Jaime’s visit last November marked a number of memories for both of us, and it was during his stay wherein we both proved how our epic failures and messes could somehow turn out to be small adventures that would make up as good stories to tell someday. Such failures included me failing my lei hanging welcome ceremony surprise at the airport, missing our bus twice, having to walk for more than three blocks before we admit to ourselves we’re lost, not setting up a proper itinerary for his parents and aunt and uncle, Jaime being (incredibly) feverish and sick in his last days.
I had the entire week planned out for both of us: a sunset picnic by the park, midnight drive way up to see the city lights, make him try one of my favorite Hawaiian dishes: the Spicy Ahi bowl (that I eat all the time whilst we talk on Facetime). None of these ever happened.
Despite all these, I applaud God’s way of compromise. Even if He gave us four days of rain, it meant running and trying to shield each other from the falling raindrops until we find proper shelter, laughing and kissing on the way. During one afternoon when we walked home, we saw a rainbow form. It was beautiful (and a better alternative than the picnic I was hoping). When we drove up to the city lights it was completely foggy and we could barely see a thing, but it’s okay; we ended up having a great game night with the greatest people.
So yes, all the messes happened in every form. Yet to me, it was still the best week I could’ve ever had with the best boy. I hope you guys like these stories:
Kalakua Ave (or Waikiki) was basically our home for the week. I feel like I walked the streets so much that I now know every inch and corner.
We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which is basically sort of the Disneyland of Oahu. The place had about six villages inside: Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii, Aotearoa, Tonga. Each village is immersed with so much Polynesian culture from the islands: there were small huts and museums, various shows and even lessons to give you a dose of the Polynesian life.
If you’re visiting Oahu, I strongly recommend going here! I suggest allotting a day to completely tour the area, as the dinner luau buffet starts around 5pm and the ending theater play production at around 8pm. There are so many to do in the center that an afternoon is simply not enough.A little fact: You know how the Hawaiian Hula is most commonly depicted in media with straw skirts and floral head crowns and such? It is apparently a completely wrong and widely common misconception, as that very interpretation (yes, even the one in Lilo and Stitch) was not from Hawaii, but is originally from Tahiti. This is the Hawaiian Hula – in this purest form. No straw skirts. No coconut husks.
I told Jaime his uncle could easily blend in as a local in the island. He agrees.
Our first ever Hawaiian Luau was so much fun! We were treated with performances throughout dinner, as we munch on scrumptious local Hawaiian cuisine. (All Jaime and I did that week was eat, honestly)
Canoe Parade. I vaguely remember this Hawaiian myth, but I think it was that if the flower petal floats to you, it brings you good luck and prosperity from the gods.
With the amount of tourists the island gets each year, shopping culture in here is very (intense) popular.
The best dates that I have (and love) with Jaime are the empty ones – the ones when we’ll go wherever we decide the day/night takes us, which is usually just coffee shops and museums. Honestly, we do nothing in coffee shops though we love visiting them so much. We order our usuals, sit, bask in the ambiance. Still, I’m glad I was able to take him to my favorite parts downtown before our itinerary for that afternoon, which was the submarine ride with his family.
Some of my favorite wrecks in the tour. Though they now serve as artificial coral reefs for various fish in the ocean, I still think they resonate some sort of enthralling, captivating charm. Must be my affinity for such things.
The submarine we rode in was quite spacious and I was thankful, or else I would’ve suffered a serious claustrophobic anxiety attack. Hello!
Views from our boat ride back to the shore. The world famous Waikiki shoreline viewed from the sea and Oahu’s Diamond Head, which is one of the most famous landmarks on the island.
The USS Arizona Memorial was built to commemorate the brave, the gallant who died in Pearl Harbor tragedy that occurred on December 7, 1941. It takes a short boat ride to reach the monument and walk through its pearly white structure. Inside, a huge marble shrine that bears the names of all who perished on the Arizona.
There are a lot of museums inside Pearl Harbor, including a small theater where they screen a 20-minute documentary about the historical attack that occurred. I recommend taking an entire day to visit and making reservations in advance, as tourists flock the harbor each year and the theater seats and boat rides are often booked on the day of visit.
For more information about Pearl Harbor tours, you can visit here.
The Bishop Museum was one of my utmost favorite place that we went to. Its castle-like exterior built on red wood and bricks reminded me so much of a small Hogwarts and inside – even better – was pure magic. Humongous fish display and lights hung through the ceiling resembling a sort of floating ocean in the air and you can see people walking from a distance: on stairs, through rooms, and glass. The Museum is a treasure cove of artifacts and textile collections so visiting it is a must if you want to explore more of Hawaii’s history and culture.
Left: a vintage flyer that reminded me of the Daily Prophet announcements in Harry Potter
Right: might be Harry Potter himself.
That week, the Wold of Wearable Art Exhibit was being showcased in a different building inside the Bishop Museum. Jaime was wary of the pieces, he thinks they are too flamboyant and ridiculously over the top. However for someone who used to work in the fashion industry, I loved every piece and all the small details that created them. They may be pieces I cannot wear in everyday life, but my theatrical, dramatic self was overjoyed. It was clear to me: fashion is indeed the highest form of art.
Oahu is home to many movie locations, including the arena in Catching Fire, the mountains and sceneries in Journey 2 and Godzilla, and of course, Jurassic Park. We took a movie tour around Kualoa Ranch and witnessed the same landmarks that graced the screens.
With Jaime’s sick condition and rainy weather, we almost didn’t go through with the hike as planned. Luckily, the Waimea Park is a concrete hike surrounded by botanical gardens in the mountainside that you can barely even feel the climb. After a simple fifteen minute walk, we were treated with the most beautiful falls. Sadly, it was a bit murky because of the rain and they forbade swimming that afternoon, but Jaime and I decided to make a few wishes as we sat nearby and listened to the crashing waters.
There is a reason they call Hawaii a paradise. The views are simply the best.
There it is, a complete gist of our small adventures on the island. Looking through our hundreds of photos made me realize one thing: not once did I ever take Jaime nor his family out into the beach, which is absurd, considering as Hawaii is best known for beaches. I wished his stay were longer, of course I did, but his life back in the Philippines could not wait.
My friend Andrew told me something that I’m holding on to as of now though, that days will pass and they will come and go and that soon, it would be time for Jaime and I to meet again.
I hope I was able to share a bit of beautiful Hawaii to you guys! I wish I could post every photo, but as Jaime and I have way too much clips we decided to create a sort of video blog instead. I can’t wait to share it once we’re finished.
Have a beautiful, lovely December, everyone. Aloha!