Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Favorite Things in Sunset Beach

Three spots that every person needs to visit while at Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

1.) Ted's Bakery

The absolutely best thing about Sunset Beach isn't the beach it's Ted Bakery! I love their pies and the Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie is utterly to die for! We ended up making two trips to Ted's. This would explained why I gained ten pounds on our trip to Oahu.

Drooling...seriously, the best thing ever created!
2.) Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site

A little less than two miles past Sunset Beach on the Kamehameha Highway (and before you get to Waimea Bay), watch for Pupukea Road on your left (across from Pupukea fire station). This road will take you up to the Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site and O'ahu's largest Hawaiian heiau (temple), covering almost 2 acres.

The name is translated as "hill of escape". Believed to have been constructed in the 17th century and expanded in the 18th century.

As indicated on the park's website, "Undoubtedly, this heiau played an important role in the social, political, and religious system of Waimea Valley which was a major occupation center of O'ahu in the pre-contact period."

Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962 in recognition of its importance to Hawaiian culture and history. Also in 1962, the 4-acre property encompassing the heiau was placed under the jurisdiction of State Parks to preserve this significant site for future generations.

Human sacrifices took place at this Old Hawaiian Temple but don't let this scare you off.

3. Old WW2 Bunker and Lookout

This is the most amazing part of the Old Hawaiian Temple site is the little path that leads down to an old WW2 bunker that over looks Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach. This part of the site you will not find in any travel book. We use to come to this very site when we used to live in Hawaii over 11 years ago. The view is breath taking and down right beautiful. The pictures don't do justice. Plus, if you come to this site you can spot whales during the winter months. We use to stop off at this very spot to spot whales and it's amazing to seem them out in the ocean.

One of the best kept secrets on the North Shore. All three places are worth stopping at plus don't forget to check out Sunset Beach! So, instead of three places it's actually four! A little bit of pie, breath taking views, killer waves, whale watching, and a very interesting historical site. If you ever get a chance...check it out. You wouldn't regret it!

Flood 2011

Six days of rain equals lots of excess water which leads to dam's in the area overflowing with water!,

We seriously, didn't see the sun shine for six days straight...just never ending rain!

The sky did managed to clear up for a few short hours which resulted in a quick last minute trip Tanyard Creek. I figured with all of the rain that the waterfall would be AWESOME! We managed to hike up to the very top of the Dam and worked our way back down to the waterfall.

The simple flow and force of water is amazing. Just check out the photos. I have never seen such a powerful force of water coming down the waterfall before at Tanyard Creek. We have been coming to Tanyard Creek since Landon was only 4 weeks old.

We spent the rest of the time exploring different areas of the creeks. It wasn't too long before the sky went from sunny to a real scary black clouds. It seriously, happened with a blink to the eye! I told the kids we better cut this hike short and head back to the van. We barely made it back before the rain started to come down again in buckets full of rain!

On Top of Lake Windsor Dam...Flood gates are OPEN!

Checking out the views of Tanyard Creek Waterfall!

Spring time is my favorite time at Tanyard Creek!

Too much of a good thing can quickly become bad thing. We love rain but enough already!

Plus, it's expected to rain for a few more days...hopefully, we wouldn't have to build an Ark!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Old Alumni

Flashback without any old photos of me at BYUH; sorry, all of my photos were from pre-digital age! While on the trip, we decided to spend three nights up at our old stomping ground at BYU-Hawaii. I attend from 1996-2000 and Leroy attended from 1995-2000 (yes, you read that took him two major changes which realized in an extra of schooling)! Like, I said we decided to bum around the school and check out all of our old favorite spots. You wouldn't believe how many people came up to us thinking we're students attending school. I thought it was really funny. I don't look like I use to back in the late night 90's. I'm not 18, 19, 20, or 21 yrs old but over 30! It was just like being young and just barely married with no responsibilities. We literally just walk around the school and reminiscing about how life use to be. Carefree, adventitious, and down right FUN! It wasn't an accident that Leroy and I ended up attending school together at BYUH at the same time. Seriously, blessing in so many ways. Going back to my old Hale left me overwhelmed with tears and emotions. I can't believe how much fun; I used to have with all of my old room mates. BYUH opened the doors for so many wonderful experiences. Seriously, the best four years of my life.

Life changing events to place at this very special school. Don't ask me what I learned in the classroom because I really wasn't paying to much attention. Life experiences have helped me to grow in so many ways especially meeting my husband and being sealed together forever in the Laie Hawaii Temple back in Sept. 1998.'s crazy to think we have been married for almost 13 years. I want to be young and carefree again but that's not very realistic. Thanks, for taking this short trip down memory lane.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A time to reflect

The first day on our trip was spent traveling to the island of Oahu and getting ourselves settled in Honolulu. We spent the first night on the floor of Leroy's brother William apartment on a blow up mattress. It really wasn't to bad and it made this really interesting but then again we're really cheap.

The next day, Leroy decided to go into work with William to help him with a computer network problem. I figured it would be bonding time for them and it would be a good time to see some of the historical sites by myself. Leroy doesn't like going to museum and has different ideas on what he likes to do while on vacation. I took this time to hit up the palace and some of the museums that are right next to the palace. Here's a list of things to do while in Honolulu if your a history buff.

As one of the two palaces in the United States, a visit to the ‘Iolani Palace is definitely something you shouldn't’t miss. There are guided tours available that takes you to the first and second floors of the palace in addition to a self-guided tour of the basement gallery exhibits. If history is your thing, then this is one of the best places to experience and see Hawaiian history first-hand.

There are also things to see around the palace. Fronting it is the world-famous King Kamehameha Statue, and across Punchbowl Street from the statue is Kawaihao Church. On the same grounds as the church is the Mission Houses Museum and the King Lunalilo Mausoleum.

The Hawaii State Capitol is also just behind ‘Iolani Palace in addition to the Hawaii State Library. Honolulu Hale (city hall) is across Punchbowl Street from the palace as well.

The end of the Hawaiian monarchy is sad and depressing. I know this is a little bit sad of my part to admit but I have never been to any of these places before in Oahu. I used to live their and never went to the palace or any of the historical building. If you haven't been before and you're planning on returning back to Hawaii make sure to take a couple of hours to hit all of the historical sites. It's a very humbling experience.