You know how sometimes you have an idea in your head, an idea of something really, really specific? Maybe you carry it around for decades, believing your idea will never come to fruition but you hold on anyway just in case one day it does.
It happens to me all the time.
I spent a lot of summers of my youth in a dentist’s chair, memorizing the perfect tropical beach in the poster on the ceiling, trying desperately to relax while the Novocaine seeped into my bloodstream. I wasn’t 100% positive beaches like that actually existed in real life but I knew I’d die trying to get to one.
Pipeline in Hawaii? Totally one of those beaches. Look at the perfectly curled waves, the white sand and relaxed people chilling on the sidelines; it’s the perfect dentist poster beach. I feel relaxed just thinking about it.
If there’s any possibility in your future, any teeny-tiny, itty-bitty possibility at all of getting to the north shore of Oahu in Hawaii, I highly recommend it. Way more than a cavity.
Grab a pair of snorkels for $15, throw an ice cold bottle of water on top, and cross the street to Shark’s Cove to snorkel for an afternoon. I may or may not have had to be physically removed from the water after a couple of hours in the cove. I swam 3 feet above a sea turtle for the better part of an hour, and I would have gladly followed him all the way out to sea if I’d have been able to get away unnoticed.
If you need to grab a snack go follow one of the (many) food trucks, or pull off the side of Kamehameha highway and grab a zip-lock baggie of fresher than fresh tropical fruit from a food stand.
Things just taste better in Hawaii, yo. I really didn’t know papayas were supposed to taste like that. The stuff trucked to middle-of-nowhere-Utah doesn’t taste, well, like anything. I’m not even embarrassed to tell you I slurped the remaining papaya off the skin and maybe nosed around for more when I was done.
My second favorite (next to surfing, but we’ll get to that) but not-really-so-second-thing-in-Hawaii was the Polynesian Cultural Center. It completely blew my mind. I’ve never heard anything but amazing from friends who’ve visited the P.C.C. and I couldn’t get enough of the place. The P.C.C. offers jobs for students from all over the Polynesian islands so they can attend B.Y.U.-Hawaii. In order to work in any of the “island nations” represented in each of the (immaculately replicated) Polynesian islands, students have to hail from the respective countries with a working knowledge of native traditions.
I almost died when the (startlingly handsome and amazingly talented) men from Samoa climbed trees (barefoot in skirts) to retrieve coconuts and start fires with nothing more than two sticks and a few ‘hairs’ from a coconut.
Don’t even get me started on ‘Ha Breath of Life’, the nighttime show, a mix of traditional Polynesian island dances and songs. I could have watched a few shows back-to-back, and that was after a full day of picture perfect Hawaiian beach adventures.
Last, but far from least I highly recommend staying at the Turtle Bay Resort, the only hotel on the north shore of Oahu. This was the view outside my room.
Picture perfect, indeed.