I can’t tell you how long I have waited for this trip!! My whole family started making plans for this vacation two years ago, and it never really materialized until now. Trust me when I say, the planning of this trip was super stressful that I kind of just left everything to them. I had absolutely no idea what was going on so much that when my flight made me fill up this form of where I was staying, I left it completely blank. It was like one of those surprise trips that you have no idea where you’re going or what you’re doing, but you know you will have a wonderful time.

I have been extremely adamant about “extending my summer” that I went to the beautiful beaches of Hawaii in October. We spent quite a bit of time in Oahu so I’m gonna condense this blog into a few favorites. In the spirit of full disclosure though, I’ve got to be honest and say I was quite disappointed with some places we went to. It was more of the service rather than anything else. I was expecting the Hawaiians to be happy and nice people considering they live in paradise, unfortunately, that was not the case in these certain establishments. However, I am not generalizing all locals because we did go to a couple places where the staff was exceptionally accommodating and friendly. I don’t want to throw you off from visiting Hawaii, because other than a few hiccups, it was overall an amazing trip for me and my family, and these are the top 5 reasons why:


Number 5: Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

One of the best indications that you are going to a great food place is if there’s a long line for it. Just off of Kamehameha Highway, we had to wait around 30 minutes in the heat for this tiny little food truck. (I stayed inside the car most of the time because it was too hot!) A great tip for coming to this place is: one of you should head in line while another find parking (in their very small parking lot) and another find a spot to sit down, it’s easier if there’s a couple of you so you can delegate these tasks. Giovanni’s had a couple tables for their patrons, but it was not enough for the number of people queueing for their shrimp! It was understandable, their “grindz” were so good that it “broke da mouth” The garlic shrimp I had was swimming in oil and butter and probably too much cholesterol, but if Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck is the reason why a couple of years are shaved off of my life, I know that it’s been a great life!

66-472 Kamehameha Highway
Hours: 10:30AM-6:30PM

Number 4: Lanikai Beach

Out of all the beaches we’ve been to, my favorite would have to be the whole strip of Kailua to Lanikai. The sand in this area is extremely soft, the beach is clean and not filled with tourists! My whole family spent a long time in this place. We found a comfortable area to set up our little picnic mat under the shade and took turns in the water. Everybody from my toddler nephew to my 74-year old grandma all went swimming and enjoyed ourselves. The best part was hearing my nephew screaming in laughter, he didn’t want to get out of the “big swimming pool” as he would call it. It felt so gratifying to hear him yell “I love swimming everywhere!”

Number 3: Lanikai Pill Box Hike

Met with my Kama’aina friend Beanca (you’ve seen her in past blogs) to go on a hike. Apparently her definition of easy was different with mine. I guess I’m taking into account that I’m coming down to sea-level from the Colorado altitude. Sorry to out you B, but you did take a whole lot longer than I expected! Haha but anyway, it was still such an amazing hike. It definitely made me love ocean hikes more than the mountain ones. The wind was great on top, and the view was one of the best! There are three pillboxes up on these mountains. They served as hidden sniper posts during the war, but are now filled with so much color. We were able to get up just to the first one and decided to head back down because of the heat, and because we couldn’t wait to swim already.

Number 2: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay definitely brought me back to my childhood summers in the Philippines when me and my sisters would go snorkeling. Granted, we probably didn’t see as much underwater life then because we weren’t allowed to swim too far, and the water wasn’t as crystal clear as how it is in Hanauma. The crew did a great job preserving the marine life, land life and the environment surrounding the bay. They have kept the bay clean, and the visitors safe.

Hanauma Bay State Park
7455 Kalanianaole Hwy, Hon, Hawaii
Entry Fee – $7.50 | Parking – $1.00

(Before we get to our top pick, here are a few quick favorites)

Number 1: Ka Moana Luau

If you are looking for arguably the best cultural Hawaiian experience, I highly recommend attending the luau hosted by Ka Moana. The whole experience begins as soon as you get to the location. There are interactive cultural activities in little areas where you can come and join as they teach you how to dance the hula, play indigenous instruments, weave a headband, make a lei, play the ukulele and so much more. The buffet was an island-inspired selection of great food and my favorite part was the sustainable utensils and plates that they were serving us the food with. The entertainment was world-class! It was such a great joy watching the dancing, singing and fire-performances that were also very educational, because they made it a point to incorporate teaching the audience about their culture through every single one of these performances. The whole luau was very magical and emotional, it is such a great family experience. I’d very much love to do it again when I come back to Hawaii.

73142083_417367409192504_2585749811760201728_n41-202 Kalanianaolo Hwy
Waimanalo, Hawaii
Luau Activities begin @ 5:30PM


You have been a dream come true Hawaii, Mahalo! #findgizel #shaka

 This trip has been such a dream come true. Mahalo, Rainbow state!

xx Gizel

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