Picture perfect Hawaiian beach

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.

pipeline hawaii

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.

snorkeling in hawaii

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.

No, seriously.

hawaiian fruit

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.

palm trees in hawaii

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.


hula dancing lessons

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.

beach in hawaii

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.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Emily :

    Lovely! That fruit looks amazing and I like your skirt. I really want to go somewhere awesome.

  2. lisa hourin :

    OMG, I *just* moved off of the North Shore after living there for the last two years. It truly is a magical place, even within Oahu (we live in Kailua now, and it doesn’t even compare). My kids went to Sunset Elem, across the street from Pipeline…. We are missing it so, so much. :(
    If you are still there, try to go to KeIki Beach…it’s the BEST one up there. So big and usually pretty empty and just totally gorgeous. You can Google “Keiki Beach Bungalows” to get the location, and just go down the public access that is on the Pipeline side of the bungalows. It should be nice and flat there now, in summer, but in winter that beach gets HUGE shorebreak (ie, ginormous waves breaking ankle deep). Now, though…GORGEOUS! Chek it out if you have a chance. Enjoy the island. Life is good here. :)

  3. lisa hourin :

    (Oops, I guess these are old pictures…sorry!)

  4. ~j. :

    Startlingly handsome and amazingly talented indeed.

    (I’m assuming it’s the same man I saw last year. I shouldn’t assume, but I remember his face so clearly I’d hug him if I ran into him on the street here.)

  5. Hilarye :

    That fruit is a dream come true