 1 bedroom privately owned condo in the Kapahulu neighborhood of Honolulu. We just love it here!
Of course, being on Hawaii, we had to hit up the beach. Pono has never been to the beach in Hawaii, so we wanted to take him somewhere he could stretch his legs off the leash. We took a trip to Bellows Field Beach Park in Waimanalo. It was a cloudy Sunday, but even a cloudy day in Hawaii is amazing.
A few days later, we decided to cruise up to the North Shore through Haleiwa town and to Waimea Bay Beach Park. In the winter, the waves and the wind make the beach not suitable for swimming except for aqua-man-like folks and brave surfers. The waves were crashing against the shore and a caution tape closed off much of the high-surf areas of the beach.
From the North Shore, we cruised around to the east side and visited Kualoa Regional Park in Kaneohe. I loved this place because it has great views of China Man’s Hat, and its relatively quiet, uncrowded and secluded. Not to mention the behemoth Ko’olau Mountains flank this beach park, making the scenery extraordinary. The waves are gentle because of a break wall, and there’s plenty of interesting creatures roaming about, including crabs, birds and roosters.
Overall, an amazing day in paradise. We look forward to getting more and more settled into our new home and exploring more amazing places on this beautiful island. Aloha!