Time to explore!!! My friends mom brought me around the island a little bit! I got to see Sandy Beach, Rabbit Island, Makapu'u Lighthouse and a lot more of the island. Below was Rabbit Island, which was fun when you see the rabbit!! (Can you see it?!)
There was another traveler at work I made friends with and she was amazing! She was a great help at the hospital and the island! She had come to Hawaii and extended her contract several times and kept coming back every time she left the island! We ended up making plans to travel to Maui when we had a few days off but in the meantime we saw some sights in Hawaii. She took me to the Byodo-In Temple that she had visited before. It was a Buddhist temple replica from Japan and it was beautiful with a huge zen garden and koi fish in the ponds that you can feed.
This temple sat at the bottom of the Ko'olau Mountains, which were not like any other mountains I have ever seen before. Photos do not seem to do them justice but they were majestic and larger than life. Was it strange I often thought I was in Jurassic Park?
Next stop...the North Shore! If you have seen movies like Blue Crush, then the north shore should be no stranger to you. As much as I loved everything Waikiki had to offer, the North Shore was by far my favorite location on Oahu. There was a peaceful feeling being up at the north shore. There was one main road that you would travel on once you made it there and during the winter time when the surf conditions were the best people would take off work or close up shop early and head up to surf or watch surfers. When this happened, traffic was a beast but who cared? Everyone was on "Aloha' time which made life a little less stressful than on the mainland.
There was so much to offer on the north shore! No high rise buildings just beautiful water, outdoor activities, shave ice (shave, not shaved ice- a common mistake for mainland folks), food trucks with amazing shrimp and the list goes on and on.
There is a location of the north shore that always seemed to have turtles resting in the sand when we visisted it. Turtles are also called Honu in Hawaii and there are signs posted not to touch the turtles and absolutley do not touch them. I saw my first Honu up close and personal and I got so excited!
Luckily they roped off a few of the turtles at this beach when we went. Some people disregard these signs which is a shame to the animals. Haleiwa is one of the main towns in north shore. The sign is pretty popular and when my friend brought me up to the north shore we even got a photo with it! Learning how to pronounce places took a little bit of time but it really is beautiful once you get better at it.
Below are a few shots from the north shore.
There is some debate about the best shave ice on Oahu but my first experience was recommended to me by the most people...Matsumoto Shave Ice. The flavor options are amazing and unlike mainland options with Lychee, Lilikoi, Li Hing Mui, Guava, Pickled Mango, and Mizore for a few options I had never heard of. Some of those I needed a description of before I would order them! I got a few different flavors and added the condensed milk that is drizzled on it and ice cream added within it. There was the option to add azuki beans as well but I didn't go that far! I was immediately a fan after my first one!
With all the sightseeing on a few other parts of the island with a few different friends, I still took time to soak in the beauty of Honolulu and the Ala Moana area, which was not far from my apartment. It was a completely different feel from one area of the island to the next and I think thats why I loved the island so much. It never got old because there was always something new to see and to explore.
Working night shift could be a little taxing on the body but it was worth it on my days off to explore. I was completely content on this island but looking forward for the upcoming weeks when Maui was a new destination in my sights! What would it look like? Would it be the same as Oahu? I couldn't wait!