7th February 2015
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Location LOCATION: Oahu

1. Zimmermann Porcelain Bikini (more styles here)
2. ASOS Floral Dress / Ancient Greek Sandals / Eugenia Kim Hat
3. Zimmermann Porcelain Smock Dress (in-stock here)
4. ASOS Off Shoulder White Top / J Brand White Denim Shorts
5. ASOS Off Shoulder Striped Top / Citizens of Humanity High Waist Denim Shorts
6. Altuzarra Denim Lace Dress
7. ASOS Fluffy Cream Jumper

This photo diary is one of my favourites so far. Maybe because it actually took over a week to edit our whole Hawaii trip and we still managed to make the time to publish it here (something I still need to do for Norway, Sicily and most of our Europe travels from 2013 and 2014!), or maybe because it reminded me of how Luke and I would spend our time in the very early days of Gary Pepper, where we would take an entire afternoon to shoot photos aimlessly and just have fun together. Back then I would update this space once every 1-2 weeks, with my focus being purely on the online vintage store, so it’s been a while since we’ve delegated time to just enjoy each others company like this.

My recommendations for a trip to Oahu would be:

– Don’t stay in Waikiki and avoid the tourist hot spots. Instead book a private apartment or house and stay along the North Shore or East Side. We stayed in the funniest little house because we booked so last minute, but the landlord was so sweet and gave us a tour of her garden and gave us avocados, fruit and fresh coconuts to take home. This intimate local experience is rare to find staying at commercial hotels.

– Hire a car. We hired a car as we wanted to explore much of the island and Luke wanted to see various beaches for sunrise or sunset. Hiring cars can always be a little expensive, but you won’t find taxis along the North Shore and as it’s such a small neighbourhood, you’ll feel safe driving on its one main road. Even I drove in Oahu despite how nervous the thought of driving on the right side of the road made me.

Try all the food trucks you can. If it was anywhere else in the world, I’d probably assume these food trucks were the same as the ones you find at carnivals, music festivals or on the side of the street, but they’re nothing like that in Hawaii. They’re delicious, convenient and lusciously affordable.

Luke’s favourites are North Shore Tacos and Pupukea Grill, which both serve Mexican food. North Shore Tacos is more like a little diner and here we fell in love with their pineapple mocktails that come inside a fresh pineapple. There were various food trucks we stopped in to try, like Haleiwa Bowls / Acai Bowls for breakfast, Pupukea Grill / Mexican lunch and The Elephant Truck / Thai dinner. There wasn’t any coffee trucks along the North Shore (why!?), so every morning we would visit The Coffee Bean next to Foodland for our daily caffeine fix.

Just a warning: the almond milk tastes like pure sugar but I couldn’t find anything better!

Do a one day road trip along the East Side and stop in at as many beaches as you can. We started down at Sandy Beach for sunrise and worked our way back, stopping at Waimanalo Bay, Lanikai Beach and Makapu Beach Park. Keep an eye out for little swings or local stalls along the shoreline too. It’s incredibly picturesque and the waters are turquoise clear.

– Spend an afternoon doing one of Oahu’s various hiking trails. There are so many hiking trails in Oahu but we didn’t get to do any as they were all rained out during our week of thunderstorms. Most are illegal now and you enter at your own risk. We wanted to do The Stairway to Heaven, which Luke’s friends have done before and advised going before sunrise to avoid the security, but we just ran out of time. We attempted to do Dead Man’s Catwalk one afternoon but our maps took us to the opposite of where the entrance was, so we took it as a sign that we weren’t meant to go and continued on our road trip.

Disclaimer: Please do your research on these hikes before you decide to do one. They are dangerous and often only for experienced hikers. I don’t encourage nor take responsibility for anyone who decides to do one.

– Spend $15 and buy goggles and snorkels. The beaches along the North Shore are perfect for snorkelling, surfing or swimming. We went to Foodland and bought some cheap goggles and snorkels to go exploring in the shallow waters of Shark’s Cove or Laniakea Beach. Laniakea is one of the prime places for turtle spotting and often you can see them resting along the shoreline. Unfortunately we didn’t spot any, but I’m positive we’ll be back.

If you’re after dolphin spotting, we heard the best place was Pokai Beach. Apparently there’s pods of dolphins every morning during summer. You can also do dolphin spotting or shark tours that take you out to deeper waters, but that kind of freaks me out.

This post has taken me roughly five hours to finish, which doesn’t include how long it took us to edit the photos. I hope you enjoy! Kauai is up next…

Photographer: Luke Shadbolt and Nicole Warne