we went on a vacation! we left home when it was 20 below and arrived in the magical land of hawaii, where it was 100 degrees warmer. it was sunny the whole time, as if mother nature had just set the weather on auto pilot and fell asleep. it was perfect hiking weather, perfect papaya-for-breakfast weather (squeezed with calamansi!), perfect sitting-by-the-water-turning-off-my-phone-reading-a-book-and-not-looking-up-until-a-man-rode-by-with-a-mai-tai-delivery-bike weather. we listened to the la la land soundtrack, ate donuts before supper, and sat on the beach with moses and alana with buckets o’ poke from the little kahuku superette.

it was exactly hawaii.

i acquired a new favorite hobby, floating. i learned the joy of lying in the water and looking up at the sky with no thoughts and fears aside from the possibility of my bum getting nibbled by fishies. and eggboy discovered the wonders of shave ice and haleakala. we watched the sunrise each morning with coffee and the newspaper and observed a nightly bedtime of like 8pm. we made a chinchilla friend in moses's mom's garden. i miss the spam musubi and the pineapple. i came home with a musubi mold though so watch out, i’m going to musubi everything. 

on the road to hana, instead of stopping to turn around where the road “ended” we just kept on going, and let our jaws drop at maui showing off. our phones didn’t work on that road, and the lighting was different, i felt like we were on another planet or in another time. the world could have gone all brigadoon on us and, nope, we wouldn’t have known.

it was such a wonderful trip. i'm officially one of the tannest humans in grand forks and i'm ready to get back to work but also counting the days until we get to go back to hawaii :)

here were some of the places we loved most on this trip (to add to the list of places i loved on my last trip to maui and oahu):

koko head cafe // an adorable brunch spot with dumplings, bibimbap, congee, and a french toast that we didn’t get but it looked so epic that i’m regretting that we didn’t get it.

diamond head market // the site of eggboy’s first spam musubi! and, ugh, their scones are sofa-king good.

rainbow drive-in // nothing prepared me for how good their plate lunch would be. we got the mixed plate. i couldn’t stop eating it. even though i’d just had a malasada. even though i knew it’d probably give me a belly ache. so good. 

surfjack hotel // a super cute hotel in waikiki where we stayed for the first few nights! it is really hip but not painfully hip. just right. especially for an afternoon of playing jenga with alana and moses by the pool.

royal kitchen // jade brought us some of their manapua. sooo soft and doughy and good.

four seasons at ko’olina // a dream. we screamed when we walked into our room and saw the view. the beds were clouds, the service was flawless, the pools and laguna made me love going in the water. and all of the food was delicious, especially the pandan mochi donuts at la hiki. and there were poolside cake pops! i want to go here again and again and again. a huge mahalo to kim for making our stay there extra special!!! 

kahumana farm // an organic farm that employs homeless families and people with disabilities and supplies produce and eggies to a bunch of restaurants on oahu. so many things grew there that i’d never even heard of, and they had an awesome aquaponics setup. 

haleakala national park // eggboy and i did a lazy thing: instead of waking up at 3am to join the crowds for the sunrise, we slept in, drove up to the summit in the morning sun (what a pretty drive!), and then hiked the day away on the sliding sands trail. it was quiet and stunning and lovely and we weren’t exhausted like we’d have been if we woke up for the sunrise, so 10/10 would recommend this. on the way back down we stopped in the cute town of makawao for a smoothie. note to self: next time go on a day when komoda's bakery is open! 

paia flatbread company // we went here for pizza night and looooved the pesto pizza. the place reminded me of our town pizza parlor. quirky and fun! 

old lahaina luau // our first luau! we loved it. 

hana ranch burger truck // tasty burgers on the hana highway!

the road to hana // would definitely recommend. and i have some tips: the rental car company tried to get us to upgrade to a four-wheel drive for it but eggboy rolled his eyes and was like really? which made me a little nervous but it ended up being 100% fine in our two-wheel drive. eggboy's a good slow driver though, so it was a smooth ride, free of car sickness, and yeah, some of my favorite parts were after the highway ends. past that, it's gravel-y and narrow at times, but it's not too bad. they tell you to really load up on snacks and gas in paia before hitting the road, so we pretty much cleared out the mana market as if we were gearing up for the apocalypse. but in reality, we went through about 1/3 of a tank of gas and there were taco trucks, farm stands, and barbecue stops the entire way to hana lol. i'm not mad because you know how i feel about cute road snacks, but just so you know for future planning, you're not gonna die if you don't fill your backseat with bread before you leave. 


everything i ate and drank on oahu

(or, most of it)

welcome to part 2 of my hawaii posts! (part 1, everything i consumed on maui, is here.)

one bite of every flavor of malasada from leonard's. they were hot doughy balls of insanity that melted swiftly in my mouth. 

plate lunch, with butter mochi for dessert. and entertainment was provided by lily's first bite of spam!!!! so proud of you, lil.

chicken katsu musubiwell, technically it was onigirazu. (i think the only difference is the sandwichy shape...?) it was so satisfying and photogenic, i could eat fried chicken on a bed of that rice til the cows come home. i am itching to make steph's recipe for them now.

the entire menu at the pig and the lady, complete with savory beignets dunked in parmesan foam, a scallion pancake tartare situation, and schmaltz bread, all broken up by "don't go chasing waterfalls" snapchat sing-alongs and the like. it was one of **those** meals, where time is nonexistent and the cocktails disappear. 

the prettiest sushi in the world, followed by the prettiest tartare in the world.

a traditional hawaiian feast at helena's with the sweetest new friends. i had my first poi and kalua pig! and now i'm adding alana's slow cooker kalua pig recipe to my to-make list.

a smoky mezcal cocktail that took my breath away, at the way-too-cool-for-school speakeasy-ish bar leather apron.

a smily face flat white. :) :) 

oahu is so different from maui! we were only there for about 48 hours, but i loved that it had the feel of a big city and the warmth of a small town. (or maybe that's cause we were traveling with alana! i think alana knows every single person on oahu.) we ate so much good food and still managed to squeeze in a double jeopardy viewing slumber party, a trip to the mall for a frida kahlo shirt that i could not live without, and a hike up diamond head. with the exception of the turbulence on the way back to maui, oahu was such a wonderful little side trip. 10/10, would recommend. 


thank you, modern honolulu (and #friendswithbenefits), island air, and nella media group for a delicious few days in oahu!! love to my #slamsquad2016!!