Remember how I said that Manoa Falls was one of the only things I wanted to do while I was in Hawaii? Well, my last days were filled with doing the other things I wanted to do (which mainly consisted of food...)
My friends had told me high tales about malasadas, otherwise known as Portuguese donuts. I had shamefully never heard of them up until a year or two ago, and I knew I needed it as soon as I heard about it. Light, airy fried dough covered in sugar.
What's not to like?! We went to the standard, the classic: Leonard's. If you ask anyone where a good place to get malasadas is, they'll tell you Leonard's. And I wasn't about to mess with that kind of a recommendation. We ordered an assortment of different ones, but I went for the original. Just good ol' plain sugar.
Can we get another close up?
Ah, much better. If you drool a little bit, I don't blame you. My mouth watered while editing the photos and now, once again, while writing this post. I'm going to need to find some of these here in LA as soon as possible.
Then, finally, it came to my last full day on the island. I still had so much I wanted to eat and so much I wanted to do! Caitlin and I geared up, along with her friend Trelaine, and we made a plan of things we wanted to tackle that day.
To start? We stuffed ourselves with breakfast in Kailua, which resulted in another meal related to kalua pork and butterfish. We tried out some chocolates which I don't have photos of, unfortunately. But! It's called Manoa Chocolate, and it's pretty fantastic. I highly suggest the Hawaiian Sea Salt.
Feeling almost sickly full, we headed over to the Lanikai Pillboxes for a hike that kicked our butts.
While a challenging hike, I'm not sure if it was again the humidity that got to us, or if it was really that steep. The way down was much more strenuous than the way up, if for nothing else than the fact that it's loose dirt and gravel that required a ridiculous amount of thigh work.
Thankfully, I didn't slip -- but I can't say the same for some of the people we passed! Totally worth it for the views, but this one's not for the out of shape.
Once we made our way down, we kicked off our shoes and slipped our sandals on, eager to get up to the north shore. The weather was somewhat unpredictable that day. While it was bright and sunny during our hike, an hour later we found storms had rolled in and were pouring over where we just had been.
We drove through lots of rain, somewhat concerned that it wouldn't clear up by the time we got to our destination. But, by the grace of God, the clouds broke and we saw streams of sunlight guiding our way forward. And just in time for a late lunch!
Since a trip to Hawaii is not complete without a plate lunch, we opted for Giovanni's Shrimp Truck. On a scale of one to holy smokes, this was a holy smokes. The shrimp was good, but what made this unforgettable was all of that delicious garlic and lemon butter.
Say it with me now, garlic and lemon butter! Yes! I never want anything else in life. I could eat that straight up with rice and call it a satisfying meal. We shared a plate between the three of us, anticipating needing room for some of the other food-related items I had on my list.
At last, when it seemed like we would be driving forever, we made it to our destination. A place that really would be difficult to find without someone who had been there before guiding the way, Caitlin took me once more to her favorite beach.
And I'm not surprised that it's her favorite. We. Saw. Sea turtles.
Hey buddy! Thanks for peeping up!
After I had thoroughly squealed over the turtles near their feeding area, we all made our way further down the beach to where we could swim. One thing I discovered about Hawaii beaches (and love) is that they're, for the most part, pretty open. There's so much beach that it's not difficult to find your own little stretch of sand.
It's very different from my California beaches, that's for sure!
We raced towards the water and jumped in with cameras in hand, only to see what may have been the highlight of my trip.
Sea turtles in the water. You can also read that as: I swam with sea turtles!!! This was the other thing I told Caitlin I really, really wanted to do. While snorkeling would have been fun, my reason for wanting to snorkel was so that I could see turtles. And there they were! They came and found us.
This guy came the closest, but you can see his buddy in the background. He sneaked up on Trelaine, which made for a real test of speed. I don't think I've gotten a camera to do what I wanted it to do as quickly as I did in that moment.
There was no way I was going to miss out on capturing these guys.
Can we talk about how clear this water is? Once the sun really came out, the water looked like it was a sea of glitter. Everything underwater sparkled, and I spent most of my time trying to soak it all up.
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