Top 5 Moments in Oahu



If you follow me via Instagram you might have noticed my family recently traveled to Hawaii. It was an epic adventure to say the least. My brother-in-law and family live in Kailua a few blocks from the beach and our trip was guided by their knowledge of the area.


I’ll be creating a series of posts to provide further detail on our experience. Without a doubt, Oahu was a unlike any other place I’ve visited. Hawaii is distinct and wonderful. There is much to see and do. Our eight days were jammed packed full of activities {thanks for all the planning Tracy!} to maximize our time on the island. In several posts I’ll highlight these activities, but before I dive into each individual experience I created this “Top 5 Moments in Oahu” post.


As the mom of three boys every day is full of quotable moments and crazy situations, but there were some experiences in Hawaii that will forever be a part of family lore. That’s the sign of a good trip in my opinion, epic stories that will be retold time and time again. As I write these tales there is a smile on my face. Almost all my favorite moments circle around my three little rascals. This trip was an experience they are likely never to forget.

5.  A Proud Moment– Like any good home in Hawaii my brother-in-law and sister-in-law have a pool in their backyard. My boys LOVED the pool. It might have been their favorite part of Hawaii, a swimming pool at their immediate disposal.


Being the Minnesota boys that they are, they don’t have the opportunity to swim most months out of the year. My seven year old is just starting to truly acquire the skills he needs to swim. On the last day of our visit I encouraged him to swim the length of the pool into the deep end without his lifejacket. He was scared at this idea, but also intrigued. I assured him I would be right by him and he would be safe, so he went for it. And of course, he was successful. But the proud and surprised look on his face when he arrived at the other end of the pool still brings tears to my eyes. He was so delighted and so proud of himself. It was a great mommy moment for me.


4. A Sweet Embrace– Our only time in Waikiki was for a trip in a submarine. Yeah, that’s right. Not a tour. But an actual ride to the ocean floor in a submarine. This is the sort of adventure little boys dream about! To say my five year old was excited would be an understatement. Sea turtles and an assortment of fishes flashed before our portal windows as we descended to the bottom. In his excitement my youngest son kept putting his arm around his older cousin. It was such a sweet gesture. As a mom I knew this carefree embrace was a sign of affection and adoration. Memories that will hopefully last a lifetime were made in this adventure. It’s so wonderful that brothers and cousins were able to share those moments.


3. Swimming with the Fishes– I assure you, I didn’t die. Instead I literally had the opportunity to swim with fish while snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. Other than about five minutes of testing out the process the day before, this experience was my first time snorkeling. Fighting my natural instinct not to breath under water and to stand, I forced myself to breath through the snorkel and not to stand {so as not to damage the coral}. My sister-in-law took the lead and became my snorkel buddy as we explored the reef. I saw a variety of fish, only a couple of feet away. They would swim by seemingly unaware of my intrusion.


I’ve heard snorkeling is quite easy and I must confess once I calmed my natural instincts it was easy to float and enjoy the reef. Certainly I had never experienced anything like this before. As I lifted my face out of the ocean it seemed silly that most people on the beach seemed to be mostly unaware of the world below the water. My time under the surface was ultimately brief, but I loved my time exploring the reef.


2. Ridin’ the Waves– Prior to our trip to Hawaii I had never truly went swimming in the ocean. One summer I took a quick dip in the Pacific during our trip to San Diego. But aside from that experience my ocean time was null. I can’t say I’ve ever been drawn to swim and play in the waves before like I did while in Hawaii. The sand. The water. The beach at Kailua was perfect. It felt so good to be in the waves. I can see how the saltwater taste can come to be a familiar and comforting sensation. My oldest son and I had so much fun boogie boarding. After taking a nice dive straight into a wave and inhaling a bunch of salt water, I quickly learned to stay atop of the moment and enjoy the ride.


It was a great moment as an individual to ride the waves on the little board, but to look over at my son riding the same wave right next to me- the experience definitely became magical. Boogie boarding in the ocean is mother and son bonding at it’s best.


1. Where Are We From? My absolute most favorite moment in Hawaii took place during our luau. I’ll cover in a different post the full experience of our luau, but my kids were really looking forward to this feast and show. My youngest son had been talking for months about what would take place during this event. Thankfully my kids were spellbound with our luau experience and had a thoroughly good time. My middle son {who tends to be introverted and somewhat shy} had a moment of bravery with his cousins and took the stage to announce his name and state. This interactive part of the show was a special way to incorporate the kids, but I was definitely surprised to see my 7-year-old face a crowd of hundreds of strangers.


His younger cousin {who is also fairly shy} faced the crowd and clearly stated her name and state of residency {Washington}. Then my sweet baby looked at the crowd …….and panicked. He knew his name! But when the gentleman asked him where he was from I saw the answer slip from his lips. I know this moment well, because it has also happened to me. Like mother like son, for sure. And then in desperation to answer the man’s question my son stated he was from- Washington. Keep in mind my son was born in Minnesota and has only ever lived in Minnesota. I laughed so hard, I cried. His answer was so unexpected and so silly. It was hilarious. Luckily he was able to laugh at himself and the situation. He will now forever be known as our guy from Washington.


I’ll share more of our time in Hawaii in upcoming posts, but these moments are my absolute favorites. We had so much fun exploring Oahu. Look for posts covering LikeLike Falls, Byodo-In Temple, Kailua Beach, Hanauma Bay, Chief’s Luau, Pear Harbor, Judd Trail, Dole Plantation, Atlantis Submarine Tour in Waikiki and more.


  1. Great read, such a gorgeous place to visit!

  2. Aloha! Your blog posts make us miss home all the more! Glad you had a blast during your trip. It’s even better when you’re visiting family. Kailua is a beautiful area!

    Anyway, I just started following your blog. Looking forward to your posts!

    Mahalo nui loa,


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